By. Brent Wilson, Field Officer
Wednesday evening (9/19) Jim Frydl, Greene County’s Planning Director, presented the Planning Commission with two updates to county ordinances related to private roads in Zoning R-2, Residential. The zoning change has to do with whether a road has to be public (turned over to Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) ) or could stay private when there is a Planned Unit Development (PUD) or a Senior Residential (SR) development. The other proposed change is eliminating the oversight of the Planning Commission for subdivisions with private roads with five or more lots.
Private roads will need to meet VDOT’s Secondary Street Acceptance Requirements. Chairman Jay Willer appreciated that the county was moving away from listing specific requirements within the county code and instead being in synch with VDOT requirements.
Willer also asked to clarify that what was being discussed was “by right” vs. requiring a Special Use Permit. Frydl confirmed that what was being discussed was “by right”.
The second ordinance revision expands what zones were included – R2, PUD, SR, B-1, B-2, B-3, M-1 and M-2. The next section of the code was 6-4-4 Private Road Standards and states that all private roads must have a maintenance agreement. Willer questioned who needs to sign this agreement. Frydl explained that before the sale of any property the document is not signed by as the lots are sold the document is signed by the developer and the property owner.
Willer then asked to what standard of maintenance the private roads needed to be maintained. Frydl stated that there is a detailed document that is in place and can be referenced in the ordinance. In addition, the width of the roads is to be 18 feet with a foot on each side for a total of 20 feet. This is the minimum requirement needed for a fire truck to travel and provide protection.
The final issue that Frydl brought up is that if there is only one way in and out of the roadway then there needs to be a 40 feet wide area at the end of the roadway for vehicles to be able to turnaround. If the private road has two access points to a public road then there is no need for a 40 feet wide turnaround area.
There were no speakers from the public so the motion was made as presented plus the additions that a signed private agreement that is in compliance with the document that details the standards and a clerical correction of combining two points into one – 3.1.4. The motion was approved 4-0 as Commission John McCloskey was absent.
Brent Wilson is the Greene County Field Officer for the Free Enterprise Forum a privately funded public policy organization. The Free Enterprise Forum Field Officer program is funded by a generous grant from the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® (CAAR) and by readers like you. To support this important work please donate online at http://www.freeenterpriseforum.org