Administrative Code

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Virginia Administrative Code
Title 24. Transportation and Motor Vehicles
Agency 30. Department of Transportation
Chapter 73. Access Management Regulations
4/6/2020

24VAC30-73-120. Commercial Entrance Access Management.

A. As commercial entrance locations and designs are prepared and reviewed, appropriate access management regulations and standards shall be utilized to ensure the safety, integrity and operational characteristics of the systems of state highways are maintained. The proposed commercial entrance shall meet the access management standards contained in Appendix F of the Road Design Manual, 2011 (VDOT), and the regulations in this chapter to provide the users of such entrance with a safe means of ingress and egress while minimizing the impact of such ingress and egress on the operation of the highway.

B. A proposed development's compliance with the access management requirements specified below should be considered during the local government and VDOT's review of any rezoning, site plan, or subdivision plat for the development. VDOT's review of a rezoning traffic impact statement submitted for a development in accordance with the Traffic Impact Analysis Regulations (24VAC30-155) shall include comments on the development's compliance with the access management requirements specified below.

C. Access management requirements, in addition to other regulations in this chapter, include but are not limited to:

1. Restricting commercial entrance locations. To prevent undue interference with free traffic movement and to preserve safety, entrances to the highways shall not be permitted within the functional areas of intersections, roundabouts, railroad grade crossings, interchanges or similar areas with sensitive traffic operations. A request for an exception to this requirement submitted according to 24VAC30-73-120 D shall include a traffic engineering study that contains specific and documented reasons showing that highway operation and safety will not be adversely impacted.

2. Commercial entrances shared with adjoining properties. To reduce the number of entrances to state highways, a condition of entrance permit issuance shall be that entrances serve two or more parcels. A shared commercial entrance shall be created and designed to serve adjoining properties. A copy of the property owners' recorded agreement to share use of and maintain the entrance shall be included with the entrance permit application submitted to the district administrator's designee. The shared entrance shall be identified on any site plan or subdivision plat of the property. The district administrator's designee is authorized to approve an exception to this requirement upon submittal of a request according to 24VAC30-73-120 D that includes the following:

a. Written evidence that a reasonable agreement to share an entrance cannot be reached with adjoining property owners, or

b. Documentation that there are physical constraints, including but not limited to topography, environmentally sensitive areas, and hazardous uses, to creating a shared entrance.

3. Spacing of commercial entrances and intersections. The spacing of proposed entrances and intersections shall comply with the spacing standards for entrances and intersections in Appendix F of the Road Design Manual, 2011 (VDOT), except as specified below.

a. Where a plan of development or a condition of development that identifies the specific location of an entrance or entrances was proffered pursuant to § 15.2-2297, 15.2-2298, or 15.2-2303 of the Code of Virginia as part of a rezoning approved by the locality prior to July 1, 2008, for principal arterials or October 14, 2009, for minor arterials, collectors, or local streets, such entrances shall be exempt from the applicable spacing standards for entrances and intersections, provided the requirements of § 15.2-2307 of the Code of Virginia have been met. Entrances shall be exempt from the applicable spacing standards for entrances and intersections when the location of such entrances are shown on a subdivision plat, site plan, preliminary subdivision plat, or a Secondary Street Acceptance Requirements (24VAC30-92) conceptual sketch that was submitted by the locality to VDOT for review and received by VDOT prior to July 1, 2008, for principal arterials or October 14, 2009, for minor arterials, collectors, or local streets, or is valid pursuant to §§ 15.2-2260 and 15.2-2261 of the Code of Virginia and was approved in accordance with §§ 15.2-2286 and 15.2-2241 through 15.2-2245 of the Code of Virginia prior to July 1, 2008, for principal arterials or October 14, 2009, for minor arterials, collectors, or local streets. The district administrator's designee is authorized to exempt such entrances from the spacing standards upon submittal of a request according to 24VAC30-73-120 D that includes documentation of the above criteria.

