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Why Suburbia is going to hell #WTF!?!??!

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
Messages
4,853
Points
26
This is just amazingly stupid!!
After reading this article, I'm just shocked at the morronic distribution of the lots...

Just look at this image... one would wish it was a joke...


Now how exactly can you build a house in lot #4? Either you put it on front or pave the hell out of that passage to the hidden part of the lot... just mind numbingly stupid distribution....
 

SGB

Cyburbian
Messages
3,388
Points
26
SkeLeton said:
Now how exactly can you build a house in lot #4? Either you put it on front or pave the hell out of that passage to the hidden part of the lot... just mind numbingly stupid distribution....
Access easements!!!!

"Mommy, Mr. Smith is driving too fast across our front lawn again! I don't want him to hit Fido like he did last week."
 

NHPlanner

A shadow of my former self
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,945
Points
40
That kind of platting would never fly here....blatantly flies in the face of all our regulations and ordinances. I can only imagine the reaction from my Planning Board if anyone ever presented anything like that!
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
We frequently use "flag lots", but not to that extent. We would also look at variances in lot size or frontage to make a plan that works.

I am curious about servicing, are these lots to have on site or do they connect to municipal services? If they are all on site, what about any required separation distances between septic systems and wells on the property and on adjacent properties?

I'd also love to see a topo of the area to see why this works.

PG must have a comment / insight on this.
 

Big Easy King

Cyburbian
Messages
1,361
Points
23
I was the primary evaluator of new subdivsions for 4 years before my new capacity as a Project Planner in the private sector. Based on my experience, I can pretty much assure you that the subject subdivision would not be approved unless politics has the upperhand. Planderella can attest to that.
 

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
Messages
4,853
Points
26
I don't know if it'll work but I'll try to attach the image from mapserver...



If it doesn't work... either go to the link or enter the following coordinates: 38º 42' 52'' N / 77º 15' 19'' W :)

I bet nobody can even think that I want to be a geographer... :p
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,176
Points
51
I just don’t understand… They zig zag and are just all confusing. I can not comprehend the reasoning behind the top section. WHY???
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
Thanks skel, the link does not work, but I found it, here it is for others that are curious about the lay of the land.


 

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
7,415
Points
34
I think I might have shot the developer on-site! That is, by far, the stupidest subdivision I've ever seen! That guy definitely fell out of the stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down!
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
6,377
Points
29
Not the gov i work for thank god

that looks like one screwed up mess to me, perhaps they are also snubbing their nose and want some buffer to some less than...wanted use next door.

That would never have worked where i was last. Fairfax Co does some STRANGE things.
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
6,377
Points
29
Maybe some lame way to meet min lot area? hell if i know

someone call Fairfax Co planning and ASK
im not about to
 

SGB

Cyburbian
Messages
3,388
Points
26
Here's the part the just kills me:

"The proposal has been filed with Fairfax County and is undergoing staff review. Like many other unorthodox land plans, it appears to meet all county regulations, officials said. "
 

SGB

Cyburbian
Messages
3,388
Points
26
PlannerGirl said:
someone call Fairfax Co planning and ASK
From the Fairfax County Planning Department web site:
Planner of the Day: (703) 324-1380

Someone in or near that area code please call. Inquiring minds want to know WTF their code actually says to allow such, ummmm, creative platting.
 

Otis

Cyburbian
Messages
5,169
Points
29
PlannerGirl said:
Maybe some lame way to meet min lot area?


That's what it looks like to me. The houses apparently would be built near the cul-de-sac, but they would count the fluttering flags toward lot area.

But to go OT: This thing brought back some long buried memories. When I was in high school in NoVa we used to go out to "the humongous rock" on Hooes Road and do all sorts of high school kid stuff there, most of which involved substances and activities that were frowned upon for high school age kids. Not to mention ones that were going to be driving home soon.
 

martini

Cyburbian
Messages
678
Points
19
Ohmygod. I can't even imagine plotting that maze. If it gets approved the surveyors are gonna kill the developer. Or charge huge amounts to do it. I can't even imagine the balls it took to take this pos to the planning board! Sheesh!
 

Trail Nazi

Cyburbian
Messages
2,779
Points
24
Don't kill PG! She isn't with the County. I work for them, but in Parks. And I do review the plans and think it is crap! They love flag lots here.

