§ 153.395  STREET STANDARDS.
   (A)   Public streets.
      (1)   All subdivision streets shall abut on a public road except where allowed in division (B) below of these regulations. All public streets shall be paved and built to all applicable standards of these regulations and all other applicable standards of the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) including the most up-to-date version of NCDOT’s Subdivision Roads, Minimum Construction Standards. All public streets inside the city limits shall be dedicated to the city.
      (2)   Streets, outside the city limits, which are not eligible to be put on the NCDOT system because there are too few lots or residences shall, nevertheless, be dedicated for public use and shall be built in accordance with the standards necessary to be put on the NCDOT system so as to be eligible to be put on the system at a later date. A written maintenance agreement with provisions for maintenance of the street until it is put on the state system shall be included with the final plat and recorded with the County Deeds Office.
   (B)   Private streets.
      (1)   Private streets that are neither maintained by NCDOT or the city are permitted. The streets shall meet all right-of-way and construction standards of NCDOT with the following exceptions:
         (a)   Streets that provide access to five or fewer lots may be unpaved and graveled; the unpaved streets shall have a minimum road surface of 16 feet. In no instance may a subdivision be approved containing both paved and unpaved streets. In no instance shall one unpaved private street be allowed to intersect with another unpaved private road;
         (b)   All private streets shall be local streets; and
         (c)   No two private streets accessing the same public street shall be less than 500 feet apart as measured at their access points on the public street. All private streets shall be marked as that on the preliminary and final plat and a written maintenance agreement shall be provided and recorded with the Deeds Office once the final plat has been approved.
      (2)   The maintenance agreement shall include, but not be limited to, the following items:
         (a)   A homeowner’s association shall be established as a legal entity for the property owners within the entire subdivision;
         (b)   All property owners within the subdivision shall be members of the homeowner’s association;
         (c)   The subdivider shall convey all private streets in fee simple ownership within the subdivision to the homeowner’s association; and
         (d)   The responsibility for maintenance of private streets shall rest with the homeowner’s association.
      (3)   Passage of the responsibility for maintenance of private streets from the developer to the homeowner’s association shall be noted in the deed of each purchaser of property within the subdivision.
      (4)   At the time of the preparation of the sales agreement the developer shall include a disclosure statement to the prospective buyer as herein outlined. The developer and seller shall include in the disclosure statement an explanation of the consequences and responsibility as to maintenance of a private street, and shall fully and accurately disclose the party or parties upon whom responsibility for construction and maintenance of the street or streets shall rest.
   (C)   Subdivision street disclosure statement.  Where streets are dedicated to the public but not accepted into the city or NCDOT system before lots are sold, a statement explaining the status of the street shall be included with the final plat. Prior to entering into any agreement or any conveyance with any prospective buyer, the developer and seller shall prepare and sign, and the buyer of the subject real estate shall receive and sign an acknowledgment of receipt of a subdivision streets disclosure statement (hereinafter referred to as “disclosure statement”). The disclosure statement shall fully and completely disclose the status (whether public or private) of the street upon which the lot fronts.
   (D)   Marginal access street.
      (1)   Where a tract of land to be subdivided adjoins a major or minor thoroughfare as designated on the thoroughfare plan of the city or county, the subdivider shall be required to provide a marginal access street parallel to the major thoroughfare or reverse frontage on a minor street for the lots to be developed adjacent to the major thoroughfare. Where reverse frontage is established, private driveways shall be prevented from having direct access to the thoroughfare. The Planning Board or the City Council, in their plat approving capacity, shall have the authority to decide which of these alternatives would best serve the general public’s safety and welfare.
      (2)   In cases where it is not feasible or practical for the subdivider to provide a marginal access street or when the Planning Board or City Council determines that the installation of a marginal access road would result in a less desirable subdivision design, the Planning Board or City Council may grant an exception to the requirement for a marginal access street. In granting the exception the Planning Board or City Council shall find that the spirit and intent of these regulations are preserved and that circumstances particular to the subject property, such as topography or shape of the tract exist to warrant the exception. The exemption shall not be subject to the requirements of § 153.378.