b. VDOT may work with a locality or localities on access management corridor plans. Such plans may allow for spacing standards that differ from and supersede the applicable spacing standards for entrances and intersections, subject to approval by the district administrator. Such plans may also identify the locations of any physical constraints to creating shared entrances or vehicular/pedestrian connections between adjoining properties (see 24VAC30-73-120 C 2 and C 4). If the permit applicant submits a request according to 24VAC30-73-120 D for an exception to the spacing standards and provides documentation that the location of the proposed commercial entrance is within the limits of an access management plan approved by the local government and by VDOT, the plan should guide the district administrator's designee in approving the exception request and in determining the appropriate location of the entrance.

c. On older, established business corridors along a highway in a locality where existing entrances and intersections did not meet the spacing standards prior to July 1, 2008, for principal arterials or October 14, 2009, for minor arterials, collectors, or local streets, spacing for new entrances and intersections may be allowed by the district administrator's designee that is consistent with the established spacing along the highway, provided that the permit applicant submits a request according to 24VAC30-73-120 D for an exception to the spacing standards that includes evidence that reasonable efforts were made to comply with the other access management requirements of this section including restricting entrances within the functional areas of intersections, sharing entrances with and providing vehicular and pedestrian connections between adjoining properties, and physically restricting entrances to right-in or right-out or both movements.

d. Where a developer proposes a development within a designated urban development area as defined in § 15.2-2223.1 of the Code of Virginia or an area designated in the local comprehensive plan for higher density development that incorporates principles of new urbanism and traditional neighborhood development, which may include but need not be limited to (i) pedestrian-friendly road design, (ii) interconnection of new local streets with existing local streets and roads, (iii) connectivity of road and pedestrian networks, (iv) preservation of natural areas, (v) satisfaction of requirements for stormwater management, (vi) mixed-use neighborhoods, including mixed housing types, (vii) reduction of front and side yard building setbacks, and (viii) reduction of subdivision street widths and turning radii at subdivision street intersections, the district administrator's designee may approve spacing standards for entrances and intersections internal to the development that differ from the otherwise applicable spacing standards, provided that the developer submits a request according to 24VAC30-73-120 D for an exception to the spacing standards that includes information on the design of the development and on the conformance of such entrances and intersections with the intersection sight distance standards specified in Appendix F of the Road Design Manual, 2011 (VDOT).

e. Where a development's second or additional commercial entrances are necessary for the streets in the development to be eligible for acceptance into the secondary system of state highways in accordance with the Secondary Street Acceptance Requirements (24VAC30-92) and such commercial entrances cannot meet the spacing standards for highways, the developer may submit a request according to 24VAC30-73-120 D for an exception to the spacing standards that includes information on the design of the development. The following shall apply to the exception request:

(1) For highways with a functional classification as a collector or local street, the district administrator's designee may approve spacing standards that differ from the otherwise applicable spacing standards to allow the approval of the entrance or entrances. Such commercial entrances shall be required to meet the intersection sight distance standards specified in Appendix F of the Road Design Manual, 2011 (VDOT).

(2) For highways with a functional classification as a principal or minor arterial, the district administrator's designee shall, in consultation with the developer and the locality within which the development is proposed, either approve spacing standards that differ from the otherwise applicable spacing standards to allow the approval of the entrance or entrances, or waive such state requirements that necessitate second or additional commercial entrances. If approved, such commercial entrances shall be required to meet the intersection sight distance standards specified in Appendix F of the Road Design Manual, 2011 (VDOT).

f. Where a parcel of record has insufficient frontage on a highway to meet the spacing standards because of the dimensions of the parcel or a physical constraint such as topography or an environmentally sensitive area, the entrance shall be physically restricted to right-in or right-out movements or both or similar restrictions such that the public interests in a safe and efficient flow of traffic on the systems of state highways are protected and preserved. A request for an exception to this requirement submitted according to 24VAC30-73-120 D shall include a traffic engineering study that contains specific and documented reasons showing that highway operation and safety will not be adversely impacted.

