VACo opposes bill that makes preliminary subdivision plats optional

February 21, 2014

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Friday, February 21, 2014

VACo opposes bill that makes preliminary subdivision plats optional
Contact Senate Local Government Committee Members to raise concerns and suggest amendments

ACTION
HB 209 (Marshall, D.W.) makes preliminary subdivision plats optional for developers with projects that contain 50 or fewer lots. The bill will allow a large portion of the development in the Commonwealth to skip this important preliminary process. Reducing the threshold from 50 to 10 is a sensible amendment to the proposed legislation.

Please call Senate Local Government Committee Members and ask them to oppose or offer amendments that limit the scope of HB 209. The bill is scheduled to be considered by the committee on Tuesday, February 25.

THE ISSUE
HB 209 eliminates the authority of localities to require a land development applicant to submit a preliminary subdivision plat for tentative approval if the project includes less than 50 lots. This bill is a priority for the Homebuilders Association of Virginia, whose membership wants to eliminate local authority to require a preliminary plat for developments of less than 50 lots, thus going straight to final plat submission.

In many parts of the state most or all development projects are less than 50 lots. The preliminary plat process is intended to help developers and localities work out the basic design issues of roads, utilities, storm drainage and lot layout to prevent rework during the more expensive process of final subdivision plat review.

TALKING POINTS

• Applying the 50 lot or fewer threshold to all localities regardless of their population, growth pattern and development situation is inappropriate and will effectively make the preliminary plat review process optional for development in a majority of the Commonwealth. Reducing the threshold from 50 to 10 is a sensible amendment to the proposed legislation.

• Localities utilize the preliminary plat review to assist developers in navigating through federal, state and local requirements. The process allows developers and localities to work out design issues to the satisfaction of both the developer and the community.

• Making the preliminary plat review optional will encourage some developers to skip this process and risk reworking expensive engineering and other costs required as part of the final subdivision plat.

KEY CONTACTS
Senate Local Government Committee:
Marsden (Chairman), Marsh, Lucas, Martin, Hanger, Ruff, Locke, Smith, Stanley, Miller, Vogel, McWaters, Reeves, Garrett, Lewis

VACo Contact: Erik Johnston

 

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