There is a provision in our subdivision ordinance for something called an “exempt rural subdivision”. Essentially this allows a property owner to divide a parcel into 10 or fewer lots which must be at least one acre in size. The only provisions required for approval include a 45 wide right of way or easement, provisions for legal access to all lots, provisions for upkeep and maintenance of the right of way, and a statement that road maintenance is not the responsibility of the County or the DOT. The resultant lots may not be further subdivided, and may only be used for a single residential structure. The section states “The intent of the exempt rural subdivision is to provide for special situations in the areas of the County”, I am still uncertain as to what these special situations may be. This provision does not require any of the standard subdivision practices, such as utility requirements or paved streets. This does require planning board review, but the requirements for approval are very limited.
My concern is that the provisions of the upkeep and maintenance of the right of way will simply state that property owners are responsible for road maintenance. We have several similar subdivisions, and road maintenance is an enormous issue for which we really have no recourse. All resultant lots will rely on septic systems for wastewater disposal, however there is no requirement that these lots need to be reviewed for a system prior to approval. There is the slight potential that some of these resultant lots may not be able to utilize a system. Phase 1 of this development, which was again an “exempt” subdivision under a different provision, required improvement permits, several of which were denied.
To sum up this extremely long question, do any of you have a similar provision? If so, what would approval require? Have any of you seen anything similar?