Standards for Rural Residential Development

(Formulated by the Rural Protection Committee of the Greater Kingsville Civic Association)

Narrow Road Width:

We recommend narrow road widths not only to retain the rural atmosphere of our area, but also to reduce the environmental impact of more impervious surfaces. By reducing the impervious surface, there is less stormwater runoff and more water retained to recharge groundwater and wells.

Road widths should be as narrow as possible (no more than 18 feet). A new subdivision road should never be wider than the road from which it emanates.

No Accel/Decel Lanes:

We would ask to eliminate any requirements for accel/decal lanes or any kind of road widening at a development entrance with the exception of:
  1. a development that has an ADT of 2,000 or more
  2. a development with an entrance onto a State highway
  3. a development with an entrance having very poor sight distance (Since sight distance is a major factor in determining placement of development entrances, this should not be an issue.)

No Sidewalks or Curb and Gutter:

  1. We recommend no curb and gutter, except where it is absolutely necessary to correct water problems. On some roads, curb and gutter actually creates more storm water problems. In addition, it can be a safety hazard because a driver cannot pull off on the side of the road for emergencies.
  2. If the County does require curbing, we ask that it would be rolled asphalt (bituminous concrete).
  3. If there is an exceptional circumstance where it is necessary to use concrete instead of rolled asphalt, then the concrete should be stained dark brown or black. White concrete tends to stand out as "suburban" in appearance, rather than blending into our rural area.

Preservation of Existing Vegetation:

We request preserving the existing trees and vegetation on a development site, removing as little as is possible. This helps to minimize the amount of damage and change to the area, enabling the existing wildlife corridors and rural character to be sustained.

Wide (or Deep) Densely Planted Buffers with a Natural Appearance:

Cognizant of the fact that many of the previous items we have requested actually save the developer money, we would like to suggest that some of that savings be reinvested in more landscaping which benefits both the quality of the development and the community. This is probably one of the most important adjustments the developer can make toward reducing the impact of development on the existing community. We believe when our community says, "We donít want to see any more development", it can also be taken literally.

  1. We ask for the deepest (or widest) landscape buffer possible to reduce the developmentís impact both visually and audibly. A wider or deeper buffer creates a larger area for more planting, and it also allows a greater area in which to stagger the plants to achieve a more natural appearance, rather than planting in a straight row.
  2. We ask the developer to follow Recommendation #34 in our Community Plan, which states "Landscaping should be used to coincide with the natural environment. Landscaping should be a required component of development in the Community. Buffers and landscaping which emulate naturally occurring landscaping will enhance a development and lessens the environmental impact and improve and maintain the rural environment."
  3. To keep with the character of our area, a naturally staggered mixture of evergreen and deciduous, trees and bushes of various heights to screen views of the proposed development should be used.
  4. Species of the trees used should be native to our area.

Minimal Lighting:

Out of respect for community concern about the loss of our nighttime sky and to protect our rural character, we request that only minimal lighting be installed. Another reason for these stricter lighting standards is that a highly visible light source in an otherwise dark environment can "blind" drivers, creating a safety hazard.

  1. We request that streetlights be used only as necessary for:
    1. the intersection of the development road and the public road
    2. any potential "danger" areas (difficult internal intersections, sharp curves, etc.)
  2. Use reflectors for cul-de-sacs or turn-around areas rather than streetlights.
  3. Sodium vapor and halogen lights should not be used in any circumstances (excessively bright).
  4. Reduce the height of lights. We suggest no more than 14 feet to minimize the impact.
  5. We would ask that the lighting source be "recessed" (i.e., cobra head or similar), shielded, and/or louvered to help eliminate light pollution, light glare, and to help eliminate "spill" light (light escaping to create a glow or halo) in the sky.

No Entrance Gates, Pillars or Signage:

We ask the developer and the new residents to follow the directives of the Greater Kingsville Community Plan that state, "Permanent signage in residential developments is not appropriate. The quality of the development should speak for itself, and signs advertising particular developments should be discouraged as not in keeping with the established Community." These items seem to separate the new development from the existing community, rather than becoming a part of it. Few elements have a greater negative impact on a developmentís compatibility than these items.

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Updated 26 Nov 2008 by MAP