Item Title: Public Hearing on Ordinance Amendment OA 04/05 to Amend the Wake County Subdivision Ordinance to Change the Manner in Which Cul de Sac Length is Measured
Specific Action Requested:
That the Board of Commissioners hold a public hearing and approve the requested ordinance amendment as presented.
The Planning Board has received, and approved, 31 requests for variances from the Subdivision Ordinance’s maximum allowable cul de sac length (Section 3-4-8 (D) (9) between January 2003 and April 2004 (16 months). The Planning Board has not declined any variance requests of this nature because all such applications were found to comply with the required variance justification provisions.
Typically, such a large number of variances from one specific ordinance section (e.g.—cul de sac length) indicates that the regulation is not a good fit with the development patterns that are occurring within the community. Several of the situations where variances have been granted by the Planning Board were cases where the subdivider was proposing to make only a relatively minor road extension that, by itself, did not exceed the cul de sac length limitation. The necessary variance resulted from their site being at the end of a lengthy existing road system that had complied with the County’s interconnectivity requirements, but now cannot be extended any further because they are effectively blocked by floodplains, wetlands, water quality buffers or other environmental constraints.
Currently, the Subdivision Ordinance measures the length of a cul de sac street from the center of the cul de sac bulb back to the midpoint of the closest intersection with a through street. For the purposes of this section, a through street is interpreted as a street that does not end in a dead end (e.g.—a cul de sac or a T-turnaround). Changing the manner in which the length of a cul de sac is measured will eliminate many of the variance requests. The proposed ordinance amendment would measure the length of the cul de sac from the midpoint of the cul de sac bulb to the midpoint of the closest intersecting street, whether or not that street is a through street.
Planning Staff Findings:
The proposed amendment is desirable because it would:
Planning Staff Recommendation:
That the Board of Commissioners hold a public hearing and approve the proposed ordinance amendment as presented.
Planning Board Recommendation:
The Planning Board recommended at their August 4, 2004 meeting, by a vote of 9 to 0, that the Board of Commissioners approve the proposed ordinance amendment as presented.