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Chapter 19 - Land Use and Development

Division 1 – General Provisions

§ 19.5-1 Title; applicability.

These regulations adopted pursuant to § 15.2-2240 et seq. of the Code of Virginia, as amended, shall officially be known, cited, and referred to as the “Appomattox County Subdivision Ordinance” or “this chapter,” and the provisions thereof shall apply to all property within the County; hereinafter “these regulations.”

§ 19.5-2 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish subdivision standards and procedures for Appomattox County, Virginia. This chapter is to guide and facilitate the orderly, beneficial growth of the community by assuring the orderly subdivision of land and its development and to promote the public health, safety, convenience, comfort, prosperity, and general welfare.

§ 19.5-3 Authority.

Authority for Appomattox County to prepare and adopt this chapter is contained in Title 15.2, Chapter 22, Article 6 of the Code of Virginia, as amended. The Planning Commission of Appomattox County is vested with the authority to review, approve, conditionally approve, and disapprove applications for the subdivision of land, including sketch, preliminary, and final plats. The Planning Commission may delegate this authority to the Subdivision Agent.

§ 19.5-4 Word usage and definitions.

A. For the purpose of this chapter, terms used herein shall be interpreted and defined as follows: words used in the present tense shall include the future; words in the singular number include the plural, and the plural the singular, unless the natural construction of the word indicates otherwise; the word “shall” is mandatory and not directory; and the word “approve” shall be considered to be followed by the words “or disapprove.” All gender-oriented references shall include male and female genders. Any reference to this chapter includes all ordinances amending or supplementing the same and dates of their additions or deletions. All distances and areas refer to measurements in a horizontal plane.

B. As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:


The County Administrator or his/her designee.


See “developer.”


A person licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia to practice architecture.


A tract of land bounded by streets or by a combination of streets and public land, railroad rights-of-way, waterways, or any other barrier to the continuity of development.


The Board of Supervisors of Appomattox County, Virginia. The governing body.


The minimum distance from all lot lines as specified in Chapter 19.6, Zoning, of the Appomattox County Code within which the principal structure must be erected or placed.


The turnaround at the end of a cul-de-sac.


The Circuit Court of Appomattox County, Virginia.


Real property, and any incidents thereto or interest therein, having condominium instruments recorded pursuant to the provisions of the Code of Virginia, as amended. A condominium shall have the undivided interest in the common elements vested in the unit owners.


Appomattox County, Virginia.


A street with only one outlet and having a turnaround area.


An individual, corporation, trustee, joint venture, partnership, or other entity, having legal or equitable title to any tract or parcel of land to be developed, who or which submits a plan pursuant to this chapter.


(1) Any man-made change to improved or unimproved real estate, including but not limited to construction or alteration of buildings or other structures, the placement of mobile homes, streets or other paving, utilities, filling, grading, excavation, mining, dredging, or drilling operations.

(2) Any land divided into two or more parcels of land pursuant to this chapter.


Frontage of a lot upon two parallel streets or upon two streets which do not intersect at the boundaries of the lot.


An interest in land that is in the possession of another, permitting a limited use or enjoyment of the land in which the interest exists.


A person licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia as a professional engineer.


A single division of a lot or parcel for the purpose of sale or gift to a member of the immediate family of the property owner.


A person who is a natural or legally defined offspring, spouse, sibling, parent, grandparent, grandchild, niece, nephew, aunt, or uncle.


A flood that, on the average, is likely to occur once every 100 years, that has a one-percent chance of happening each year, although the flood may occur in any year.


An area, usually relatively flat or low laying, which adjoins a river, stream, or watercourse which is subject to partial or complete inundation, or an area subject to the unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source as determined by the FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM).


The designated area of the floodplain required to carry and discharge floodwaters of a given magnitude. For purposes of this chapter, the floodway shall be capable of accommodating a flood of the one-hundred-year magnitude.


The Board of Supervisors of Appomattox County, Virginia.


The Virginia Department of Health or its designated agent or representative.


See “property owners’ association.”


See “lot improvement” or “public improvement.”


A person certified by the Commonwealth of Virginia to practice landscape architecture.


A tract, plot, portion of a subdivision, or other parcel of land intended as a unit for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of transfer of ownership, or possession, or for development.


Any building, structure, place, work of art, or other object situated on a lot.


A lot whose existence, location and dimensions have been recorded in the office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court.


A panhandle- or flag-shaped lot with its widest point set back from the road at the rear of another lot (called the pipe), and having a thin strip of land connecting to the road to provide legal access and frontage (called the stem). Pipe stem lots are also referred to as “panhandle lots” or “flag lots.”


Any object, whether natural or man-made, that has been or is to be designated by deed, will, plat, or any official document for the purposes of defining a land boundary, either at a point of direction change or at any intermediate point along a line, either straight or circular, between points of direction change.


Durable monuments placed throughout a subdivision or along its boundary for the purpose of locating or relocating any other monument.


A metal pipe or rod or other monument used in general surveying practice, which can be located with a metal detector or is readily visible, which is placed at specific points along property and subdivision boundaries for the purpose of delineating these boundaries.


See “lot.”


The plan for the development of the County with accompanying map, plats, charts, and descriptive matter adopted by the governing body in accordance with the Code of Virginia, as amended.


