Accomplishing access management on the FIHS

Accomplishing access management on the FIHS

Material Information

Accomplishing access management on the FIHS the US 27 highway corridor
Alternate Title:
Accomplishing access management on the Florida Intrastate Highway System the US 27 highway corridor
Williams, Kristine
Kramer, Jeffrey H
Nikitopoulos, Irene
Florida -- Dept. of Transportation
University of South Florida -- Center for Urban Transportation Research
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla
University of South Florida, Center for Urban Transportation Research
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
37 p. : ill., maps ; 28 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Express highways -- Planning -- Florida ( lcsh )
Land use -- Planning -- Florida ( lcsh )
Traffic congestion -- Prevention -- Florida ( lcsh )
Planning -- United States Highway 27 ( lcsh )
local government publication ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


Additional Physical Form:
Also issued online.
General Note:
"October 2000."
Statement of Responsibility:
prepared by Kristine M. Williams, Jeffrey H. Kramer, Irene Nikitopoulos.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
025509215 ( ALEPH )
665731639 ( OCLC )
C01-00223 ( USFLDC DOI )
c1.223 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Accomplishing access management on the FIHS :
the US 27 highway corridor /
prepared by Kristine M. Williams, Jeffrey H. Kramer, Irene Nikitopoulos.
3 246
Accomplishing access management on the Florida Intrastate Highway System :
the US 27 highway corridor
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida, Center for Urban Transportation Research,
37 p. :
ill., maps ;
28 cm.
"October 2000."
Also issued online.
United States Highway 27
x Planning.
Express highways
z Florida
Land use
Traffic congestion
Kramer, Jeffrey H.
Nikitopoulos, Irene.
Dept. of Transportation.
University of South Florida.
Center for Urban Transportation Research.
t Center for Urban Transportation Research Publications [USF].
4 856


ACCOMPLISHING ACCESS MANAGEMENT ON THE FffiS: THE US 27 IDGHWAY CORRIDOR This research was conduc ted under a grant from the Florida Department of Transportat ion FDOT Project Managers: Gary Sokolow Joe Santos The report was prepared by: Kristine M. Williams, AICP Jeffrey H. Kramer, AICP Irene Nikitopoulos Center for Urban Transportation Research University of South Florida, College of Engineering 4202 E. Fowler Ave., CUT I 00 Tampa, FL 33620-5375 October 2000


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Note to Users: Local govenunents are strongly encouraged to obtain professional planning and legal guidance and to coordinate closely with the Florida Department of Transportation when enacting any of the recommended regulatory techniques described in this report. Acknowledgements: The authors would like to extend their appreciation to the following individuals who provided valuable assistance with this research. Barry Brown Don Cashdollar Anita Gonzalez Noble Olasimbo Henry Pinzon Ross Pluta Jeff Richardson Phillip Scearce Fred Schneider Mike Szunyog John Zelinski Director of Planning City of Clermont Access Management Engineer, Florida Departme nt of Transportation, Dist. I Planner, City ofMinneola Engineer, Lake County Department of Public Works Project Manager, Florida Department of Transportation, Dist. 5 Development Review Engineer, Lake County Department of Public Works Chief Planner, Lake County Department of Growth Management Senior Planner, Polk County Planning Engineering Director, Lake County Department of Public Works MPO Liaison, Florida Department of Transportation, Dist. 5 FlliS Coordinator, Florida Department of Transportation Dist. 5


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INTRODUCTION ................................................. .................... ........................................... l CORRIDOR CONDITIONS .. ................................................... ...... H ................................. l LAND USE ... .. ... .. . .. ..... .... .. .. .... ..... ................................................... ..... ................. . 2 SUPPORTING STREET NETWORK ....... .. ....... ...... ......... ... .. .. .. ..... .. .. .. .. . .. .. .. ... . .. .. . ..... 3 STATE PLANS AND POLICIES AFFECTING US 27 .. . ..... .. ..... .. .... .. ...... ...... .... .... .4 THE FLORIDA INTRASTATE HIOHWA Y SYSTEM .. . ... . .. .. . ........................................... 4 US HIGHWAY 27 CORRIDOR ACTION PLAN (CAP) .... ................ .................................. .. 6 US 27 ARTERIAL INVESTMENT STUDY .......................................... ... ........ ...................... 7 us HIGHWAy 27 PD&E STUDY ................. .. ................ .................................................. 7 CURRENT ACCESS MANAGEMENT POLICIES AND PRACTICES ........... 9 LAI

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IssueJ: State and Local Coordination on Access Managemen/ ..... .......... .............. 27 Issue 2: Supporting Road Network .................. ........ ....... ........................................ 29 Issue 3: Interparcel and Side Street Connections ............ ...... ......... ...... ............... 31 Issue 4: Right-of-Way Preservation .... .. ... ... ... .................. .. ..... ................................ 32 Issue 5: Internal Access for Outparcels ................ .............. ..................... ...... ....... 33 Issue 6: Subdivision Exemptions ........ ......... ......................................................... ... 34 CITIES OF CLERMONT AND MINNEOLA ....................... .. ...... . .... .. .. ... ....... ... .. ......... 34


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INTRODUCTION US 27 extends 300 miles from Alachua County in the north, through central Florida, to Miami. As a major north-south corridor and interstate reliever, US 27 has been designated as part of the Florida Intrastate Highway System (FIHS) the network of roadways essential to the state's economy, hurricane preparedness, and overall transportation mobility. To preserve these important functions, the Florida Department of Transportation has established a higher level of access control on US 27 and other FIHS highways that are not limited access freeways The Center for Urban Transportation (CUTR), under a grant from the Florida Department of Transportation (FOOT), was directed to review current access management efforts along a 36-mile segment of the US 27 corridor that is experiencing intense development pressure. The study area extends along the segment of US 27 between the I-4 interchange in Polk County to the Florida Turnpike in Lake County. The purpose of the review is to assess current access management practices at the local level and to assist FOOT and local governments in the study area in accomplishing access management on US 27. Local government practices assessed included those of Polk County, Lake County, the City of Minneola, and the City of Clermont. Current practices were assessed through interviews with state and local planning and engineering officials and a review of FDOT plans and policies affecting US 27, local government comprehensive plans, and local land development regulations. The results of the assessment are provided below. CORRIDOR CONDITIONS US 27 is a 4-lane divided rural highway through most of the study corridor, excluding limited urban sections in the Cities of Clermont and Minneola. The majority of the corridor was in agricultural use until the late 1980's, when many of the citrus groves were destroyed by ice storms. At that time, land along the corridor became available for development at a discount in comparison to land in the surrounding area (Orange and Osceola Counties). In recent years, US 27 has experienced intense residential development pressure, although many of these projects are still under construction or in the approval phase. Demand for housing in the area is generated primarily by nearby theme parks and proximity to the Orlando metropolitan area. According to Lake County staff, roughly 65% of households in the area have at least one member employed in the tourist attractions area of Orange and Osceola counties. Corridor land development and access conditions are described in more detail below. I


Land Use In unincorporated Lake County, future land use designations along the corridor are generally residential, with densities ranging from I unit per 5 acres near the Florida Turnpike to 7 units per acre along most of the eastern side of the corridor. On the west, land has a future land use classification of public resource lands and low density residential (4 dus/acre) and is within the Green Swamp Area of Critical State Concern. Apart from the Cities of Clermont and Minneola, existing ,.,,.; ,;, ,-, land use in the study area consists primarily of large ,!!and !11!8 m ; th!. ,stud)l ... : .area oof. iStS man( residential and mixed-use Developments of Regional Impact ,""' . 11!:1,. ,. Y . "':Qr Jarge\Dev8!0i>ments ;t (DRis). Much of the land remains i n large parcels, except for -:of,Re\:ii9flal1imPacD,\," ,' a few pre-existing vacant lots with narrow lot widths and "''" . . elongated lot depths (Figure I). The DRls range in size from a few hundred dwelling units to several thousand dwelling units with varying square feet of commercial space. They are typically gated communities with single, well-defined access points onto US 27. A few mobile home developments exist along the corridor and are also self-conta ined with a single access point onto the highway. Some single lot residential uses exist in the Cities of Clermont and Minneola. Access to some of these units is gained through a direct driveway connection to US 27, though most connect to side streets Excep t for commercial uses, occas ional small businesse s are largely confined to the following areas along the US 27 corridor : a The 1-4 and US 192 interchanges b. The area between US 192 and CR 474 in Lake County, c. The City of Clermont and d The City of Minneola. The interchange areas are characterized by highway-oriented uses, such as convenience stores, fast food restaurants, and gas stations. While relatively little new development has occurred along US 27 directly in the interchange area of US 27 and US 192, several parcels are advertised as being for sale. In particular, development interest has been expressed in the parcel of land in the southeast quadrant of the interchange in Polk County. Most recently, a developer 2 Figure I : Long, narrow lots with frontage on US 27 will need alternative highway access


