Subdivision of Land. Subdivision: the division of a thing into smaller parts. Subdivisions. Subdivision.
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Subdivision of Land Subdivision: the division of a thing into smaller parts.
Subdivision Any land, vacant or improved, which is divided or proposed to be divided into two or more lots, parcels, sites, units, plots, condominiums, tracts or interests for the purpose of offer, sale, lease, or development….whether by deed, metes and bounds description, devise, intestacy…..
Background • Regulations evolved out of concerns for new roads and other infrastructure. • Developers were creating new subdivisions with inferior roads and leaving the local governments and tax payer with the burden of maintenance. • Local governments also wanted to ensure that the streets of new subdivision were logically integrated into the existing street system.
Subdivision Regulations • Zoning regulates the use of land. • Subdivision regulations (ordinances) establish both the pattern of development and the quality of development.
Subdivision Regulations • Subdivision regulations are an ordinance. • A legislative act like zoning. • Local governments need specific state statutory or constitutional authorization to enact subdivision regulations. • Subdivision regulations do not replace applicable zoning ordinances. • Sometimes zoning and subdivision regulations are combined into Unified Development Ordinances (UDO).
Subdivision Regulations • Lancaster County, VA -Table of ContentsTable of Contents • Preface • Section 1 Purpose and Title • Section 2 Definitions • Section 3 Administration • Section 4 Procedure for Making and Recording Plats • Section 5 General Regulations • Section 6 Approval of Plats • Section 7 Effectual Clauses
Unified Development Ordinance • Greensboro, NC – Table of Contents • ARTICLE I - PURPOSE AND AUTHORITY • ARTICLE II - DEFINITIONS • ARTICLE III - PERMITS AND PROCEDURES (Special Use Permits, Fees, Conditional Use) • ARTICLE IV - ZONING (Permitted Use Schedule, Fences, Accessory Structures, Overlay Districts) • ARTICLE V - ZONING: OTHER STANDARDS (Signs, Parking, Landscaping) • ARTICLE VI - SUBDIVISIONS: PROCEDURES AND STANDARDS (Final Plats, Subdivision) • ARTICLE VII - ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS (Watershed Regulations) • ARTICLE VIII - ENFORCEMENT (Civil Penalties) • ARTICLE IX - ADMINISTRATION (Technical Review Committee, Zoning Commission) • ARTICLE X - APPENDICES
Teeth • Subdivided lots may not be conveyed without being recorded. • Lots may not be recorded without complying with subdivision regulations.
Teeth Lancaster County, VA - “Any owner or developer of any tract of land situated within the unincorporated portions of Lancaster County who subdivides the same shall cause a plat of such subdivision, with reference to known or permanent monuments, to be made and recorded in the office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Lancaster County, Virginia. No such plat of subdivision shall be recorded unless and until it shall have been submitted, approved and certified by the agent and board of supervisors or agent, in accordance with the regulations set forth in this ordinance. No person shall sell or transfer any land of a subdivision before such plat has been duly approved and recorded as provided herein unless such subdivision was lawfully created prior to the adoption of a subdivision ordinance applicable thereto.”
SubdivisionRegulations • Address three sets of issues: • Design of internal streets and utilities of the subdivision and the resulting layout of lots and blocks. • Relationship of the streets and utilities in the subdivision to those of the larger community. • Ensuring continuity of streets, management of stormwater, logical connection of utilities. • Construction of streets, utilities, and other improvements.
SubdivisionRegulations • Montgomery Co., MD - Design and Arrangement of Lots • In minor subdivisions and major subdivisions, all lots, including remainders, must abut on: • An existing public street; • A proposed public street to be constructed in accordance with the provisions of this article; • A proposed private street, approved by the board of supervisors and to be constructed in accordance with the provisions of this article; or • A proposed private access easement at least forty (40) feet in width providing access from the lot to an existing public street and to be constructed in accordance with the provisions of this article.
Subdivision Controls • Platting procedures • Design regulations • Improvement requirements • Dedication requirements • In-lieu fees • Performance bonds • Essential public facilities
Platting Procedures • Fredericksburg, VA – • Preapplication Conference: • The applicant shall consult with the City Engineer and the Director for advice and assistance before the preparation of the preliminary plat and formal application for its approval. The objective of this preapplication conference is to clarify the regulations, fees and procedures as they apply to the particular parcel and proposed subdivision.
