CHAPTER 54 – SUBDIVISION ORDINANCE
Article VIII – Road and Access Standards.
Division I. – Generally.
Sec. 54-110. – Dedication of Rights-of-Way.
All rights-of-way created as part of a subdivision or by other means shall be dedicated to the County on the record plat unless otherwise specifically provided for in this Ordinance.
Sec. 54-111. – Road Names.
(a) A road name shall be required for any road serving three (3) or more lots or any existing road upon which property is subdivided such that the road cumulatively serves three (3) or more lots. New road names shall not duplicate, closely resemble, or approximate phonetically existing road names. The approval of new road names shall be at the sole discretion of the County official who is responsible for addressing.
(b) Renaming of any private road which is shown as being named on a plat recorded in the Circuit Court shall be at the discretion of both the Subdivision Agent and the County official who is responsible for addressing. Any such change must be recorded in the Circuit Court in a format approvable by the Subdivision Agent.
(c) Renaming of any public road is at the sole discretion of the Board of Supervisors.
Sec. 54-112. – Verification of Access to State Road Network.
No plat required pursuant to this Ordinance shall be approved unless there is written and/or graphic verification that the property shown on the plat has legal, legitimate access to the state road network. The Subdivision Agent may rely on whatever means necessary to verify this requirement, or may waive this requirement if he/she determines such a verification to be unnecessary for plat approval.
Sec. 54-113. – Road Name Signs; Addressing.
A road name sign shall be required for every road named pursuant to the above section. Sign design and installation shall be in accordance with County standards and VDOT standards, if applicable. Installation of signs shall be the responsibility of the County, the entire costs for which shall be paid by the subdivider. Subdivisions which cause an existing road to be named shall also necessitate readdressing of any existing properties along said road.
Sec. 54-114. – Condition of Roads Prior to Construction.
Before lots along a given road created or extended as part of subdivision may be eligible for permits for construction, the following shall apply:
(a) Private roads must be completely installed to meet the standards of this Ordinance.
(b) Publicly-dedicated roads in non-phased developments must have at least the subbase, base course, and curb and gutter (if applicable) installed according to the approved road plans.
(c) Publicly-dedicated roads in phased developments must have at least the subbase, base course, and curb and gutter (if applicable) installed in the first phase according to the approved road plans. Before permits for construction may be issued for the following phase(s), at least the intermediate/binder pavement course must be installed for the roads in the preceding phase.
Sec. 54-115 – 54-120. – Reserved.
Division II. – Standards for Roads and Access.
Sec. 54-121. – Approval, Construction, and Maintenance Standards.
Roads and driveways shall be constructed and maintained as follows:
(a) Driveways. Any vehicular travelway created to serve one (1) or two (2) lots shall be considered a driveway for the purposes of this Ordinance, and may be constructed and maintained at the discretion of the owners. However, any lot which is served by a driveway onto a private road shall be considered served by said private road for the purposes of subsections (b) and (c) below.
i. The Subdivision Agent may grant a modification to the requirements of this subsection for a situation in which an owner of a property with an existing driveway onto a state road wishes to grant an easement elsewhere on the property for a driveway to serve up to two (2) new lots. This modification may be used to exclude the consideration of the lot granting the easement as being served by said easement. There may be only one (1) such modification granted per lot and the subdivision plat shall properly denote this arrangement.
(b) Public Roads. Any road serving more than two (2) lots shall be constructed to meet the current VDOT standards (including, but not limited to, the Secondary Street Acceptance Requirements, VDOT Road and Bridge Standards, and VDOT Road Design Manual), including the dedication of the rights-of-way for public use. Any existing road upon which property is divided such that the road cumulatively serves eleven (11) or more lots shall be improved to meet these standards. Such a road improvement shall be up to and including the frontage of the subdivided lot(s).
(c) Private roads. Although it is the intent of the county that all roads be constructed to meet current VDOT standards, the county recognizes that there might be unusual situations concerning the construction of a road, or situations when strict adherence to the general regulations would result in substantial injustice or hardship. In such cases, the Planning Commission many approve a private road subject to the following:
i. Except as provided in Sec. 54-123 below, the Planning Commission may allow a road serving up to ten (10) lots to be privately constructed and maintained. In making its decision on a private road request, the Commission shall consider impacts of the proposed road and its resulting development related to: the future land use objectives of the Comprehensive Plan; the adequacy and safety of the state road network in the area; the availability of other means of accessing the property; sensitive environmental areas; the suitability of the land for utilities; and the proximity and arrangement of neighboring properties. The Planning Commission may impose reasonable conditions on any approval of a private road to address identified impacts. The Planning Commission shall be the sole determiner of whether a variation/exception allowing a private road is granted, and a denied request shall be final and unappealable.
