Land Use: VDOT Update

April 27, 2009

Recent changes to Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) regulations will affect many ongoing and future developments. This update briefly summarizes the changes, but, of course, application of the new regulations will vary from project to project. In an already challenging market, new regulations seem like yet another hurdle, but they are also a reminder of the many opportunities during slow times to position your project for improved market conditions. As always, we are happy to discuss with you how these changes may affect planned or developing projects.

New Access Management Regulations

Access Management is an attempt to improve the safety and performance of the existing road network by managing the location, number, spacing, and design of access points. In some cases, new regulations will greatly alter access to parcels, requiring inter-parcel connections and/or rear access roads.

Secondary Street Acceptance Requirements (formerly Subdivision Street Requirements)

Under the new acceptance requirements, VDOT has imposed greater requirements for connectivity within and among developments, favoring interconnections over cul de sacs. More pedestrian facilities and narrower streets are also part of the new requirements. Moreover, new legislation requires resolution of any permits and financial obligations before acceptance of streets into the state system.

Chapter 527

Chapter 527 now applies across the state. These requirements are intended to further align local land use planning with state transportation planning. VDOT is given the opportunity to comment on a variety of local land use decisions such as zoning and comprehensive plan changes. Calculations for the related traffic impact analysis studies (TIAs) may be more complex (and costly).

A complete summary of these developments is available online. For more information on these regulations and opportunities for positioning your projects, please contact members of our Land Use team.