All right, we all know that this plan is stupid but let me tell you this is not the only subdivision with such lots in Fairfax County. They have done other subdivisions like this but not so badly. This case is a straight zoning case (so the Planning dept sees it, but it will be engineers who approve it because it is in accordance with their performance measures), so in order to meet their road frontage requirements, they can build crap like this. If it does not get approved it is because the press has picked up on it.

I would go off on a longer tangent about the STUPID THINGS that the County does, such as a comp plan that has extremely parcel specific requirements, but I have gone off on this with my co-workers and my past co-workers in Florida. I almost started a thread about planners moving from a different state to another, but my complaints would have been too long. I know PG would probably agree.
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
Could you imagine the fencing costs of these lots? ;)

You know... we could have fun with this! For example... just think of all the awful things you could put in the compost bin in your back yard if you were on Lot 1 or 2! That stinky bin will be three houses away! Don't want to look at an awful shed in your back yard? No problem, your neighbour's house blocks it. Is there a hot chick that hangs out by the pool in Lot 4 all day long? Well you can spy from your new wrap-around back yard on Lot 3.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
On the minimum lot size part of the equationI am ok, but am confused by the minimum lot frontage requirements.

In our By-law, we specifically define what property line abutting a road / public street is to be used for frontage, you can't add up all of the portions that touch a street to get your frintage. Are we the only ones that do this, or is it common to say that road frontage is all of the pieces that touch the road?

Hope that makes sense, that plan is making my eyes and brain go crossed.

On the fun with neighbours side of things, i see a racing pigeon coop going up, that could really PO the neighbours.

I think if we had to approve this plan, the likelihood of favourable recomendations for variances related to theplacement of structures from staff would be nil.
 

Otis

Cyburbian
Messages
5,169
Points
29
Trail Nazi said:
Don't kill PG! She isn't with the County. I work for them, but in Parks.
Is it still the park authority or did the county gobble them up and make it a department? I used to work at Burke Lake. Mostly selling worms, but I did work on building the golf course and the the trail around the lake.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,710
Points
69
Doesn't Fairfax County have PUD provisions in their zoning regulations? If so, why aren't they used to avoid configurations like this?
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,623
Points
34
Yeah why dont they pull out their PUD and settle it like men.
 

Trail Nazi

Cyburbian
Messages
2,779
Points
24
Dan said:
Doesn't Fairfax County have PUD provisions in their zoning regulations? If so, why aren't they used to avoid configurations like this?
Two words, Dillon Rule. Stupid people. Develop by right. They may have a good planning school in the state, but they obviously never examined Fairfax.

BTW, the Park Authority is still a seperate entity. Burke Lake is a great park.
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
6,377
Points
29
Va has the most frelled up planning I have ever had the misfortune to come across. The planners dont give a crap at least the ones I have met and I have never encountered NIMBYs as strong as these folks. Dillons rule SUCKS HINNY.

This place makes me want out of planning in a very serious way.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,623
Points
34
I sense a new thread or a split coming on - I thought Dillon rule was different.

My understanding:

There are 2 types of States in the USA: Dillon Rule and Home Rule. In Dillon Rule States (mostly those chartered by the King of England), municipalities have no power unless specifically enabled by the State.

In Home Rule States (those chartered after independence) muncipalities have power unless specifically regualted by the State.

What pieces am I missing?
 

SGB

Cyburbian
Messages
3,388
Points
26
Chet & TN -

Thanks for the info on Dillon Rule states.

I guess I've been working in a home rule state (New York) for too long; I'd forgotten their were other state/muni legislative relationships!
 

NHPlanner

A shadow of my former self
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,945
Points
40
Dillons rule is not to blame.....blame an inefective state legislature for not providing municipalities the tools they need.