ii. Private road standards. The standards governing the construction, maintenance, and usage of all private roads shall be as follows:
1. Construction standards:
|Total Number of Lots Served
Ditch / Clear Zone Width
||Compacted earth or other solid material
||6” min. compacted aggregate
||6” compacted aggregate base material (VDOT 21A or 21B stone)
||2” surface aggregate
||6” compacted aggregate base material (VDOT 21A or 21B stone) with a CBR of ≥ 10
||Prime and double seal or min. 2” asphalt concrete
|*The center of the roadway may be grassed and/or non-surfaced
2. Grades. No portion of a private road shall exceed a grade of ten percent (10%).
3. Vertical clearance. The area between the roadway surface upward a minimum of fourteen (14) feet shall remain clear of tree branches and other obstructions.
4. Drainage; culverts. All culverts and other means of drainage for private roads shall be designed and constructed in accordance with the VDOT Road and Bridge Standards.
5. Turnarounds. A private road serving five (5) or more lots shall have a turnaround provided and constructed within the easement or right-of-way pursuant to either of the following:
6. Easement/Right-of-Way Termini. Where a private road does not extend beyond the boundary of the subdivision and its continuation is not required for access to adjoining property at the time of approval, the end of the road easement/right-of-way shall be no closer than fifty (50) feet to an adjoining property. However, the Subdivision Agent or Planning Commission may require the reservation of an appropriate easement that extends beyond the end of the road easement/right-of-way to accommodate drainage facilities, pedestrian traffic, utilities, or an anticipated potential future vehicular connection.
7. Floodplain. Private roads shall not be constructed within any area designated on FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) as flood zone A or AE (areas subject to inundation by the 1%-annual-chance flood event).
8. Zoning. A private road shall not traverse a given zoning district in order to provide access to property in another zoning district.
9. Parking. Parking within a private road easement or right-of-way is prohibited except in any areas, outside of the travelway(s), which may be approved to be dedicated for parking.
10. Intersections. Where two (2) private roads intersect, or where a private road intersects with a state road, the angle of that intersection shall be no less than seventy (70) degrees. A minimum return radius of twenty-five (25) feet shall be utilized between intersecting private roads. The minimum sight distance at any such intersection shall be two-hundred (200) feet. Sight distance easements may be utilized to achieve this requirement.
(d) Nonresidential Roads. Any road constructed to serve two (2) or more lots used for non-agricultural commercial or industrial uses shall be constructed to meet current VDOT standards (including, but not limited to, the Secondary Street Acceptance Requirements, VDOT Road and Bridge Standards, and VDOT Road Design Manual), including the dedication of the rights-of-way to public use.
(e) Relationship to Zoning Ordinance. Where the Zoning Ordinance prescribes standards and other criteria related to road construction and maintenance, those provisions shall control.
(Ordinance of 04/09/2019)
Sec. 54-122. – Road Maintenance Agreements for New Private Roads.
(a) A road maintenance agreement, which specifies the perpetual responsibilities, procedures, and standards related to any private road easement/right-of-way shall be submitted along with an application for plat review. This agreement shall be reviewed and approved by the County Attorney and the Subdivision Agent, and subsequently recorded in the Circuit Court along with the approved plat. The Subdivision Agent shall make available a draft agreement template for use by subdividers, which may be modified at will by the Subdivision Agent or County Attorney. Any such agreement shall include, at a minimum, provisions related to the following:
(1) The roads in the subdivision are private in nature and shall not be maintained by VDOT or any other public agency, and that the maintenance and improvements thereof shall be the mutual obligation of the landowners abutting said roads;
(2) Such private roads shall not be taken into the state highway system unless and until the abutting landowners shall have constructed the private roads in accordance with VDOT specifications, made the necessary right-of-way dedication(s), and thereafter the Board of Supervisors shall have recommended that said road be taken into the state system of highways;
(3) Failure of the owners to adequately maintain the roadway may inhibit the ability of the County to provide emergency services to the lots, any liability for which shall be borne among the owners;
(4) The provision of Orange County public school bus services on the private road(s) is not guaranteed or implied. The suitability for any private road for school bus services and routes shall remain at the discretion of the Orange County School Board;
(5) Regulation of parking within the private road and easement;
(6) Perpetuity of the agreement;
(7) Designation of a neighborhood road agent to handle road matters;
(8) Provisions for majority of owners to initiate road projects;
(9) Provisions to enforce the agreement;
(10) Provisions for a lien to be placed on any owner who fails to pay his/her proportionate share of the costs of maintenance or repair;
(11) Establishment and maintenance of a road maintenance fund;
(12) Provisions to address the joinder of future lots to the agreement;
(13) A signature block for the County Attorney to approve the document as to form; and
(14) A signature block for the Subdivision Agent to approve to the document as to compliance with this section.
