Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 24. Transportation And Motor Vehicles
Agency 30. Department of Transportation
Chapter 91. Subdivision Street Requirements

24VAC30-91-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in these regulations shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"AASHTO" means the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

"Abandon" in all its forms means the legislative action reserved for and granted to the local governing body to extinguish the public's right to a roadway under the jurisdiction of the Virginia Department of Transportation, pursuant to §§ 33.2-909 and 33.2-912 of the Code of Virginia.

"Accessible route" means a continuous unobstructed, stable, firm and slip-resistant path connecting all accessible elements of a facility (may include parking access aisles, curb ramps, crosswalks at vehicular ways, walks, ramps and lifts) that can be approached, entered and used by persons with disabilities. An accessible route shall, to the maximum extent feasible, coincide with the route for the general public.

"ADT" means average daily traffic count (see "Projected Traffic").

"Board" means the Commonwealth Transportation Board.

"Clear zone" means the total border area of a roadway or shared use path that is sufficiently wide for an errant vehicle to avoid a serious accident. (See the Subdivision Street Design Guide (24VAC30-91-160) for details.)

"Commissioner" means the chief executive officer of the Virginia Department of Transportation.

"Complete development (land)" means the utilization of the available areas in a manner as to realize its highest density for the best potential use based on zoning, pending rezoning, the adopted comprehensive plan of the governing body, or the customary use of similar parcels of land.

"Complete development (streets)" means the development of a subdivision street in full compliance with all applicable provisions of these regulations to the necessary standards of design and construction for the effective and efficient accommodation of the traffic generated by the complete development of the land, both internal and external to the subdivision.

"County controlled grade separation structure" means a grade separation structure that does not qualify for maintenance by the department but was established within the right-of-way of a street intended for state maintenance.

"County official" means the representative of the governing body appointed to serve as its agent in matters relating to subdivisions.

"Cul-de-sac" means a street with only one outlet and having an appropriate turnaround for a safe and convenient reverse traffic movement and more specifically the turning area.

"Dam" means an embankment or structure intended or used to impound, retain, or store water, either as a permanent pond or as a temporary storage facility.

"Department" means the Virginia Department of Transportation.

"Design manual" means the department's Road Design Manual (see 24VAC30-91-160), Location and Design Division.

"Design speed" means a speed selected for purposes of design and correlation of those features of a street such as curvature, super elevation, and sight distance, upon which the safe operation of vehicles is dependent.

"Developer" means an individual, corporation, or registered partnership engaged in the subdivision of land.

"Discontinue," in all its forms, means the legislative act of the Commonwealth Transportation Board, pursuant to § 33.2-908 of the Code of Virginia, that determines that a road no longer serves public convenience warranting its maintenance with funds at the disposal of the department.

"District administrator" means the department employee assigned the overall supervision of the departmental operations in each of the Commonwealth's nine construction districts.

"Drainage manual" means the department's Drainage Manual (see 24VAC30-91-160), Location and Design Division.

"Dwelling unit" means a structure or part of a structure containing sleeping, kitchen, and bathroom facilities that is suitable for occupancy as a home or residence by one or more persons.

"Easement" means a grant of a right to use property of an owner for specific, limited use or purpose.

"Functional classification" means the process by which streets and highways are grouped into classes, or systems, according to the character of service they are intended to provide.

"Governing body" means the board of supervisors of the county but may also mean the local governing body of a town or city, if appropriate, in the application of these requirements.

"Intersection" means the juncture of two or more streets at which point there are three or more legs.

"Level of service" means a qualitative measure describing operational conditions within a traffic stream, and their perception by motorists and passengers. For the purposes of these requirements, the applicable provisions of the Highway Capacity Manual (see 24VAC30-91-160) shall serve as the basis for determining "levels of service."

"Level terrain" means that condition where highway sight distances, as governed by both horizontal and vertical restrictions, are generally long or could be made so without construction difficulty or major expense.

"Loop street" means a street whose two outlets are to the same street.

"Mountainous terrain" means that condition where longitudinal and traverse changes in the elevation of the ground with respect to the road or street are abrupt and where benching and side hill excavation are frequently required to obtain acceptable horizontal and vertical alignment.

"Neotraditional development" means a type of subdivision that creates a neighborhood or community design with qualities of a traditional small town, combining a mix of uses that may include retail establishments, offices, civic buildings, public squares, and multi-family and single-family housing, all within walking distance of one another, as well as a mix of transportation facilities that focuses on the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists in addition to the needs of motorists. These developments may include a variety of buildings and land use densities along the same street. Street layout may follow a grid pattern using narrow streets and having multiple connections to surrounding neighborhoods. These developments may be referred to as "villages" or "hamlets" within the ordinances of the governing body.

"Nonresidential street" means a subdivision street adjacent to property that is anticipated to develop for purposes other than residential use.

"Office building" means a building that is used primarily for conducting business transactions other than retail sales.

"Parking bay" means an off-street area for parking two or more vehicles that are served by a short driveway connecting the parking area and the public street.

"Parking lane" means an area, generally seven or eight feet in width, adjacent to and parallel with the travel lane of a roadway that is used for parking vehicles.

