County of York, VA
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The agent shall not approve the subdivision of land if it is determined by the agent that the site is not suitable for platting because of possible flooding, improper drainage, steep slopes, inadequate water or sanitation, the existence of utilities and easements or other features deemed not to be in the best interests of the public safety, health and general welfare.
Each lot shall be suitable for a building site. Where public utilities are unavailable, each lot, other than recreation or public service lots, shall pass a percolation test for the installation of a septic system with both a primary and a 100% reserve drainfield and have a suitable location for a potable water well. Land not suitable within a proposed subdivision shall be platted only for uses not endangered by periodic or occasional inundation and only where it will not produce conditions contrary to the public welfare. Otherwise, such non-suitable land shall be combined with other lots.
All required subdivision improvements shall be installed by the subdivider at his cost. In cases where, in accordance with other provisions of the Code, the specifications for water and sewer utilities improvements are established partly to provide for the eventual connection of other adjacent or abutting properties in a coordinated manner, the subdivider may be eligible for certain credits or cost-share programs which must be entered into by formal agreement, acceptable as to content and form by the County attorney, prior to final plat approval or earlier, if so required by other provisions of this code.
Where specifications for certain improvements have been established by a governmental agency for streets, curbs, water, sewage, drainage or other public improvement, such specifications shall be followed unless this chapter or other provisions of the Code prescribe a more stringent standard.
Easements required to be dedicated by the subdivider to the County by this chapter shall be of sufficient width for the specified use(s). Such easements shall include the right of ingress or egress and shall generally run with lot lines.
[Ord. No. 05-33, 12-20-2005; Ord. No. 17-11, 9-19-2017]
(a) 
All utilities including, but not limited to, wires, cables, pipes, conduits and appurtenant equipment for electric, telephone, gas, cable television or similar services shall be placed underground except, however, the following shall be permitted above ground:
(1) 
Electric transmission lines and facilities in excess of 50 kilovolts.
(2) 
Equipment, including electric distribution transformers, switch gear, meter pedestals, telephone pedestals, streetlighting poles or standards, radio antennae, traffic control devices, and associated equipment which is, in conformance with accepted utility practices, normally installed above ground.
(3) 
Meters, service connections and similar equipment normally attached to the outside wall of a customer's premises.
(4) 
Temporary above ground facilities required in conjunction with an authorized construction project.
(b) 
Existing utilities located above ground in proposed subdivisions may be maintained or repaired provided that such repair does not require relocation.
(c) 
Whenever any existing on-site above ground utilities require relocation for any reason, they shall be removed and placed underground. In the event the development impacts existing off-site above ground utilities and necessitates their relocation onto the development site, such utilities shall be placed underground at the developer's cost, and the developer shall secure all necessary permits, easements, and approvals for such work.
(d) 
All utilities shall be placed within easements or public street rights-of-way in accordance with "Typical Curb and Gutter Details CGD-1, CGD-2, CGD-3, or CGD-4" (see Appendix A) as published by the development services division or as may be otherwise approved by the agent.
[Ord. No. 05-33, 12-20-2005]
Standards for lots are as follows:
(a) 
Size. The minimum lot size and dimensions shall be in accordance with the zoning ordinance requirements for the zoning district in which the proposed subdivision is located. This does not apply to open space developments (cluster techniques) in accordance with § 24.1-402 of the zoning ordinance. All newly created lots located within Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas, whether in a conventional or open space development, shall be of sufficient size to meet the special lot size requirements applicable in Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas (reference § 23.2-7 of this code).
(b) 
Arrangement, design and shape. The lot arrangement, design and shape shall relate to the natural topography and features of the land so that each lot has an acceptable building site with direct access from an improved street and adequate buildable area outside any Resource Protection Area (RPA) buffers. Unusually shaped or elongated lots established primarily for the purpose of meeting minimum lot size requirements, when such area would be unusable for the usual purposes to which such area would normally be placed, shall not be permitted by the agent.
(c) 
Location. Each lot shall abut and have access to either a proposed public street right-of-way to be dedicated by the subdivision plat or an existing public street, unless otherwise specifically provided for in § 20.5-102 or Article IX of this chapter. If the existing streets to which lots abut do not meet the minimum width requirements established by the department of transportation for street of that functional classification (traffic volume), the subdivider shall dedicate the necessary right-of-way and construct the necessary pavement for such purpose in accordance with the standards established by § 20.5-93 of this chapter.
(d) 
Sidelines. Side lot lines shall be approximately perpendicular to or radial to the street right-of-way line. This does not apply to open space developments (cluster techniques) in accordance with § 24.1-402 of the zoning ordinance.
(e) 
Access to arterial streets. Lots within major subdivisions shall not front on or have direct access to arterial streets as defined in this chapter. Lots in minor and other subdivisions shall, to the degree possible and practical as determined by the agent, not front on arterial roads. In no case shall direct access at a ratio greater than one access point per two non-residential lots be permitted.
(f) 
Through lots. Except as may be otherwise provided in § 20.5-126(c) of this chapter, through lots shall contain a restricted access easement 10 feet in width along the frontage of the street right-of-way having the greater estimated average daily traffic (ADT) volume across which easement there shall be no right of vehicular access to or from the right-of-way. This easement area shall be used for the cultivation of buffer plantings.
(g) 
Remnants. All remnants of lots not meeting minimum lot size requirements remaining after the subdividing of a tract shall be added to adjacent lots or dedicated to a duly constituted property owners' association for the common use of all residents of the subdivision, in which case a minimum ten-foot wide easement or other form of access shall be provided from a public street right-of-way or other property dedicated to the common use. The subdivider shall demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the agent, that remnants proposed for dedication to a duly constituted property owners' association shall be of some usefulness to said association; otherwise such remnants shall be added to adjacent lots.
(h) 
Lots adjacent to County boundaries. Generally lots shall follow the boundaries of the County and shall not cross such political boundary lines.
(i) 
Numbering. Lot, section, and block numbering shall be approved by the agent and shall conform with the County parcel identification numbering system.
Design standards for blocks are as follows:
(a) 
Length. The length of blocks shall be determined by public safety, traffic flow, and natural topography considerations. Where streets are approximately parallel, connecting streets shall be provided between the parallel streets at reasonable intervals as established by application of the criteria in the preceding sentence. In general, residential blocks should be between 500 feet and 1,200 feet in length.
