Article III - Subdivision Regulations
Subpart B. Regulations Applicable to All Subdivision Types and Subtypes
Road Frontage and Existing Off-Site Access
Tracts to be subdivided must have a minimum of: (1) 30 feet of frontage on an existing public road, or (2) private
rights-of-way no less than 30 feet in width to a public road. Applicants shall have the burden to prove private right-
of-way and existing off-site access is legal, permissible and permanent (evidence may include property deed, title
search, recorded plat, or other documentation provided by the applicant).
Where the minimum frontage and off-site access requirements cannot be met the maximum number of lots
into which a tract may be divided shall be no more than one (1) lot per acre.
Where the minimum road frontage and existing off-site access requirements can be met but the grade of the
road at any point in the existing off-site access exceeds 18 percent (paved) or 15 percent (gravel), and the applicant
is proposing more than five (5) lots, the approving agency will review the application on a case-by-case basis.
New subdivision lots shall:
Abut on an approved road or driveway easement (See §42-104, Residential Private Road Standards by
Be no narrower than 30 feet in width where abutting the right-of-way or for purposes of the driveway
Be calculated excluding road right-of-way to determine size;
Be of a size, width, depth, shape and orientation reasonable for the type of development;
Where possible, have side lot lines at right angles or radial to the roads faced; and
Not be designed as flag lots except where approval may be obtained from the reviewing agency for unusual
circumstances(including severe topographic conditions, the presence of unique natural areas, preservation
of working agricultural lands, or other limiting site conditions).
Certificate of Understanding
The certificate shall:
Be signed by the property owner(s) and provided at the time of subdivision application submittal:
Acknowledge that all lots created from a parent tract will count toward the total number of lots permitted
under density regulations.
Acknowledge that upgrading existing improvements (including roads) may be necessary in order to
Subdivision Names and Name Signs
The name of a subdivision shall not be substantially identical or similar as to likely cause confusion among
prospective purchasers to any other subdivision or named community in the County. A community
identification/subdivision sign: (1) may be provided at the primary entrance, (2) shall be in conformance with the
sign regulations of Article VII (Sign Regulations), and (3) should be located in dedicated sign easements.
Existing cemeteries shall be deeded as a separate lot in the subdivision and shall be accessed by a minimum twenty
(20) foot wide private or public easement. Major subdivisions shall provide access with a minimum twenty (20) foot
wide right-of-way (road construction is not required).
Soils Map. Applicants for subdivisions with lots smaller than one (1) acre in size should consult a soils
map of the property and be knowledgeable of the suitability of ground absorption systems on the
Utility Easements. Utility easements should be:
Centered on rear or side lot lines,
At least 20 feet in total width, and
Identified following discussion with the appropriate utility agency.
Stream Setbacks. See §42-251 (Perennial and Intermittent Surface Water Buffers).
Traffic Impact Study (TIS) and Emergency Services Impact Report (ESIR). See Article IV (Adequate
Public Facilities Regulations) for traffic impact study and emergency services impact report
Conservation Subdivision Standards
Open space shall:
Comprise a minimum of 25 percent of the project area.
Be composed of (in order of which lands should be designated as open space first): primary
conservation area, secondary conservation area, and any remaining lands necessary.
Be designated so that a minimum of 50 percent of the proposed open space is contiguous and,
where possible, adjoins open space or other protected areas (including protected forests or
wildlife areas) outside the project area.
Be designated so that, where possible, a majority of the lots directly abut open space to provide
residents with direct views and access.
Be accessible by safe and convenient pedestrian access from all adjoining lots (except in the case
of farmland or other resources areas vulnerable to trampling damage or human disturbance).
Be used as follows:
Conservation of natural resources, archeological resources or historical resources;
Agriculture, horticulture, or silviculture, provided all applicable best management
practices are used to minimize environmental impacts;
Active recreation provided impervious surfaces are limited to a maximum of 12 percent
of the total open space area;
Nonstructural stormwater management practices;
Easements for drainage, access, and underground utility lines; and
Water, septic, and sewer systems.
Not be used as follows:
For motor vehicles (except for maintenance purposes as provided for in the Open Space
Management Plan); and
Roads, parking lots and impervious surfaces (except when accessory to active
Open Space Ownership. The applicant must identify current and future owner(s) of open space responsible
for maintaining the area/facilities. The responsibility for maintaining the open space and its facilities shall
be borne by the owner. If a homeowners association is the owner:
Membership in the association shall be mandatory and automatic for all homeowners in the
subdivision and their successors; and
The association shall have lien authority to ensure the collection of dues from all members.
Open Space Management. The applicant shall submit Open Space Management Plan which includes:
A statement allocating maintenance responsibilities and establishing guidelines for the upkeep of
open space and its facilities;
Cost estimates for maintenance, operation and insurance needs for the open space;
A means by which funds will be obtained for all management expenses;
A provision allowing the Subdivision Administrator to approve plan change; and
Criteria for plan enforcement.
Legal Instrument for Permanent Protection. Open space shall be protected in perpetuity by a binding legal
document recorded with the deed. The document shall be one of the following:
Permanent conservation easement in favor of either:
A land trust or similar conservation-oriented non-profit organization with legal authority
to accept such easements. The organization shall be bona fide and in perpetual existence
and the conveyance instruments shall contain an appropriate provision for retransfer in
the event the organization becomes unable to carry out its functions; or
A governmental entity with an interest in pursuing goals consistent with the intentions of
Permanent restrictive covenant for conservation purposes.
Equivalent legal tool providing permanent protection, subject to approval by the County Attorney.
The instrument shall include all restrictions contained in §42-88 (Conservation Subdivision Standards), and
any further restrictions the applicant chooses to place on the use of the open space.
Open Space Density Bonus. Base density is determined by the zoning district in which the subdivision is
located. Conservation subdivisions proposing more than the minimum required open space may be eligible
for increased densities. Table 3.1outlines the criteria for density bonuses. Lands under conservation
easement shall not be counted when determining density bonuses. Permitted housing densities shall not
exceed the maximum allowances of any applicable water supply watershed requirements.
TABLE 3.1. OPEN SPACE DENSITY BONUSES
Percent Open Space (%)
Percent Housing Density Increase (%)
Agricultural Preservation Density Bonus. Base density is determined by the zoning district in which the
subdivision is located. Conservation subdivisions proposed for sustaining existing on-site bona fide
agricultural operations are entitled to a five (5) percent increase in permitted density. Residential lots in
these subdivisions should be located in areas less suitable for agricultural production with prime farmland
being preserved as open space. Lots should be located where agricultural operations do not interfere with
the safety and well being of future residents. The reviewing agency may require vegetative buffering and/or
additional setbacks between agricultural operations and lots to mitigate potential impacts of noise,
vibration, light, and/or odor. This five (5) percent bonus may be used in conjunction and in addition to any
applicable open space density bonus. Permitted housing densities shall not exceed the maximum
allowances of any applicable water supply watershed requirements.
Structure Placement. Structures should be placed as closely to internal roads as permitted. The reviewing
agency may reduce the front yard setback to a minimum of five (5) feet; taking into consideration sound
engineering, public safety concerns and community character when applying the standards. Structures may
be: (1) located in the side yard setback required by the zoning district regulations; and (2) placed as closely
together as permitted by the North Carolina State Building Code.
Exemption. Conservation subdivision standards can be applied to any subdivision type, but are not required
by this Chapter.
Through 42- 91. Reserved