An access management strategy for the US 98 highway corridor

An access management strategy for the US 98 highway corridor

Material Information

An access management strategy for the US 98 highway corridor
Williams, Kristine M
Marshall, Margaret ( Margaret A )
Florida -- Dept. of Transportation
University of South Florida -- Center for Urban Transportation Research
Place of Publication:
University of South Florida, Center for Urban Transportation Research
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
v, 59 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Express highways -- Planning -- Florida ( lcsh )
Land use -- Planning -- Florida ( lcsh )
Traffic congestion -- Prevention -- Florida ( lcsh )
Transportation -- Planning -- Florida ( lcsh )
bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


Includes bibliographical references (leaf 59).
Additional Physical Form:
Also available online.
General Note:
"Supported by the Florida Department of Transportation."
General Note:
"January 1996."
Statement of Responsibility:
prepared by Kristine M. Williams, Margaret A. Marshall.

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
001927295 ( ALEPH )
34273190 ( OCLC )
C01-00023 ( USFLDC DOI )
c1.23 ( USFLDC Handle )

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An access management strategy for the US 98 highway corridor /
prepared by Kristine M. Williams, Margaret A. Marshall.
[Tampa] :
University of South Florida, Center for Urban Transportation Research,
v, 59 leaves :
ill. ;
28 cm.
"Supported by the Florida Department of Transportation."
"January 1996."
Includes bibliographical references (leaf 59).
Also available online.
0 650
Express highways
z Florida
x Planning.
Land use
Traffic congestion
Marshall, Margaret
q (Margaret A.)
Dept. of Transportation.
University of South Florida.
Center for Urban Transportation Research.
8 773
t Center for Urban Transportation Research Publications [USF].
4 856


AN ACCESS MANAGEMENT STRATEGY FOR THE US 98 HIGHWAY CORRIDOR This research was supported by the Florida Department of Transportation. The reconunendations contained herein are not necessarily the policies of the Florida Department ofT ransportation. Prepared b y: Kristine M Williams, AICP Margaret A. Marshall Center for Urban Transportation Research University of South Florida, College of Engineering 4202 E. Fowler Ave., ENB 118 Tampa FL 33620-5350 January 1996


TABL E O F CONTENTS LIST OF TABLES AND F IGURES ....... ................. ... ................ v INTRODUCTION . ..................... ............. ......... . . ......... I BACKGROUND ........................... ................ ...... .... .... I The F l orida Intra state Highway System . ................... ........ . .... I FOOT Access Management Ptagram ... . ..... ............................ 2 1992 Amendment s to the Access Management S ta tu t e .... .... ............... 3 Coordination Issues ......... .. ...... . .... ................. ......... ... 4 State Plannin g Requirements Related to Access Management .............. ... .. 5 BAY COUNTY ..... ................. . ......... . ......................... 7 STATUS OF PLANNING AND REGULATORY PROGRAM ..... . ..... ... 7 ACCESS ISSUES AND PROBLEMS .... . ................................ 7 CURRENT ACCESS MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ............... .......... 8 Access Management Policies . . ............................ . . ... 8 Zonin g ................................................ ......... I 0 Land Division and Subdivision Regulations ... ........ .... ............ I I Access Controls . ......... ..................... .... . ... ...... II SUMMARY .... . . ................................. . .... . .... 1 4 OKALOOSA COUNTY ...... .' .................................... . ...... ... 15 STATUS OF PLANNING AND REGULATORY P ROGRAM . .... ........... 1 5 ACCESS ISSUES AND P ROBLEMS ........................... ....... ... 15 CURRENT ACCE SS MANAGEMENT PRACTICES .................... ..... 16 Access Management Policie s .... .......... ............ . ........... 16 Zonin g ... ............. ...... ............... .................. 17 Land Division and Subdivision R e gulations ... . .................. ..... 18 Access Control s .......... ............................ .......... 1 9 SUMMARY .......... ............ .... .... .... . ........ ..... ......... 20 SANTA ROSA COUNTY . ............................................ ........ 23 STATUS OF PLANNIN G AND REGULATORY PROGRAM ...... .... . ..... 23 ACCESS ISSUES AND PROBLEMS .......... .............. . . ........ 23 CURRENT ACCESS MANAGEMENT PRACTICES .......... ..... ... ...... 24 Access Management Policies . ............................. . ..... 2 4 Zoning ........... ........................... ................. .. 25 Land Division and Subdiv i sion Regulations . .............. ............ 27 Access Controls .......... ................ .... . ............. 28 SUMMARY ................... ................ ... . ................. 2 9 WALTON COUNTY ....................... .... ......................... ... 31 STATUS OF PLANNING AND REGULATORY PROGRAM ......... . ... .. 31


ACCESS ISSUES AND PROBLEMS . ........................ . . .... 31 CURRENT ACCESS MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ........... .... . . ...... 32 Access Management Polic ies .............. ........ ................. 32 Walton County Comprehensive Plan: Goals, Obj e ctives, and Po li cies ..... ... 32 South Walton Conservation and Dev e lopment Trust P lan .......... ....... 33 Zoning . .......................... . ............... . ........ 3 3 Land Division and Subdivision Reg u lations ...... .................. . . 36 Access Controls .............. ................. ... . . ....... . 36 SUMMARY . ...................................................... . 38 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS .............................. . . 41 GLOSSARY ........ .......................... ... ... ... ... .................. 49 APPENDIX A : COMMENTS FROM THE ACCESS MANAGEMENT SEMINAR . ..... 53 APPENDIX B: FDOT DISTRICT 3 -ACCESS MANAGEMENT CONTACT LIST ....... 57 REFERENCES ... .... .... ............................................ . 59


' ' Pageiv IS m1ss1ng


LIST O F TABLES AND F IGURES TABLES Table 1: FOOT Acce s s Clas s ifica t i on System & Standards .... . .... .... ... .... . 3 Table2: Access Spacing ... . .... ............................... .......... 1 2 Table3: Sight D i stance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Table 4: Current Access Management P r act i ces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 FIGURES Figure 1: FI HS US 98 Corridor Study Area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Fig ure 2: FIHS Des ignatio n i n Bay County (US 98) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Figure3 ..... . .... ....... ........ ............... . ............ . ....... 13 Figure 4 ............. .... .... . . . . ......... . . .... ............ ..... 18 Figure5 ... ............. . .... .... .......... ............ .... . ... ..... 21 Figure 6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Figure 7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Figure 8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Figure 9: Village Locations and V ill age/Rural Transi t ions . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 7 Figure I 0: S hared Access on Major Thorougllfares . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 v


INTRODUCTION In 1995 the Pensacola, Fort Walton Beach and Panama City Metropoli tan Platming Organizations (MPO) inc luded access management platming tasks in their Unified Planning Work Programs (UPWPs) for the US Highway 98lntrastate Segments du e to concerns over rising traffic congestion and growing development pressures along the US 98 highway corrido r The pmpose of the study is to develop an access management plan for the segments of US 98 which are on the Florida I ntras t ate Highway Sy stem, and conduct a training workshop for local elected officials, planning officials, government staffs and the planning community on the techniques to manage access on arterial roads. The Center for Urban Transportation Researc h under a grant fro m the Florida Department o f Transportation, was asked to assist with this effort through a review of planning and regu l atory practices of four count i es that share the US 98 Corridor: Bay, Okaloosa Santa Rosa, and Walton Countie s The purpose of this research effort is to document current access management practices in each county identif y continuing issu es and problems, and assist each local government in deve l oping potential sol utions Current prac t ices were assessed through interviews with local platming and engineeri n g officials and a rev iew oflocal comprehensi ve plans and land development codes in each county. This report documents the findings of this researc h effort BACKGROUND The Florida Intrastate Highway System The US 98 Highway corridor is a part of the Florida Intrastate H ighway Syste m (FIHS}-the network of highways that are essential to the economy, hurricane preparedness, and overall transportation mobility of the State of Florida. The FIHS is defined as the statewide system of limited access and controlled access facilities that allow f or high -s peed and high-volume tr affic movement within the state( 338 .001 Florida Statutes) This syste m was designated by FOOT and adopted by the Florida leg islature in 1 991, in an effort to preserve regional and statewide transportation mobility. The FIHS program involves dev el opme nt and improvement of a system of highways with strict acces s controls. All segments are p lanned to be brought into compliance with s ystem criteria and standards within a 20year period. Process Criteria, and Standard s for the FIHS Plan emp has i ze the need for the Florida Department of Tran sp ortation to coordinate with local governments on managing access to those portions of the FIHS such as US 98, that are not limited acc ess facilities. They call for FOOT to enter into formal agreements with local governments for coordinating land use planning and regulation with state access standards for contro ll ed access facilities. In addition, contro lled access facilities on the FIHS must be classified a t an access classificatio n of2 or 3. Any segments assigned an access classification of S must eventually be upgraded to a Class 2 or 3.