(b) 
Width. Blocks shall be designed in two tiers of lots, except where prevented by the natural topography, size of the property, or adjoining railroads or waterways, in which case the agent may approve a single tier of lots. Where the property to be subdivided adjoins an arterial road, the agent may require a single tier of lots and a restricted access easement along the arterial road.
(c) 
Orientation. Where a proposed subdivision adjoins an arterial or collector road, the agent may require that blocks be oriented and designed to limit or reduce the number of points of access to that road.
[Ord. No. 14-24, 11-18-2014]
Whenever the subdivider chooses to develop a subdivision in sections or phases rather than in its entirety, each such section or phase shall be shown on the preliminary plan, or on the development plan in the event a preliminary plan was not required or submitted, and the arrangement and extent of each section or phase shall be approved by the agent. Unless otherwise excepted by the agent upon written request, subsequent plans and final plats shall coincide with the approved phasing.
[Ord. No. 05-33, 12-20-2005]
Requirements for the provision of water within subdivisions are as follows:
(a) 
Public water. Where public water is available in accordance with other provisions of the Code, it shall be extended to all lots within a subdivision, including recreation areas, but not to remnants unsuited for building.
(b) 
Central water system.
(1) 
Where lot sizes are less than two acres and public water is not available, the subdivider of any major subdivision shall construct a central water system including distribution lines, storage tanks and facilities, and supply facilities within the subdivision. Upon completion of the improvements and after receiving acceptable test results, the water system together with all necessary easements and rights-of-way shall be dedicated to the County, or other entity acceptable to the County, by deed which is acceptable as to content and form to the County attorney, with an accompanying plat.
(2) 
The agent may waive or modify the requirement to construct and dedicate a central water system upon making the following findings:
a. 
The minimum size of the lots is sufficiently large as to make the installation of a central water system unnecessary;
b. 
The health department has approved an individual well location on each proposed lot;
c. 
Groundwater resources will be at least equally protected by individual wells as they would be by a central water system; and
d. 
Alternative sources of water, acceptable to the department of public safety, are available or will be provided for fire suppression purposes.
(c) 
Individual wells. Where subdivision lots are to be served by individual wells, the proposed locations of all individual wells shall have been approved by the health department and the subdivider shall provide to the County a general quantitative and qualitative analysis of the water to be available from the proposed well locations.
(d) 
Construction standards.
(1) 
All water supply systems shall be constructed in accordance with all applicable construction standards promulgated by the health department or as contained in the Code and policies adopted by the County pursuant thereto. A construction permit shall be issued by the County Administrator prior to the commencement of construction.
(2) 
Construction, installation, and maintenance of water systems shall be exempt from the provisions of § 20.5-85 of this chapter provided that:
a. 
To the degree possible, the location of water system lines, facilities, and equipment should be outside of the resource protection area.
b. 
No more land shall be disturbed than is necessary to provide for the desired utility installation.
c. 
All such construction, installation and maintenance of water utilities and facilities shall be in compliance with all applicable state and federal permits and designed and conducted in a manner that protects water quality.
d. 
Any land disturbance resulting from the construction, installation, and maintenance of water systems which exceeds an area of 2,500 square feet shall be undertaken only after approval of an erosion and sediment control plan prepared, submitted, and reviewed in accordance with Chapter 10, Erosion and Sediment Control, of this Code.
(e) 
Fire protection. Fire hydrants shall be installed in subdivisions at locations designated by the agent, in consultation with the department of fire and life safety, at the time of an extension of public water or construction of a central water system. Where the subdivision is to be developed with individual wells, the agent, in consultation with the department of fire and life safety, may require that alternative sources of water for fire suppression purposes be made available including construction of a fire suppression well system, provision of "dry" hydrants, and/or easements granting access to water sources. All fire hydrants located within a road right-of-way shall be placed between one foot and three feet from the edge of such right-of-way.
(f) 
Off-site water facilities costs. The subdivider shall be required to pay a pro rata share of the cost of providing reasonable and necessary water facilities and improvements located outside of the property limits of land owned or controlled by him whenever all of the following conditions exist:
(1) 
The County determines that such off-site improvements are necessitated at least in part by the construction or improvement of the subdivision.
(2) 
The County or other appropriate authority has established a general water facilities improvement program for an area having related and common water service and facilities conditions.
(3) 
The subdivider's property is located within said designated area covered by such program.
(4) 
The estimated cost of the total water facilities improvement program has been determined.
(5) 
The total estimated water flows have been established for the designated area served by such program.
The subdivider's share of the above-estimated cost of improvements shall be limited to the proportion of such estimated cost which the volume of water to be used by his subdivision bears to the total estimated volume in such area in its fully developed state.
Any cash payment received by the County shall be expended only for construction of those facilities identified in the established water facilities improvement program and until so expended, shall be held in a separate account for the individual improvement program.
[Ord. No. 05-33, 12-20-2005]
Requirements and standards for sewage disposal in subdivisions are as follows:
(a) 
Public sewer. If public sewer is available in accordance with other provisions of the Code (whether or not separated from the subject property by a hard surfaced road), it shall be extended to all lots within the subdivision including recreation areas where, because of their size and configuration, construction of facilities requiring connection to sewer is anticipated, but not remnants unsuited for building.
(b) 
Individual sewer.
(1) 
If public sewer is not available, subdivisions with lots served by septic systems may be approved by the agent provided that the following documented proof of each of the following is submitted:
a. 
Both a primary location and a 100% reserve location for the septic system will be provided, neither of which shall be located, in whole or in part, in the resource protection area;
b. 
The location and design for each septic system (both primary and reserve) has been accomplished in accordance with the most current edition of the "Sewage Handling and Disposal Regulations" of the Virginia Department of Health and all applicable provisions of this Code and has been specifically and individually approved by the health department;
c. 
Contamination or pollution of wells, groundwater, state waters, reservoirs, or any Chesapeake Bay resource preservation area or resource management area is unlikely to occur from any proposed individual septic system.
(2) 
Any such subdivision submitted for review shall include the specific locations proposed for both primary and reserve on-site septic system installations with documentation of health department approval for each proposed location. Any proposed lots not suitable for the installation of private sewage disposal systems shall either be combined with lots that are suitable or dedicated to common open space or recreation use, so that only buildable lots are created.