NH is not a home rule state, but our Planning & Zoning Statutes give us great flexibility and options for dealing with growth...for example:

674:21 Innovative Land Use Controls. –
I. Innovative land use controls may include, but are not limited to:
(a) Timing incentives.
(b) Phased development.
(c) Intensity and use incentive.
(d) Transfer of development rights.
(e) Planned unit development.
(f) Cluster development.
(g) Impact zoning.
(h) Performance standards.
(i) Flexible and discretionary zoning.
(j) Environmental characteristics zoning.
(k) Inclusionary zoning.
(l) Accessory dwelling unit standards.
(m) Impact fees.
(n) Village plan alternative subdivision.
II. An innovative land use control adopted under RSA 674:16 shall contain within it the standards which shall guide the person or board which administers the ordinance. An innovative land use control ordinance may provide for administration, including the granting of conditional or special use permits, by the planning board, board of selectmen, zoning board of adjustment, or such other person or board as the ordinance may designate. If the administration of the innovative provisions of the ordinance is not vested in the planning board, any proposal submitted under this section shall be reviewed by the planning board prior to final consideration by the administrator. In such a case, the planning board shall set forth its comments on the proposal in writing and the administrator shall, to the extent that the planning board's comments are not directly incorporated into its decision, set forth its findings and decisions on the planning board's comments.
III. Innovative land use controls must be adopted in accordance with RSA 675:1, II.
IV. As used in this section:
(a) "Inclusionary zoning'' means land use control regulations which provide a voluntary incentive or benefit to a property owner in order to induce the property owner to produce housing units which are affordable to persons or families of low and moderate income. Inclusionary zoning includes, but is not limited to, density bonuses, growth control exemptions, and a streamlined application process.
(b) "Accessory dwelling unit'' means a second dwelling unit, attached or detached, which is permitted by a land use control regulation to be located on the same lot, plat, site, or other division of land as the permitted principal dwelling unit.
V. As used in this section "impact fee'' means a fee or assessment imposed upon development, including subdivision, building construction or other land use change, in order to help meet the needs occasioned by that development for the construction or improvement of capital facilities owned or operated by the municipality, including and limited to water treatment and distribution facilities; wastewater treatment and disposal facilities; sanitary sewers; storm water, drainage and flood control facilities; public road systems and rights-of-way; municipal office facilities; public school facilities; the municipality's proportional share of capital facilities of a cooperative or regional school district of which the municipality is a member; public safety facilities; solid waste collection, transfer, recycling, processing and disposal facilities; public library facilities; and public recreational facilities not including public open space. No later than July 1, 1993, all impact fee ordinances shall be subject to the following:
(a) The amount of any such fee shall be a proportional share of municipal capital improvement costs which is reasonably related to the capital needs created by the development, and to the benefits accruing to the development from the capital improvements financed by the fee. Upgrading of existing facilities and infrastructures, the need for which is not created by new development, shall not be paid for by impact fees.
(b) In order for a municipality to adopt an impact fee ordinance, it must have enacted a capital improvements program pursuant to RSA 674:5-7.
(c) Any impact fee shall be accounted for separately, shall be segregated from the municipality's general fund, may be spent upon order of the municipal governing body, shall be exempt from all provisions of RSA 32 relative to limitation and expenditure of town moneys, and shall be used solely for the capital improvements for which it was collected, or to recoup the cost of capital improvements made in anticipation of the needs which the fee was collected to meet.
(d) All impact fees imposed pursuant to this section shall be assessed prior to, or as a condition for, the issuance of a building permit or other appropriate permission to proceed with development. In the interim between assessment and collection, municipalities may require developers to post bonds, issue letters of credit, accept liens, or otherwise provide suitable measures of security so as to guarantee future payment of assessed impact fees. Impact fees shall normally be collected as a condition for the issuance of a certificate of occupancy. The above notwithstanding, in projects where off-site improvements are to be constructed simultaneously with a project's development, and where a municipality has appropriated the necessary funds to cover such portions of the work for which it will be responsible, that municipality may advance the time of collection of the impact fee to the issuance of a building permit. Nothing in this subparagraph shall prevent the municipality and the assessed party from establishing an alternate, mutually acceptable schedule of payment.
(e) The ordinance shall establish reasonable times after which any portion of an impact fee which has not become encumbered or otherwise legally bound to be spent for the purpose for which it was collected shall be refunded, with any accrued interest. Whenever the calculation of an impact fee has been predicated upon some portion of capital improvement costs being borne by the municipality, a refund shall be made upon the failure of the legislative body to appropriate the municipality's share of the capital improvement costs within a reasonable time. The maximum time which shall be considered reasonable hereunder shall be 6 years.