Figure 1: FIHS US 98 Corridor Study Area The above segments of US 98 are designated as part of the Florida Intrastate Highway System. FDOT Access Management Progl"lllll In 1988, the Florida Legislature adopted the State Highway System Access Management Act, Chapter 335.18, F .S., in response to inten s ive development pressures and growing congestion on state highways. The state access management program is carried out through two administrative rules. Rule Chapter 14-96, State Highway System Connection Permits Administrative Process, which governs permitting and addresses application and permitting procedures, permit requirements, and permit modifications or conditions. Rule Chapter 1 4 -97, State Highway System Access Management Classification System and Standards, governs access classification of highways and provides spacing standards for driveways, median openings, and signals (see Table I). The US 98 Corridor has been classified as a Class 3 or Class 5, depending upon the segment. Acce ss Class 3 is defined as a controlled access facility where existing land use and roadway sections have not been built out to the maximum land use or roadway capacity or where the probability of significant land use change in the near future is high. Access Class 5 refers to those facilities where existing land use and roadway sections have been built out to a greater extent than those segments classified as Class 3 or 4 and where the probability of a major land use change is not as high as on a Class 3 or 4. 2


Table 1: FDOT Access Classification System & Standards Access Class 2t 4 s 6 7 Medians .. Resb'ictive w/ Service Roads Rescrictivc Non Restrictive Restric-tive Non Restrictive Both Median For roads with posted speed limits 2: 45mph. Connection Spacing >45 1320 660 660 440 660 440 440 24 5 440 245 125 Median Open ing Dirt ional Full 1320-2640 Signal Spa

In 1992, the legislature amended the Act thereby limiting some authority of FOOT. Some of the 1992 amendment s included : FDOT must now demonstrate that a severe compromise to safety or operational concerns exists prior to the denial of a connection along the State Highway System. However, this "test" is somewhat less for roads on the Intrastate. Local governments are no longer permitted to adopt access standards for State Highways in their jurisdication more restrictive than those adopted by FOOT. FDOT'sability to attach joint access requirements to access permits as a condition has been restricted. Coordination Issues The ability of FOOT to manage access along high priority corridors bas been constrained by the proliferation of small lot frontages requiring individual access along major highways. In the absence of al tematives t o direct highway access or site specific safety problems, FOOT often has no other option but to iss ue a driveway permit. Yet it is the cumulative effect of closely spac-ed driveways and poorly managed turning movements that accelerates congestion and traffic hazards and ultimately tmdermines the safety and capacity of the highway facility. Therefore the effectiveness of the state access management program relies heavily on participation at the local level where land development decisions are made. Local governments have also noted coordination problems related to District access permitting decisions. To better coordinate with local governments, FOOT does not issue a final permit unti l local development approval has been provi ded Instead, a Notice oflntent to Permit is issued where all necessary requirements have been met or no other alternative exists. No netheless, some local officials note that developers perceive the Noticeoflntent as if it were the final permit decision and this sometimes leads to coordination issues where it conflicts with local development decision s Concerns have also been expressed about the need to balance access management and capacity improvements with other important commtmity objectives, such as preserving a canopy road or achieving economic development. It is essential that unique natural features be protected in the permitting process and that reasonable access be provided for l and development. Clearly, these objectives can be balanced through the use of service roads, planned unit development (P UD) strategies, and adequate minimum lot frontages and setbacks. 4


State Planning Requirements Related to Access Management Administrative rules of the Florida Department of Commtmity Affairs (DCA) require traffic circulation elements of loca l comprehensive plans to include policies for implementing access contro l s. DCA also includes access management and development clustering requirements (such as PUDs) as teclmiques that will be considered i n detennining compliance with new administrative rules for discouraging urban sprawl. These requirements are reinforced through policies in the new Florida Land Development Plan, prepared by the Department of Commtmity Affairs, pursuant to the I 993 changes in the state growth management legislation. The plan calls for identifying and controlling access points o n to major transportation corridors and minimizing curb cuts and median openings through land use planning, regulation, and access permitting. 5


Figure 2: FIHS Designation in Bay County (US 98) US 98 from the Walton Couniy line t o the intersection of Front and Back Beach roads is designated as part of the FIHS. S o urce: "MA PSource, ' St. Petersburg. Flcrida, 1994 6


BAY COUNTY STATUS OF PLANNING AND REGULATORY PROGRAM Bay County adopted a Comprehensive Plan in May of 1990, and adopted a Land Development Code in December of !990. In September 1995, the County amended i ts Land Use Code to inc l ude language supporting access management techniques. The Cow1ty is currently developing a parcel specific land use map to accurately assess existing and proposed future land uses. The Department of Community Affairs is encouraging the County to limit commercial strip zoning along the coastal areas and feels the County is over-allocated on commercial land use in relation to its projected population However the County experiences high seasonal demand for commercial uses, which are heavily concentrated along the coast and feels that the large influx of tourists and the seasonal populat ion could sustain a higher level of commercial development. ACCESS ISSUES AND PROBLEMS Bay County is in a unique situation regarding land development It is facing "urban" problems from extensive commercial development located along its major coastal arterials, yet it must deal with "rural" issues which exist throughout the rest of the largely undeveloped county. The has made efforts to address the broad range of development issues by providing opportunities for flex i ble zoning and mixed use development. Where US 98 branches off into ALTUS 98, a corridor called Front Beach Road the land is intensely developed with commercial uses. Front Beach Road is a clear example of the safety and capacity problems that arise due to inadequate access management. Access problems along Front Beach Road are becoming so burdensome that the possibility of heavier commercial rezoning along Back Beach Road is being considered. The Comprehensive Plan provided that by 1990, the County and the City o f Panama City would jointly seek FDOT designation of US 98 from the west approach at Hathaway Bridge to SR 368, and U S 98 from Thomas Drive to the Hathaway Bridge as Backlogged and Constrained Facilities. Along the portion of US 98 east of Hathaway Bridge-specifically the intersection of SR368 and US 98access has become such a problem, that despite a recent DOT road-widening project which turned the two-lane road into a four-lane road with a median, there is still heavy traffic congestion. The County also included in its Comprehensive Plan that by 1995, no permits for development would be issued along US 98 from the Walton County line to the intersection of Front Beach and Back Beach Roads that portion of the US 98 Corridor designated as part of the FIHSif a development would exceed the maximum allowable traffic volumes for that segment. 7


The County is reviewing its subdivision practices to address the issue of commercial frontages along US 98. Along US 98 west of Hathaway Bridge to the City of Panama City Beach city limits. there are only approximately three miles of conunercial frontage and relatively few commercial establishments along this stretch of the highway Additionally approximately 77% of the land in Bay County is owned by either the military or large paper companies. This serves to restrict the location of commercial development to the coast but has also protected portions of the US 98 corridor from further subdivision and commercial development. From the Walton County line to the intersections of Front and Back Beach Roads, the US 98 Corridor is designated as part of the FIHS (see Figure 2). Much of the land along this segment is zoned for silvaculture, residential and neighborhood commercial land. Some of the residential land uses within this segment have a density of up to fifteen dwelling units per acre; a silvaculture designation allows one dwelling unit per 20 acres CURRENT ACCESS MANAGEMENT PRACTICES Access Manageroent Policies Bay County includes several policy statements in its comprehensive plan which support access management, as described in the Land Use Traffic Circulation, and Intergovernmental Coordination elements. The objectives and policies established in the plan relate to the development of a local road nerwork, establishment of on-site ciiculatioo provisions for commercial developments, and coordination of land use practices and regulations among different governmental agencies. Policy 1.3 1 For principal arterials, Bay County will develop and adopt highway frontage property access standards equal to or greater than the Department of Transportation State Highway System Arterial Access Management Rule. [Note: as of the 1992 amendments to the State Access Management legislation. local governments are prohibited from establishing standards greater than those established by Florida Department ofTransportation.} Policy I J.2 Principal arterial frontage zoning will provide for parallel service roads designed to provide local property access and local circulation among properties. [Note: instituting frontage roads rypically results in operational problems at major intersections } 8


Policy 1.3.3 (Land Use Element)Principal arterial frontage zoning will provide for right tu rns at individual private driveways coMecting with the arterial and will provide for left turns at intersections with designated public cross streets. [Status: No such standards have been adopted to date.} Policy 1.3.3 (Traffic Circulation Element)-In 1991, Bay County will adopt an Arterial Access Management Plan, considering various stages of land development on each roadway, to limi t the number of curb cuts on arterial roadways in the County. At a minimum, access management will be implemented on SRJO (US 98) Back Beach Road, SR77 and SR75 to protect the arterial funct ion of these roadways. [Status: adopted Access Management requirements for Back Beach Road, SR 77, and SR 75 in the Land Development Code, 7.01.06] Policy I .9.4 Land development regulations shall provide for safe and convenient on-site traffic flow and provide for adequate parking based upon the professional accepted standards such as those of the Institute of Transportation Engineers. This shall include the provision of adequate loading and unloading areas. Consolidated access to roadways shall be encouraged through shared driveways. [Status: adopted in Land Development Code 7.01.06, D 1-2, "any non-residential use or other development requiring site plan review ... shall be encouraged to be designed to provide for mutually coordinated or joint parking, access, and circulation with adjacent properties. "} Policy I 6.2 Regulations shall be adopted in I 990 that require developers to include interconnections between adjacent neighborhoods and commercial centers to minimize travel on and along major collector and arterial streets. [Status : adopted in the Land Development Regulations, .01.0 3(3-4), 'The street layout in all new development shall be coordinated with and interconnected to the street system of the surrounding area and "Streets in proposed subdivisions shall be connected to rights-of way in adjacent areas to allow for proper inter-neighborhood traffic flow. If adjacent lands are unplatted, stub outs in the new development shall be provided for future connection to the adjacent unplaued land."] 9


Policy I .4.4 The county shall support the creation of planned unit developments (PUDs). Poljs;y 1.10.1 Land development regulations shall provide for PUDs to encourage innovative site design and provide for mixed land use. [Status: No standards have been adopted to provide for PUD or other mixed land use in the Land Development Code to date.) Policy 1.2.3 Provide for joint planning through interlocal agreements with other adjacent l ocal governments. [Status : Bay County has not developed interlocal agreements on transportation issues; however, the County enters into coordinated agreements with adjacent local governments on projects which are expected to have a regional impact ] Policy I .6.1 Contained in the commercia l district land development regulations shall be a requirement for developers to construct a 5 foot wide sidewalk along frontage on collector and arterial roadways. Zoning [Status: adopted in the Land Development Code, .01.08 A and B: Sidewalks and Bikeways, ' Any developments that are adjacent to or within 1 OOO.feet of an activity center comprised of commercial, office. service, school or recreation activities shall provide pedestrian and bicycle access in the form of a sidewalk along the roadway frontage of the property and "Pedestrian-ways or crosswalks, not less than ten (10) feet wide, may be required ... to be placed across the roadway ... to provide circulation or access to schools. playgrounds, shopping centers transportation and other community facilities. "] The Bay County Land Development Code contains no minimum lot frontage requirement. The County has established land use districts, but applies no specific dimensional requiremen t s for lots, apart from density requirements and FOOT driveway spacing standards if the property abuts the State Highway System. 10