(c) 
Construction standards. All sewage disposal systems shall be constructed in accordance with all applicable construction standards contained in this Code and policies adopted by the County pursuant thereto. A construction permit shall be issued by the County Administrator prior to the commencement of construction.
(d) 
Off-Site sewer facilities costs. Where sewer facilities and improvements located outside the limits of the project are required to be constructed, the subdivider shall be eligible for such credits or cost sharing arrangements as are stipulated in this Code.
[Ord. No. 01-11, 7-17-2001; Ord. No. 05-33, 12-20-2005; Ord. No. 17-11, 9-19-2017]
Standards for drainage within subdivisions are as follows:
(a) 
Improvements. Drainage and stormwater management facilities shall be provided, either on-site or off-site, to reduce drainage flows, pollutants, and sediment loading from the subdivision to levels in accordance with the requirements of the Virginia Stormwater Management Regulations (9 VAC 25-870-104), as they may be amended from time to time, or to a lesser level if deemed necessary to comply with other provisions of this Code. The agent shall approve, or approve with modifications, only those stormwater management facilities which comply with the Virginia Stormwater Management Regulations and adopted overall drainage plans and policies, if any. In this regard, the agent shall not generally approve, except as a temporary measure, on-site stormwater management facilities as an alternative to contributing [in accordance with the provisions of Subsection (b) of this section] to planned regional stormwater management systems. All management facilities shall be designed and constructed in accordance with the Erosion and Sediment Control Ordinance (Chapter 10 of this Code) as supplemented by the latest editions of the Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook, Virginia Stormwater Management Handbook and the Virginia Department of Transportation Drainage Manual as well as those laws, ordinances, criteria, regulations, or policies adopted by the Commonwealth or the County.
(b) 
Off-site drainage costs. The subdivider shall be required to pay a pro rata share of the cost of providing reasonable and necessary drainage improvements located outside of the property limits of land owned or controlled by him whenever all of the following conditions exist:
(1) 
The County determines that such off-site improvements are necessitated at least in part by the construction or improvement of the subdivision.
(2) 
The County or other appropriate authority has established a general drainage improvement program for an area having related and common drainage conditions.
(3) 
The subdivider's property is located within said designated area covered by such program.
(4) 
The estimated cost of the total drainage improvement program has been determined.
(5) 
The estimated storm water runoff has been established for the designated area served by such program.
The subdivider's share of the above-estimated cost of improvements shall be limited to the amount necessary to protect water quality based upon the pollutant loading caused by the subdivision or development or the proportion of such estimated cost which the volume and velocity of storm water runoff to be caused by his subdivision bears to the total estimated volume and velocity of runoff from such area in its fully developed state. In calculating the pollutant loading caused by the subdivision or development or volume and velocity of storm water runoff, the County shall take into account the effect of all on-site storm water facilities or best management practices constructed or required to be constructed by the subdivider or developer and give appropriate credit therefor.
Any cash payment received by the County shall be expended only for construction of those facilities identified in the established drainage facilities improvement program and until so expended, shall be held in a separate account for the individual improvement program.
[Ord. No. 05-33, 12-20-2005; Ord. No. 09-17, 8-18-2009]
Standards for pedestrian and bicycle facilities in subdivisions are as follows:
(a) 
Pedestrian, bicycle, and shared use path facilities shall be provided as required by the Virginia Secondary Street Acceptance Requirements (24VAC30-92).
(b) 
Where sidewalks have been installed or guaranteed for installation by some form of performance guarantee along an existing street, any extension of said existing street into a proposed subdivision shall also extend the sidewalks.
(c) 
Unless otherwise excepted by the agent, sidewalks shall be separated from the rear of the curb in accordance with the following standards based on the street classifications in § 20.5-91:
Street Classification
Minimum Separation
(feet)
Access
6
Subcollector
6
Minor Collector
6
Major Collector
6
Minor Arterial
8
Major Arterial
10
The area of separation between the curb and sidewalk shall be planted with appropriate street trees at a minimum ratio of one tree per each 40 linear feet of sidewalk.
(d) 
Where the proposed subdivision is adjacent to public use property including parks, schools, libraries, public recreation facilities and similar areas, the subdivision shall be connected to said public use property by means of a dual-purpose pedestrian and bicycle trail which shall be designed and constructed in accordance with the applicable provisions of the standards for recreational facilities adopted by the County or other acceptable standard or facility design approved by the agent.
(e) 
Sidewalks shall be designed and located, with the intent of providing security, tranquility and privacy for occupants of adjoining property and safety for users of the walkways.
[Ord. No. 05-33, 12-20-2005]
Standards for streetlights in subdivisions are as follows:
(a) 
At a minimum, streetlights shall be provided by the subdivider at roadway intersections and at such other locations as may be designated by the agent in consultation with the department of transportation and in accordance with the York County Streetlight Installation Policy as established by the board of supervisors. Unless otherwise approved by the agent, streetlights shall conform with the following standards:
(1) 
All fixtures and mounting devices shall be architecturally compatible with the subdivision. In this regard, "cobra-head" or other fixtures with a horizontal extension between the mounting pole and the luminaire of more than 18 inches shall not be approved in residential subdivisions.
(2) 
On access, subcollector, and minor collector streets, mounting poles shall be installed in accordance with the clear zone requirements specified in the Virginia Department of Transportation Subdivision Street Design Manual.
(3) 
The lighting plan shall be designed to illuminate roads, intersections and pedestrian facilities constructed within and along the boundaries of the subdivision.
(4) 
Luminaires shall be installed so as to reduce or prevent direct glare into residential units.
(b) 
The subdivider shall deposit the applicable installation/operations fee for the streetlight(s) with the agent once the costs have been determined by Dominion Virginia Power. Sufficient performance surety shall be maintained by the subdivider for any required streetlights until the installation/operations fee has been paid.
Standards for survey monuments within subdivisions are as follows:
(a) 
Concrete monuments. Concrete survey monuments four inches in diameter or square, three feet long and having a flat top shall be located in all street corners, points of curve in streets, right-angle points and points where the street line intersects the exterior boundaries of the subdivision. The top of all concrete monuments shall have a metal cross, plug or disk permanently implanted at the center for identifying the location and shall be set flush with the finished grade.