(b) The deed for each lot served by a private road shall reference the recorded road maintenance agreement.
Sec. 54-123. – Road Maintenance Agreements for Existing Private Roads.
(a) Any subdivision on an existing private road which does not require extension of said road, but where said road lacks a recorded road maintenance agreement, Planning Commission approval of the subdivision shall be required pursuant to Sec. 54-121 above. If said road is already subject to a recorded road maintenance agreement, and no extension of said road is required, approval of the subdivision may be provided by the Subdivision Agent.
(b) For any extension of an existing private road, so approved by the Planning Commission, which lacks a recorded road maintenance agreement, as a requisite for plat approval a road maintenance agreement shall be required for at least eighty percent (80%) of existing lots which utilize the private road, in addition to the newly-created lots. The agreement shall comply with the requirements of Sec. 54-122.
(Ordinance of May 28, 2019)
Sec. 54-124. – Individual Road, Access, and Road Network Design Standards.
(a) Right-of-way widths. The minimum width of any access easement or right-of-way shall be as follows:
(1) Fifty (50) feet for conventional subdivisions and other developments. If any portion of a road serving a proposed subdivision is within an easement or right-of-way less than fifty (50) feet in width, the width of the entire easement or right-of-way shall be increased to fifty (50) feet up to and including the frontage of the subdivided lot(s).
(2) Twenty (20) feet for family subdivisions or for any easement or right-of-way serving only two (2) lots. In either case, if a future conventional subdivision occurs along said easement or right-of-way, the width of the entire easement or right-of-way shall be increased to fifty (50) feet up to and including the frontage of the subdivided lot(s).
(3) Fifteen (15) feet for pedestrian access easements.
(b) Utilization of Subdivision Road for Access. Lots within any subdivision which is served by an internal subdivision road serving five (5) or more lots shall utilize the subdivision road for access and shall not have entrances onto a state primary or secondary highway.
(c) Multiple Points of Access. Any subdivision which creates forty (40) or more lots as part of a common plan of development shall comply with the following:
(1) For the primary purpose of traffic dispersion, there shall be at least two (2) improved points of access to the development.
(2) The second access point shall be either constructed or properly permitted and under construction before permits may be issued for construction on the fortieth (40th) lot.
(3) If the subdivision only has frontage on one (1) existing state road, the entrances shall be separated by at least five-hundred (500) feet centerline-to-centerline unless a greater distance is required by any County or VDOT access management regulations. If the subdivision has frontage on two (2) or more existing state roads, the entrances shall be provided on differing roads.
(4) Lots within the subdivision shall utilize the internal subdivision roads for access. For any lots with frontage along an arterial highway and/or other secondary road, such frontage(s) shall be clearly identified with a hashed area on the plat and a statement that no access may be provided across said frontage(s).
(5) Multiple adjacent properties under common ownership shall be considered a single project and/or plan of development for the purposes of this Ordinance. Such an arrangement shall not be utilized to circumvent the provisions of this section, the road construction and maintenance standards, or any other provision of this section.
(d) Individual Subdivisions Fronting on Primary, Arterial, and/or Collector Roads. Any subdivision which borders, fronts, or contains a primary, arterial, and/or collector road or roads, as functionally classified by VDOT, shall comply with VDOT’s applicable access management regulations.
(e) Subdivisions with Common Plans of Development. For subdivisions which involve the creation of a subdivision road to serve the development, the location of the subdivision road intersection with the primary, arterial, or collector road, as functionally classified by VDOT, shall comply with VDOT’s applicable access management classification. Additionally, lots along the subdivision road and those lots otherwise served by such a road shall be prohibited from having direct access to the primary, arterial, or collector road. For such lots, the frontage(s) along the primary, arterial, or collector road shall be clearly identified with a hashed area on the plat and a statement that no vehicle access may be provided to the primary, arterial, or collector road.
(f) Internal Connectivity. For subdivisions under a common plan of development within (1) mile of the jurisdictional limits of either town, within the Germanna Wilderness Area as established by the Board of Supervisors, and/or for any subdivisions which create forty (40) or more lots, the following shall apply:
(1) Where practicable, internal connectivity shall be achieved via a continuous road network in lieu of a series of disconnected dead-end roads, as illustrated by the figures below. The Subdivision Agent or the Planning Commission, as the case may be, shall determine what is practicable.
| Acceptable internal connectivity Unacceptable internal connectivity
| Acceptable internal connectivity Unacceptable internal connectivity
(2) Multiple adjacent properties under common ownership shall be considered a single project and/or plan of development for the purposes of this section. Such an arrangement shall not be utilized to circumvent the provisions of this section, the road construction and maintenance standards, or any other provision of this Ordinance.