Land Division and Subdivision Regulations Property owners wishing to subdivide their property must submit to a development plan review process established by the County and detailed in the regulations. Local regulations define subdivision as, "The platting of real property into three or more lots, parcels, tracts, tiers blocks, sites, units, or any other division of land." The 1995 amendment to the Subdivision Standards in the Land Use Code includes a series of exemptions to the review process. "The division of land into lots that are three (3) acres or larger in size provided each lot created has a minimum of fifty (50) feet frontage on an existing street or road," is not considered a subdivision. This exemption can create additional access problems for the County as lots are divided into long, narrow parcels with small frontages Subdivision review criteria do not specifically address access; however, it is the County's current practice to review the characteristics of the site for access and to make reconunendations for transportation improvements. The recent amendment to the Subdivision Standards stipulates that, ''in no case shall access be provided through a residential lot in an existing recorded subdivision Stree t stub-outs may be constructed to provide access to future phases of the same subdivision or to provide access for future roads." New subdivisions are also required to provide stub outs for future connections to adjace n t unplatted lands. Further, the amendment requires that driveways within a subdivision may acquire access only from local and minor collector streets; no driveway will be allowed a connection to any major collector or arterial road. Minor Subdivisions. For minor subdivisions, the County adheres to the gu idelines established in the Florida Model Land Development Code Specifically, all lots are required to abut a public or private street with appropriate lot dimensions as specified in zoning requirements for that land use district; however, for any lot which abuts a street right-of way but does not conform to public design specifications, the owner may be required to dedicate one-half the required right-of-way width necessary to meet the minimum design standards. Additionally, Bay County prohibits further division of an approved minor replat without a deve lopment plan Access Controls Road Classification System. Bay County includes provisions in the Land Develop m ent Code for the classification of the County road system into a functional hierarchy. Local streets, collectors, arterial roads, and freeways are classified according to function and posted legal speeds. Driveway Spacing. The County provides driveway spacing standards for improving access along arterials and reducing hazards associated with entry to and exit from the roadway. According to its general standards for spacing of access points, the County will perm i t one access point for each site from each of one or two abutting streets. If circumstances warrant an II


additional one or two access points may be permitted depending u pon the length of lot frontage. The distance between access points on US 98 and other state-maintained roads must adhere to the standards established by the Florida Department of Transportation which Bay County bas adopted by reference. Fo r all non-state-maintained roads, the distance between access points is determined as follows: Table 2: Access Spacing FUNCTIONAL CLASS OF DISTANCE BETWEEN ACCESS ROADWAY POINTS Major Arterial 300 Feet Minor Arterial 245 Feet Major Collector 185 Feet Minor Collector 140 Feet Source: Bay County Land Development Regulations, 1990. Joint Access. Bay County has established joint access provisions for high priority corridors, including US 98. All developments requiring site-plan review are encouraged to provide joint parking, access, and circu lation with adjacent properties. If properties agre e to provide these coordi nate d access-ways, they shall b e designed to accommodate two-way ais les and other feature s 10 demonstrate to patrons that joint access to the properties is available. According to staff, few property owners have pursued joint access One reason is that many of the existing commercial frontages along Front Beac h Road and US 98 are shallow and have only 50' of frontage with little room available for on-site parking. These dimensional constraints have prec luded joint access along some portions of the corridor, but shared driveways remain a viable alternative for constrained lots. County staff are receptive to strengthening their access management policies or procedures to alleviate congestion, and have considered requiring service roads or shared driveways along the US 98 corridor. The County has also supported FOOT decisions to reject driveway permits along these roadways in the past, due to access problems. 12


Private Roads. The Bay County Land Development Code, 7.01.03 (8) Street Design Standards, states that, "Private streets may be allowed within developments that will remain under common ownership, provided that they are designed and constructed pursuant to the County's minimum standards." When a private driveway is needed to provide access from a County-owned roadway to res i dentiiu properties, the responsibility to cover construction costs rests with the property owner(s). Figure3 .... / . ,... . . : . -. These "bowling alley"' lots with small lot fro mages increase demand for i ndMdual highway access. and lead to closely spaced residential driveM'ays that conflict with high speed travel on the higJn..ay, Problems such as this can be prevented through increased minimum lot frontage requirements, lot width-to-depth ratios and requiring sm(1/l subdivisions to be de.signed with shared access to and from the highway. 13


SUMMARY Bay County has adopted the following land development regulations which support access management: a review process for minor subdivision activity; requirements for developers to provide stub outs for future connections to adjacent unplatted lands; provisions for joint access and shared parking; stipulations for driveway spacing No regulations were identified that address: minimwn lot frontage requirements and increased setbacks for developments along US 98 lot width-to-depth ratios; driveway design standards reverse frontage requirements for proposed s ubdivisions; outparcel requirements; standards to ensure adequate comer clearance; driveway throat leng t h requirements ; and restrictions on creation of flag lots These regulation s are more fully addressed in the recommendations f ound in the Conclusion of this report. 1 4


OKA L OOSA COUNTY STATUS OF PLANNING AND REGULATORY PROGRAM The Okaloosa County Comprehensive Plan, completed in I 990, was amended !lnd readopted by the Board of County Commissi oners in December, I 992. The County's Plan does not currently comp l y with all of the esJablished standards of the Department of Community Affairs, and a r esubmiss i o n of the plan is expected to be complete later in 1995 The County's Land Development Code, developed in December 1992, was last amended in November 1994. ACCESS ISSUES AND PROBLEMS Along the US 98 Corridor, the County is experiencing prob l ems with the creation of lots with small fr ontages Regulations currently require only fifty feet (50') of fronlage to rema i n on a county road during a minor land division Inadequate minimum lot frontages along state highways have also constrained the ability of FDOT and the County to manage access along the US 98 Corr i dor (see also Minimum Lot Frontages, in this chapter) Okaloosa County also noted issues in coordinating access permitting with FOOT The curren t procedure to receive an access permit under Rule 14-96, requires the applicant to first send an app l ication (and fee) to the District Permits Office. The District conducts a review and notifies the applicant of additional information needed or omissions or errors in the application. During review of this application, the FOOT District sends a copy to the local government for c oncurrent review Specific prob lems noted by the County were that: the pennit applications identify the parcel by road marker, making it difficul t for local officials to locate, and often do not include enough information for adequate review. the District does not always contact the local government prior to issuing a Notice of Inte nt to Permit, and occasionally these involve projects that have not received local development approval. Though this is not required by Rule, this coordination is desirable. Suggestions for increased coordination include more complete permit applications and the need for the District to communicate with local staff on the proposed project prior to issuing a Notice oflntent to Permit access In addition, the County indicated a desire to coordina t e with the District on subdivision review to assure that proposed plats have adequate access in relation to state access management requirements This will allow the District to address access issues early in the plat review process, thereby providing a greater opportunity for avoiding access problems. IS


CURRENT ACCESS MANAGEMENT PRACTICES Access Management Policies Okaloosa County includes several pol i cies in its Com prehensive Plan which support access management practices. These are found in the future land use element; the transportation element; and the intergovernmental coordination element. Policy 8.A.4.2 Okaloosa County will limit new access points to arteria l and collector roads by required distances for driveways and median cuts, in the Land Development Code. [Status : adopted in Land Development Regulations, 03. 09, Limited Access Roads: along portions of US 98 and other roadways designated as limited access roads, the County requires that, "access points shall be located no closer than 500' apart, measured from center line to center line of the driveway, unless a driveway connection permit has been approved by the FDOT; (and) median cuts shall be located no closer than 500' apart measured from center line to center line of the roadway. "} [Commentary: The state standards require connection spacing of 660 feet for class 3 arterials where the speed limit is greater than 45 mph, and 440 feet for class 3 arterials where the speed limit i s under 45 mph The state standards for median opening spacing require/,320 feet for directional median, and 2, 640 for a foil median opening on a class 3 arterial.] Policy 8.A .4 .3 When reasonable, a system of service roads will be required to be installed by developers for new development along arterial roads within the County. Reasonable is defmcd as any time a development project is approved and the needs of the development would require installation of access ways at distances less than 500 feet apart Policy 7.A.7.5 Strip commercial development will be discouraged except at the intersections of arterial and collector roadways. Policy 7 .A9.! Okaloosa County will encourage the use of innovative land development regulations i n cluding, but not limited to, plarmed unit developments, mixed use zoning and business-tourism zoning to provide combinations of recreation residential and business for the tourist industry. [Status: adopted in Land Development Regulations, .00.00 establishes special overlay or floating zones used to impose special development restrictions on identified areas ; .01.00 Planned Unit Developmen ts are 16


defined and described as, "Detached singl e-family dwellings, townhouses, patio homes, atrium houses, multi-family dwellings, rental apartments, motels, hotels, projects of area wide impact, and condominiums. "} Policy 8A2.3. -All developments, including, but not limited to, planned unit developments, shopping centers, multi-family residential projects and other projects with internal circulation and parking needs shall be required to provide safe and convenient on-site traffic flow, transportation facilities and sufficient vehicular parking to accommodate the needs of the development. Policy 7.A.3.3 -Residential development shall be designed to include an adequate internal circulation system with peripheral lots buffered from major roads and adjacent land uses. Zoning [Status: adopted in L and Development Regulations, 05. 02, G, Buffer Standards: Landscaped buffer strips are required for all new development or redevelopment which creates a land use conflict, but the regulations do not require buffers based on a development's location along a major road.} Minimum Lot Frontage. The Cowtty's single-family res idential districts require a minimum lot width which varies from 70 feet to 125 feet, depending on the number of dwelling wtits per acre. The County does not require a minimum lot width for its P lanned Unit Development, Business Retail Business General, Business Tourism, or Industrial districts (see Figure 4); however the Cowtty has recently amended its Code to increase the minimum lot frontage requirements to 21 0 feet along US 98. 17


i 1 1.-' . Figure 4 .. .,., .. Inadequate minimum lotfronJ.age requirements in 0/caloos a County have a/lo....,-edfor the creation o f lots with s mall along US 98 The Ccunry has recently revised i ts standards to require a minimum lot frontage of 210 feet along US 98. Land Division and Subdivision Regulations Okaloosa County requires all subdivisions (defined as planing into three or more lots) PUDs and other projects to conform to the procedures fo r planing and s i te plan review Minor Subdivisions. A streamlined review process is provided for minor land divisions under the following cir cumstances: I) a pareel is being divided into two separate lots or parcels ; 2) two lots or parcels are being resubdivided ; and 3) where two or more lots or parcels of land are being combined into one lot or parcel. All lots must conform to the Schedule of Dimensional Requirements, exeept where combining lots would require vacating of easements, streets, or alleys, All lots are also required to abut a public or private street. A developer requesting a lot split or minor replat must submit, in addition to an application and related fees, a land description and s quare footage of the original and proposed site and a drawing done to-scale which depicts the intended division and any existing structures, as well as all easements for utilities and ingress/egress. [Commentary: Allowances for resubdividing property outside of the plalling process provide property owners an opportunity to circumvent local platting requirements by staggering lor splits over time. ) 18


