Section 6.200 - General Requirements
The following statements provide general requirements and policies to be used in the design, review, and approval of any subdivision under the jurisdiction of this ordinance. Questions of interpretation of any of these provisions should be discussed with the Planning Director or Designated Administrative Agent at the earliest possible time in the development of a subdivision proposal. (See Section 4.000 for appeal process).
1. Consistency with adopted public plans and policies.
All subdivision of land approved under these regulations should be consistent with the most recently adopted public plans and policies for the area in which it is located. This includes general policy regarding development objectives for the area as well as specific policy or plans for public facilities such as streets, parks and open space, schools, and other similar facilities. Plans and policies for the community are on file in the offices of the Town of Huntersville.
All proposed subdivisions shall be planned so as to facilitate the most advantageous development of the entire neighboring area. In areas with established and/or approved development, new subdivisions shall be planned to protect and enhance the stability, environment, health, and character of neighboring areas. The geometry of streets and intersections and the location of street connections will be assessed to minimize the detrimental effects of high volume, high speed neighborhood through traffic. This assessment will consider the location of large-scale traffic generating uses as well as the adopted thoroughfare plan and the Land Development Plan. Proposed subdivisions shall not endanger the public health and safety of the community, Further, orientation of principal structures shall avoid backing-up to public streets because of lack of privacy and inappropriate relationship to the public realm. Use of single-loaded streets or providing large expanses of open space where principal structures are visually buffered from the road may be appropriate in circumstances where new such structures should not front on the existing public street The Board of Commissioners may allow a deviation to the orientation due to topography issues or existing vegetation visually buffering structures from the public street.
3. Access Between Adjoining Properties.
To the extent practicable, all streets shall connect to create a comprehensive network of public areas which allows free movement of automobiles, bicyclists, and pedestrians. The purposes, hierarchy, and design standards for Town Streets, as further described in Article 5 of the Huntersville Zoning Ordinance, shall be met.
4. Relation to topography.
In sloping terrain, streets will generally parallel the contours of the land insofar as practicable, to avoid steep grades and the concentration of surface storm water runoff. Variations are allowed to meet design objectives for the development and/or to calm vehicular speeds.
5. Mature trees and natural vegetation.
Streets and development sites shall be designed to protect and preserve, to the greatest extent practicable, stands of mature trees and other areas of significant natural vegetation. Minor adjustment of street alignment on the ground is permitted to achieve this objective, so long as standard drainage requirements continue to be met and the actual location of the street on the ground is reflected on the final plat or an amended final plat.
6. Access to parks, schools, etc.
Streets and sidewalks shall be designed to assure convenient access to parks, greenways, playgrounds, schools, and other places of public assembly. Supplemental walkways not associated with streets may not be less than 10 feet in width and may be required to be large enough to provide vehicular access for maintenance vehicles.
7. Discourage through traffic.
Methods to discourage high volume, high speed through traffic should consider street geometry, intersection design, and other traffic calming measures.
8. Relationship to railroad rights-of-way.
When a subdivision adjoins a railroad right-of-way the subdivider may be required to arrange the street pattern to provide for future grade separation of street and railroad crossings.
9. Half streets.
Whenever an existing half street is adjacent to a tract of land to be subdivided the other half of the street should be platted within such tract. New half streets are prohibited except when essential to the reasonable development of the subdivision in conformity with the other requirements of these regulations, and where it will be practicable to require the dedication of the other half when the adjoining property is subdivided.
10. Parallel streets along thoroughfares.
Where a tract of land to be subdivided adjoins a federal or state highway or a major arterial street, the subdivider may be required to provide a marginal access street parallel to the highway.
11. Public School and Public Park Sites.
The subdivider shall determine if the tract of land to be subdivided appears in any adopted plan or policy document as a future public school, public park, greenway, or open space site by contacting the appropriate agency. The subdivider shall provide certification to the Planning Director or Designated Administrative Agent to indicate whether or not the area proposed to be subdivided includes any identified future public school or public park site. If no certification is provided, the Planning Director or Designee shall make the determination by contacting the appropriate agencies. If such site(s) are included in the area to be subdivided, the Planning Director or Designee will notify the appropriate agency of the proposed subdivision and its effect on the future public site. The appropriate agency must decide within 30 days if it wishes to reserve the site for future acquisition. If the site is not to be reserved, then the subdivision will be processed in the normal fashion. If the agency does wish to reserve the site, then the subdivision will not be approved without such reservation. The appropriate agency will have 18 months from the date of preliminary plan approval to acquire the site by purchase, receipt of a dedication or by initiating condemnation proceedings. If, at the end of the 18-month period, none of the actions listed above have commenced, the subdivider may consider the land free of any reservation. The subdivider may choose to dedicate the area to be reserved.