"Pavement Design Guide" means the Pavement Design Guide for Subdivision and Secondary Roads in Virginia (see 24VAC30-91-160).

"Permit Regulations" means the department's Land Use Permit Regulations (24VAC30-151).

"Phased development" (streets) means the method outlined in 24VAC30-91-70 (Phased development of subdivision streets) whereby the acceptance of certain subdivision streets into the secondary system of state highways may be considered before being completely developed in accordance with all applicable requirements (e.g., two lanes of a four-lane facility are considered for acceptance in advance of lanes 3 and 4 being finished).

"Plans" means the standard drawings, including profile and roadway typical section, that show the location, character, dimensions and details for the proposed construction of the subdivision street.

"Plat" means the schematic representation of the land divided or to be divided.

"Private streets" means subdivision streets that have not been dedicated to public use or that require the permission or invitation of a resident or owner to use the street. Such streets are not intended to be included in the secondary system of state highways maintained by the department.

"Privately maintained streets" means any public or private street that is not maintained by the department or the local governing body.

"Projected traffic" means the number of vehicles, normally expressed in average daily traffic (ADT), forecast to travel over the segment of the subdivision street involved.

"Public street" means a street dedicated to public use and available to the public's unrestricted use without regard to the jurisdictional authority responsible for its operation and maintenance.

"Requirements" means the design, construction, and related administrative considerations herein prescribed for the acceptance of a subdivision street for maintenance by the department as part of the secondary system of state highways.

"Resident engineer" means the department employee or employees designated by the district administrator to oversee the implementation of this regulation. In cities and towns that maintain and operate their own system of streets and elect to use the pavement and right-of-way width requirements of the Subdivision Street Design Guide (24VAC30-91-160) as a basis for street maintenance payments under the provisions of § 33.2-319 of the Code of Virginia, as well as the counties of Arlington and Henrico, the local official responsible for the review and approval of subdivision street design.

"Residential street" means a subdivision street adjacent to property that is anticipated to develop as single-family residences, apartment buildings, or other similar dwelling structures.

"Right-of-way" means the land, property, or interest therein, usually in a strip, acquired for or devoted to a public street designated to become part of the secondary system of state highways.

"Roadway" means the portion of the road or street within the limits of construction and all structures, ditches, channels, etc., necessary for the correct drainage thereof.

"Secondary system of state highways" means those public roads, streets, bridges, etc., established by a local governing body pursuant to § 33.2-705 of the Code of Virginia and subsequently accepted by the department for supervision and maintenance under the provisions of Article 3 (§ 33.2-324 et seq.) of Chapter 3 and Article 2 (§ 33.2-908 et seq.) of Chapter 9 of Title 33.2 of the Code of Virginia.

"Shared use path" means a facility, as defined in § 46.2-100 of the Code of Virginia, that is set apart from the travelway and intended to be used by pedestrians and bicyclists.

"Shopping center" means a building or buildings containing two or more stores that are used primarily for retail sales but may include commercial trade or professional uses.

"Single-family residence" means a structure, other than an apartment building, maintained and used as a single dwelling unit or any dwelling unit that has direct access to a street and shares neither heating facilities, hot water equipment, nor any other essential facility or service with any other dwelling unit.

"Specifications" means the department's Road and Bridge Specifications (24VAC30-91-160), including related supplemental specifications and special provisions.

"Standards" means the applicable drawings and related criteria contained in the department's Road and Bridge Standards (24VAC30-91-160).

"Subdivision" means the division of a lot, tract, or parcel into two or more lots, plats, sites, or other divisions of land for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of sale or of building development. Any resubdivision of a previously subdivided tract or parcel of land shall also be interpreted as a "subdivision." The division of a lot or parcel permitted by § 15.2-2244 of the Code of Virginia will not be considered a "subdivision" under this definition, provided no new road or street is thereby established. However, any further division of such parcels shall be considered a "subdivision."

"Subdivision street" means a public way for purposes of vehicular travel that results from the subdivision of land, including the entire area within the right-of-way. Public streets developed in accordance with these requirements and meeting the necessary public service provisions established herein shall be eligible for addition to the secondary system of state highways maintained by the department. Streets primarily intended to access property abutting or in the immediate vicinity of the street are deemed "local" subdivision streets.

"Subdivision Street Design Guide" means Appendix B of the Road Design Manual (24VAC30-91-160).

"Swale" means a broad depression within which stormwater may drain during inclement weather, but which does not have a defined bed or banks.

"Through street" means a street that provides access between two other streets.

"Traveled way" means the portion of the subdivision street designated for the movement of vehicles, exclusive of shoulders, parking areas, turn lanes, etc.

"VDOT" means the Virginia Department of Transportation.

"VPD" means vehicles per day.

"VPH" means vehicles per hour.

"Watercourse" means a definite channel with bed and banks within which water flows, either continuously or in season.

Statutory Authority

§§ 33.2-210, 33.2-241, 33.2-326, and 33.2-705 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 21, Issue 6, eff. January 1, 2005; Errata, 21:12 VA.R. 1776 February 21, 2005; amended, Virginia Register Volume 27, Issue 16, eff. May 11, 2011; Volume 31, Issue 7, eff. December 31, 2014.

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