Access Controls Connection Spacing. Okaloosa County has designated certain highways as "limited access roads ', including US 98 from its intersection with Old US 98 east to the Walton County line. On these "limited access" roadways, certain provisions govern ingress and egres s includ i ng: driveway spacing standards of 500 feet; median openings no closer than 500 feet; adh e rence to FDOT's Standard Index for deceleration, acce l eration and sracking lane construction; no backing maneuvers into the right-of-way; no access will be permitted for individual private residential drives; and residential dev e lopments contiguous to "limited access" roads must gain access from collector streets 500 feet apart. This policy also provides that it does not aim to deny reasonable access to existing lots, parcels, or tracts ofland for which the sole means of access is the named limited access road. The spacing standard is 500' between access points along its limited access roads, unless a driveway cormection permit bas been approved by the Florida Department of Transportation; in such a case, the FDO T accepted standards will apply. [Commentary: This s pacing standard is inconsistent with the standards established by the FDOT for principal arterials. In some cases this would be more restrictive and therefore precluded along state highways under the I 992 amendments to the State Highway Access Management Act. In other cases it would be less restrictive, resulting in coordination problems. The County is currently amending its Limited Access Roads requirement s to comply with the standards established by the Florida DOT.] Private Roads. Private roads, con structed as the primary means of access to individually owned lots in subdivisions, are prohibited in Oka!oosa County unless a maintenance/repair agreement is e s tablished. The County requires lots or parcels which front on any private street to include particular language in the deed or conveyance o f title, stipulating that access to the property is by private r oads not mainrained by the County. The provisions in the deed also indicate that private roads will not be maintained by the County, but by the homeowners association, Wlless the roads meet County standards and are officially accepted into the county maintenance system. 1 This should not be confused wilh the FOOT defmilion of "limiJed access," which means freeway or expressway. 19


SUMMARY Okaloosa County has adopted the following land development regulations which promote access management: a review process for Jot splits or subdivision of land; a 2 I 0 feet minimum lot frontage requirement along US 98; requirements for private road construction and re lated maintenance agreements; and designation of certain roads in the County as Limited Access Roads. No regu lations were identified that address: regulations to prohibit the creation of flag Jots; standards to ensure adequate corner clearance ; width-to-depth ratios to dissuade the proliferation of irregularly shaped lots; provisions for internalized circulation for outparce ls; requirements for reverse frontage along primary or collector roads; and driveway design These regulations are more fully addre s sed in the recommendations found in the Conclusion of this report. 20


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SANTA ROSA COUNTY STATUS OF PLANNING AND REGULATORY PROGRAM I n the mid-1980 s the governor of Florida appointed the Bay Area Resources Conunittee to review land development issues along the Florida Panhandle. Following committee review, Santa Rosa County adopted its first zoning map in 1986. In 1990, the County adopted its Comprehensive Plan which has not yet been found in compliance with state growth management policy by the Department of Community Affairs. The Land Development Code, which was adopted in 1991, was most recently amended in 1994. ACCESS ISSUES AND PROBLEMS Due to a strong advocacy for property ri ghts in this county, changes in land development regulation often meet with resistance. Many of the larger landowners in the rural northern portions of Santa Rosa County reject some of the mechanisms desired by the County to regulate access a l ong major arterials. Another large population in the southern portion of the County advocated e s tablishing zoning in the Cowlty and is a potential constituency for improved access management on US 98. Currently, the coastal areas of Santa Rosa County, near Gulf Breeze, are experiencing rapid growth (a 47% annual increase in population). For example, in recent years four new golf courses have been constructed; this influx of recreational development attracts additional subdivision developments along US 98, as the retired populations migrate t o the Florida Panhandle. Recent traffic studies and surveys conducted in the Gulf Breeze area reflect peak hour congestion prob lems. Much of the study area is not deficient, but a rapid rate of grow1h, inadequate peak hour levels of service, and high volume projections for this roadway all indicate the need for improvements. Hesitancy to implement access management strategies along this corridor stems from the view that there is currently not enough growth on this portion of the hi ghway to warrant instituting such measures. However, most of the land along the US 98 Corridor is zoned for commercial use with inadequate minimum lot frontages. Because much of the corridor remains largely undeveloped, the time for action is now. Access management requirements will assure well designed access systems to accommodate future development along US 98, while preserving the safety and capacity of the highway. The Metropolitan Planning Organization's Long Range 2015 Plan, developed in 1989, identified needed improvements to US 98. Among these was a road-widening project along US 98, from the Pensacola Bay bridge to Hurlburt Field, increasing capacity from a four to a six-lane freeway The 23


update to the 1989 plan makes the same recommendations. The MPO and FOOT also encouraged the development of an advisory committee to provide input on those improvements. The advisory committee was formed by a consulting finn, which has been working with the committee for the last year, reviewing and developing solutions to the traffic problems on US 98, in the US 98 Project Development and Environmental Study. The MPO supports the study's recommendation that the only way to preserve the capacity on a critical roadway like US 98, is to widen it to an urban freeway with access via frontage roads. The fact that US 98 is the only east-west coastal thoroughfare from Pensacola to Panama City (Interstate10 is twenty miles north of US 9!f) heightens the critical nature of this corridor. CURRENT ACCESS MANAGEMENT PRACTICES Access Management Policies The Santa Rosa County Comprehensive Plan does not include a statement of purpose and intent which supports access management. The compre hensive plan does address some aspects of access management, however, through the establishment of policy statements in its Land Use and Traffic Circulation elements. The following policy statements support access management strategies: Policv 8.A.I.8 -The Land Development Code shall address and regulate the control of connections and access points of driveways to arterials and collector roads to facilitate safe and efficient access. The distances shall be as follows: Functiona l Class ofRoadway Principal Arteria l Minor Arterial Major Collector Minor Collector Ojstaoc!l Between Access Points 300 Feet 250 Feet 185 Feet 140 Feet [Status: adopted in the Land Development Code, 04.0 3 C: Access, Intemal Circulation and Off-Street Parking. "In order to reduce turning movements on roadways, new access points to development sites or projects shall be as follows" (see aforementioned distances) For maintained by the State, the County adheres to the established spacing standards of the FDOT.) Policy 8.A.4.2. Except as otherwise provided by this ordinance, a system of service roads will be required for new development along arterial roads within the County. The service roads shall be required whenever new access points on principal arterials are required to 24


serve new commercial development and such access points are proposed to be at distances less than 330 feet apart. [Note: these spacing standards are inconsistent with those established by the FDOT for road segments identified as part of the FIHS. Access points on principal arterials with a restrictive median, classified as a Class 3, are required to be spaced at a distance of 660 or 440 foet depending on the speed limit.} Policy 8.A. 1.6. All new developments, including but not limited to, planned unit developments, shopping centers multi-family residential projects and other projects with internal circulation and parking needs shall be required to provide safe and convenient on-site traffic flow, transportation facilities and sufficient vehicular parking to accommodate the needs of the development. {Status: adopted in Land Development Code, 04.03C. Access, Internal Circulation and Off-Street Parking. "Driveways and areas for the parking and internal circulation of vehicles shall be located. designed and controlled so as to provide for safe and convenient access from adjoining streets. "} Policy 7 A I 0.1 The County shall continue to promote and encourage the use of the planned unit development technique enacted within the County Zoning Ordinance. {Status: adopted in the Land Development Code, 05 1 J: Planned Unit Development District, "It is tlje purpose of this article to permit PUDs which are intended to encourage the development of/and as planned communities (and) encourage flexible and creative concepts of s ite planning. "} Zoning Planned Unit Developments. Within 4.03.03 (I), general design standards for subd i visions, the County establishes provisions for Planned Unit Developments (PUDs) (see Figure 6). These provisions articulate the specific requirements for submitting a comprehensive development plan and undergoing a project review with the County Engi neer. This project review process may include: locations and dim e nsions o f all rights-of-way for streets, pedestrian ways utilities, water courses green ways and easements, as well as proposed subdivision ofland. 25


I I 7 10 A I T l .. I 'I I 15 .. 'I 13 0 I -.i 7 7 10 7 1 I ..... "' v 11lGtt 1!1 31 35 PBD Figure 6 VA 12 10 'I I I I ]1 ?lJ [7 IJ I' I 10 OLL'I' I 3 1 ffl' j_ II I 1' I ,. 5:f1.\e 1 .. v 1 I!!' .. -' N ,. ,_ .:.. 2& A. I Planned unit development strategies prqvide opportunities for achieving be Iter sile design with shared access Such solutions could be applied to areas where commercial development is desired. such as the PBD designation above, to improve access and enhance the quality of the business district AlternatWely the highway commerc ial district (HCD) in the right corner of this figure creates access problems along the highway. Minimum Lot Frontage. Santa Rosa County currently requires a minimum lot width of I 00' in many of its commercial zoning designations. In the County's residential districts the minimum lot frontage ranges from 40 feet at the street right-of-way line (in its R-2 medium density district) to 70 feet (in the mixed residential subdivision districts). The US 98 Corridor all of which is 26


designated as part of the FIHS in Santa Rosa County, is zoned for highway commercial development (HCD) (see Figure 7), with some PUD and residential land uses (RI and R-2) interspersed along the way. These low minimum lot frontages will constrain efforts to achieve connection spacing standards along the FIHS. 'o.IE I.N 4 A '" 2 7 4.5 gS 7, I 6 9 3 G G 2 '"' e R-! 1 .3 1 \' 1.2 I 1.2o 17 \ s' \ !'\\ \\ \' Commercial strip zoning and inadequaJe minimum lot frontages have resulted in commercial s trips with excessive curb cuts thor eventually create access problems for individual businesses. The larger lots abutting the southern side highway present opportunilies for well designed acc.ess thai provides sqfe entry and exit to busine$$U from the highway. Land Division and Subdivision Regulations Subdivision is defined in the Santa Rosa County Land Dev e lopment Code as, "the division or re division of a parcel of land into two or more parcels except for modifications, exceptions and revis ions provided for in this ordinance." Development projects must adhere to the County platting requirements as established in th.e Code, unless the subdivision is large enough to 27