(b) 
Iron pipe and rod monuments. All lot corners not requiring concrete monuments shall be marked with iron pipe monuments or iron rod monuments each not less than 5/8 inch in diameter and 24 inches long. Such monuments shall be driven so as to be flush with the finished grade. As used herein, the term "iron" shall include iron, steel or any ferrous material exhibiting the strength, longevity and magnetic properties commonly associated with iron. When rock is encountered, a hole shall be drilled four inches deep in the rock, into which shall be cemented a steel rod not less than one-half inch in diameter, the top of which shall be flush with the finished grade line.
(c) 
Inspection. Upon completion of subdivision streets, sewers, waterlines and other improvements, all survey monuments required by this chapter shall be clearly visible for inspection and use. Subsequent to completion of all improvement, but prior to final release of surety for a subdivision or any part thereof, the subdivider shall provide to the agent a surveyor's certification that the monuments as shown on the record plat have been installed, were properly set, are property aligned, and are undamaged. The subdivider shall be responsible for replacing any monument which is damaged, destroyed, removed, or knocked out of alignment during construction.
(a) 
Names of proposed subdivisions or streets shall not duplicate or nearly duplicate the name, spelling or sound of any existing or approved subdivision or street name within the County or within any portion of an abutting jurisdiction which is in an automatic and mutual emergency response area and/or where such a mutual emergency response agreement has a reasonable potential to be established.
(b) 
Proposed streets which align with planned, recorded or existing streets shall generally bear the name of the planned, recorded or existing streets. The agent, however, in consultation with the public safety department, may require the use of a different street name when it is determined that such action is in the best interest of public safety.
(c) 
Subdivision and street names shall be indicated on the preliminary plan, development plan, final plat and record plat and shall be approved by the agent.
(d) 
Names of recorded or existing subdivisions or streets shall not be changed except by resolution of the board.
[Ord. No. 05-33, 12-20-2005]
(a) 
Permanent street identification signs of a design approved by the agent shall be installed at all intersections by the subdivider. Permanent street signs shall have reflective backgrounds and lettering and shall conform with the following size standards based on the existing or anticipated posted speed limit of the roadway to which the sign faces:
Lettering Height
Speed Limit
Sign Size
Upper case
Lower case
<35 mph
9" x 30-48"
5"
2 1/2"
36-50 mph
12" x 30-60"
6"
3"
>50 mph
18" x 55"
12"
9"
The agent will arrange for fabrication and installation of such signage upon the payment of the applicable fee as determined in accordance with § 20.5-13(e).
(b) 
Prior to the issuance of building permits, temporary street identification signs shall be installed, by the subdivider, at all street intersections through which access to the lot(s) upon which construction will occur passes.
[Ord. No. 05-33, 12-20-2005]
Entrance signs or monuments to identify the subdivision shall conform with the provisions of the zoning ordinance and the following standards:
(a) 
The maximum size and the maximum height of such signs shall be in accordance with the standards established in Chapter 24.1, zoning, of this code. Signs have a minimum setback requirement of 10 feet and shall not encroach into sight triangles required by § 20.5-101.
(b) 
Only the subdivision name and logo and any symbols indicating compliance with or participation in a governmentally sponsored or mandated fair housing practices program or code may be placed on any such sign. The agent may authorize signs on both sides of a development entrance, and at multiple entrances to the development, provided that no individual sign shall exceed the allowable sign area specified by the zoning ordinance.
(c) 
Where such signs are to be illuminated, only external illumination shall be permitted and the size, placement, and number of luminaires shall be reviewed and approved by the agent.
(d) 
A landscaped planting area shall be provided surrounding the base of such sign. The minimum size of such planting area shall be four square feet for each one square foot of sign area. Appropriate ground covers (other than grass) and shrubs shall be installed within the planting area, including a minimum of six shrubs.
(e) 
Walls, fences and other similar treatments which delineate or define the entrance to or boundaries of a subdivision shall require the submission of architectural renderings for approval by the agent.
The agent shall deny or require modification of plans for such features when he finds that the installation would be visually obtrusive upon adjacent properties or public streets, be incompatible with the character of existing or anticipated surrounding development, or conflict with other goals and policies of the County.
Nothing contained in this section shall be interpreted to prevent the mounting of entrance signs on decorative fences or walls.
Addresses and parcel identification numbers (PIN) shall be assigned by the County during review of development plans. The parcel identification numbers shall be shown on the final plat and record plat, either within the boundaries of the lots or in tabular form on the plat. Once assigned, neither addresses nor parcel identification numbers shall be changed or otherwise altered except upon the direction of the agent.
[Ord. No. 05-33, 12-20-2005]
The natural terrain and features of the land, including heritage, memorial, significant and specimen trees, natural watercourses, perennial streams, and other water areas, historic and archaeological sites, scenic areas and other features and resources worthy of preservation located within the area encompassed by any proposed subdivision of property in the County shall be preserved and protected during the development process to the extent possible while enabling reasonable development of property. In this regard, no more land disturbance than absolutely necessary to accommodate reasonable development shall occur and extensive cut and fill of the natural topography shall not be allowed.
The removal of trees or the clearing and grading of land by the subdivider shall be generally permitted only to accommodate the construction and installation of those improvements required by this chapter or other portions or this code or on those lots for which a valid building permit has been issued. Mature trees throughout the remainder of the area encompassed by any proposed subdivision of property shall be protected in accordance with the Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Manual or other generally accepted tree protection measure during construction and installation of subdivision improvements. In any case, limits of clearing and grading shall be clearly shown on development plans.
[Ord. No. 05-33, 12-20-2005; Ord. No. 09-17, 8-18-2009]
(a) 
Landscaping.
(1) 
Entrances and common areas shall be landscaped by the subdivider with appropriate combinations of trees, shrubs, grass and ground covers except where the existing mature trees have been preserved and protected in such areas. Unless the agent determines that such landscape treatment is unnecessary, impractical or in conflict with drainage, utilities, or other required features of the subdivision, the cleared portions of entrance and common areas in residential subdivisions shall be landscaped with a minimum of one tree and one shrub for each 1,000 square feet contained in such areas exclusive of roadways, sidewalks, recreational facilities, or other paved areas.