requested access less than onerquarter mile from the interchange ramps and asked for the existing median opening to be kept open when the facility is improved. Although this request was not accommodated by FDOT, it does represent the pressures for additional access being experiencei'l il} the

lnterconnectivity between developments is limited and there are few alternative access points provided to support the primary access points along US 27. Joint and cross access does exist in limited amounts in the commercial area near the interchange of US 27 and US 192. Additionally, some subdivisions have rights-of-way reserved for future connections to abutting sites. According to Lake County staff, the County has been successful in achieving some interconnection between DRI's south of Clennont. STATE PLANS AND POLICIES AFFECTING US 27 Because of its im portance to regional mobility and the state economy, US 27 has been designated as part of the Florida Intrastate Highway System (FIHS). As such, a variety of plans and policies affect the US 27 corridor. Below is an overview of the access management requirements of the F IHS, the US Highway 27 Corridor Action Plan (prepared in 1994), which addressed long-tenn improve m ent and management needs in L ake County, and the US 27 Arterial Investment Study (prepared in 1996), which looked at specific improvement needs along the Polk County segment of the corridor. T he US 27 PD&E (Project Development & Environment) study, being prepared by FOOT District 5, is also reviewed below. The PD& E study looks at the feasibility of improving the segment of US 27 that runs through Lake County between US 192 and Florida's Turnpike. The Florida Intrastate Highway System Florida Intras tate Highway System (FIHS) facilities are : ,, ;, : s .' limited access (freeways) and controlled access (at-grade ';'!."'J!t! dema ,fid .. . ' arterials) facilities that allow for high-speed and high-volume traffic movement within the state According to FDOT, FIHS .Of FIHS fiiCIIi(les: J s"" ... "'' highways comprise 3% of Florida's roadways but carry 32% ( ... :> (.; of all traffic, and 70% of all truck traffic in the state. As such, ' ; they are critical to trade, tourism, hurricane preparedness, and overall mobility in Florida. Yet the combination of rapid growth, urban decentralization, and significant seasonal traffic h as created a backlog of improvement needs. Analysis of the system indicates that by 2001 the FIHS will carry the majority of vehicle miles traveled on the state highway system and about 30% of the routes will be heavily congested In addition, FDOT is facing a financial shortfall of approximately $29 billion over the next twenty years in accomplishing the improvement needs of the FIHS W ith demand outpac i ng supply, effective management of FIHS facil i ties is crit ical. Toward that end, the FIHS plan calls for a high level of access control to be applied to FIHS highways, such as US 27, that are not limited access facilities. The state has a 7tier classification system that is assigned to state highways to establish the access management standards for that segment. Access C l ass I is reserved for limited access freeways, whereas Access Class 7 is assigned to state highways in areas that are already highly urbanized. Some FIHS controlled access highways, such as US 27, must be 4


classified at an access c l ass i fication of2 or 3 (Table 1). Any segments assigned a lower access clas s ification must eventually be upgraded to a Class 2 or 3. Table 1: Access Classifications Applied to tho US 27 Corridor Access C l ass 2 H i gh ly controlled access fac i l itie s d i sti ng uis hed by t h e abil ity to serve high speed and high vol ume traffic over long distances in a safe and effiCient ma nne r These highways are distinguished by a system of existi ng o r p l anned service ro ads. T his access class is distinguished by a h lg hty cont r olled and limited num ber o f connections, median open i ngs, and i nfre q uent traffic signals. Access Class 3 Facilities are controlled access faci liti es w h ere d ir ect access to abutt i ng l and will be controlled to maxim ize the operation of the through traffic movemen t and where ex isti ng la nd us e and roadway sections have n o t been bui lt out to the maximum land use or roadway capacity or w her e the probability of s ig n ifi can t land use change I n the near fut ur e is hig h US 27 has been ide n t ified as a major trade and tourism corridor i n th e state. The interstate reliever designation has not yet bee n officially adopted by FDOT b u t should i t b e approved it will further e l evate the state policie s for access mana geme nt on US 27. Currently, US 27 is designated as an Access Class 3 facility i n all of Lake County an d mo st of Polk County. The only exception to this designation within th e study co nido r i s a short segment of US 27 in Polk County immediately south of the Lake Cou nty line near the interchange with US 192. This segment is designated as an Access Class 2. The standards for these access classifications are established and canied out through two adm i n istrative rules Ru le Chapter 14-97 State Highway System Access Management Classification System and Standards, governs access classification of highways and provides spacing standards for driveways, median openings, and signals. These standards are listed in Table 2. Ru1e Chapter 14-96, State Highway System Connection Permits Administra tiv e Process, governs permitting and addresses application and permitting procedures, permit requirements and permit modifications or co nditi ons. All developments needing access to the State Highway System must obtain a permit in accordance with Rule 14-96. The F lorida Department of Transportat ion may stipulate conditions or additional requirements th at must be met by the applicant/property owner before an access permit is issued. Permit co ndi tions may be recorded with the deed where cross access agreements or other applicable conditions apply. 5


Access C l ass T ab l e 2: FOOT Access C l ass ifica t ion S y stem & Sta ndard s M edlana Co n n ectio n S p ac ing (feet ) >45 mph- Median 0)Mn i n g Spacin g DirectFull ional S ignal Spacing 2 (F i HS) Restrictive 1320 660 1320 2640 2640 4 5 6 7 w/ Service Roads Restrictive 660 440 N on 660 440 Re str i ctive R estrictive 440 245 Non440 245 Restrictive Both Median 125 Types 2 6 4 0 . I I J ..... 660 2640/ 1320 .. . I ,J -.. ----330 660 2640 2640 2640/ 1320 1320 1320 A .. Restrictive" median physically prevents v ehicl e crossing. A .. median allows turns across any point : P osted speed limie Given the need for careful management of land development and access on FIHS highways, sla t e and local coordination is essential. The FIRS Plan emphasizes the need for FOO T to coordinate access management decisions with local government s and calls for formal agreements between FOOT and local governments tbat support the application of state a c cess management slandards t o development in FIRS corri d ors. US Highw ay 2 7 Corrido r Action Pl a n ( CAP) In 199 4 F O O T District Five prepared the US Highway 27 (St at e Road 25) Co rridor Action Plan (CAP) for the section of US 27 in Lake County between the Polk County line and the access ramps to the Florida Turnpike The plan objective was to identify needed improvements and environmental concerns along the study corridor. The plan is comprised of three elements including a facility enhancement element, a facility operation and preservati on clement and an environm en tal element. As a result of the CAP, sev e ra l capacity improvement pr o jects were identified wit h in th e study corridor Dev eloping th e CAP invo lved a re v iew of access manage ment po licies in the three compre hens ive p l ans that govern l and use i n the corridor, t h at of L ake County and the 6


Cities of Clermont and Minneola. The review found that Lake County had developed a roadway access management ordinance, in conjunction with FDOT, which addressed the minimwn FlliS standards and criteria. The CAP suggested that both Clermont and Minneola amend the transportation element of their respective comprehensive plans to specifically reference the FIHS standards for driveway connection permits, signal spacing and intersection spacing and generally be updated to comply with the minimwn FIHS standards and criteria. The CAP al so suggested that an intedocal agreement be executed between the FOOT and both cities to govern decisions in the US 27 corridor and to properly plan for vehicular access onto US 27 and maintain its FIHS function. The CAP makes several specific recommendations related to intergovernmental coordination and specifically states that local land use planning efforts should be coordinated with the access management regulations of the FOOT. Among the recommen dat ions are that the local governments' site development approval processes and subdiv isio n regulations should be coordinated with the FOOT access permitting process Also the CAP recommended that the jurisdictions should develop a secondary road system to p rovide access to planned development. Additionally, the CAP recommended that the FOOT consider establishing a conceptual driveway connection permit pro ce ss in concert with the local government development approval process, but without delegating the FOOT's permitting authority. In this way, FDOT permitting staff would have an opportunity to communicate early i n the decision-making process with permit applicants. Many of the recommendations made i n the CAP have been implemented to some extent. However, no intergovernmental agreements bave been executed that formalize coordination during the land deve lopm ent process relative to the provision of access on US 27. In current practice, the FOOT Permit Engineer is typically included in site development meetings with the developer and the local jurisdiction to provide a conceptual rev:iew of the proposed driveway connection, but this review is not mandatory. US 27 Arterial Investment Study In 1996, FOOT District One conducted the US 27 Arterial bJVestment Study for the section of US 27 in Polk County between SR 60 and the Lake County line. While the study foWld that growth would occur in the section of US 27 north of Interstate 4, the growth was not sufficient to warrant any capacity improvements in the next 20 years. The sole exception is in the Interstate 4 interchange area, which will undergo capacity improvements in concert with planned improvements on the in terstate US Highway 27 PD&E Study Consistent with the recommendations of the US Highway 27 Corridor Actio" Plan, FOOT District Five is currently conducting a Project Development and Environment (PD&E) study in Lake County between the Polk County line and the ramp s of 7