constitute a self-contained neighborhood and developed in accordance with an overall development plan and associated restrictions. In such a case, the requirements may be varied. The County requires subdivisions to connect to adjacent subdivisions via stub streets. Site plan review criteria also address access as follows: "Among factors to be considered shall be the number and location of access drives from adjacent streets, the location and width of driveways and access aisles to parking spaces, the arrangement of parking areas, and means of access to buildings for .. emergency vehicles." Minor Subdivisions. The Code defines Minor Subdivision as "any division of one parcel of land into two or more parcels in which all parcels have adequate existing public street or county approved right-of-way frontage of not less than fifty (50) feet each and require no new streets or change in existing public streets." Minor subdivisions are not required to comply with the planing requirements of the Code, unless the parcel is situated on deeded county rights-of-way where the actual roadway has not yet been constructed. [Commentary: The exemption of minor subdivisions from the platting process enables the development of residential strips by allow for the creation of any number of lots along arterials, as long as no road is created. Currently rhe only standard wirh which minor subdivisions must comply is the 50' of frontage on a public road. Such a provision is also inconsistent wilh Chapter I 77 regarding subdivision of/and, which provides char any land division into three or more lots requires compliance with platting requirements.] Flag Lots. In September, when the Land Development Regulations are revised, County staff plan to add a restriction to prevent the "stacking" of flag lots during a subdivision. Flag lots are often the result of small or no minimum lot frontage requirements. Access Controls Connection Spacing. Santa Rosa County has adopted the FOOT driveway spacing stan dards by reference in its L and Development Code, but provides no spacing requirements for county roadways. Joint A cuss. The County has encouraged the provision of joint access and shared parking within the county in several instances. For example, two major ci)ain restaurants located along the US 98 Corridor, east of Highway 87, agreed to provide a joint access easement between their properties. The County strongly endorsed this process, but coordination of shared access is not currently required. Private Roads. Private roads were addressed only in relation to PUDs. Within the PUD, all roads must be curbed and paved. Additionally, the perimeter requirements on Planned Unit Developments indicate that for any proposed PUD which would have direct access to a major or 28


minor arterial, frontage streets and limited access ways are required, to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the motoring public. SUMMARY Santa Rosa County has adopted few land development regulations which support access management. Regulations currently in place include: platting requirements for subdivisions; a project review process for Planned Unit Developments; and required connections between adjacent subdivisions, via stub streets. The County has no established provisions for joint access, shared parking, or flag lots, although these issues are under consideration during the rewrite of the County's land development code. Santa Rosa County will benefit from the implementation of additional access management techniques; the high growth rate in the County is a crucial element to consider during the development of these regulations. The County should consider the vast amount of unde v eloped land zoned for commercial uses along U S 98 when it develops its access controls. The Santa Rosa County Land Development Code should include: driveway design standards; standards to ensure adequate corner clearance; regulations to prohibit the creation of flag lots; reverse frontage requirements for proposed subdivisions along arterials and collectors; width-to-depth ratios to prevent the proliferation of irregularly shaped lots; and restrictions on the number of lots that may be created outside of the subdivision process. These regulations are more fully addressed in the recommendations found in the Conclusion of this report. 29


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WALTON COUNTY STATUS OF PLANNING AND REGULATORY PROGRAM Walton County's Comprehensive Plan, adopted in April 1993, does not currently comply with the planning requirements established by the Department of Community Affairs The County is working to bring both its Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code, which was adopted in May 1991, into compliance by early 1 996 This revisio n period provides a window of opportunity for Walton County to incorporate access management techniques into its regulatory program (See Access Issues & Problems). In addition the South Walton Land Conservation Trust was appointed by Governor Lawton Chiles to study growth management in the southern portion of the county When the State of Florida purchased 19,000 acres in south Walton Coun ty from the Nature Conservancy, it became clear that a plan for managing this portion of the County was needed. The South Walton County Conservation and Development Plan was written to address future growth or potential developments of land in the southern part of the County The Conservation Trust's plan emphasizes neotraditional town p lanning techniques and has a strong emphasis on pedestrian-fiiendly environments. This planning effort complements existing development in the southern end of the county, which is home to the neotraditional development, Seaside Village. The Trust Plan also emphasizes neighborhood-based planning and encourages the development of citizen-based plans in its "Neighborhood" land use category Walton County is currently incorporating the policies of the Conservation and Development Plan into the County Comprehensive Plan for consistency with State requirements ACCESS ISSUES AND PROBLEMS Walton County benefits from the strong voice ofthe South Walton Community Council, a citizens group which is active in the planning efforts throughout the County. Currently, the Council is in support of another private, citizen based movement to designate the US 98 Corridor as a Scenic Corridor. Several businessmen and residents in the South Walton communities have developed a draft scenic corridor ordinance which was submitted to the County Commission in October, 1995. This proposal has received great support from the Commission and is likely to be voted on for adoption by December 1995. The designation recommends strict access management and aesthetic criteria for US 98 in South Walton County The idea for the scenic designation developed among residents and businessmen who witnessed unplanned development along the US 98 Corridor in Destin, to the west, and in Panama City, to the east, and strived to develop a se t of criteria which would preserve the largely unspoiled 31


character of US 98 in South Walton County. The overlay district would require a 400 foot driveway spacing standard and interconnected parking lots for businesses along the corridor. It i s not yet clear what the land use designations will be along this area, as the plan i s still in its revision stage; currently, the land use along the proposed scenic corridor is low density residential and low intensity commercial. Much of the remainder of the US 98 Corridor is zoned for conservation, silvaculture, or agricultural land uses. CURRENT ACCESS MANAGEMENT PRACTICES Access Management Policies Walton County's Comprehensive Plan and the South Walton Conservation and Development Trust Plan (both currently being revised) include policy statements in support of access management. The plans describe the development of a local road network, establishment of on-site c irculation provisions for commercial developments, and coordination of land use practices and regulations among different governmental agencies. Walton County Comprehensive Plan: Goals, Objectives, and Policies Policy 3.4.1 -The County shall regulate the provision of roadway access to the State Highway System for new residential subdivisions and new commercial developmen t through the following management techniques: Limiting access to roads by controlling the number and location of sites, access driveways and other intersecting roads; Requiring shared driveways or cro ss-access easements for adjacent properties where the minimum driveway spacing requirements cannot be met ; and Promoting the use of frontage/service roads to minimize the number of site access driveways and intersecting roads, where necessary to maintain the safe and efficient operation of the traffic circulation system. [Status: adopted in Land Development Code .04 03 Street Design Standards, "The street layout in all new development shall be coordinated with and interconnected to the street system of the surrounding area ; streets in proposed subdivisions shall be connected to rights-of-way in adjacent areas ro allow for proper inter -neighborhood traffic flow. "} 32


South Wa.lton Conservation and Development Trust Plan The Conservation Trust's plan establishes several policies which further the goals of access management. These are the joint-access requirement and the arterial-access provision, which is similar to the Walton County policy statement: Policy k1.1.13-The County shall require development to provide adequate parking based on professionally accepted standards. The Land Development Regulations, adopted by the statutory deadline, shall include standards for parking lot design and access management, incl u ding shared driveways, in order to promote safe traffic flow consistent with the access management policies in the Traffic Circulation Element. Policy I-3 .4 1 The County shall regulate the provision of roadway access to the State Highway System for all new development through the following management techniques: Limiting access to the State Highway System by controlling the number and location of site access driveways and other intersec t ing roads according to the procedures and standards outlined in FOOT Rule Chapters I 4-96 and I 4-97; Requiring shared driveways or cross-access easements for adjacent properties where the minimum driveway spacing requirements defined in FOOT Rule 14-97 cannot be met; and Promoting the use of parallel roads to optimize the number o f site access driveways and intersecting roads, where necessary to maintain the safe and efficient operation of the transportation system Zoning Minimum Lot Frontages. Walton County has no established minimum lot frontage requirements for any of its land use di stricts (see Figure 8). The only provision contained within the County's Code with regard to lot area states that "all developments shall have a total land area sufficient to meet all d eve lopment design standards in this Code including ... land required to provide for all setbacks, buffers, storm water management, off stree t parking and circulation protection of environmentally sens itive lands, and any o ther provisions which may requi r e land area to be set aside." Much of the land along the US 98 Corridor is zoned for silvaculture, agriculture or conservation land uses; portions of the Corrido r permit low-density residential and low-intensi t y commercial uses. Planned Unit Developments. Walton County includes policies for Planned Unit Developments to allow flexible zoning practices in appropriate locations. Part of the intent of this provision is to, "promote high standards of development layout, design and construction, reduce land consumption by roads, separate vehicular and pedestrian circulation systems," and generally provide for a compatible living arrangement between man and the environment. 33


Standards for PUDs stipulate that, "Access points shall be designed to provide smooth flow, controlled turning movements, and minimize hazards to vehicular and pedestrian traffic" and, "No streets or roads within a PUD shall connect to exterior s t reets in such a way as to encourage use of a minor local street for through traffic." [Commentary: This provision is somewhat inconsistem with the County's efforts to achieve greater connectivity, as expounded in section 5.04.03 of the Land Development Code (see next page). Local governments must maintain a tenuous balance between enhancing connectivity and limiting excessive through-traffic in residemia/ areas.] 34


Figure 8 2 40 A t u s .. ,. . I .. u .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .... '"' " ... . ) ,It otou .. ... et t( '" Utto ..... t ( t .. u .. lOt IIJU!Ool )t I .. 1 r - . --..... .... . 1""2 t j":"" .. -n. . > O .. I I ' I II.O