12. Public Facilities.
When a tract of land that appears in any adopted plan or policy document as a future site for any community service facility, including but not limited to police and fire stations, libraries, public housing, and other public uses, falls within an area proposed to be subdivided, the Planning Director or Designated Administrative Agent will notify the appropriate agency of the proposed subdivision and its affect on the future public site. The appropriate agency must decide within 30 days if it wishes to reserve the site for future acquisition. If the site is not to be reserved, then the subdivision will be processed in the normal fashion. If the agency does wish to reserve the site, then the subdivision will not be approved without such reservation. The appropriate agency will have 18 months from the date of preliminary plan approval to acquire the site by purchase, receipt of a dedication or by initiating condemnation proceedings. If, at the end of the 18-month period, none of the actions listed above have commenced the subdivider may consider the land free of any reservation. The subdivider may choose to dedicate the area to be reserved.
13. Proposed street names.
Proposed street names shall be coordinated with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission staff, Town Engineering Department, other or designee.
Easements established to the width and in the locations required by the Consulting Engineer, Utility Department, or Town Engineering Department, should be provided for open or piped storm drainage, sanitary sewers, water lines, and other utilities. This requirement applies to such lines installed at the time of the development of the subdivision, and to easements for such lines which may reasonably be expected to be installed in the future.
15. Proposed water and sewerage system.
At the sketch plan stage, the subdivision plan shall contain information as to the availability and method of providing potable water and a system of sanitary sewage collection and disposal. The preliminary subdivision plan must be accompanied by satisfactory evidence as to the proposed method of providing potable water and a system of sanitary sewage collection and disposal.
(a) Where, at the time of preliminary plan approval, these systems are to be a part of the public water and sanitary sewerage system owned and operated by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utility Department, the preliminary subdivision plan shall be accompanied by a complete set of construction plans for the proposed systems, prepared by a registered engineer, which shall be required to meet the standards established by said utility owner/operator for connection to the system upon completion and dedication.
(b) Where, at the time of preliminary plan approval, the proposed systems to serve more than one structure do not contemplate the use of facilities owned and operated by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utility Department, the proposed systems must be reviewed and approved by the agency or agencies with jurisdiction over the approval. This shall also include, but not be limited to, review and approval by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utility Department to establish that construction plans meet public utility standards for adequacy and compatibility with the public system(s) in order to provide for the future orderly development of the town. Whether the proposed system serves one structure or more than one structure the developer must provide evidence prior to preliminary plan approval of the required discharge permit or a perk test for sewage disposal on each lot, whichever is applicable. Where lots are to be served by septic tank systems, the preliminary plan and the final plat shall clearly label any lots which do not perk and for which a building permit shall not be issued until alternate sewage disposal methods are available to such lots. Prior to final plat approval, evidence must be provided that both the sewage and water system designs have been approved for construction. Prior to the issuance of any certificate of occupancy for any structure, evidence must be provided that both the water and sewer systems have been approved and are operational for the structures in question.
Where local standards exceed those of State or Federal agencies and where those standards may be enforced over those of State or Federal agencies, then the Department of Environmental Protection will coordinate all reviews for such standards. However, the approval of the proposed systems remains with the responsible agency or agencies, which may include the Department of Environmental Protection.
16. Restrictions on the subdivision of land subject to flooding.
Lots that are subject to flooding should not be established in subdivisions except as provided in Section 7.280.
Neighborhood Parks: Dedication of Land or Fees in Lieu of Dedication of Land.
18. Open Space.
Open space, where required, shall be consistent with the standards establishes in Article 7 of the Huntersville Zoning Ordinance.
19. Impact of Development on Public Facilities.
When reviewing certain subdivisions, the town shall consider the impacts the proposed development will have on public facilities in light of the requirements of Section 6.300(13) and Article 13 and Article 14 of the Town Zoning Ordinance, as applicable. The developer shall demonstrate the proposed subdivision does not adversely affect the health, safety and welfare of the community, and where applicable, the developer may provide mitigation measures to minimize adverse impacts. Examples of mitigation measures include altering development layout and plans, providing improvements at nearby intersections to address impacts of that development (not existing deficiencies), and providing street connections to adjoining property for safe and efficient movement of traffic, as further provided in Section 6.300(13) and Articles 13 and 14 of the Zoning Ordinance.