Florida's Turnpi ke. The PD &E study is assessing capac ity improvem en ts in the stud y corridor, includi ng a variety of 6-laning alternatives. Lake CoWlty and the Cities of Mitu1eola and Clermont have provided input into the project ranging from i nformal comments during public information meetings t o formal reviews of the pre l iminary design documents FOOT used that input to make preliminary median opening location decisions, as well as other access related decisions (Figure 2). ,h,; .. . . -.,:;; NO I I i l I I ))if .... Y.O ... I I f I i J .. L ... no m . Cl ....... Opri:rf Cl __ Cipriol 0 t\OOf ,_., .. ., ...... 0,0.0.., 0 ... ll n)Qf ..._.,Ow,oooo ll UbCN'flt .....-c:o.oN I'Oflnt .OUIIO C ? s --0 Wt, ... .... NIS "101\TWSounc ........ Figure 2: Map IdentifYing Selected FDOT and Lake County Proposed Median Opening Locations on US 27 In June 2000, Lake County prov i ded detailed comments i n resp onse to preliminary project base maps. The comments addr es sed pl3tuled median openings re l ative to site access on approved major development plans, driveway locat i ons and planned roadways and provided F DOT with added ins i ght in relation to development proposals and l oca l actions that have an influence on roadway design and access. Among the comments, L ake County recommended the following: A southbound directional opening for the Citrus Valley Subdivision, A full median opening into the Waterbury Subdivision and tbe Grea t er Lakes PUD, A full median opening for the proposed intersection of the South Clermont Connector whic h appears in t h e County's Five-Year Transportation Construction Program, A full median opening f o r the proposed new ro ad t o Turk e y L ake by the City of Minneola and the County, Improvement oframps and alignments at the interc hang e of SR 50 and US 27, where delay and capacity problems already exist, and 8


A northbound directional opening and frontage road to connect the existing hotel parking lots just south of the ramps to Florida's Turnpike. Additional phases of project development, including design, right-of-way acquisition and construction are ftmded for several segments of the study corridor in the FOOT Adopted Five Year Work Program for fiscal years 00/01 through 04/05 Both the segment of US 27 running between tl].e Polk County L ine and Boggy Marsh Road and the segment running between Steve s Road and CR 561 are ftmded for construction in FY 04/05. Mobility 2000 (legislation approved by the 2000 Florida Legislature) provided funds to advance the right of way acquisition and construction phases for selected segments of US 27 into the five-year time frame of the FDOT Adopted Work Program (Figure 3). No capacity projects are under consideration in the Polk County section of the study corridor, excep t in the Interstate 4 interchange area that will be improved as L _ .!_ __ the Interstate 4 Improvement Program is Figure 3: Area Projects Funded by Mobility 2000 implemented over the next several years. This is consistent with the US 27 Arterial !11vestment Study conducted by FOOT District One i n 1996. CURRENT ACCESS MANAGEMENT POLICIES AND PRACTICES The 36-mile portion of US 27 between I-4 and the Florida Turnpike travels through two counties and two cities, Lake County, Polk County, and the Cities of Clermont and Minneola. Each of these loca l governments has plans, policies, and regulations that govern land development and access along the corridor. Below is an assessment of the planning and regulatory environment for access management in each community. Lake County Lake County Public Works staff is primarily charged with making access management decisions during the site review and permitting process. According to County staff, 9


access management decisions along the US 27 corridor are made based on FDOT standards and criteria that have been adopted as part of the Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code. The County notifies all applicants for development on the US 27 corridor and other state highways that they will require an access permit from FDOT. Comprehensive Plan Within the Traffic Circulation Element of the Lake County Comprehensive Plan, US 27 is classified as a Principal Arterial from the Florida Turnpike south to the Polk County line. The Future Traffic Circulation Map shows the corridor under study as a 6-lane facility, except for a 15-mile segment south of C.R. 50 to the Polk County line, which is shown as a 4-lane divided roadway. The Traffic Circulation Element of the Lake County Comprehensive Plan contains goals, objectives, and policies aimed at improving the safety, convenience, and efficiency of the traffic circulation system. For state highways, including US 27, the Plan adopts the Statewide Minimum Level of Service Standards for the State Highway System (sec Tabl e 2). With respect to access management the Element states in Policy 2-1.10: "By July 1992, Lake County shall adopt an access management ordinance which includes the provisions of Rules of Chapter 14-96 and Chapter 14-97 F.A.C., and amend its Land Development Regulations by September 1992 to incorporate access limitations which require developments adjacent to State roads to comply with or exceed all State access standards to control the connections and access points of driveways and roads to roadways. The County's development review process shall also require developments to obtain a development order from the Coun ty concurrent with obtaining curb cut permits from the FDOT." Both these policies have been met by Lake County with the adoption of Section 9.05.00, Lake County Land Developm ent Code. Access Management Requirements As directed by the Comprehensive Plan, the Lake County Land Development Regulations include access management regulations for state and county roads, including county roads within the incorporated cities of Lake County (Section 9.05.00). The original code language related to access management was adopted in 1992 and last amended in 1995. The stated intent of the ordinance is to : Promote the efficient use of public thoroughfares, Protect the long distan ce traffic carrying capacity of the road network, Diminish hazardous traffic conditions in areas of high development, and Avoid continued degradation of the road network traffic capacities. 10


Developments along US 27 must not only meet the requirements of the County's access management ordinance, but are also required to obtain a connection permit from FDOT prior to construction. The Land Development Code states the following: "When a site abuts the State Highway System, the applicant shall consult with FDOT prior to, and during, the local government plat subdivision, rezoning, site plan, or any other applicable pre-development review process for which a connection permit shall be required by the state. The purpose of this consultation is to determine the permit category and obtain a conceptual review of the development site p lan and proposed access connections to the State Highway System with respect to FOOT's connection loc ation, quantity, spacing, and design standards. Such consultation shall assist the developer in minimizing problems and delays during the permit application process and eliminate the need for costly changes to plats, or site plans when unpennittable connection proposals are identified early in the planning phase." A "nonconforming connection" permit may be issued if it is determined that conformance with driveway location and spacing criteria is impractical and that denial of a connection would leave the property without reasonable access to the highway system. The Code provides that the connection shall be noted as nonconfonning in the permit and may contain specific restrict ions including: a. Maximum vehicular usage of the connection, b. Construction of a conforming connection when future alternate means can be obtained with removal of the nonconforming connection, c. Limitation on properties to be served by the connection, and d Any other conditions deemed necessary by the County or City to carry out the provisions of the access management regulations. Roadways designated by FDOT or the County as principal arterials, minor arterials, major collectors, and other select roadways are subject to the access management requirements described below. These standards are applied during the rezoning process site plan review process, or platting process or when a significant change in intensity occurs during reconstruction or remodeling. Both the City and County would conduct a joint review when a development is adjacent to a city's corporate limits or within a distance where it may impact the access management system. The County chooses which access manage ment techniques should be applied according to a development's land use and intensity. The review process begins by classifying the developme n t according to the "Site Classification System" listed in Table 3 (based on FDOT standards prior to the implementation of Rule 14-9 7 in 1991). Based on the site classification, as well as other factors including parcel depth and width, existing conditions o f the adjacent property, and topography, the County can apply a variety of access management techniques. These i nclude access roads, cross-access corridors, joint 11