Land Di'vision and Subdivision Regulations Walton County's Code defmes subdivision as "the platting of real property into three or more lots. parcels ... or an y other division of land." Any developer seeking to file for development plan review is required to mee t with the Director of Planning and Zoning to discuss the review process. All major and minor developments must undergo development review and must adhere to the site plan requirements established by the County in 10.03.03 of the Code. These requirements do not specifically address access, but do require the site plan to show the land use de s ignation(s) and densities of land areas adjacent to the proposed development and give an indication of the relationship of the transportation systems of the adjacent development to the proposed development In an effort to ''reduce traffic congestion on the arterial and collector roads surrounding the development," Section 5.04.03 stipulates that all streets within a proposed subdivision shall be connected to adjacent rights-of-way to allow adequate inter-neighborhood traffic flow. Subdivision regulations encourage, but do not require that stub streets be provided for future connection of adjacent subdivisions, due to concerns by developers and residents about through traffic in residential areas {see Commentary: previous page]. Minor Lot Splits. For minor lot splits, the developer is not requ ir ed to undergo as thorough a review process. Instead, the developer has only to submit an application to the Department of Planning and Zoning, and attach materials graphically depicting the original and proposed lo ts and indicating whether or not water and/or sewer service is available to the property. All minor lot splits must adhere to the requirements within the County's Code, including the requirements that: each lot must abut a public or private street; if any lot abuts a street rigb t -of-way that does not confo rm to the specifications of the Code, the owner may be required to dedicate one-half the required right-of-way width necessary to meet the minimum design standards. Additionally, the Code stip u lates that no further division of a minor lot split is pennitted until a development plan i s prepared and submitted. Reverse Frontage. Within the subdivision regulations in Walton County, there are no direct provisions for requiring reverse frontage. The current approach is to en s ure appropriate design during the development review process. The County s Planning & Development department has an opportunity to recommend such design-changes to a site plan when the developer participates in the pre-application review conference Access Controls No standards for driveway spacing, driveway design, or joint access were identified in the L and Development Code. 36


Road Classification System. Similar to Bay County, Walton County includes provisions in the Land Development Code for the class i fication of the County road system into a functional hierarchy. Local streets collectors arterial roads, and freeways are classified according to function and posted legal speeds. The general design standards which apply to the street sys tem provide for road surface widths, minimum curb radii, and sight distance standards. Figure 9: Village Locations and Village/Rural Transitions .. .. . ... .... .!!) : .... ..... . n . . .... ;,.' --;--' : ... . '" .. (:: : : ... .... ... . .. _ == _ ==.= . = . == .. _ r _":_ .. ::: . ::: .. ::: .. ::; . 1..::. :::: . . . , ... : .. ...... . . i r : :. :: ' . ...... . .. A network of {XIrallel rouds will help prorect the c apacity of US 98 by providing altematlw! roodwtzys for local traffic circulaJion South Walton ConservaJion and Developmenl Trust Plan. 37


Siglzt Distance. The requirement for a clear visibility triangle at two intersecting streets was adopted from the Florida Model Land Development Code and is defined by the following distance restrictions placed on location of anything "erected, placed, parked, planted, or allowed to grow," which could be an impediment to vision (Table 3): Table 3: Sight Distance Road Classification Distance from Street Center Line I ntersection Driveway or Residential Street 100 Feet Collector .160 Feet Arterial 200 Feet Source : Walton County Land Development Regulations, 1991. Private Roads. Section 5.04.04 stipulates that, "Private streets may be allowed within deve lopm ents that will remain under common ownership, provided that they are constructed to the County's minimum standards." These standards include, among other provisions, the formulation of a homeowners association which will be responsible for maintenance of all streets within the development. SUMMARY Walton County has adopted the following policies and land development regulations which support access management: provisions for the establishment of Planned Unit Developments; a road classification system with standards for sight distance and minimum curb radii; requirements to provide connectivity between adjacent subdivisions; a review process for the subdivision of land ; and plan policies which limit the number of access points for developments along the State Highway System. 38


Walton County could benefit from the implementation of additional access management techniques The County's Land Development Code should include: driveway spacing standards for US 98 that are consistent with those of the FOOT and required adherence to spacing standards; standards to ensure adequate comer clearance; regulations which require reverse frontage and internalized access for proposed subdivisions abutting arterials; adequate minimum lot frontages on US 98; outparcel regulations to ensure internalized access; and width-to-depth ratios to prevent the proliferation of irregularly shaped l ots. These regulations are more fully addressed in the recommendations found in the Conclusion of this report. 39


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CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Lot dimensional requirements in zoning strongly influence property access. Minimum lot frontage requirements set the minimum lot width or frontage on a public road. Lot width-to-depth ratios establish the depth of a lot in relation to its frontage, thereby precluding the creation of long narrow lots or other irregularly shaped lots that can lead to access problems. Setbacks help to assure clear views at comers, adequate emergency access, and protect buildings from the impacts of an abutting roadway (such as vehicles that lose control.) Setbacks should generally be higher along highways for these reasons, and also to protect the corridor from development in the event that it requires future widening. Poor subdivision practices and inadequate minimum lot frontage requirements along thoroughfares are impediments to achieving access management objectives. Typical subdivision problems include inadequate attention to flag lots, outparcels, and internalized access to subdivisions along arterials. Constraints also arise in relation to small, nonconforming lots platted years ago or thoroughfare frontage that bas been extensively subdivided into small lot frontages with no alternative access. Rural and urban fringe areas frequently exhibit irregular or poorly designed subdivisions-a problem often attributable to subdivision exemptions in local land development codes. Exemptions are typically provided for dividing land into large parcels or splitting off a small number of lots unless the property is being resubdivided or a street or alley is established. The purpose of such exemptions was to allow minor subdivision activity, such as transferring a lot to a family member, without i n curring the expense of platting. Today, these exemptions are often used to circumvent platting requirements The resulting subdivisions may rely heavily on private access easements or flag lots, resulting in inefficient use ofland, easement disputes, and poor connectivity More commonly they rely on existing roads and highways, creating residential strips rather than shared access subdivisions Based upon a review of the lot dimensional requirements and subdivision regulations of Bay, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Walton counties (See Table 4: Current Access Management Practices, for a complete summary of tech niques), this study recommends the following: Reinforce minimum connection spacing for commercial and residential developments along tbe US 98 Corridor. Spacing standards limit the number of driveways on a roadway by mandat ing a minimum separation distance between driveways. Driveway spacing standards should be tied to the FOOT access clas sifica tion and driveway permitting standards for the State Highway System and may be tied to posted speed limit or functional classification of the roadway on locally maintained roads. Counties along the US 98 Corridor should adopt the FOOT standards by reference in their land development code and implement them through the teclmiques described below. 41


Establish adequate minimum Jot frontage and setback requirements along the US 98 Corridor. Minimum lot frontage standards should be higher on arterials and collectors. than on local access roads, to allow for greater spacing between conunercial or resid en tial driveways. Lot frontage and dimensional requirements should be carefully coordinated with FDOT driveway spacing for US 98. Much of the US 98 corridor has already been subdivided into small lot frontages, and portions have been strip zoned for commercial use or already developed into conunercial strips. These problems can be prevented in the furure by requiring adequate minimum lot frontages along the highway. Setbacks and minimum Jot size along US 98 should be adequate to allow for installation of shared service drives Adopt and enforce corner clearance standards at intersections. Comer clearance refers to separation of driveways from intersections It is the distance from an intersection of a public or private road to the nearest access connection. The required comer clearance along US 98 is established by FDOT connection spacing standards, as well as any local standards along locally maintained side streets. Comer clearance standards preserve good traffic operations at intersections as well as the safety and convenience of access to comer properties. New connections at intersections s ho uld be consistent with comer clearance standards Wlless no other reasonable access to the property is available, and the pemtitting department determines that the connection does not create a safety or operational problem Traffic engineering analysis of the proposed connection by a register e d engineer may be required of applicants for this purpose Where no other alternatives exist, the permitting department may allow construction of an access connection along the property line farthest from the intersection. In such cases, directional connections (i.e right in/out, right in only, or right out only) may be required. Another option is to require nonconforming comer properties to share access with abutting properties. Establish a higher minimum lot size for corner lots to achieve corner clearance. Comer lots should be required to have a larger minimum lot size than other lots in that district to achieve minimum driveway spacing for comer clearance. In addition to the required minimum lot s i ze all comer lots should be of adequate size to provide for required frontyard se tba cks and comer clearance on street frontage The minimum lot size should be coordinated with desired comer clearance. Safe and convenient access is an important part of a developer's location decision Assuring an adequate lot size with appropriate comer clearance will protect the development potential and market value of comer properties. It will also help assure that these properties do not experience access problems as traffic volumes grow on the adjacent thoroughfare. Implement joint access and parking Jot cross access requirements along the US 98 Corridor. Properties unable to meet co!Ulection spacing standards shou l d be required to provide joint and cross access with adjacent properties, wherever feasible. Joint and cross access allows for more intensive development of a corridor while assuring safe and convenient access in accordance with connection spacing standards. These provisions should be applied 42


to new developments, as well as existing developments in the context of a retrofitting situation. In addition, circulation between adjacent major developments (such as abutting shopping plazas) should be provided through connecting front and/or rear service drives. A complete description of this technique, and associated requirements (including retrofitting standards) may be found in the CUTRJFDOT Model Land Development Regulations that Support Access Management. Establish a Planned Unit Development (PUD) overlay along portions of the US 98 Corridor planned for commercial development. One mechanism for achieving shared access along commercial corridors, or where land is not extensively subdivided, is to establish an overlay district which adds particular requirements beyond what .is specified by the current zoning Where commercial development is desired along portions of the US 98 corridor, a PUD overlay district should be established which contains development standards to achieve access management. Provisions should be incorporated into the PUD overlay requiring service drives or joint and cross access for all properties unable to meet spacing standards. This technique can be applied to areas that have already been subdivided, but are not yet extensively developed, and where development is expected to occur. Require intemaliud access for outparcels. Outparcels (or outlots) are lots on the perimeter of a larger parcel that break its frontage along the roadway. Such Jots are often created along thoroughfare frontage of shopping center sites, and leased or sold to take advantage of the marketability of these highly valued locations. Outparcel regulations foster coordinated on-site circulation systems that serve outparcels as well as interior development, thereby reducing the need for driveways on an arterial. None of the counties in this study regulate access to outparcels. At a minimum, local codes should require all access to outparcels to be internalized using the shared circulation system of the princ i ple d e velopment or retail center. Local regulations should also establish that development sites under the same ownership, or those consolidated for development, will be considered one property for the purposes of access regulation. The same should be required of phased development plans The number of connections permitted should be the minimum necessary to provide reasonable access and not the maximum available for that frontage. Provide an incentive for combining access points or relax parking and dimensional requirements where necessary to achieve shared access. For example some communities provide for reducing the minimum lot size and frontage requirement, as well as the required number of parking spaces, by I 5% for adjacent property owners that agree to establish a common driveway However, this should not be provided where it would create on-site circulation problems or create off-site access problems. Advance access management strategies through development agreements and the site plan review process. A development agreement is contract between a local government and a developer that establishes the rights and obligations of both parties regarding development of a parcel or site for a fixed period of time The local planning and land development 43


