Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 24. Transportation And Motor Vehicles
Agency 30. Department of Transportation
Chapter 92. Secondary Street Acceptance Requirements

24VAC30-92-130. Right-of-way width, spite strips, and encroachments.

A. Right-of-way width. A clear and unencumbered right-of-way shall be dedicated to public use for any street proposed for addition to the secondary system of state highways maintained by the department. However, in certain rare extenuating circumstances involving a party beyond the influence of the developer, an easement for transportation purposes may be approved by the district administrator's designee in lieu of dedicated right-of-way. In all other cases, any easement that might interfere with the public's unencumbered use of the street shall be quitclaimed in exchange for a land use permit as outlined in 24VAC30-92-120 M 5.

The width of right-of-way shall be as indicated in the Subdivision Street Design Guide (Appendix B (1) of the Road Design Manual, 2011 (VDOT)) and the Road Design Manual, 2011 (VDOT) and shall be sufficient to include all essential elements of the roadway intended to be maintained by the department, including pedestrian, multiuse trail, bicycle, or shared use path facilities and clear zone. However, supplemental easements may be used to accommodate sight distance requirements and slopes for cuts and fills. The right-of-way requirements are defined in the Subdivision Street Design Guide (Appendix B (1) of the Road Design Manual, 2011 (VDOT)) and the Road Design Manual, 2011 (VDOT).

When an existing state maintained road is widened, the additional right-of-way should be dedicated as follows:

1. If the existing right-of-way consists of a prescriptive easement, to the degree that the developer controls the land, the right-of-way shall be dedicated to public use from the centerline of the alignment.

2. If the existing right-of-way is dedicated to public use, the additional right-of-way shall be dedicated to public use.

3. If the existing right-of-way is titled in the name of the department or the Commonwealth, the additional right-of-way shall be deeded to the department or to the Commonwealth, consistent with the title of the existing right-of-way.

B. "Spite strips." Plans that include a reserved or "spite" strip that prohibits otherwise lawful vehicular access to a street from the adjacent properties, whether within or outside the subdivision or development, will not be approved.

C. Encroachments within the right-of-way. Recording of a plat causes the fee title interest of areas dedicated to public use to transfer to the local governing body. Therefore, objects installed within the right-of-way for purposes other than transportation may be considered an unlawful encroachment in the right-of-way and prevent the right-of-way from being considered clear and unencumbered.

Posts, walls, signs, or similar ornamental devices that do not interfere with roadway capacity, encroach into a clear zone, or interfere with prescribed sight distance requirements, or are not in conflict with Chapter 12 (§ 33.2-1200 et seq.) of Title 33.2 of the Code of Virginia may be permitted within the right-of-way. However, specific authorization by the district administrator's designee or as authorized under the Land Use Permit Regulations (24VAC30-151) is a requisite for these devices or any other encroachment located within the right-of-way. For the purposes of this subsection, mailboxes installed on breakaway posts may occupy the right-of-way without permit. Otherwise, encroachments that do not fall within the clear zone may be allowed within the right-of-way pursuant to a land use permit issued by the district administrator's designee.

Statutory Authority

§§ 33.2-210 and 33.2-334 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 25, Issue 15, eff. March 9, 2009; amended, Virginia Register Volume 27, Issue 16, eff. May 11, 2011; Volume 28, Issue 8, eff. December 31, 2011; Volume 31, Issue 7, eff. December 31, 2014.

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