(2) 
All landscape treatments required by this chapter or the zoning ordinance shall be designed, arranged, installed and maintained in accordance with the landscaping standards contained in the zoning ordinance.
(b) 
Tree planting and replacement.
(1) 
In accordance with § 15.2-961, Code of Virginia, trees shall be preserved, planted or replaced on all residential lots, excluding recreation lots. Tree preservation/planting shall be accomplished such that, within 20 years growing time, the minimum tree canopy or cover on residential lots shall be 20%.
(2) 
The required tree canopy or cover shall generally be evenly distributed across the lot with a preference for trees located in front of the principal building and along the rear property line.
(3) 
The calculation of tree canopies shall be based on the Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, 4th edition, 1990, by Michael A. Dirr (ISBN 0-87563-347-1) or Street Tree Factsheets, 1993, Municipal Tree Restoration Program, Pennsylvania State University (ISBN 1-883956-00-5) as they may from time to time be amended.
(4) 
Existing trees which are to be preserved and used to meet all or part of the canopy requirements shall be protected before, during, and after the development process in accordance with those standards contained in the zoning ordinance.
(5) 
Newly planted trees and shrubs shall be selected, installed and maintained in accordance with the standards contained in the zoning ordinance.
(6) 
In all subdivisions in nonindustrial zoning districts, deciduous shade, or ornamental trees shall be planted as street trees along all rights-of-way within and abutting the subdivision. Such trees shall be located either within the right-of-way itself or within a ten-foot landscape preservation easement contiguous to such right-of-way and shall contain, at a minimum, one tree planted approximately every 40 feet. Where located within an easement, the subdivider shall dedicate the easement together with a maintenance easement to the property owners' association or other entity approved by the agent and County attorney. All trees planted to meet this requirement shall have a minimum caliper of 2 1/2 inches and conform with the relevant provisions of the zoning ordinance. Existing trees which are within 20 feet of the edge of the right-of-way and which are protected and preserved in accordance with the standards contained in the zoning ordinance may be used to satisfy the planting requirement.
(7) 
The subdivider shall have the option to meet the requirements of this subsection through actual installation/retention, a postponed improvement agreement with surety, establishment of restrictive covenants, or some combination which achieves the same intent.
(c) 
Buffers. A landscaped buffer, broken only by necessary entrances approved by the agent, shall be established on all residential lots along all major roads abutting a proposed subdivision. Such roads shall be defined to include Routes 17, 105, 132, 134, 143, 171, 199, and Interstate 64 and such other routes as may be specified in § 24.1-245 of the zoning ordinance.
(1) 
The minimum width of said landscaped buffer shall be 35 feet, or such greater dimension as may be prescribed by the zoning ordinance, measured from the edge of the existing or reserved right-of-way.
(2) 
A landscape preservation easement, acceptable as to content and form by the County attorney and encompassing the required buffer, shall be granted to the County.
(3) 
The buffer shall be landscaped in accordance with the landscaping requirements contained § 24.1-243(a)(1) of the zoning ordinance, provided however, that lakes which are at least 35 feet in width and are adjacent to such roadways shall be deemed to meet this requirement without the provision of the landscaping required herein.
(d) 
Screening fences.
(1) 
Screening fences supplemented by appropriate landscaping shall be required between proposed commercial/industrial subdivisions and abutting property used for residential purposes where the agent determines that such fences are necessary by reason of use, topography, building location, or other physical aspect of the site.
(2) 
Screening fences shall be constructed of wood or masonry and the agent shall specifically review and approve both the location and design of the screening fence. Fences facing streets shall be finished on the street side.
(3) 
Where required, such screening fences and supplementary landscaping shall be included within the terms of any subdivision agreement entered into by the subdivider and the County.
(4) 
All screening fences shall be erected in accordance with proper construction standards, shall be maintained in good repair, and shall be kept free from trash, litter, or debris.
(5) 
All screening fences shall be designed and located so as to not interfere with fire hydrants and fire department connections.
(e) 
The agent may reasonably modify, transfer, or grant an exception to the requirements contained in this section upon a finding that strict application of the requirements would result in unnecessary or unreasonable hardship and that practicable alternatives to such strict application would achieve a similar intent. Any request for such modification, transfer, or exception shall be made in writing and clearly state the reasons for such request.
[Ord. No. 05-33, 12-20-2005]
Within Chesapeake Bay preservation areas, all development associated with the subdivision of land shall comply with the special performance standards and requirements set forth in Chapter 23.2. Lot size shall be subject to the requirements of the underlying zoning district(s) provided, however, that any newly created lot shall have sufficient area outside the RPA within which to accommodate the intended development in full accordance with the performance standards set forth in Chapter 23.2 so that no land disturbance will occur in the RPA, except for such development otherwise specifically allowed in the RPA by the terms of Chapter 23.2. On newly created lots, the lot size and configuration shall be such that principal buildings can be located at least 10 feet from the RPA buffer.
[Ord. No. 05-33, 12-20-2005]
All lands and improvements which are not a part of individual lots or dedicated to the ownership and use of the general public but which are for the mutual benefit of the persons residing in or owning lots in the subdivision shall be established, designated, and maintained as common property. Such property shall not be developed for commercial or residential purposes or for the exclusive use of any individual within the subdivision. The creation of such property shall conform in all respects to the requirements set forth in §§ 24.1-496 through 24.1-499 of the zoning ordinance.
The subdivider of residential property shall provide reasonable allowances for the active and passive recreation needs of the future residents of the subdivision. Except in approved planned developments, the following standards shall apply:
(a) 
Recreation and open space areas shall be provided in residential subdivisions having 25 lots or more. Such recreation and open space areas shall contain a minimum land area equal to 7.5% of the cumulative area of lots being subdivided.
(b) 
The recreation area shall consist of a single parcel unless otherwise approved by the agent.
(c) 
The agent shall determine that the land to be incorporated into the recreation and open space areas is suitable for recreational purposes (passive or active), the development of recreational facilities, or preserves appropriate and sensitive features of the site.
(d) 
The land areas reserved as recreation and open space area may be reduced by one-half where the subdivider elects to develop recreational facilities for the use of the future residents of the subdivision. The following standards shall apply:
(1) 
All facilities shall be designed and constructed in accordance with the County's standards for recreational facilities or other acceptable standard or facility design approved by the agent.