(g) Dead–End Roads. Where they are permitted pursuant to this Ordinance, VDOT regulations shall determine the maximum length and turnaround type of any dead-end road approved by VDOT to be accepted into the state secondary system of roads. Dead-end private roads shall be subject to the standards for private roads contained within this Ordinance.
(h) Alleys. Alleys may be provided pursuant to the following:
(1) Residential subdivisions may utilize alleys if specifically permitted in the underlying zoning district. Any easement or right-of-way for an alley shall be no less than twenty (20) feet or greater than twenty-eight (28) feet in width. Utilities shall be co-located in residential alleys wherever practicable.
(2) Nonresidential subdivisions may utilize alleys provided they are not dead-end. Easement/right-of-way widths shall be as established in subsection (1) above.
(3) Any subdivider utilizing alleys in a development shall demonstrate that maintenance of the alley and its associated easement/right-of-way is guaranteed in a format approvable by the Subdivision Agent.
(4) Where a particular zoning district prescribes standards for alleys, those particular standards of the district shall control.
(Ordinance of 09-24-2019)
Sec. 54-125. – Public Right-of-Way Additions and Reservations.
(a) As part of any plat submittal involving an existing public road, the owner, at his/her discretion, may choose to dedicate public right-of-way or reserve a public road easement for said road in order to facilitate future road improvements.
(b) Where the Comprehensive Plan prescribes a future road right-of-way, that area shall be shown as reserved for future public road purposes on the plat. The owner may choose to formally dedicate the right-of-way at his/her discretion, and provided the Subdivision Agent finds such a dedication to be consistent with the Plan.
Sec. 54-126 – 54-131. – Reserved.
Division III. – Standards for Sidewalks, Curb and Gutter, Streetlights, and other Improvements.
Sec. 54-132. – Sidewalks.
(a) In all attached single-family and all multifamily developments, and in any development with a net density of three (3) or more units per acre, a continuous network of sidewalks shall be provided on both sides of all roads in the development. For publicly-dedicated rights-of-way, sidewalks shall be constructed to meet the standards contained in the VDOT Secondary Street Acceptance Requirements and wholly contained within the right-of-way unless otherwise required by VDOT. For private fee-simple rights-of-way held in common ownership, sidewalks shall also be constructed to meet these requirements but may be located at the discretion of the developer. For sidewalks outside of publicly-dedicated rights-of-way, provisions for the long-term maintenance of the sidewalks shall be provided in a format approvable by the Subdivision Agent. The Subdivision Agent may allow for minor variations to these standards based on topography, utilities, and development layout.
(b) The above standards notwithstanding, for any subdivision, boundary line adjustment, or property consolidation which abuts a neighboring property that has an existing public sidewalk, the owner shall be required to construct a sidewalk and dedicate any associated right-of-way, if necessary, along the frontage of the property to connect to the existing sidewalk. The sidewalk shall be constructed to meet the standards necessary for acceptance by VDOT.
(c) For either of the above standards, at the sole discretion of the Subdivision Agent or the Planning Commission, as the case may be, the developer may pay a fee-in-lieu for the total cost of sidewalk installation, including associated curb and gutter, the proceeds from which shall be collected by the County and reserved for other transportation-related projects in the County.
Sec. 54-133. – Curb and Gutter.
In all attached single-family and all multifamily developments, and in any development with a net density of three (3) or more units per acre, curb and gutter shall be utilized to provide drainage from all paved surfaces. Curb and gutter shall be constructed to meet the standards contained in the VDOT Secondary Street Acceptance Requirements and wholly contained within the right-of-way unless otherwise required by VDOT, or by the Subdivision Agent for private rights-of-way. For curb and gutter associated with private roads, provisions for its long-term maintenance shall be provided in a format approvable by the Subdivision Agent. The Subdivision Agent may allow modifications to the requirements of this section based on site layout, sidewalk design and layout, and arrangement and provision of utilities, whereby the need for adequate stormwater drainage would be equally or better served.
Sec. 54-134. – Streetlights.
Streetlights shall be provided in all attached single-family and all multifamily developments, and in any development with a net density of three (3) or more units per acre. Fixtures shall be of the full-cutoff variety and arranged so that adequate lighting is provided for all vehicular and pedestrian travelways, but do not impact properties or roadways outside of the development. Streetlight poles shall be no greater than twenty-five (25) feet in height and spaced no closer than one-hundred fifty (150) feet to each other.
Sec. 54-135. – Relationship to Zoning Ordinance.
Where the Zoning Ordinance prescribes standards related to any of the provisions of this Division, or if the Zoning Ordinance prescribes standards which impose a higher standard than what is contained herein, those provisions shall control.
Sec. 54-136 – 54-141. – Reserved.