regulation act, 163.3227-.3243, Florida Statutes, provides local governments with the authority to enter into development agreements, but requires them to be consistent with the comprehensive plan and land development regulations. These agreements provide local governments with an opportunity to negotiate for certain public goals such as dedication of right-of-way or creative access management strategies. In tum, developers may be afforded additional flexibility in meeting land development regulations. At the same time, site plan review offers opportunities to require changes in site design and layout to avoid access problems. Regulate driveway design in relation to width and laoeage, turning radii or flare, and throat length. Driveway design standards specify how driveways must be constructed. They are used to control width, turning radius or flare, and throat (storage) length. Design standards may also require certain driveway improvements, such as channelizing islands or medians. Many of the counties along tbe US 98 Corridor are currently utilizing the FOOT Standard Index for roadway design, but have not adequately attended to driveway design or throat length. Throat length standards prevent vehicles from backing into the flow of traffic on the public street or causing unsafe conflicts with onsite circulation. The length of driveways or "throat length" should be adequate to handle anticipated s torage of entering and exiting vehicles. Standards for throat length vary according to the projected volwne of the driveway and whether it is the principle access or a secondary driveway. Generally adequate throat lengths are 40 to 60 feet for unsignalized driveways, 75 to 95 feet for smaller developments (i 200,000 GLA) and 200 or more feet for larger shopping centers (>200,000 GLA). Require reverse frontage for subdnisions to preclude platting of residential lots nuding direct anerial access or to provide stub streets for future connection. Lots with frontage on two streets should be required to obtain access off the street with the lower functional classification, when reasonable. During tbe subdivision review process, applicant should also be required to design the site such that residential lots along U S 98 obtain access from an interior street. In this way would use enter and exit the subdivision through the primary access drive of the subdivision rather than via individual driveways. Landscaped, berms or other techniques could be required to the rear of these properties to buffer them from the noise and traffic on the high\)'

Table 4: Current Access Management Practices' Technique Bay Okaloosa Joint Access ENCOURAGED ENCOURAGED Driveway Desisn NO NO Throat wgth NO NO Radius or Flare NO NO Width NO NO Corridor Overlay NO NO PUD Zoning NO YES Stub Oul Connections YES NO M inor S u bdivision Regulations YES YES' Reverse Froatage NO YES Access Review Criteri3s NO NO Access Classificat i on4 PARTLY PARTLY Driveway Spacing Standards YES YES Outpa.rc:el Regulations NO NO Flat lot Standards NO NO Comer Clearance NO NO Visi bility Tria n g l es YES NO Minimum Lot Frontage NO 210 Private Roads Regulated YES YES lot Widlh 10 Depth NO NO 2 Described in the Land Development Regulalions. 3 Walton Counry is developing a S<:tnic corridor overlay. Sec "Subdivision Regulations" under Okaloosa Counly. s Requires applicants to include access information in site plans. 6 Prioritized cenain corridors for access control. 7 C = commercial land usc R = residential land use districls 45 Santa Rosa ENCOURAGED NO NO NO NO NO YES YES YES NO PARTLY NO YES NO NO NO YES C=IOO', R=4!1-70" NO NO Walton NO NO NO NO NO YES' YES NO YES NO PARTLY NO NO NO NO NO YES NO YES NO


,ntial deve lopments along the US 98 Corridor to to the ys t em. The street system of a proposed subdivision should be designed existing, proposed and planned streets outside of the subdivision development abuts unplatted land or a future development phase of the reet stubs should be required to allow access to abutting properties or to meet system into the surrounding area. Future subdivisions should be ith these stub streets of adjacent subdivisions. (Note: eoncems regarding be addressed through the use of traffic calming techniques, such as jogs iding excessively wide Janes, and stop signs, that slow traffic and :affic movement.) subdivisions along the US 98 Highway Corridor to be d esigned with :t access to individual one and two family dwelling s should be avoided feasible. One way to accomplish this is to require subdivisions with :o be designed into shared access points to and from the highway. A esses should be sufficient regardless of the number of lots or businesses provide for this is through the application of flexible zoning or Planned elopment zoning along portions of the eonidor zoned for residential use lO: S h ared A ccess oo Major Thoroughfar es --' from the The Tug Hill Commission. Cheryl S. Dobl e and George M McCulloch. ws MaaUDI. New York: The New York Slate Tug HiJI Commission, Jonuary 1991. 46


Prohibit flag lots along the US 98 Corridor. Although flag lot "plats" were not widely observed in the counties studied flag lots were scattered a long US 98. The potential of a problem remains due to the absence of flag lot regulation in any of the local codes reviewed It is essential that each of the counties adopt regulations to prevent the creation of flag lots and to regulate private access easements. The counties should prohibit t h e platting of flag lots along US 98, with exceptions only for unique circumstances and through a variance or special exception process. Adopt lot width to depth ratios. Lot width-to-depth ratios prevent the creation of long and narrow or irregularly shaped lots that increase the number and length of private access drives The resulting driveways can carve up environmentally sensitive areas or rura l landscapes and result in inefficient use of valuable corridor frontage. Rural areas may adopt a m aximum width-to-depth ratio of I :4, meaning that parcels with I 00 feet of frontage may n o t be longer than 400 feet. U rban or suburban areas may use maximum ratios of I :2.5 or I :3 Width-to-depth ratios s hould be generally higher (I :5) along thoroughfares to allow adequate dimensions for shared access and future road widening. The same is true for coastal properties due to erosion. Establish a concurrent review process with FDOT on access permitting. State and local coordination is essential to effective access management along the US 98 Corridor. This should begin with a coordinated process of granting access perrnits along state highways. A concUitent state/local review process should be established and the District should require the applicant to send a copy of the complete permit application to the designated reviewing official in the affected jurisd iction. Applications should at a minimum include the contents described under Section 23.1 of the CUTRJFDOT model regulations (p. 2-35). Ti ming of review should be coordinated to allow for adequate local review and t o meet state and locally mandated review periods. The District should communicate with the loca l government and discuss the perrnit prior to any decision or recommendation to the applicant. For a sample approach see the combined access review committee process, described in Section 23 6 of the CUTRJFDOT model regulations. The desired review proc ess should be decided by each loca l government through dialogue with the FDOT District. Coordinate review of subdivisions on US 98 with FDOT. Local governments and FDOT should coordinate on review of proposed plats along the US 98 corridor t o prevent access problems before they are created and assure conformance with the State Highway Access Management Act and the Department's administrative rules. For example, each local government should require applicants to copy the District with their platting proposal and require a response from the D i strict prior to plat approval. Th is should occur early in the plat review proces s, preferably during conceprual review when the developer is more amenable to design changes. A dialogue should be initiated with the District regarding a procedure for coordinating on subdivision review. 47


Use intergovernmental agreements or res olutions to establish a foundation for coordinating with FDOT on managing access to US 98. Intergovernmental corridor agreements and resolutions supporting access management establish a foundation for collaboration between FOOT and local governments on access management. These tools can be used to clarify the purpose and intent of managing access to US 98, areas of mutual agreement, and what each community and FOOT will do to advance these objectives. Agreements should include timelines for implementation, as well as criteria for when either si de may nullify the agreement. Develop a connected local road network of side streets and parallel roads to accommodate desired land development along the US 98 Corridor. Counties along the US 98 Corridor mus t develop an adequate local network of roads with the capacity to accommodate traffic resulting from new developments. Side streets, internal subdivision roads small blocks, and parallel access roads can all improve connectivity of the built env i ronment and offset ttavel demand on major arterials. The layout of the local road network is not only crucial for effective traffic bicycle, and pedestrian circulation; it is also an essential component of community design. Access management strategies should not be adopted without extensive public involvement. Special corridor committees should be formed to provide guidance on desired access management and corridor improvement strategies. These could include a technical committee of planners and engineers from each local government, and an adv isory committee composed of planning and elected officials as well as business representatives and residentS. These committees should address development ttends and regulations, assess the viability of alternatives, and provide guidance on key policy issues FDOT should actively participate and special meetings should also be held with each affected county commission, city council, and planning commission, as well as separate meetings with the public, at appropriate points in the process. At a minimum, special meetings should be held during analyses of existing and future conditions, analysis of alternatives, and selection of the desired access man agement approach. Newsletters could be prepared and distributed to keep citizens and local officials informed along the way. 48


GLOSSARY OF DEFINITIONS Access Classification A ranking system for roadways used to determine the appropriate degree of access management. Factors considered include functional classification, land use and zoning, subdivision of abutting prop erties and existing level of access control. Access Connection -Any driveway, street, turnout or other means of providing for the movement of vehicles to or from the public roadway system. Access ManagementThe process of providing and managing access to land development while preserving the regional flow of traffic in terms of safety, capacity, and speed. Access Management Plan (Cor ridor) A plan illustrating the design of access for lots on a highway segment or an interchange area tbat is developed jointly by the state, the metropolitan planning organization, and the affected jurisdiction(s). Arterial -A highway intended primarily for through traffic and where access should be carefully controlled. Channelizing Island -an area within the roadway not for vehicular movement, which is designed to control and direct specific movements of traffic and which may be defmed by paint, raised bars, cmbs, or other devices Collector Roads Roads intended to move traffic from local roads to secondary arterials. A collector road serves a neighborhood or large subdivision and should be designed so that no residential proper:ties face onto it. Connection Spacing The distance between driveway connections, measured from the c los est edge of pavement of the first connection to the closest edge of pavement of the second connection along the edge of the traveled way. Corner Clearance The distance from an intersection of a public or private road to the nearest access connection measmed from the closest edge of the pavement of the intersecting roa d to the closest edge of the pavement of the connection along the traveled way. (see Figure I) Corridor Overlay Zone Special requirements added onto existing land development requirements along designated portions of a public thoroughfare. Cross Access -A service drive providing vehicular access between two or more contiguous sites so the driver need not enter the public street system. 49


