New Subdivision Design Standards
Santa Rosa County, in a collaborative effort between the Engineering Department, the Division of Community Planning, Zoning, and Development and a volunteer Subdivision Design Workgroup consisting of local design professionals, contractors and developers, has developed new design standards for subdivision development in the County. These standards establish design criteria for new subdivisions in order to help curb speeding and high traffic volume problems which have become a common complaint for citizens of the County.
The following is an overview of the changes:
- A road hierarchy based on traffic volumes is established. Using this road hierarchy, the appropriate road types for a new subdivision will be determined by the projected traffic volumes on the proposed roads.
- Sidewalks and bike lanes will be required along certain roadway classifications and within 1/4 mile of an existing or planned school site.
- Traffic calming elements will be required in the design of proposed subdivision streets in certain circumstances.
- The minimum two-way road width has been increased by 2 feet (to 24 feet, excluding curbing) to better accommodate on-street parking.
- To encourage better design, the minimum lot size requirement for new platted subdivisions in R-1 and higher density zoning districts has been eliminated.
Importance of Community Involvement
Through the Workgroup process, the County was able to develop effective, clear and meaningful regulation that was guided and embraced by the development community. This process was a testament to the value and effectiveness of collaboration with the community in the development or modification of regulations.
A minor subdivision, as defined by the Santa Rosa County Land Development Code (LDC), is "any division of one parcel of land into two or more parcels in which all parcels have adequate existing county-maintained or county-approved street frontage as specified by the existing zoning district of the parcel and require no new streets or change in existing public streets." Minor subdivisions cannot occur along County rights-of-way where the actual roadway has not been constructed and accepted for maintenance by the County. County-approved streets are either:
- Private roads that were approved through the platting process, or
- Private roads that existed prior to April 24, 1986, and are shown and named on the County's original zoning maps
LDC Section 4.03.13(B) requires that minor subdivisions comply with the existing zoning district standards, but it exempts these land divisions from the platting requirements of the Code. However, as of September 16, 2006, minor subdivisions must be approved by the Community Planning, Zoning, and Development Division prior to the division of land if any of the following criteria are met:
- If the property being divided is located on an Access Management corridor;
- If the property being divided is located in a Military or Public Airport Zone;
- If the property being divided is located in the Garcon Point Protection Area;
- If the property being divided is located in an identified storm water problem area and the resultant lots or parcels are less than 1 acre in size.