(f) Unless otherwise specified in the ordinance, any decision under an impact fee ordinance may be appealed in the same manner provided by statute for appeals from the officer or board making that decision, as set forth in RSA 676:5, RSA 677:2-14, or RSA 677:15, respectively.
(g) The ordinance may also provide for a waiver process, including the criteria for the granting of such a waiver.
(h) The adoption of a growth management limitation or moratorium by a municipality shall not affect any development with respect to which an impact fee has been paid or assessed as part of the approval for that development.
(i) Neither the adoption of an impact fee ordinance, nor the failure to adopt such an ordinance, shall be deemed to affect existing authority of a planning board over subdivision or site plan review, except to the extent expressly stated in such an ordinance.
VI. (a) In this section, "village plan alternative'' means an optional land use control and subdivision regulation to provide a means of promoting a more efficient and cost effective method of land development. The village plan alternative's purpose is to encourage the preservation of open space wherever possible. The village plan alternative subdivision is meant to encourage beneficial consolidation of land development to permit the efficient layout of less costly to maintain roads, utilities, and other public and private infrastructures; to improve the ability of political subdivisions to provide more rapid and efficient delivery of public safety and school transportation services as community growth occurs; and finally, to provide owners of private property with a method for realizing the inherent development value of their real property in a manner conducive to the creation of substantial benefit to the environment and to the political subdivision's property tax base.
(b) An owner of record wishing to utilize the village plan alternative in the subdivision and development of a parcel of land, by locating the entire density permitted by the existing land use regulations of the political subdivision within which the property is located, on 20 percent or less of the entire parcel available for development, shall provide to the political subdivision within which the property is located, as a condition of approval, a recorded easement reserving the remaining land area of the entire, original lot, solely for agriculture, forestry, and conservation, or for public recreation. The recorded easement shall limit any new construction on the remainder lot to structures associated with farming operations, forest management operations, and conservation uses. Public recreational uses shall be subject to the written approval of those abutters whose property lies within the village plan alternative subdivision portion of the project at the time when such a public use is proposed.
(c) The village plan alternative shall permit the developer or owner to have an expedited subdivision application and approval process wherever land use and subdivision regulations may apply. The submission and approval procedure for a village plan alternative subdivision shall be the same as that for a conventional subdivision. Existing zoning and subdivision regulations relating to emergency access, fire prevention, and public health and safety concerns including any setback requirement for wells, septic systems, or wetland requirement imposed by the department of environmental services shall apply to the developed portion of a village plan alternative subdivision, but lot size regulations and dimensional requirements having to do with frontage and setbacks measured from all new property lot lines, and lot size regulations, as well as density regulations, shall not apply. The total density of development within a village plan alternate subdivision shall not exceed the total potential development density permitted a conventional subdivision of the entire original lot unless provisions contained within the political subdivision's land use regulations provide a basis for increasing the permitted density of development within a village plan alternative subdivision. In no case shall a political subdivision impose lesser density requirements upon a village plan alternative subdivision than the density requirements imposed on a conventional subdivision.
(d) Within a village plan alternative subdivision, the exterior wall construction of buildings shall meet or exceed the requirements for fire-rated construction described by the fire prevention and building codes being enforced by the state of New Hampshire at the date and time the property owner of record files a formal application for subdivision approval with the political subdivision having jurisdiction of the project. Exterior walls and openings of new buildings shall also conform to fire protective provisions of all other building codes in force in the political subdivision. Wherever building code or fire prevention code requirements for exterior wall construction appear to be in conflict, the more stringent building or fire prevention code requirements shall apply.
(e) If the total area of a proposed village plan alternative subdivision including all roadways and improvements does not exceed 20 percent of the total land area of the undeveloped lot, and if the proposed subdivision incorporates the total sum of all proposed development as permitted by local regulation on the undeveloped lot, all existing and future dimensional requirements imposed by local regulation, including lot size, shall not apply to the development.
Source. 1983, 447:1. 1988, 149:1, 2. 1991, 283:1, 2. 1992, 42:1. 1994, 278:1, eff. Aug. 5, 1994. 2002, 236:1, 2, eff. July 16, 2002.
 
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