Local/State Plan and Program Consistency
Planning Elements of Chapter 729
Chapter 729 of the 2012 Acts of Assembly changed the required transportation elements that must be included in a locality’s comprehensive plan and directed VDOT to notify the Commonwealth Transportation Board if the adopted transportation plan portion of a locality’s comprehensive plan is not consistent with:
- The statewide transportation plan (VTrans);
- Significant new, improved, or relocated highway projects in the Six-Year Improvement Program; or
- Route locations selected by the Commonwealth Transportation Board.
Furthermore, the law requires each locality to inform VDOT on or before January 1, 2013, when it expects to update its transportation plan to be consistent with the new requirements. This information should be provided to the local VDOT contact (generally the Residency Administrator, District Transportation and Land Use Director, or District Planner).
Finally, localities must provide VDOT a copy of the draft plan at least 90 days prior to adoption of the plan or an amendment to the plan and, once adopted, provide a copy of the final plan.
.VDOT staff reviewing local transportation plans will consider a plan consistent if it includes the projects set out in the above listed documents and does not include recommendations that would prevent those projects from advancing. Not all projects contained in the Six-Year Improvement Program need be incorporated into local transportation plans in order for those plans to be consistent; only those projects that are “significant new, improved, or relocated” highway projects need be included, which means projects on Rural Major or Urban Collector (or higher classification) roadways that are:
i) On new location,
ii) Relocate a roadway, or
iii) Add one or more through lanes or an interchange.
If VDOT determines that a comprehensive plan’s transportation plan is inconsistent with VTrans, the Six-Year Improvement Program, or route locations as noted above, VDOT must notify the Commonwealth Transportation Board of such inconsistency and the Board may take action to try and encourage consistency between the state plans and the local transportation plan.
2013 General Assembly Changes to Chapter 729
During the 2013 session, the Virginia General Assembly made several changes to the implementation of Chapter 729. These changes include the following:
- VDOT will provide written comments to the locality, regarding transportation plans, within 90 days of receiving the plan or amendment, or such other shorter period of time as was agreed to by the Department and the locality (the phrase regarding a shorter time period was added in 2013).
- In a locality which has withdrawn from the state’s secondary system of highways (this refers to Arlington and Henrico counties), the Commonwealth Transportation Board shall not reallocate money from a project on a locally controlled highway due solely to the local transportation plan’s inconsistency with VTrans or the SYIP.
If you have any questions or comments regarding Chapter 729, please submit these to email@example.com.
- Presentation on Local/State Plan and Program Consistency (PDF, 739 KB)
- Flowchart with explanatory notes (PDF, 300 KB)
- §15.2-2223 of the Code of Virginia
- Traffic Impact Analysis Regulations web page
- Six-Year Improvement Program