Directional Median Opening -An opening in a restrictive median which provides for specific movements and physically restficts other movements. Directional median openings for two opposing left or U-tum" movements along a road segment are considered one directional median open ing. Driveway Flare A triangular pavement surface at the entrance of a driveway that facilitates turning movements, and used to replicate twning radius in areas with curb and g utter construction. Driveway Return Radius A circular pavement transition at the entrance of a driveway that facilitates turning movements. Easement-A grant of one or more property rights by a property owner to or for use by the public or another person or entity. Exception Pennission to depart from design standards in an ordinance due to unique circumstances of the site or project This does no t require the sante findings of hardship as with variances, but does involve findings of fact to support the need for an exception. Frontage Road A public or private drive which generally parallels a public street between the right-of-way and the front building setback line. The frontage road provides access to private properties while separating them from the arterial street (see also Serv ice Roads) . Full Median Opening -An opening in a raised median that allows all turning movements from the roadway and the intersecting road or access connection. Functional Classification -A system used to group public roadways into classes according to their purpose in moving vehicl e s and providing access. Highway, Controlled Access -A roadway designed for through traffic, and to which abutting properties have no legal right of access except in accordance with the requirements of the public authority having jurisdiction over that roadway. Joint Access (or Shared Access)-A driveway connecting two or more contiguous si tes to the public street system. Lot Deptb -The average distance measured from the front lot lin e to the rear lot line. Lot, Flag-A large lot not meeting minintum frontage req u ir ements and where access to the public road is by a narrow, private right-of-way or driveway. Lot Frontage -That portion of a lo t extending along a street right-of-way line. 50


Median that portion of a roadway separating the opposing traffic flows. Med ians can be depressed, raised, or flush. Outparcel A lot adjacent to a roadway that interrupts the frontage of another lot. Raised Median -A physical barrier in the roadway that separates traffic traveling in opposite directions, such as a concrete barrier or landscaped island. Reasonable AccessThe minimum number of access connection s direct or indirect, necessary to provide safe access to and from a public road, as consistent with the pwpose and intent of any applicable plans and policies All lots under the same ownership shall be considered one property for the purposes of this definition. Service Road A public or private street or road auxiliary to and normally located parallel to a controlled access facility, that maintains local road continuity and provides access to parcels adjacent to the controlled access facility. Sight Distance The distance of uno bstruct ed view for the driver of a vehicle, as measured along the normal travel path of a roadway to a specified height above the roadway. Stub-out (Stub-street) -A portion of a street or cross access drive used as an extension to an abutting property that may be developed in the future. Waiver-Permission to depart from the requirements of an ord inan ce where required conditions are satisfied (see also Exception). 51


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. APPENDIX A: COMMENTS FROM THE ACCESS MANAGEM ENT SEMINAR Below is a summary list of participant comments from the regional access management seminars held in Panama City, Fort Walton Beach, and the City of Gulf Breeze on November 27-29, 1995. These comments were made in response to two separate questions. The first asked for land division and access problems that participants have observed or are aware of in their area. The second asked participants to list strategies for improving coordination among the agencies and professionals involved in managing access to a major corridor. LAND DIVISION AND ACCESS PROBLEMS Too many (mu l tiple) driveways to the same commercial site or parcel. Closely spaced driveways. Nwnerous outparcels increase individual demand for driveways and little attention to coordinated on-site circulation. Problems with internal (on-site) circulation. Use of major arterials as local residential access roads. Too many closely spaced median openings lead to dri ve r confusion and safety hazards. Inadequate lot dimensions: narrow lots with small setbacks. Problems of residential areas along major corridors transitioning to small office uses. C lose ly spaced driveways exacerbated by increased traffic volumes. L ittle interconnection between subdivisions and increase in gated communities Opposition to improved connectivity due to concerns over through traffic, crime, desire to remain "exclusive." Inadequate turning radii for cui-de-sacs results in problems for school bus and emergency access. Inadequate design of intersections, with inadequate storage length for twn bays. Unlimited driveways for some corner convenience stores. Dead end streets that now need a cul-de-sac, but are now constrained by development. Walmarrs site plan is inadequate when it comes to on-s ite circulation and driveway throat length. "Cookie cutter" site designs for certain chains that don't fit the characteristics of the individual site. 53


Properties that don't connect to abutting side streets. Inadequate use of shared driveways. Poor visibility for turning caused by high landscaping. Sight distance problems with driveways, such as driveways on a curve of a high speed roadway. Lack of deceleration lanes for some larger developments. Property rights i ssues and concerns. Single-use developments (increase the number and length of individual trips.) Uncon trolled left turns. COORDINATION STRATEGIES FOOT and local government representatives need to keep each other informed regarding co!Ulection requests or projects in the pipeline that require access to the state highway s y stem. This would help allay the ping-pong effect caused when a developer attempts to use the Notice of Intent to Permit an access co!Ulectio n to obtain local approval. Personal phone call to the affected local government regarding connection requ ests would be helpful. A list of the District access management contacts should be provided to each local government (See Appe ndix B) Require site plans on an 81/2 by 11 sheet so they are faxable. Notice of intent to permit: it is unclear where the project is located and the site characteristics from the information sent by the Districts to local govenunents. Combined review committee for access requests on state highways or just on US Highway 98. Ibis should include representatives from FOOT, local government, and advise developer on appropriate course of action Teleconferencing, chat line, bulletin board to enhance communication and/or computerized permit tracking system that enables government agencies and property owners/developers to track the status of their project in the system. Incorporate access management into the revised Intergovernme ntal Coordination Elements required by the ELMS III legislation. 54


FOOT, MPO and local governments should work together on a corridor plan and develop and adopt intergovernmental agreements establishing shared responsibilities for managing access to US 98 or other major corridors. This should be supplemented by a joint access review committee proces s Joint access: need for close coordination of the District with local governments on driveway permitting where the local government implements joint and cross access requirementS on a corridor. Otherwise a ping pong effect could result between District feeling it bas to permit a nonconforming connection and the local govenunent attempting to carry out joint and cross access Need for better internal coordination within each local government, as well as within the District, between those involved with various aspectS of acecss management (i.e., permitting, engineering, and project development.) Estab lis h a regional transportation authority. Need more emphasis on the "big picture all trip types. Include local government representatives i n median opening committees More consistency of standards across local governments is needed Invo lve FOOT early in the site plan and subdivision rev iew process. Consider establishing a joint development review process. Who shou l d address the adequacy of driveway throat length? Should it be addressed in the Distric t driveway permitting process or during local site plan review? (most felt it should be addressed during local site plan revi e w becau se it dealt with on-site design.) Include developers and relevant special interest groups in future meetings and workshops on access management. Do your "homework" in terms of informing the public Landowners/developers -Driving public 55


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APPENDIX B: FDOT DISTRICT 3ACCESS MANAGEMENT CONTACT LIST The following is a listing of access management contact persons at the Florida Department of Transporta tion, District 3 Preston Toole, Permits Engineer FOOT District 3 P .O. Box607 U.S. Highway 90 Chipley, F L 32428 (904) 638-0250/ Suncom 7 67-1240 Ronnie Finch, FIRS/Corridor Planning FOOT District 3 P.O. Box607 U.S. Highway 90 Chipley, FL 32428 90 (904) 638/ Suncom 767-0250 Charles Odom, Medians FOOT District 3 P.O. Box607 U.S. Highway 90 Chipley, FL 32428-9990 (904) 638-0250/ Suncom 767-1241 Joe Poole, Traffic Operations Engineer FOOT District 3 P.O. Box 607 U.S. Highway 90 Chipley, FL 32428-9990 (904) 638-0250/ Suncom 767-1267 Local Maintenance Office Contacts Charles Taylor Permit Engineer 1651 E. Nine Mile Road Pensacola, FL 32514 (904) 484-5005 / Suncom 690-8004 Escambia & Santa Rosa Counties Grady Rushing, Permit Engineer 45 N. Park Street DeFuniak Springs, FL 32422 (904) 892-8004/ Suncom 676-8004 Walton & Okaloosa Counties 57 Novie Johnson, Permit Enginee r I 040 Highway 98 East Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548 (904) 892-8004/ Suncom 676 Willie Manin, Permit Engineer (904) 892-8004/ Suncom 676-8004 Folt Walton Beth Townsend, Permit Engineer (904) 892-8004/ Suncom 676-8004 Fon Walton sub-office Dan Rogers, Panama City Maintenance 3633 Highway 390 Panama City, FL 32405 (904) 872-4490/ Suncom 777-4490 Bay, Gulf & Calhoun Counties Faith Skipper, Marianna Maintenance 2956 Correctional Road Marianna, FL 32448 (904) 482-9546/ Soncom 789-9546 Jackson, Holmes, & Washington Counties Donnie Phillips, Tallahassee Maintenance 2612 Springhill Road Tallahassee, FL32310 (904) 922-5626/ Suncom 278-5626 Leon, Franklin, Wakkola, Oadsen, Jefferson & Liberty Counties


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REFERENCES Bay County. Bay County Comprehensive Plan. May 1990. Bay County. Bay County Land Development Regulations. November 1990. McPherson, J., D. Coffey and G. Easley Model Land Development Code for Florida Cities and Counties. Prepared for the Department of Community Affairs. December 1989. Okaloosa County Okaloosa County Comprehensive Plan. July 1990. Okaloosa County. Okaloosa County Land Development Code. November 1994. Santa Rosa County. Santa Rosa County Comprehensive Plan September 1990. Santa Rosa County. Santa Rosa County Land Development Code. August 1991. South Walton Conservation and Development Trust Plan. Prepared for the Sou th Walton Conservation and Development Trust. December 1994. Walton County. Walton County Comprehensive Plan. April 1993. Walton County Walton County Unified Land Development Code. May, 1991. Williams, K., G Sokolow, et. al. Model Land Development and Subdivision Regulations that Support Access Management. Center for Urban Transportation Research. Prepared for the Florida Department of Transportation January 1994. 59


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