Owner/Applicant:                                                         Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

Ray A. and Jo Ann W. Peterson                                             December 16, 2002

Staff Lead:                                                                                 Department:

Elizabeth A. Cook                                                         Community Development

Magisterial District:                                                                      PIN:

Scott                                                                                        7907-32-7163-000

Topic:             A Resolution to Waive Zoning Ordinance Section 7-302.1B to Allow a Private Street That Does not Connect Directly to a State Maintained Street                                      

Waiver of Zoning Ordinance Section 7-302.1.B to Allow a Private Street That Does Not Connect Directly to a State Maintained Street

Property Location:   

The property is located on the north side of General Hunton Road, south of Pond Mountain Road . 

Topic Description:

The applicants are seeking a waiver of Zoning Ordinance Section 7-302.1.B, Limitations, which would allow a subdivision on a private street that does not connect directly to a state maintained street.  As proposed, the new twenty-foot easement would connect to another private street rather than the required direct connection.  The applicants have submitted a family transfer division application to divide a 10.054-acre parcel into two lots to create a parcel for their daughter and her husband.  As proposed, the family transfer lot would be accessed via a twenty-(20') foot easement from an existing fifty-foot (50) private right-of-way, General Hunton Road .  General Hunton connects to another existing fifty-foot (50) private right-of-way, Pond Mountain Road Pond Mountain Road connects directly to Georgetown Road (Route 674). 

The property is zoned RA (Rural Agriculture) and RC (Rural Conservation).  It does not have any subdivision potential other than one (1) lot.  The property is located on the north side of General Hunton Road at its terminus, north of the Village of New Baltimore .  Currently, the applicants access their property via Pond Mountain Road and General Hunton Road .  Two other parcels have access from the terminus of General Hunton Road , which the applicants indicate is through an easement they granted to a prior property owner who also created a family transfer lot.

Attachment 1 provides a location map for the affected parcel in relation to General Hunton Road and Pond Mountain Road .  The proposed family transfer plat located at Attachment 2 illustrates the access to the lots beyond the applicants' property.  The plat does indicate a newer private easement across the applicants' property that provides this access.  The applicants' justification is included as Attachment 3.

Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:

Consider adoption of attached resolution.

Planning Commission Action:

On November 21, 2002 , the Planning Commission recommended that the Board of Supervisors grant the request for a waiver of Zoning Ordinance Section 7.302.1.B based on the following:

1.      No other access appears to be feasible;

2.      The family transfer would not be permitted without the waiver; and

3.      The traffic impact from the proposed one (1) additional dwelling will be of minimal impact to the existing property owners utilizing General Hunton Road and Pond Mountain Road .

Financial Impact Analysis:

No fiscal impact analysis was required with this request.

Other Departments, Organizations or Individuals affected by this request:

Property owners along General Hunton Road and Pond Mountain Road .

Staff Analysis:

Section 7-302.1.B of the Zoning Ordinance requires that a private street connect directly to a state maintained street.  However, the Board of Supervisors has the authority to modify this limitation provided the applicant can show that:

1.      No other remedy is realistically feasible,

2.      Plausible alternatives have been exhausted,

3.      To not so modify the applicable limitation would place an unreasonable restriction on the use of the property, and

4.      Properties through which access is planned will not be unreasonably affected.

No other access options are available, as the applicants' lot is internal to the development.  Without the requested waiver, the applicant cannot proceed with the proposed family transfer division as the road frontage and access requirements cannot be met. 

Via a letter dated June 10, 2002 , the Pond Mountain Homeowners' Association approved the applicants' request for the family division.  Since that time five (5) property owners have written opposing the applicants' request to subdivide their property.  Three of those property owners are directors of the homeowners' association; however, it is our understanding that the official approval has not been rescinded.  These property owners' letters are included as Attachment 4.  Several of the concerns raised by these neighbors are issues that are not addressed with family transfer subdivisions, such as:

1.      Road design, which is not a requirement.

2.      Road construction, which is not a requirement.  As there is no construction required, there are no turnaround requirements at the street terminus.

3.      There is no limitation on the number of houses on this type of private street.

4.      There is no minimum width requirement for these private streets only an easement width requirement of 50 feet, unless it is to serve a family transfer lot of less than five acres pursuant to the State Code requirement.

5.      With family transfers there is no length limitation on private streets.

6.      Road frontage requirements may be along private easements for family divisions.

7.      Family transfer process requires the notification of the adjoining property owners, and provides for a fifteen-day comment period.  This notice is a courtesy, and if the proposed division meets all the technical requirements it must be approved.

8.      The private streets are included within the properties through which they cross, and not owned by the homeowners' association; therefore, notice would not be sent to the association.

Seventeen (17) addressable structures, presumably homes, are located on Pond Mountain and General Hunton Roads.  The impact of one (1) additional dwelling or the equivalent of ten (10) vehicles per day would, in staff's opinion, have minimal impact on the existing private streets.  Within the Pond Mountain subdivision, at least two other family transfers have been approved.  One was on Pond Mountain Road and the other on General Hunton Road beyond the applicants' property.  Given these prior approvals, staff believes the impact of one additional house would be minimal.

One of the submission requirements of the family transfer process stipulates that if the private streets are non-exclusive rights-of-way maintained by a recorded maintenance agreement or a homeowners association, concurrence of the association or persons signatory to the maintenance agreement for the addition of the proposed lot is required.  The previously mentioned approval of the Pond Mountain Homeowners' Association appears to meet this requirement.  However, the applicants have modified the lot layout such that a private easement will provide access to the family transfer lot rather than front both lots on General Hunton Road .  Again, staff has not received any information indicating that the original approval has been withdrawn.


1.      Vicinity Map

2.      Plat

3.      Applicant's Request

4.      Approval Letter from Homeowners' Association

5.      Letters from Pond Mountain Property Owners