parking design, joint use connectio n s . rear l o t access, co nt i nuous right turn lanes, and/or access from collec tor roads or service drives. The Code promotes joint and cross access and states that when a "site ab ut s an existing deve lo p ed property, the access management facility shall be designed so as to tie into the abutting parking, access and circulation facilities in order to create a unified system, unless the County or city finds that this would be i mpractical or inappropriate." For cross-access corridors or coo r dinated or joint parking designs, developers of Class II and Class Ill sites may be asked to provide easements o r sign agreements to ensure that adjoining properties are "appropriately connected Staff can also conclude that "abutting properties have been so developed that it is clearly impractical to create a unified access and circulation sys t em." County staff in dicated that they have experienced administrative problems in some cases w h en seeking to e nforce joint access. Table 3: Lake County Site Classification System Class Type of Development Access Type of Techniques Management Required Standards Class 1: Residentia l dwelling units, Access Select access management d up lex es, o r small apartment Management techniques required. comp l exes (5 unit s or less). Partial l y Required Exempt f r om a ccess roads. Includes agricultural and silvlcultural lands Inc lu ding field entra n ces Class II: M i no r commercial and Access Types of ma n agement shall noncommercial traffic Management be based upon trip generators having an ave r age Required generation, adjacent ADT of 1500 vehic les per day or conditions and/or l ocation less and which d o not fall under on the Highway Sys tem. Class I. Class til: Major commercial and non Access Types of management shall commercial traffic generators Management be based upon trip having an ADT exceeding 1 ,500 Required generation, adjacen t VPD A DRI or Florida Quality conditions, and/or l ocation Deve l opment shall be classified on the Highway Sys t em. as a Class Ill Site C lass IV : Temporary connectors limijed to Exempt nla 6 mon ths with a maximum of two s ixmonlh exten s ions. The County Code also provides for development of access roads in certain cases. Access roads ar e defined as: "a public road one-way or two way, which is auxiliary to and norma ll y located parallel to a roadway for the purpose of maintaining local road continuity and controlling access to parcels adjacent to the fronting roadway. Abutting properties connect to the access r oad which connects with the roadway at specified intervals." The County considers several factors before re quiring a developer to construct access roads, including roadside areas with lakes, wetlands, u t ility corridors and exis ting 1?


buildings. Furthermore, access r oads may not b e pract i ca l where a d jacent land uses have short fron t setbacks. When access roads are required as part of a development, property owners m ust convey at least 50 feet of right-of-way for a two-lane road and forty feet for a one-way road. This would allow for general cross-access to and from the other properties in the affected area. The County also has the discretion to require any type of development to t ie into existing access management facilities on adjacent parcels to create a unified system. When a proposed deve l opment is exempted from constructing an access road based upon trip generation, the County reserves the right to still require an easement or dedica t ed righ t of-way for an access road or make other road improvements if development located on adjacent property is required to comply with the access management require m ents Sectio n 9 05.05, Lake County Land Development Code sets forth the minimum median opening and connection spacing standards for roadways with access roads ( Ta ble 4). According to County staff, these standards app l y t o roadways under both sta t e and county jurisdiction and are identical to the state access connection standards for Access Class 2 facilities as set forth by FDOT (Table 2). Comer clearance requirements provi de that access road connections onto a main thoroughfare must be at least 300 feet from the next intersection. For access roads that exit onto a side street, the distance between the side road connection and the main thoroughfare must be at l east 250 feet. Posted speed Table 4: Conn ectio n Medi an Opening, a n d Signal Spaci n g Along Roadways with Access Roads Minimum Minimul)"l Minimum Median Minimum S i gnal connection Media n Opening Spacing (Miles) {miles per spacing Opening Directiona l hour) F ull {Miles) (fea t ) Less !han 45 660 .5 1320 5 Over45 1320 .5 1320 .5 Minimum connection, median opening, and signal spacing standards for roadways without access roads are listed in Table 5. Although these standards are based strictly on speed limit, the distances generally mirror those set forth by FDOT's "Access Management C l asses and Standards" (see Table 2). The distances listed below may be more restrictive in areas where greater right tum or left-tum storage i s needed. 1 3


Table 5: Connectio n M edian Openin g and Sign a l Spaci n g P oste d Minimum Mi n imum M inimu m Minimum Speed Conn ec t ion Median M e d i a n S i gnal Spac i ng Open i n g Ope n i n g Spac i ng Full D irection (miles ( m iles) (fe at) 35 or less 125 .25 330 n/a (special case) 35 or less 245 .25 660 .25 3645 440 .25 660 .25 Over45 660 .50 1320 .25 Specia l Case standards are applied only where the roadways conrains 50 connections per mile on the sldc of the highway for which the coW\ection i s requested. Median openings must comply with standards of I he agency having juris d iction ov e r the roadway. No additional median cuts can be constructed through any existing med i ans unless the median c u t is necessary to accoliUI1odate safe traffic flow or replac e an inappropriate e x isling med ian cut as detennined by County or City Engineer or the FOOT. The County requires alignmen t of driveways with existing median openings, unless prohibited by natural or des i gn limitat i ons. Subdivi s i o n R e gulations Lake Cou n ty's subdivision r egulal i on s include standards that ensur e the cre ation of s afe and efficient access and circulalion systems Where a proposed su b div i sion is adjacent to or encompasses an arterial or collector road the code e s tab li shes that lots should be configu r ed to avoid having parcels fronting on these facilities. To promote coiUlections b e tween subdiv i s i ons, roads with internally generat e d traffic volumes in excess of 2000 ADT must extend roadways or ROW to the boundary lin e s of the property when deemed necessary for normal circulation Lake County is currently in the proc ess of incorporating changes into its subdivision regulations that will expand the platt i ng p r ocess to all types of land undergoing l and division including coliUI1ercial tra c ts. The current regulations within t h e Land Development Code define a subdivision as "the div i sion or r ediv i sion of a parcel of land, whether im p roved or unimproved into two or more lo t s or parcels ... or any division of a parcel of land if a new public st r eet or change in an exis t ing public street or other public improvemenls or facilities are invo l ved." R es i dential subdivision s of 3-6 lots may undergo an abbreviated review process as outlined in Chapter 14 of the Coun t y Code. The County a ll ows minor lot splits of a legally created l o t as long as several criteria are met. First, flag lots are pro h ibited. Second, only two lots can be created and m u st conform to the mini m um lot dimen s ions for t he applicab l e l and u s e category and zoning 14


district. Finally, all lots must front a public road. In cases where the lots are greater than 20 acres, access can be gained via a clay roadway or an easement that conforms to County standards. A separate set of standards applies when tracts of land are split between family members or used for agricultural purposes. When a lot split occurs between family members, the County can approve a "family density exception." These newly created parcels do not have to adhere to lot dimensional requirements but m ust conform to the following standards: Only as many lots may be created as are the number of descendants and ascendan t s plus one for the subdividing family member, Each proposed lot shall be a minimum of I acre of upland, Parcels created for family members are only allowed in certain residential, rura l and conservation land use distric t s, Rights-of-way must be dedicated if the e xisting wid t h is not sufficient to meet design standards, Access must be gained through a paved private road, a publicly maintained road, or an easement, Parcels created for family members must be retained by the famil y members for 3 years and Only one parcel can be created for each family member, regardless "of where the lot is l ocated or the amount oftime that has passed." Agricultural lot splits where each lot is in excess of 40 acres, can be divided without adhering to the County's minor lot split standards In other words no limit is placed on the number of Jots created as long as they gain access through a paved private road, a publicly m aintained road, or an easement. The County Manager or designee makes the approval. Polk County The Polk County Public Works staff is primarily charged \Vith making access management decisions during the site review and permitting process. In general, access management decisions are based on FOO T standards and criteria. According to Polk County staff, development approval along the state highway system is contingent upon receiv in g a counection pem1it from FOOT Comprehensive Plan Adopted in November 1992 and updated in June 1995, the Polk County Comprehensive Plan includes policies relating to access management as part of th e T raffic Circulation 15


Element. The following policy statements address coordination with FOOT when regulating access along the state highway system: Policy 3.204-03: In its site plan review, Polk County sha ll coordinate with the FOOT to ensure efficient access from adjacent development onto the State road system Policy 3.204-04: Through the MPO Polk County shall participate cooperatively in carrying out studies to streamline patterns of access control on State principal arterials a Polk County staff shall cooperate with the FOOT District Office to identify the need for corridor studies and establish a ranked order for conduct in g these studies. b. Corridor studies shall determine the necessary means for preserving through capacity and relieving co nges tion through access control planning and imp lementat ion. c. Affected property owners shall be given an opportunity to provide input to study recommendations. Other policies require the County to adopt language within the lan d development code to control access from adjacent development onto arterial and collector roads. The r egulations must also address spacing and design of median openings and curb cuts frontage roads, driveway access and spacing, and access to outparcels. As described below, the County has complied with th is policy statement. As part of the Polk County Comprehensive Plan, the County has established two Selected-Area Plans (SAP) that cover the US 27 study area. The North US 27 SAP lies along eastern L ake County from the Polk County Line to the north, to CR 54 to the south. The CR 54/Loughman SAP lies just south of the North US 27 SAP and includes a one and one-half mile section of US 27. The southern boundary of this SAP ends at I -4. In both areas, the County expects that "over the next twenty years (the areas) will experience a high degree of urbanization" mainly caused by the growth in adjacent Osceola County. Polk County's SAP's are a proactive response to growth a n d represent a 'private -public initiative to shape this development into an organi z ed and well -planned area." North US 27 Selected-Area Plan As indicated in the Comprehensive Plan, the County envisions the North US 27 SAP to develop in "an efficient and highly desirable urban growth pattern (with a) balance of residential and nonresidential uses, a range of housing opportunities, and short trips between housing, employme nt and shopping." Thi s type of growth pattern can be achieved "through the establishment of a central town center surrounded by a traditional neighborhood." In the North US 27 SAP, the Town Center is established at Sand Mine Road and US 27. The growth in this area "should develop in a manner which will focus density and intensities typically found in an urban core." 16