4. Vehicular/pedestrian circulation between adjoining undeveloped properties. To facilitate traffic circulation between adjacent properties, reduce the number of entrances to the highway, and maximize use of new signalized intersections, the permit applicant shall be required on a highway with a functional classification as a principal or minor arterial highway, and may be required by the district administrator's designee on a highway with a functional classification as a collector, as a condition of commercial entrance permit issuance, to record access easements and to construct vehicular connections to the boundaries of the adjoining undeveloped property (which may include frontage roads or reverse frontage roads) in such a manner that affords safe and efficient future access between the permit applicant's property and adjoining undeveloped properties.

a. Where appropriate, the permit applicant also shall construct pedestrian connections to the boundary lines of adjoining undeveloped properties and adjoining developed properties with sidewalks that abut the property.

b. At such time that a commercial entrance permit application is submitted for the adjoining property, a condition of permit issuance shall be to extend such vehicular/pedestrian connections into the proposed development.

c. Development sites under the same ownership or consolidated for the purposes of development and comprised of more than one building site shall provide a unified vehicular and pedestrian access connection and circulation system between the sites.

d. Such connections shall not be required if the permit applicant submits a request for an exception according to 24VAC30-73-120 D and provides documentation that there are physical constraints to making such connections between properties, including but not limited to topography, environmentally sensitive areas, and hazardous uses, or provides documentation of other constraints to making such connections.

e. If a permit applicant does not wish to comply with this requirement, the permit applicant's entrance shall be physically restricted to right-in or right-out movements or both or similar restrictions such that the public interests in a safe and efficient flow of traffic on the systems of state highways are protected.

5. Traffic signal spacing. To promote the efficient progression of traffic on highways, commercial entrances that are expected to serve sufficient traffic volumes and movements to require signalization shall not be permitted if the spacing between the entrance and at least one adjacent signalized intersection is below signalized intersection spacing standards in Appendix F of the Road Design Manual, 2011 (VDOT). If sufficient spacing between adjacent traffic signals is not available, the entrance shall be physically restricted to right-in or right-out movements or both or similar restrictions such that the public interests in a safe and efficient flow of traffic on the systems of state highways are protected and preserved. A request for an exception to this requirement submitted according to 24VAC30-73-120 D shall include a traffic engineering study that (i) evaluates the suitability of the entrance location for design as a roundabout and (ii) contains specific and documented reasons showing that highway operation and safety will not be adversely impacted.

6. Limiting entrance movements. To preserve the safety and function of certain highways, the district administrator's designee may require an entrance to be designed and constructed in such a manner as to physically prohibit certain traffic movements.

D. A request for an exception from the access management requirements in 24VAC30-73-120 C shall be submitted in writing to the district administrator's designee. The request shall identify the type of exception, describe the reasons for the request, and include all documentation specified in 24VAC30-73-120 C for the type of exception. After considering all pertinent information including any improvements that will be needed to the entrance or intersection to protect the operational characteristics of the highway, the district administrator's designee will advise the applicant in writing regarding the decision on the exception request within 30 calendar days of receipt of the written exception request, with a copy to the district administrator. The applicant may appeal the decision of the district administrator's designee to the district administrator in accordance with the procedures for an appeal set forth in 24VAC30-73-50.

Statutory Authority

§ 33.2-245 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 26, Issue 01, eff. October 14, 2009; amended, Virginia Register Volume 28, Issue 08, eff. January 18, 2012; Volume 30, Issue 04, eff. December 5, 2013.

Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are for the reader's convenience only, may not necessarily be active or current, and should not be relied upon. To ensure the information incorporated by reference is accurate, the reader is encouraged to use the source document described in the regulation.

As a service to the public, the Virginia Administrative Code is provided online by the Virginia General Assembly. We are unable to answer legal questions or respond to requests for legal advice, including application of law to specific fact. To understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult an attorney.