Design Regulations • Fredericksburg, VA • Street Access and Widths: • All lots shall have access to a dedicated public or private street. Fee strips established to provide access to a tract not fronting a dedicated street shall not be permitted. Pavement width and right-of-way shall be as specified by the City Planning and Zoning Commission and in all cases shall be not less than the minimum standards in Section 9.1300.
Improvement Requirements • Wake County, NC: • If an approved minor subdivision involves any associated improvements (such as a private road, public road widening, water supply or sewage disposal system other than individual wells and septic systems, stormwater management facilities or easements, erosion and sedimentation control devices, or any other improvements required as part of the minor subdivision approval), the construction or installation and maintenance of such improvements shall be subject to the provisions in Section 3-3-11, Subsections (A), (B), (C), and (D), and the first sentence of Subsection (E).
Dedication Requirements • Wake Co., NC: Dedication of Right-of-Way Abutting Existing Major Thoroughfares • “If (i) a subdivision site abuts an existing major thoroughfare with a right-of way width less than that recommended in the Wake County Thoroughfare Plan, and (ii) development in the proposed subdivision is expected to add a significant amount of traffic onto that major thoroughfare, then the subdivision shall include dedication of any additional right-of-way along the site's frontage on the major thoroughfare thatis needed to widen the right-of way to thirty-five (35) feet from the centerline of the roadway.”
Subdivision Review Process • Preliminary plat review • Final plat review • Recording the plat
Preliminary Plat Review • First step in approval process • Review of broad design issues and technical engineering details • Examples of review standards: • Do the proposed lots conform to applicable zoning? • Does the layout of the proposed lots and blocks conform to the existing street regulations? • Do the proposed streets conform to the master street or circulation plan for the community? • Do the drainage, water, and sewer systems connect appropriately to the current systems?
Final Plat Review • Occurs after preliminary plat is approved. • Drawings submitted at final plat stage should show exactly what will be built and how. • It is relatively rare for a planning commission to disapprove a final plat. • There should be no new substantive issues at this stage • Youngblood v Board of Supervisors
Final Plat Review • Sample standards for final approval: • Is the final plat consistent with the approved preliminary plat and any conditions imposed on it? • Do the proposed engineering details meet the technical standards of the subdivision regulations? • Do the proposed locations of streetlights, street signs, and other items conform to the regulations?
Subdivision Review • Planning commission had responsibility for subdivision review. • Administrative process: • If proposed plat conforms with applicable standards it must be approved by the planning commission. • Can grant conditional approvals to preliminary plats using conditions to require the remedy of identified deficiencies.
Recording the Plat • Final step in subdivision process. • Legal notification of subdivision. • Demonstrates that the local government has accepted dedication of roads and easements. • Until plat is recorded developer cannot legally sell lots in subdivision.
On-Site Improvements • Communities expect developers to complete the public improvements that make a subdivision operational. • Developers recognize as cost of doing business. • Developers typically do not want to invest in building the improvements until received approval for subdivision. • Local governments may have little control over whether the developer completes the improvements once the subdivision is approved.
On-Site Improvements • Local government techniques: • Require the developer to post a bond/letter of credit equal to the cost of improvements. • Make approval of final plat conditional on posting of bond. • If developer fails to complete improvements, can draw against bond to finish work. • Withhold final plat from being recorded. • Gives developer strong incentive to compete work.
Exactions Exaction: The act of demanding more money than is due; extortion. • Brous v Smith • Jordan v Village of Menomonee
ImpactFees • Fees levied against developers by local governments to cover the costs of improvements. • Written in ordinances or included in negotiations. • Levied as condition for approval of plat or building plans. • Differ from exactions because can be used for on or off-site improvements
ImpactFees • Considered by courts as acceptable way to pay for improvements. • Must pass rational nexus test: • Reasonable connection between impact and new development. • Used to pay cost of impact from new facilities, not to correct deficiencies in existing services.