The North U S 27 SAP sets forth the following key policies for the stated purpose or optimizing the capacity ofUS 27: a. New development and redeve l opment shall increase internal capture rates to reduce external trips by focusing compatible land uses which provide a full range of activities (Policy 2.131-Gl), b. All new development and redevelopment shall provide and build pedestrian/bike connections and roadway connections between adjacent parcels and to proposed arterial and collector roads. If the proposed development is adjacent to an approved development with connections, the proposed development must be designed to connect to the approved development. If conditions warrant, the Cmmty shall require one or more of the following: a) service roads, b) internal roadways, c) external connections to east/Osceola County, and d) internal tram circulation (Policy 2.131 G2). The County sets forth several guidelines that wi II transform portions of US 27 into the town center's main thoroughfare. Among other things, the County envisions US 27 will be reconstructed as a divided boulevard with landscaped medians. The Plan also recognizes US 27 as the primary interregional traffic arterial. However, alternative north/south corridors are needed to support additional urban growth. As part of their goals, objectives, and policies, the County is directed to optimize the capacity of US 27 as the primary transportation roadway. The SAP sets forth several techniques that can be used to achieve this objective, including: Increase i nte rnal-capture rates by encouraging developments with a full range of activities, Require all new development and redevelopment to build connections between adjacent parcels and proposed arterial and collector roads, and If conditions warrant, require service roads, internal roads, and/or internal "tram circulation Other methods indicated for preserving the safety and efficiency of US 27 are to enforce the driveway and median opening criteria shown in Table 6. Table 6: US 27 Access Standards North US 27 Selected-Area Plan Median Openino full aocess) 2640' Median Opening directional) 1320' Curb Cuts Rightln/Righl out 660' The provisions of the North US 27 SAP emphasize the importance of applying access man agement techniques to optimize US 27 and other existing and proposed arterials and collec t ors in the area. First, all developments are required to incorporate unified access 17


and circulation measures into design plans through the usc of joint-use driveways and cross-access easements. Second, the County is directed to designate cross-access corridors during the subdivision review, site plan review, or overall planning program. The corridors must display the following characteristics: Extend the entire length of the block or least I 000 feet along the thoroughfare, Accommodate two-way travel, Provide "visually obvious" connections to abutting undeveloped properties, and Provide linkages to other cross-access corridors in the area. In addition, Major Arterials in the area must be 4 lane divided roadways with median opening spaci ng of 600 feet and connection spacing of 300 feet. Mjnor streets and Major Collectors must have connection spacing of200 feet. CR 54/Loughman Selected-Area Plan The CR541Loughman SAP is located just south of the North US 27 SAP. In this location a one and one-half mile segment of US 27 crosses through the SAP's bo undaries. Similar to the North US 27 SAP, the CR 54/Loughman Selected-Area Plan (SAP) seeks to establish an efficient and highly desirable urban growth pattern through the development of a town center concept. The Comprehensive Plan sets forth several land use designations along this portion of the US 27 corridor. First, a Business-Park Center designation is established on the west side of US 27. Uses within this designation have direct access to arterial streets and exposure to Interstate 4. Being located within the boundaries of the Green Swamp Area of Critical S tate Concern, the uses are further regulated under a Special Provisions Area. Another land use designation along US 27 is the Regional Activity Center. This district contains business uses, highway commercial, and employee housing. Policies in the SAP promo te a hierarchy of roadways that are int ernally connected and that provide for bicycle and pedestrian mobility. In addition, policies promote coordinated signage, landscap ing, and interparcel access. Within the entire SAP, major collector roads are considered controlled access roads and must be constructed so that the minimum distance between access points on the collector is at least 300 feet. Righ t -of-way for the SAP roadway network must be dedicated and road improvements are required at the time of development approval. Compensation is provid ed for additional improvements and righ t-of-way that are not attributable to the impacts of the project through a funding mechanism established in County Policy 2.131-B20. 18


Access M anagement Requirements Access management requirements for roadways within Polk County are outlined in Chapter 7, Site Development Standards, Land Development Code. Standards are estab lished "for the vehicular ingres s and egress from County and State roads." The stated purpose of the section is to promote pedestrian and vehicular safely, minimize congestion, prom ote roadway aesthetics and maintain the functional capacity of roads in Polk County. The Code establishes a basic requirement that a driveway permit must be obtained from the Cowrty prior to construction of any access to a County-maintained road including County roads within incorporated municipalities. The requirement applies to new development as well as the following: a. A l teration of an existing driveway or issuance of a construct ion permit or mobile home set-up permit b. Increase in dwelling units, gross floor area, seating capa city, or other units related to trip generation on any building, structure or premises, c. Temporary construction access, and d. Agricultural access Driveway permits are not required for subdivision plans, aceessory structures where no additional driveway is needed, paved residential driveways on local roads, or existing driveways without culverts where no change to driveways is made. Separat e driveway permits are not required for commerc ial, i n dustrial and multi-f amily uses with approved constru ction plans Although n ot specifically stated in the code, it appears that driveway access is examin ed as part of the review of the proposed site plan and traffic impact analysis. In addition, any connection permit required by FOOT for stale highways may serve in lieu of a County driveway permit. The Code further states that "driveways to roads under FOOT jurisdiction and driveways to be located on a County road within 0.25 mile of a limited access right -ofway fence shall comply with FOOT Administrative Rule 14-96 and 14-97." To assure compliance, the County withholds the building permit until an applicant provides the necessary driveway permits. In addition, a Certificate of Occupancy is not issued until the required driveway has been constructed in accordance with the regulations Access spacing standards for non-residential and multi-family developments exceeding four dwelling units are provided in Table 7. These standards apply to County roads, not state highways. Non-residential uses are allowed one two-way driveway or a pair of one-way driveways. Additional driveways are allowed when the daily vol ume on one driveway would exceed 5,000 vehicles or if a t:rdffic stu dy warrants two or more 19


driveways. A third access point may be allowed for properties witb at least two times the requir ed frontage; only a right-in/right-out driveway can be used for this additional access. Guidelines for driveway location provide that non-residential driveways shall not be located on a local road when traffic would be diverted from collector or arterial roadways to pass residentially used or designated property. Furthermore, outparcels are limited to internal access un l ess otherwise approved on a master development plan. Table 7: Non-Residential and Multi-Family (5 or more dwelling units) Driveway Spacing Standards Roadway 5 or More Commercial/ Industrial Classification Dwelling Office Units Arterial, Princ i pa l 350' 350' 350' Arterial, Minor 280' 350' 350' Collector, Urban 250 280' 280' Collector, Rural Mai or 210' 210' 210' Collector, Rural Minor 150' 150' 150' Local Commercial 150' 105' 1 50' No driveways are to be cons t ructed within roadway in tersections. The Polk County Code does not define "physical" or "functional area" of an inter s ection but does regulate comer clearance. Corner clearance standards for multi family uses less th an 4 dwelling units must be a t least 60 feet, except along arterials where these uses are "generally not permitted." Other comer clearance standards are lis ted in Table 8 Driveways are also prohibited within turn lanes or tapers, unless no other access is available. Table 8: Minimum Comer Clearance Roadway 5 or More Commercial/ Industrial Classification Dwelling Office Units Arterial, Principal 150' 150' 200' Arterial, M i no r 150' 150' 200' Collector. Urban 150 120' 150' Collector, Rura l Majo r 120 90' 100 Collector, Rural Minor 120' 90' 100' L ocal, Commercial 90' 90' 100' For residential uses of 4 dwelling units or less the Land Development Code establishes standards regarding the number of allowable driveways spacing standards, and comer cl eara nces. These resident ia l uses are granted one two-way driveway or a pair of one way driveways. An additional access, in th e form of a right-in/right-out only driveway, may be allowed for properties with at least two tim es the required frontage. Such residen t ia l uses are "generally not permitted" along arterials. However, on all other 20