   (E)   Street connectivity requirements.
      (1)   The City Council hereby finds and determines that an interconnected street system is necessary in order to protect the public health, safety and welfare in order to ensure that streets will function in an interdependent manner, to provide adequate access for emergency and service vehicles, to enhance nonvehicular travel such as pedestrians and bicycles, and to provide continuous and comprehensible traffic routes.
      (2)   All proposed streets shall be continuous and connect to existing or platted streets without offset with the exception of cul-de-sacs as permitted and except as provided below. Whenever practicable, provisions shall be made for the continuation of planned streets into adjoining areas.
      (3)   The street network for any subdivision shall achieve a connectivity ratio of not less than 1.40. See example in Figure A below.
Figure A
 
      (4)   The phrase “connectivity ratio” means the number of street links divided by the number of nodes or link ends, including cul-de-sac heads. (See § 153.031 for definitions of “node” and “link.”)
      (5)   Residential streets shall be designed so as to minimize the block length of local streets, to provide safe access to residences with minimal need for steep driveways and to maintain connectivity between and through residential neighborhoods for autos and pedestrians.
      (6)   Where necessary to provide access or to permit the reasonable future subdivision of adjacent land, rights-of-way and improvements shall be extended to the boundary of the development. A temporary turnaround may be required where the dead end exceeds 500 feet in length. The platting of partial width rights-of-way shall be prohibited except where the remainder of the necessary right-of-way has already been platted, dedicated or established by other means.
      (7)   Exemption. New subdivisions that intend to provide one new cul-de-sac street shall be exempt from the connectivity ratio standard as set forth in this section, provided the Administrator determines that there is no option for providing stub streets due to topographic conditions, adjacent developed sites or other limiting factors; and interconnectivity (use of a looped road) within the development cannot be achieved or is unreasonable based on the constraints of the property to be developed.
   (F)   Road entrance requirements.  The Planning Board or City Council shall require conformity with NCDOT standards for public road entrances.
   (G)   Sidewalks.  Sidewalks shall be required on both sides of the street in all major subdivisions. The sidewalks shall be constructed to a minimum width of four feet and a minimum thickness of four inches of concrete or must be ADA compliant, whichever is more stringent. All sidewalks shall be placed in the street right-of-way and shall be a minimum distance of six feet off of the back of the curb in order to accommodate a planting strip that may be used for the placement of street trees. Sidewalks shall contain a minimum of six inches of concrete at driveway crossings.
   (H)   Street names.  Proposed streets that are obviously in alignment with existing streets shall be given the same name. In assigning new names, duplication of existing names shall be avoided and in no case shall the proposed name be phonetically similar to existing names in the county irrespective of the use of a suffix such as street, road, drive, place, court or the like. All new streets shall be named in accordance with § 153.392 of these regulations.
   (I)   Street name signs.  The subdivider shall either be required to provide and erect street name signs at all street intersections within the subdivision in accordance with all city standards or be required to reimburse the city for providing the street name signs. Any fee, in accordance with the most recently adopted fee schedule adopted by the City Council, shall be paid to the Administrator prior to final plat approval.
   (J)   Permits for connection to state roads.  An approved NCDOT permit is required for connection to any existing state system road. This permit is required prior to any construction on the street or road.
   (K)   Wheelchair ramps.  In accordance with G.S. § 136-44.14, all street curbs in the state being constructed or reconstructed for maintenance procedures, traffic operations, repairs, correction of utilities, or altered for any reason after September 1, 1973, shall provide wheelchair ramps for the physically handicapped at all intersections where both curb and gutter and sidewalks are provided and at other major points of pedestrian flow.
   (L)   Street trees.  In order to provide a unifying element along street frontages and soften the transition of the public street to the private yard, street trees shall be required along all collector streets. Small trees shall be spaced 20 feet on-center, and large trees shall be spaced 40 feet on-center. Trees shall be planted parallel to the street within a well-defined planting strip a minimum of six-feet wide.
(Prior UDO, § 17.25)