(2) 
The mix of facilities shall be reasonably related to the market orientation of the residential units in the subdivision.
(3) 
The planned development "core recreation facilities" contained in the zoning ordinance shall guide the design and construction of recreation areas.
(4) 
The recreation facilities shall be completed and available for use prior to the issuance of any certificates of occupancy for dwelling units in the subdivision. The agent may, however, approve a phased development schedule for recreational facilities which generally corresponds to the overall phasing of the subdivision itself.
(e) 
Development plans for recreational facilities shall be prepared and submitted in accordance with the provisions of Article V of the zoning ordinance.
Where a subdivider dedicates land for public purposes including, but not limited to, parks, playgrounds, well lots, schools, libraries, municipal buildings, and similar public or semi-public uses, it shall be of a character, size, dimension, and location suitable for the particular use for which the land is dedicated.
[Ord. No. O98-20, 11-4-1998; Ord. No. 05-33, 12-20-2005; Ord. No. 09-17, 8-18-2009]
All new streets and roads shall be classified as "local" streets as defined by the Virginia Department of Transportation and, for the purposes of this chapter, shall be further classified according to their function and the projected average daily traffic (ADT). Average daily traffic shall include all traffic projected to result from the complete development of land served by the subject street, including both internal and external trips. The trip generation rates contained in the most current edition of the Trip Generation Manual (Institute of Transportation Engineers) shall be used to determine the projected ADT. The classification based on ADT shall take precedence over the functional description for purposes of determining street geometrics.
(a) 
Traffic volume classification and description. New streets shall be classified according to the following table based on the total traffic projected for the street at full development, including full development of adjoining properties which reasonably may be expected to produce or attract traffic which will utilize the street:
Street Classification
Minimum ADT
Maximum ADT
Access
250
Subcollector
251
400
Minor Collector
401
2000
Major Collector
2001
8000
Minor Arterial
8001
12000
Major Arterial
Over 12000
(b) 
Design limitations:
(1) 
Access street: carries only the volume of traffic generated on the street itself.
(2) 
Subcollector street: may carry the volume of at least one access street in addition to its own volume.
(3) 
Collector street: unsuitable for providing direct residential lot access, however, occasionally no suitable alternative exists.
(4) 
Arterial street: direct residential lot access is prohibited and commercial or industrial lot access is controlled and limited to high trip volume generators.
(c) 
Existing streets. Where existing streets which are not otherwise classified by the comprehensive plan abut or affect the design of a proposed subdivision, such existing streets shall be classified in accordance with the functional and traffic volume descriptions contained in this chapter.
[Ord. No. O98-20, 11-4-1998; Ord. No. 099-6, 4-7-1999; Ord. No. 05-33, 12-20-2005; Ord. No. 08-12, 8-19-2008; Ord. No. 09-17, 8-18-2009]
(a) 
In accordance with § 15.2-2241-2, Code of Virginia, all proposed streets shall be designed to coordinate with other existing or planned streets contiguous to or within the general area of the subdivision or within existing or future adjacent subdivisions as to location, width, grades, and drainage. Connections with existing or platted streets shall be continuous without offset.
(b) 
The agent shall require that adequate rights-of-way are platted and dedicated for public use to the boundary line(s) of the subdivision which will afford desirable and safe street access to adjoining properties when such properties are of a compatible land use designation. In such cases, the following requirements shall apply:
(1) 
These rights-of-way shall be clearly marked on the plats and labeled "Future Public Street" or "Future Public Street Extension" as appropriate. In addition, a sign shall be posted on the stub street right-of-way indicating that it is intended for a future roadway connection. Such sign shall be fabricated and installed by the County, with the costs of fabrication/installation to be paid by the subdivider.
(2) 
The following notation in, at a minimum, 12 point lettering shall be incorporated into any plat showing a stub or future street:
THIS RIGHT-OF-WAY IS PLATTED WITH THE INTENT OF BEING EXTENDED AND CONTINUED IN ORDER TO PROVIDE INGRESS AND EGRESS TO AND FROM ADJOINING PROPERTIES.
(3) 
The following statement shall be included on the conveyance documents for any lot on a stub or future street:
THE RIGHT-OF-WAY UPON WHICH THIS LOT FRONTS HAS BEEN PLATTED WITH THE INTENT OF IT BEING EXTENDED AND CONTINUED IN ORDER TO PROVIDE INGRESS AND EGRESS TO AND FROM ADJOINING PROPERTIES, AS SHOWN ON THE PLAT RECORDED IN PLAT BOOK _____, PAGE _____/INSTRUMENT NO. _____, CIRCUIT COURT FOR YORK COUNTY.
(c) 
Where a street right-of-way in an existing subdivision or development has been platted to the boundary line of a proposed subdivision, it shall be extended and continued into such proposed subdivision unless a waiver is granted by the department of transportation. In situations where the department of transportation grants a waiver to the street interconnection requirement, an alternative means for bicycle and pedestrian access may be required to be provided in close proximity to the otherwise required street based on local site conditions. Such bicycle and pedestrian facilities shall be either within an existing right-of-way or in a separate right-of-way and shall be designed and constructed in accordance with Figure VI-B in appendix A or with the standards used by the Virginia Department of Transportation for such facilities.
(d) 
Street intersections shall be spaced and designed in accordance with the standards set forth in the Virginia Department of Transportation Subdivision Street Design Guide, dated July 1, 2009, and as may be amended from time to time.
(e) 
All subdivisions shall have two means of ingress and egress.
[Ord. No. O98-20, 11-4-1998; Ord. No. 05-33, 12-20-2005; Ord. No. 09-17, 8-18-2009; Ord. No. 13-8, 6-18-2013]
All subdivisions, with the exception of boundary line adjustments which merely relocate a boundary line without an increase in the number of lots, shall be subject to the following requirements:
(a) 
Where a subdivision abuts an existing public right-of-way which has a width deficiency created either because it is less than 50 feet in width or because adopted plans show that a greater width will be necessary to accommodate those plans, the subdivider shall be required to dedicate additional rights-of-way as follows:
(1) 
Where the subdivision abuts one side of the right-of-way, the subdivider shall dedicate one-half of the right-of-way deficiency along the frontage of the subdivision.
(2) 
Where the subdivision abuts both sides of the right-of-way, the subdivider shall dedicate all of the right-of-way deficiency along the frontages of the subdivision.