roadways, the spacing between residential driveways must be at least I 00 feet. These standards do not apply to lots-of-record. The County sets forth basic guidelines for driveway width, radius, and throat length. Actual width and radii are based on classification of the road, nwnber of entrances, and expected traffic demand, including truck usage. Non-residential and residential uses serving more than four dwellings are regulated to assure that they are designed in a manner that does not conflict with through traffic on the main line or with parking movements. A minimwn of20 feet of throat length is required (described as the point of tangency of the radius return of a driveway to any interior service drive or parking space), and a minimum of 100 feet is required if the anticipated daily traffic volume using the driveway exceeds 5000 vehicles. Subdivision Regulations Po l k Cowtty defines a subdivision as "any division o f a lot or parcel of land ... which is for the purpose of transfer of ownership." However, several types of divisions are exempt from these requirements. They include: The creation. of rwo lots provided no dedicatio n or construction of new roadways is needed, The creation of lots larger than five acres provided n o dedication of roadways or reconstruction of existing roads i s needed. This exemption applie s only in z oning districts with five acre minimwn lot sizes, The creation of lots for agricultural purposes not involving the dedication or construction of new roadways or reconstruction of existing roads, or The combining or reconfiguration of platted lots when the lot area, required access, and required width of the resulting lot docs not fall below the original confignration or Code requirements, whichever is less. Furthermore, the number of lots cannot be increased and no new roadways can be constructed. The County's subdivision regulations delineate between minor and major subdivisions. Minor subdivision is a division of residential land creating less than I I lots and not involving the construction or dedicatio n of any new roadway or reconstruction of existing roads. Minor subdivisions undergo an abbreviated review process. Major subdivisions are the division of land creating II or more residential lots, any non-residential division of land creating more than two lots, or the division of land resulting in the establishment of a new roadway. Chapter 8, Polk County Land Development Code, provides SPecifi c guidelines regarding (Oadway access and internal circulation for property undergoing platting. These guidelines apply to all state roadways within Polk County, including US 27. The Code 21


states that tracts of land under subdivision review and any non-residential development must have direct frontage on a paved road and cannot access a roadway by crossing an existing platted residential subdivision Furthermore, developments consisting of more than 200 residential lots must have at least two points of access to public roads or a boulevard-type entrance. All new ly created parcels must meet mmtmum road frontage requirements and "landlocked" parcels cannot be created. However, single-family or duplex residential uses are proh i b i ted from havi ng direct access to an arterial or major collector road, unless the parcels conform to the requirements for non-residential developmen t. As shown in Table 8, minimum lot frontages are established for lots abutting arterials, m ajor and minor collectors, and rural collector roads The Code allows a 15 percent reduction of the minimum road fron ta ge in cases where access is provided via another roadway or joint access i s provided to an adjacent parcel. Additionally, lot frontages along arterials can be reduced by 15 percent in the event access will ultimately be obtained from a frontage road. Existing lots tbat fail to meet the minimum lot width requirements must, where possible, gain access through existing development via a cross-access easement. Polk County defines this as "a platted private internal roadway that crosses an adjacent parcel or parcels which do not specifically meet the commercial road frontage requirements." Table 9: Minimum Lot Frontages Roadway NonResidential Residential Developments Developments Arteria l 350' rlla Major Urban Collector 280' rlla Minor Urban Collector 210' 150' Rura l Collector Road 210" 150' single-family and duplex developments City of Clermont The City of Clermont is located on US 27 in Lake County US 27 run s through the city center. The commercial development on US 27 lar gely predates access management efforts and generally consists of older small lot development with direct access to US 27. Access management issues include open frontage single sites with multiple driveway connections, shallow drives and parking lots, and driveway and street connections locate d within the physical and functional areas of int ersections 22


Comprehensive Plan The Clermont Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 1991 and amended in !996. In 1998, the City submitted it's Evaluation Appraisal Report (EAR) to the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) for review. The DCA found the EAR insufficient, prohibiting the City from amending its Comprehensive Plan until such time as it was found / sufficient. Unable to make amendments to address increased access issues caused by high levels of development activity, the City was forced to make access decisions on a basis. In June 2000, the City's revised EAR was fou n d sufficient The City is now in the process of amending it's regulatory language to reflect current access management policies based on the experiences of the past two years. Current policies in the Comprehensive Plan address improving the efficiency of US 27 and applying access management techniques citywide. As stated in the Plan, the City "shall coordinate development activity with Lake County and the FOOT to mitigate the projected impacts along roadway segments of State, County, and City-owned roadways. The Department of Transportation Rule Chapter 14 97 shall serve as t he standard." The Traffic Circulation Element states that the city, through cooperative efforts with FOOT and L ake County, should establish guidelines that address curb cut and median opening placement along US 27 in "an effort to allow for stricter control of vehicle access and to enhance public safety measures." The Plan also directs the City to implement measures to preserve right-of-way for the development of frontage or reverse frontage road systems along arteria l highways. To date, these measures and guidelines have not been incorporated into the City's Land Development Code. Access Management Requirements As noted above, the City of Clermont currently has few access management requirements which appear i n Section 98.9 of the Clermont Land Development Code. The Code estab lishes a minimal spacing requirement of 50 feet between nonres i dential driveways and a limit on driveways of one access p oint per parcel or a combination of two 20-foot wide access points that accommodate one-way traffic One additional 40foot access point or two 20-foot wide access points are allowed for every additional 400 feet of street frontage. Each access point must be locate d at least 100 feet, or two-thirds the distance of the street frontage from any intersecting right-of-way lines. For comer lots with less than 200 feet of street frontage along an arterial, collector, or local collector, access must be constructed on the street that intersects the higher order roadway. One two-way driveway is allowed for residential properties that have a street frontage of less than 100 feet. An additional driveway, either in the fonn o f one two-way or two one way drives, i s allowed when the street frontage exceeds 151 feet and a third is allowed when the street frontage exceeds 251 feet. Additional driveways may be granted at one per 100 feet of extra street frontage. 23


Subdivision Regulations The City of Clermont defines a subdivision as "any division or redivision of a parcel of land, whether improved or unimproved, into two or more lot s or parcels of land, each of five acres or less, or any diyision of a parcel of land if a new street or the establislunent or dedication of lands for public use is involved." The subdivision regulations contain provisions that guide access connections, lot sizes, and connections to other lots. Subdivisions that abut or include an arterial or major collector road must be designed so that no lot requires access from the arterial or major collector. Subdivisions with 25 or more lots must have at least two access points and double frontage lots are to be avoided. However, in cases where double frontage lots must be used, sufficient area must be set aside by dedication or easement to provide a landscaped buffer or wall and access should be provided via the lower order roadway. Lot sizes are governed by standards set forth in the Zoning Code. At a minimum, all lots must have a minimum street frontage of 50 feet. However, the subdivisions require all corner lots to be 15 percent wider than the minimum width required by the zoning district. For subdivisions that abut unsubdivided tracts, streets must be designed to access the adjoining undeveloped property at appropriate locations. City of Minneola The City of Minneola is located in Lake County, just north of the City of Clermont. Similar to Clermont, commercial development is found along this portion of US 27 and typically consists of smaller freestanding sites with direct access to the highway. Both the Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Regulations do contain some language regarding access management; however, these provisions are limited in scope. Comprehensive Plan Policies in the City of Minneola Comprehensive Plan require all development occurring adjacent to State roads to comply with or exceed State access management regulations. Property owners must obtain permits for connections along these roads from both the City and the Department of Transportation. For roadways under local jurisdiction, the City is directed to adopt design standards for access management as part of t he Land Development Regulat i ons. Access Management Requirements According to City staff, proposed developments along US 27 are required to adhere to FOOT's Access Classification System and Standards. Section 1.04 of the City Code address Access and Access Management. This sect ion establishes a basic limitation on t he number of driveways per lot based on road frontage. Lots of 100 feet or les s are only 24


