Thursday, January 10, 2008

New Regulations Affect Transportation Impacts of Land-Use Applications

Here's a reminder from Loudoun County of new regulations imposed by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) which took effect on January 1, 2008. These regulations are a result of General Assembly action in 2006, which sought to better standardize the procedures for analyzing transportation impacts of land-use applications.

The regulations require a Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) of certain subdivision, site plan, rezoning and comprehensive plan amendment applications. The implementation of the regulations took place through a phased-in approach, beginning in July 2007, with full implementation occurring on January 1.

The regulations require that an applicant submitting a request for a Preliminary Subdivision Plat (SBPL), Site Plan (STPL), or certain legislative applications submit a Traffic Impact Analysis if the proposed development generates a “significant impact” upon the VDOT road network.

A significant impact is defined as:
  • For residential projects – more than 100 vehicle trips per peak hour, or more than 200 daily vehicle trips which at least doubles the daily traffic volume on a state highway.
  • For non-residential projects – more than 250 vehicle trips per peak hour, or more than 2,500 daily vehicle trips.
  • For mixed-use projects – if the residential portion generates more than 100 vehicle trips per hour, or if the entire project generates more than 250 vehicle trips per hour or more than 2,500 daily vehicle trips.

Should a proposal meet the criteria above, a TIA must be submitted as part of the initial application. If the traffic generated by the proposal does not meet the thresholds, the applicant must furnish a letter stating as such, using standard ITE trip generation figures as a guide.

For a TIA package to be deemed complete, it must contain all of the items described in the VDOT “Traffic Impact Analysis Regulations, Administrative Guidelines.” Page 39 of the Administrative Guidelines provides a checklist of required items for SBPL and STPL applications; Page 27 provides a checklist of required items for rezoning applications. This document can be found on the Internet at:

Any applicant required to provide a TIA is strongly encouraged to attend a scoping meeting with VDOT and the Loudoun County Office of Transportation Services. A scoping meeting is required of all projects that generate more than 1,000 vehicle trips per hour. An applicant can contact OTS to schedule a scoping meeting.

More details can be found at:

For more information, questions may be directed to:

  • VDOT’s Northern Virginia District Office, Land Development Section: 703-383-8368
  • Loudoun County Department of Building and Development: 703-777-0397
  • Loudoun County Office of Transportation Services: 703-737-8624

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