(b) 
Where the subdivision embraces any part of an arterial or collector street or thoroughfare shown on an approved Comprehensive Plan, official map, or state or regional transportation plan, such street or thoroughfare shall be platted for dedication in the location and width indicated on such plan or map or as deemed necessary by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and, except in the case of a limited or controlled access facility, shall be constructed and integrated as a part of the subdivision.
(c) 
The minimum right-of-way width shall be 50 feet, or such greater width as may be specified by the Virginia Department of Transportation.
[Ord. No. O98-20, 11-4-1998; Ord. No. 05-33, 12-20-2005; Ord. No. 09-17, 8-18-2009]
(a) 
All streets shall have a continuity of design throughout their entire length. Multiple or step-down designs shall not be permitted except that a transition may be permitted at a four-way intersection or other major traffic generator which would constitute a clear demarcation of such change.
(b) 
Geometric standards for streets without curb and gutter shall be as set forth in the VDOT Subdivision Street Design Guide, dated July 1, 2009, and as may be amended from time to time.
(c) 
Geometric standards for streets with curb and gutter shall be as set forth in the VDOT Subdivision Street Design Guide, dated July 1, 2009, and as may be amended from time to time.
(a) 
Unless otherwise specifically provided in this chapter, construction of all subdivision streets shall be in conformance with department of transportation requirements.
(b) 
Subdivision street cross-sections shall be based on the load bearing capacities of soils located within proposed street rights-of-way as detailed in a subsurface soils report, certified by a geotechnical engineer. The agent may, however, upon the recommendation of the department of transportation, waive or modify this requirement when there is sufficient cause to believe that such a report is unnecessary.
(c) 
Street construction plans shall be submitted to and approved by both the department of transportation and the County as a part of the review process required by this chapter.
(d) 
Street construction surety shall not be fully released until said street(s) have been accepted into the state secondary system.
(a) 
Curb and gutter streets shall be required in all subdivisions having a minimum lot size of 28,000 square feet or less and in all subdivisions developed under the cluster subdivision provisions of the zoning ordinance, regardless of lot size provided, however, that the agent may waive or modify this requirement for infill lots created along an existing street which has been developed without curb and gutter.
(b) 
Where the minimum lot size exceeds 28,000 square feet, curb and gutter streets shall be required in any subdivision where the longitudinal slope (flowline slope) of any road-side ditch is less than 1% and the maximum depth is three feet. The depth of ditches shall be measured from the invert elevation to the adjacent existing or finished grade, whichever shall yield the greatest depth. However, the agent may permit this ditch depth to be exceeded where the natural topography is so severe, exceptional, or extraordinary as to make other options impractical or infeasible based on sound engineering practice and principles. Any request for such consideration shall be made in writing and be accompanied by supporting information to substantiate the request for the modification to the ditch depth requirement.
(c) 
The subdivider of any subdivision exempted from the requirements for curb and gutter established above shall provide a subsurface soils report certified by a geotechnical engineer. Said report shall indicate and describe the various soil strata encountered, specify the soil types based on the unified soil classification system, indicate the elevation of the seasonal high water table, and indicate the presence of perched water table conditions. Such report shall further indicate the probability that the proposed roadside ditch system will intercept flowing groundwater or springs, or will contain water as the result of the seasonal high water table or tidal flows. If either of these situations is found to have a high probability of occurrence, curb and gutter shall be required.
(d) 
If curb and gutter is required for any portion of a subdivision, it shall be required for the entire subdivision.
(e) 
Where curb and gutter is required, the minimum longitudinal slope shall be three-tenths of 0.3%.
[Ord. No. 05-33, 12-20-2005; Ord. No. 09-17, 8-18-2009]
(a) 
Cul-de-sac streets shall generally not exceed 600 feet in length. The length shall be measured from the end of the cul-de-sac to the closest intersection which provides a means of egress from the subdivision, either directly or indirectly. Where the agent determines that the topography, property configuration or other physical constraints are such that a cul-de-sac of greater length is required or desirable for the effective and efficient development of the property, the agent may authorize culs-de-sac which exceed 600 feet in length. In such cases, the cul-de-sac street shall generally be designed with a landscaped median which divides the cul-de-sac street into two distinct and separate lanes. Such street may, however, be continuously undivided for the final 600 feet measured from the end of the turnaround. Median breaks shall be provided at street intersections and at other appropriate locations along the street to ensure good traffic circulation and the delivery of emergency services. In general, this means that median breaks should occur approximately at 300-foot intervals. In consultation with the department of fire and life safety, the agent may waive or modify the median requirement if it is determined that such a design will not aid emergency access and operations.
(b) 
Cul-de-sac streets shall be terminated by a turnaround having a minimum pavement radius of 45 feet or such other design as may be approved by the department of transportation with the concurrence of the department of fire and life safety.
(a) 
The minimum spacing between the tangent point of an intersection and permitted driveways or entrances, and between driveways or entrances themselves, shall be in accordance with the following table based on the street classification, provided, however, that a greater or lesser distance may be stipulated by the agent upon the recommendation of the department of transportation. Reduction of these spacing requirements shall be permitted when the property configuration or location would preclude strict application of these standards, provided however that where an alternate access arrangement or an internal access system is practical and feasible, multiple driveways or entrances not in conformance with these spacing standards shall not be permitted.
Classification
Minimum Spacing
(feet)
Access
20
Subcollector
25
Minor Collector
50
Major Collector
50
Minor Arterial
125
Major Arterial
175
(b) 
The width of residential driveways shall be not less than nine feet and not greater than 20 feet measured at the edge of the right-of-way.
(c) 
Driveways or entrances to lots created adjacent to streets classified as major collector, minor arterial, or major arterial shall conform with the following standards:
(1) 
Where all of the lots i) front on a single roadway so classified, ii) extend the full depth of the parent tract and, iii) no further subdivision of those lots is possible, each two abutting non-residential lots shall be permitted one driveway or entrance access point which shall be identified and noted on the final and record plat as being the access for both non-residential lots. Each residential lot shall be entitled to an individual access. In all other cases, an internal access system shall be developed.
(2) 
Where any lots created are to front on or obtain access from an internal access system, such system shall be designed to provide the access to all lots. Access onto the above classified streets shall be permitted only where the internal access system intersects such streets.