pennitted one driveway. No more than two driveways are petmitted per individual site with more than 100 feet, but less than 1,000 feet of frontage. In addition, the code states that, "no new residential development shall create any lots or parcels ... having direct access on an arterial or major collector road, such as, but not limited to, US 27 and Old Highway 50. The City may also require developers to construct joint driveways and/or cross-access easements to minimize the number and maximize the spacing of access connections. Deceleration lanes are required for properties projected to generate 50 or more total trips during peak hour or that contain 50 or more residential lo t s or where warranted by traffic analysis or speed limits of abutting roadways. A functional classification system defming collector and local roads and the relative balance between traffic movement and access is also included in the Code. Conunercial driveways cannot be closer than 100 feet from the edge of the nearest right of-way line of an intersecting road classified as a collector or arterial. The minimum distance between the nearest edge of an access drive and any property line without cross access is listed in Table 10. Tab le 10: Minimum Distance Between Driveway and Property Line Land Use Arteria l Major Collector Minor Collector Local Residentia l n/a N/a 7.5' 1' Commercial 25' 20' 15' 10' Industrial 25' 22.5' 17.5' 10' Subdivision Regulations When property owners decide to subdivide land the City classifies this procedure into one of two categories: lots splits and subdivisions. Lot splits are considered a division of land into two lots while any division of land that creates more than two lots is considered a subdivision. Flag lots cannot be created and all divisions must be made in accordance with the dimensional requirements of the zoning district. Lot splits are exempt from the review and approval of plans and platting, but must be reviewed and approved by the City Council. Subdivision must undergo full platting procedures and adhere to the requirements of the City's Land Development Code (Chapter 5, Section 1.05 (b)). Other relevant requirements are noted above under Access Management Requi rements. 25


CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Both Lake County and Polk County have adopted access management policies in their comprehensive plans and land development regulations aimed at protecting the safety and efficiency of the US 27 corridor. These communities have employed many of the strategies summarized in the CUTRJFOOT report Model Land Development and Subdivision Regulations that Support Access Management. Both Count ies also defer to FOOT access requirements on state highways and reference the need to obtain an access permit from FOOT in their land development code . Lake County has an extensive access management ordinance that was adopted in 1992. The County requirements mirror FOOT access spacing requirements, apply to state and county thoroughfares, and strongly emphasize the use of access roads or joint and cross access The code applies access management strategies based on site classification and land use and trip generation characteristics as opposed to access classification. This reflects an early version of FOOT access management requ irements and is no longer practiced by the state. A preferred approach is to classify area roadways for an appropriate l evel of access management and require compliance with access management standards based upon roadway access classification as opposed to si te classification. Lake County's use of this access management strategy also raises questions of consistency with current FDOT requirements for state highways and should be revisited. Polk County defers to FDOT requirements on state highways and provides access spacing and d riveway pennitting requirements for Count y thoroughfares. Polk County is also promoting traditional neighborhood developme nt and access management strategies as part of two Selected-Area Plans that affect the corridor. These innovative SAPs set forth a variety of techniques aimed at promoting intetparcel connectivity and an internal street network and minimizing direct access to US 27. As such, they provide a model that could be usefu l elsew here on tbe FIHS where communities wish to develop in a more sustainable way. Planning and engineering staff in each County indica ted that t heir existing regulations have enabled them to adequately manage access along US 27. The City of Minneola and the City of Clermont have few access management requirements in their code and both should update and expand their requirements. Although no systematic coordination process exists, officials int erviewed at the state and l ocal level noted that the counties and cities consult with FOOT when development occurs along US 27 and when access connections are required. Current local access management practices are su mmarized in Table II. 26


Table 11: Current Access Management Practices Issues and Recommendations Based on the assessment of current practice in the study area, some issues arose as being more critical to the effectiveness of access management actions on US 27. These include the importance of continued state and local coordination, the need for a supporting street network for the corridor, and the importance of enforcing side street and interparce l connections. These and other issues are discussed below. Issue 1: State and Local Coordination on Access Management State and local coordination is essential to effective access management along the US 27 corridor. FDOT Districts and local governments should continue to engage in formal and informal coordination to assure consistency and continuity of access management decision-making on major highway corridors. There are a number of ways this could be achieved, including methods recommended in the US 27 CAP prepared b y FOOT District Five and those already in place at the local level. Some are li sted below. Re(ommendatlons Establish a concu rrent state/local review process on access permitting. A coordinated process of granting access permits along state highways was observed in Lake and Polk Counties where a concurrent state/local review takes place for 27


development along the US 27 corridor. The Lake County Land Development Code expressly establishes that applicants for development on the State Highway System "shall consult with FOOT prior to, and during the local government plat subdivision, rezoning, site plan, or any other applicable pre-development review process for which a connection permit shall be required by the state." This requirement enables conceptual review of plats as well as rezoning applications and site plans by FOOT. The Polk County Code establishes that the County will withhold the building permit until the app licant provides the necessary driveway permits and will not issue a Certificate of Occupancy until the driveway is constructed according to regulations. The City of Clermont includes a policy in its comprehensive plan calling for coordination of development activity with Lake County and FOOT to mitigate development impacts and establish FOOT Rule 14-97 as the standards for access management decisions. The City of Minneola bas a similar comprehensive plan policy. This provides a policy basis for coordination and both Cities report that they defer to FOOT on access decisions along US 27. An issue frequently observed in other areas of the state is the tendency for applicants to approach a loca l government with a Notice of Intent to Permit an Access Connection as a means of pressuring the local agency for development approvaL Coordination can help prevent this problem if it occurs in the study area. The District should be aware of this problem and take measures to assure that local agencies are adequately informed of access permit applications in their jurisdiction One option is to require the applicant to send a copy of the complete permit application to the designated reviewing official in the affected local jurisdiction At a minimum, the District should communicate with the local government and discuss the permit prior to any decision or recommendation to the applicant. Coordinate local review of subdivisions on US 27 with the FDOT. Local governments and the FOOT should coordinate on review of proposed plats along the US 27 corridor to prevent access problems before they are created and assure conformance with FOOT access management requirements. A dialogue should be initiated with the District regarding a procedure for coordinating on subdivision review. For example, each local government should require applicants to copy the District with their platting proposal and require a response from the District prior to plat approval. This should occur early in the plat review process, preferably during conceptual review when the developer is more amenable to design changes. A requirement to this effect is currently in place in the Lake County Code as noted above, but was not observed in the Codes of other communities evaluated. 28


. Use intergovernmental agreements or resolutions to establish a foundatum for coordinalilg with FDOT on managing access on US 27. This approach would be particularly useful in the Cities of Clermont and Minneola. Intergovernmental corridor agreements and resolutions supporting access management establish a foundation for collaboration between FDOT and local govenunents on access management. These tools can be used to clarify the purpose and intent of managing access to US 27, areas of mutual agreement, and what each community and FOOT will do to advance these objectives. Agteements should include timelines for implementation, as well as criteria for when either side may nullify the agreement Issue 2: Supporting Road Network In general, the US 27 corridor lacks a well-defined supporting road network with tbe exception of infrequent connecting east-west roadways and local subd i vision roads. The exception is in the Cities of Clermont and Minneola where there is an existing l ocal street network. Figure 4: Southwest Orange & Southeast Lake Counties TI311Sportation Alternatives Study Study area indicated with black bolde r N:o immediate plans are in place to provide a supporting roadway network in Polk or Lake County to offset demand on US 27 However, Lake County is working with Orange County on a sub-area study the Southwest Orange and Southeast Lake Counties Trimsportation Alternatives Study, to identify parallel and perpendicular routes to efficiently move commuters from Lake County to employment centers in Orange County (Figure 4). Eventually, this effort could result in a supporting roadway network that would provide needed relief to US 27. The study does i nclude at least two north-south 29


reliever routes, but there is currently no funding mechanism in place or timetable for construction In Polk County, plans have been discussed regarding the development of a new supporting north -sout h County roadway, the Green Swamp Parkway, parallel to and west of US 27. The Polk County Comprehensive Plan (Policy 2.131 G-4) requ ires all new development within the designated Green Swamp Parkway corridor area to donate sufficient right-of-way to accommodate the roadway Most of the required right-of-way has been assembled for the roadway, but no funding source has yet been identified for cons truction. In addition, Polk County provides for the development of an internal roadway network as development occurs within the Selected Area Plans in the US 27 corridor area. Currently, Chapter 824, Polk County Land Development Code, contains language that supports, rather than requires, the co!Ulection of rights-of-way between subdivisions Recommendations Providing a supporting roadway system and es t ablishing another north/south corridor would help ease traffic congestion and improve safety along US 27. It would also improve accessibility to the future residential and commerc ial areas that are expected to develop while improving access management opportunities. Efforts are underway in Lake and Polk County to achieve those goals Each community abutting US 27 should continue to develop in accordance with the following principles to enhance US 27's supporting roadway system: o Identify and develop a connected local road network along the US 27 Corridor. Jurisdictions a lon g the US 27 Corridor must develop an adequate local network of roads with the capacity to accommodate traffic resulting from new developmen t s. Side streets, internal subdivision roads, and parallel access roads help improve accessibility of the built environment and offset travel demand on major arterials A supporting road network is also beneficial for bicycle and pedestrian circulation. Require residential developntents along the US 27 Corridor to colllinue and extend the supporting street system. The street system of a proposed subdivision should be designed to coordinate with existi ng, proposed. and pl31Uled streets outside of the subdivision. Residential subdivisions and ORis should be required to dedicate sufficient right -ofway to support the development of a local street network that could be used for secondary access and to co!Ulect neighboring developments. In addition, each community should seek to extend local subdivision roads t o side streets where such opportunities exist, so residents can have alternate access to pl31Uled median openings for direct left turns. Wherever a proposed development abuts unplatted land or a future development phase of the same development, 30