An advisory body established by the Code of Virginia, as amended, to promote the orderly development of the locality and its environs. The Appomattox County Planning Commission.


The preliminary drawing(s) indicating the proposed manner or layout of a subdivision.


A schematic representation of a tract of land which is to be subdivided in compliance with this chapter.


An association or organization, whether or not incorporated, which operates under and pursuant to recorded covenants or deed restrictions, through which each owner of a portion of a subdivision, be it a lot parcel site, unit plot, condominium, or any other interest, is automatically a member as a condition of ownership and each such member is subject to a charge or assessment for a prorated share of expense of the association which may become a lien against a lot, parcel, unit, condominium, or other interest of the member.


Any drainage ditch, roadway, parkway, sidewalk, pedestrianway, tree, lawn, off-street parking area, lot improvement, or other facility for which the local government or its agencies may ultimately assume the responsibility for maintenance and operation or which may affect an improvement for which the local, state, or federal government responsibility is established.


A piece or parcel of land within a subdivision that does not meet the minimum requirements for the zoning district which it is in.


The redivision or alteration, including consolidation, of any lot within an existing subdivision.


Any lot in a residential subdivision which is adjacent to a public road that has been classified by the governing body or the Virginia Department of Transportation as a collector or arterial road and has its building front and its access on an internal local road.


Access over or across particularly described property for a specific purpose or purposes.


Any road, street, highway, or other means of vehicular access to a parcel of land not dedicated or intended for public use.


Any road, street, highway, or other means of vehicular access to a parcel of land dedicated or intended for public use.


The act or process of dividing land.


See “developer.”


Any change or rearrangement in the boundaries or division lines of any lot, parcel, piece, or tract of land or the division of such lot, parcel, piece, or tract of land into two or more parts, pieces, tracts of land or lots.


Any subdivision where the resulting lot or lots contain 20 or more acres.

[Amended 6-4-2007]


An alternative means of subdividing a tract premised on the concept of reducing lot size requirements for the provision of open space and/or land for public use within the development.


All subdivisions not classified as minor subdivisions, including but not limited to subdivisions, cumulative or individually, with five or more lots or involving the creation of one or more new streets to access the lots or the extension of any public water or sewer.


A subdivision containing, individually or cumulatively, not more than four lots nor involving the creation of one or more streets to access the lots nor involving the extension of any public water or sewer.


A subdivision whose intended use is other than residential, such as commercial or industrial.


A person licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia to survey land.

§ 19.5-5 Enforcement; violations and penalties.

A. General.

(1) It shall be the duty of the Subdivision Agent to enforce these regulations and to bring to the attention of the County Attorney or his designated agent any violations of these regulations.

(2) No owner, or agent of the owner, of any parcel of land located in a proposed subdivision shall transfer or sell any part of the parcel before a final plat of the subdivision has been approved by the Subdivision Agent in accordance with the provisions of these regulations and filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

(3) The subdivision of any lot or any parcel of land by the use of metes and bounds description for the purpose of sale, transfer, lease or development is prohibited.

(4) No building permit shall be issued for the construction of any building or structure located on a lot or plat either subdivided or sold in violation of these regulations, nor shall the County have any obligation to issue certificates of occupancy to any parcel created in violation of these regulations.

B. Violations and penalties. Any person who violates any of these regulations shall be subject to a fine of not more than $500 for each lot or parcel of land so subdivided or sold; such fine shall be pursuant to § 15.2-2254 of the Code of Virginia, as amended.

C. Civil enforcement. Appropriate actions and proceedings may be taken in law or in equity to prevent any violation of these regulations, to prevent unlawful construction, to recover damage, to restrain, correct, or abate a violation, and to prevent illegal occupancy of a building, structure or premises. These remedies shall be in addition to the penalties described above.

§ 19.5-6 Interpretation.

A. Interpretation. In their interpretation and application, the provisions of these regulations shall be held to be the minimum requirements for the promotion of the public health, safety, and general welfare. These regulations shall be construed broadly to promote the purposes for which they are adopted.

B. Public provisions. These regulations are not intended to interfere with, abrogate, or annul any other ordinance, rule or regulation, statute, or other provision of law except as provided in these regulations. Where any provision of these regulations imposes restrictions different from those imposed by any other provision of these regulations or any other ordinance, rules or regulations, or other provision of law, the provision which is more restrictive or imposes higher standards shall apply.

C. Private provisions. These regulations are not intended to abrogate any easement, covenant, or any other private agreement or restriction, provided that where the provisions of these regulations are more restrictive or impose higher standards or regulations than such easement, covenant, or other private agreement or restriction, the requirements of these regulations shall govern. Private provisions, restrictions, or covenants are not enforced by the County.

§ 19.5-7 Pending applications.

All applications for subdivision approval, including final plats, pending on the effective date of these regulations shall be reviewed under the regulations in effect at the time of plat submittal.

§ 19.5-8 Saving provision.

These regulations shall not be construed as abating any action now pending under, or by virtue of, prior existing subdivision regulations, or as discontinuing, abating, modifying, or altering any penalty accruing or about to accrue, or as affecting the liability of any person, firm, or corporation, or as waiving any right of the County under any section or provision existing at the time of adoption of these regulations, or as vacating or annulling any rights obtained by any person, firm, or corporation by lawful action of the County except as shall be expressly provided for in these regulations.


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