(3) 
A restricted access easement 10 feet in width shall be shown on the final and record plat and be recorded along the entire frontage except at the above permitted access points.
(4) 
The agent may grant exceptions to these requirements with the concurrence of the department of transportation upon finding that:
a. 
The need for, and safety of, such additional access points has been substantiated in a traffic impact analysis prepared in accordance with Article II, Division 5 of the zoning ordinance to the satisfaction of the agent; and
b. 
All applicable spacing and clearance requirements as prescribed by this chapter, the zoning ordinance, and the department of transportation can be met.
(d) 
Except for single-family detached residential development, the use of shared access arrangements shall be the preferred alternative.
[Ord. No. 05-33, 12-20-2005]
In certain situations, the use of alleys may be a desirable alternative to the more traditional type of residential development. Alleys may be permitted in residential planned developments, cluster development, or similar residential subdivisions where average lot widths are less than 70 feet, however, the following conditions shall apply:
(a) 
Frontage on an alley shall not be construed to satisfy any lot frontage requirements.
(b) 
Alleys shall be maintained and perpetuated by a duly constituted property owners' association and notations to this effect, including a note that such alleys will not be eligible for acceptance and maintenance by the Virginia Department of Transportation, shall be clearly indicated on the face of the record plat.
(c) 
Alleys shall have a minimum right-of-way width of 16 feet, a minimum pavement width of 12 feet and a maximum length of 500 feet.
(d) 
Alleys shall be designed to minimize or eliminate the potential for through traffic.
(e) 
Alleys shall intersect only access or subcollector streets.
(f) 
If curb and gutter is used, it shall be of a roll-top type design.
(g) 
All structures, including garages and fences shall be set back a minimum of 10 feet from the edge of the alley right-of-way. Alleys shall not be considered streets or roads for the purpose of front yard setback requirements.
(h) 
Where alleys are proposed to terminate in a cul-de-sac, either a circular or a "T" or "Branch" turnaround shall be provided with a minimum outside turning radius of 30 feet.
(a) 
The subdivider shall be responsible for the provision of all regulatory and traffic signs required to maintain and ensure traffic safety during and after construction of improvements. This shall include the provision, if required by the agent after consultation with the department of transportation, of temporary or permanent regulatory and traffic signs during construction.
(b) 
All required regulatory and traffic signs within any subdivision or section thereof shall be installed prior to occupancy of any structure constructed on any lot in said subdivision or section thereof.
(c) 
All intersections of subdivision streets with existing public roadways shall be provided with appropriate STOP or YIELD signs, as determined by the agent after consultation with the department of transportation, prior to the issuance of any building permits for any structure on a lot contained within said subdivision accessed directly or indirectly through such intersection.
[Ord. No. 05-33, 12-20-2005]
(a) 
Sight triangles shall be required at all street intersections. Such sight triangles shall include the area on each corner that is bounded by the corner radius formed by the right-of-way/property line and a line connecting the property monuments at the two ends of the corner radius.
(b) 
Signs, plantings, structures or other obstructions which obscure or impede sight lines between three feet and six feet in height above grade shall be prohibited within the sight triangle.
(c) 
The sight triangle shall be clearly shown and its purposes noted on the final plat.
(d) 
A right-of-entry for the purpose of removing any object, material or other obstruction that hinders the clear sight across the area shall be dedicated to the County and the Virginia Department of Transportation.
(e) 
In the event the sight distance standards specified by the VDOT Subdivision Street Design Guide are more restrictive than the requirements of this ordinance, then the VDOT standards shall be observed.
[Ord. No. 05-33, 12-20-2005]
Private streets may be authorized by the agent in accordance with the applicable provisions of the zoning ordinance as it applies to planned developments, cluster subdivisions, and attached residential development and shopping centers. Where authorized, private streets shall conform with the following requirements:
(a) 
The streets shall be designed to meet or exceed the geometric standards specified by the VDOT Subdivision Street Design Guide, provided however that the agent may approve minor deviations where the resulting design is clearly equal to or superior to that which would otherwise result.
(b) 
The streets shall be designed to meet or exceed the construction standards specified by the VDOT Subdivision Street Design Guide, provided however that where unique or nonstandard surface treatments are proposed, the agent may approve deviation from the standards provided that the subdivider provides evidence, certified by a professional engineer, that the proposed alternative will have the same or reduced maintenance requirements as would the otherwise required surface treatment.
(c) 
A duly constituted property owners' association shall be vested with ownership of and maintenance responsibility for private streets at the time of recordation.
(d) 
As provided by § 15.2-2242-3, Code of Virginia, each plat on which such a private street is shown shall contain, in addition to all other required notations and certifications, the following notation prominently displayed in, at minimum, 12 point lettering:
THE STREET(S) SHOWN HEREON IS/ARE PRIVATE, MAY NOT MEET STATE STANDARDS, AND WILL NOT BE MAINTAINED BY EITHER THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA OR THE COUNTY OF YORK. MAINTENANCE OF THE ROAD(S) AND RIGHT(S)-OF-WAY SHOWN HEREON IS/ARE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PROPERTY OWNERS ASSOCIATION FOR THE LOTS CREATED BY THIS PLAT.
Grantors of any subdivision lot to which the above statement applies must include the statement on each subsequent deed of conveyance thereof.
(e) 
The subdivider shall be required to guarantee and post surety for the construction of any private streets authorized herein.
(f) 
Private streets shall be inspected at the expense of the subdivider both during and after construction by an independent testing and engineering firm to ensure that the road design and construction meets or exceeds the standards of the department of transportation for public roads of the same class and volume. Certification to this effect by an engineer licensed in Virginia shall be submitted to the agent together with relevant logs and reports prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy for any structure having its sole access from a private street.
The agent shall specifically review and approve all construction entrances and the access routes to such construction entrances. In specifying and/or limiting construction traffic access routes to such entrances or the entrances themselves, the agent shall consider all available or potential access alternatives with the objective of ensuring pedestrian and vehicular safety within existing and/or developing residential neighborhoods. Construction traffic shall be deemed to include, but not be limited to, construction equipment used in site development or building activity, vehicles transporting such construction equipment and/or construction/building materials, and vehicles transporting persons engaged in site development, construction, or building activities.