street stubs should be required to access abutting properties or to logically extend the street system. When the abutting tracts are developed they should be required to connect with these stub streets. Concerns about through traffic can be addressed on local streets through the use of traffic calming teclmiques, such as jogs in the roadway, avoiding excessively wide lanes, and stop signs that slow traffic and discourage through traffic movement. Gated communities could be required to set aside right-of-way i n appropriate locations for development of minor arterial and collector roadways and to colUlect to the side street. They could be allowed to place a gate at the secondary entrance point to address security or through traffic concerns. Issue 3: lnterparcel and Side Street Connections There are few connections in p l ace between existing commercial or residential developments. Some interconnectivity does exist between the parcels in the section between the Polk County line and CR 474 in Lake County and along the Polk County section of the study corridor: Additionally, some developments in Lake County have reserved right-of-way for future coonections to neighboring properties. Both Counties have strong requirements for interparcel coonections, which should continue to be actively enforced. Lake County Land Development Regulations set forth provisions for joint access, cross access and access roads. The construction of access roads is determined on a case>-by-case basis. L arger and more intense residential and commercial developments are required to construct access roads; meanwhile, small deve l opment may be exempt from these requirements but may still h ave to dedicate right-of way for the eventual construction of an access road. Lake County staff note that the County Commission is generally supportive of efforts to manage access and appreciates the benefits derived from access management on major corridors Also, the County Commission is not inclined to vacate right-of way reservations for cross access, as once was the case. This is in recognition of the value of maintaining alternative access choices between corridor parcels. In Polk County, provisions for joint access and cross access are applied to the North US 27 SAP. In this area, the County may designate cross-access corridors along certain roadways to provide unified access and circulation among parcels on each block of the thoroughfare sufficient to create a continuous linear tmvel corridor extending the entire length of the block it serves. 31


Recommendations Requiring joint access and i nterparcel and side street connections helps to improve accessibility of the built environment, while improving the safety and efficiency ofUS 27 by reducing the local traffic and turning movements on the corridor Strongly promote interparcel and side street connections. Each local government should continue to act i vely promote interparcel connections and joint access. Although interparcel connections will not be feasib l e in all situations, staff should co n tinue to actively enforce them wherever they are feasible In order to facilitate side street connections, Polk County should revise its driveway location guidelines to allow non-residential driveways on l ocal or collector roadways. The Cities of Clermont and Minneola shou l d ensure that their land development regulations include adequate requi rements for joint and cross access and enforce this during the development and redevelopment process T he se provisions should be applied to new development and redevelopment situat io ns. In addition circulat i on between adjacent major developments (such as abutting DRJs) should be required through interparcel connections. Issue 4: Right-of-Way Preservation Throughout the US 27 corridor in Lake County, the preliminary design for the widening of US 27 requires the acquisition of additional righ t -of-way. I n several locations, the right-of-way requirements will move existing s tructures within uncomfortable d i stances from t he new e dge of pavement. While th is is not specifically an access management issue, it doe s create problems within the corridor that could lead to degraded transportation and development conditions. This resul t is counter to the effect sought thro ugh the implementa t ion of access management pri n cipl es within the corridor. Recommendations Update rig ht-o f-way preservation practices and requirements. It i s recommended that the existing right-of-way problems, as noted above be addressed through a combination of design and regulation, including alignment changes in the US 27 design plans and increased setback requirements for new development in the corridor. In addition, each community should update its right-of-way pre s ervation practices. This could inc l ude provisions for mandatory and voluntary dedication on major highway corridors together with in te rim use allowances, on -site density transfers, impact fee credits or other measures to alleviate hardship on property owners. Informa tio n on rig ht-of-way preservation techniques and ordinances i s s et forth in the CUTR report Managing Corrido r Development and can be obtained on the internet at www.cutr eng .usf. edu or direc tly from CUTR 32


Issue 5: Internal Access for Outparcels Outparcels (or outlots) are lots on the perimeter of a larger parcel that break its frontage along the roadway. Such lots are often created along thoroughfare frontage of shopping center sites, and leased or sold to take advantage of the marketability of these highly va l ued locations. Outparcel regu lations foster coordinated on-site circulation systems that serve outparcels as weii as interior development, thereby reducing the need for driveways on an arterial. As set forth in the Polk County Land Development Code, outpacels can only gain access through in ternal roadways unless otherwise approved on a master development plan Assuring internal access to DRI commercial outparcels will also be important in Lake CoWlty on US 27, as weii as other state highways. Recommendations Require internal access to shopping center outparcels. Local codes should require all access to outparcels to be internalized using the shared circulation system of the principle development or retail center Local regulations should also establish that development sites Wlder the same ownership, or those consolidated for development, 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 (Figure 5). Figure 5: Promotelntcmal AccCS$ to Ou1parcels 33


Issue 6: Subdivision Exemptions The Lake County Land Development Regulations exempts certain types of land divisions from the formal platting process. One i n particular, the "Family Exemption," allows as many lots to be created as there are number of descendan ts and ascendants plus one for the subdividing family member. When a lot split occurs between family members, the County can approve a "family density exception." These newly created parcels do not have to adhere to the County's lot dimensional requirements, but must conform to other select standards. For example, the lots m ust gain access through a private or public road or easement, must be greater than one acre, and can only occur i n select land use districts. As Lake County continues to urbanize, these exemptions could lead to access problems. Recommendation: Subdivision exemptions can result in irregular or poorly designed subdivisions in rura l and urban fringe areas. Although the purpose of such exemptions was to allow m i nor subdivision activity, such as transferring a lot to a fami ly member, without inc urring the expense of platting, these exemptions are often used to circumvent platti ng requirements. The resulting subd.ivisions may rely heavily on private access easements, result ing in inefficient use of land, easement disputes, and poor connectiv ity More commonly they rely on ex istin g roads and highways, creating residential strips rather than shared access subd iv i s ions Minimize subdivision exemption s 11nd regulate lot sp lit activity. Each community in the study area should limit and regulate lot split activity tha t occurs outside of the subdivision process. Lake Cou nty should reevaluate its subdivis ion exemptions and at a minimum should lim it the number o f lots that can be c r eated through the "family exemption" and "agricultural exemption." F urth ermore, all newly created lots should be reviewed for compliance with access management requirements prior to recording. Cities of Clermont and Minneola Upon reviewing ex is ting plans and policies adopted by both the City of Clermont and M inneola and after visiting portions of US 27 that cross these communities, several iss ues and concerns were identified regarding the effectiveness of access management controls along the corridor. These issues and concerns are specific to the urbanized sections of US 27 fo u nd within the incorporated areas and incl ud e the following: I) Driveways and surface street connections i n the physical and functional areas of intersections, 2) Driveway and street connec tio ns located too close together, 34


3) Multiple driveways to individual parcels 4) Residential driveways that enter directly onto U S 27, 5) Driveways with inadequate or no throat length, 6) Open and undefined parcel access, and 7) On-site parking that connects to US 27, potentially creating interference on the roadway. Recommendations Along with area-wide recommendations identified in the previous section of this report, municipalities along the US 27 corridor should further update and e1

connection. Comer clearance standards preserve good traffic operatio ns at intersections, as well as the safety and convenienc e of access to comer properties (Figure 6). The required comer clearance along US 27 is established by FOOT connection spacing standards, as well as any local standards along locally maintained side streets. CDl

centers (>200, 000 GLA). The FDOT is in the process of updating their standards. An y new standards to be adopted should track the new standards developed by the FOOT. The FDOT is also investigating the requirements for exclusive right -tum lanes. We recommend that existing standards be revised to reflect FOOT requirements after the investigation is completed. 37


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