FAMILY EXEMPT DIVISION
10304 Spotsylvania Avenue, Suite 420
Fredericksburg, Virginia 22408
FAX (540) 507-7445
Table of Contents
Definition Of Subdivide..................................................................................................... 3
General Information And Process .................................................................................... 5
Family Exempt Division Process Flow Chart.................................................................... 7
Soil Report Checklist........................................................................................................ 8
Spotsylvania County Health Department Level I Subdivision Review .............................. 9
Family Exempt Division Plat Checklist ........................................................................... 10
Model Forms And Notes................................................................................................. 13
Other Required Plat Notes ............................................................................................. 14
Floodplain Note........................................................................................................... 14
Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act Notes................................................................... 14
Reservoir Protection Overlay District Note ................................................................. 14
River Protection Overlay District Note ........................................................................ 14
Highway Corridor Overlay District Note ...................................................................... 14
Additional Required Family Exempt Division Notes.................................................... 14
Owner’s Consent Of Transfer (Insert) ............................................................................ 15
Family Division Deed Restriction Language................................................................... 16
Family Division Affidavit And Form................................................................................. 16
Family Division Affidavit.............................................................................................. 17
Family Division Checklist................................................................................................ 18
Family Division Frequently Asked Questions.............................................................. 19
Appendix A - Plat Application......................................................................................... 22
Spotsylvania County Plat Application ......................................................................... 23
Definition Of Subdivide
Following is the full definition of Subdivide as found in Chapter 20-2.1.3 of the Code of
Spotsylvania County, and otherwise known as the “Subdivision Ordinance.” The definition
includes the requirements for “Family Exempt Divisions beginning with Section B.
Subdivide means the division of a lot, tract or parcel of land into two (2) or more lots, tracts, parcels or
other divisions of land for transfer, sale or development. However, for purposes of these regulations the
term “subdivide” shall not include divisions of land:
A. Which consolidate existing lots or parcels by plat;
B. Which divide a parcel of land in the Ru, A-1, A-2, A-3, resort agricultural (RA) and resort
residential (RR) districts for the purpose of sale or gift to a member of the immediate family of the
property owner (as defined in Section 15.2-2244 of the Code of Virginia, provision for subdivision
of a lot for conveyance to a family member: a member of the immediate family is defined as
any person who is a natural or legally defined offspring, spouse, sibling, grandchild,
grandparent, or parent of the owner), and is first held in ownership by the family member,
pursuant to a recorded deed restriction for five (5) years from the date of transfer to the
(1) Minimum lot size shall be 2 acres including the remainder parcel;
(2) Lots shall have a scenic buffer strip thirty-five (35) feet in width along the existing
secondary or primary road frontage, in which the existing vegetation and contours of the
land will not be disturbed or altered. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit
ingress/egress on the secondary or primary road where permitted by the standards of this
chapter and VDOT, nor to prohibit the placement of fences or the planting of additional
landscaping within the scenic buffer strip;
(3) All plats of division submitted under this provision shall be accompanied by a signed and
notarized affidavit indicating the date of transfer from parent(s) to the immediate family
with instrument number or deed book and page number of the original transfer from
parent(s) to immediate family;
(4) Any subsequent division(s) of the parcels created pursuant to this exemption shall
conform to the provisions of the Spotsylvania County Subdivision Ordinance for cluster or
(5) The number of lots created under the family exempt provisions shall not exceed one (1)
lot per family member and the residential lot yield cannot exceed 10 lots from the parent
parcel which existed on February 12, 2002.
C. All land divisions and/or consolidations as described in the preceding paragraphs above shall be
termed “exempt subdivisions” and shall be exempt from this chapter provided that all proposed
lots or parcels:
(1) Generally conform to section 20-5.1.9 of this chapter;
(2) Meet all requirements of Chapter 23, Articles 6 and 7 of the Spotsylvania County Zoning
(3) Comply with Chapters 6A, 8 and 19A of the Spotsylvania County Code;
(4) Front on an existing public road or are provided with a minimum of twenty-five (25’) foot
wide access easement to an existing public road; with the approval of the subdivision
agent this requirement may be reduced to a minimum eighteen (18) foot easement.
Easements existing prior to December 4, 1995, and no less than ten (10’) feet in width
(5) Share entrances on the existing public road to the maximum extent possible.
(6) Any access created for new divisions (exempt) created under these provisions shall be
limited to two thousand five hundred (2,500) feet in length with no extensions off of this
road to adjacent properties unless owner can demonstrate no other means of access to a
state maintained road exists at which time a waiver can be requested of the subdivision
agent. Roads greater than three hundred (300) feet in length are required to end in a cul-
de-sac or “T” turnaround per the DSM Plate 5-6 if serving more than 3 lots.
Number of Lots
Width of Travel
Depth of Base
(Lot to Private
2 lots 25 feet
4” of #25, 26, or
Not required 100 feet
3-10 lots 25 feet
6” of #25, 26, or
25’ from edge
of paved public
(7) All plats, contracts of sale and deeds for a lot in a subdivision in which private lanes,
roads or streets are allowed shall contain language which clearly discloses to a potential
purchaser the following minimum information;
(a) The lot is served by a privately maintained road and will not be maintained by the
state or county. Any costs necessary to bring the road to a condition qualifying it
for acceptance as part of the secondary system of state highways shall be
sustained from resources other than those administered by the Virginia
Department of Transportation and the County of Spotsylvania or any other public
(b) School bus service shall not be provided by the County along private roads, lanes
or streets; unless approved by the Spotsylvania County School Board;
(c) United States Postal Service shall not be provided along private roads, lanes or
streets; unless approved by the United States Postal Service;
(d) The expense and responsibility for maintaining the roads within the development
shall be paid for and borne by the lot owners and/or developer, as the case may
(e) It shall be the responsibility of the developer for the initial construction and
subsequent maintenance, if any, of the roads. If the roads are to be maintained
by a property owners association or other legal entity, the disclosure must clearly
so inform the buyer.
(8) Prior to recordation all such exempt subdivisions shall be submitted to the county
planning office for review and approval on a plat prepared by a licensed surveyor with
application information as may be required by the subdivision agent.
Where the public (Spotsylvania County or a superior sovereign) acquires right-of-way in fee title crossing
a lot, and upon application of the owner, the resulting lands on either side of such right-of-way may be
approved administratively as separate lots upon the subdivision agent’s determination that either (i) at the
time of the right-of-way acquisition; or (ii) at the time of the application, each portion of said land so
divided satisfied all ordinance requirements for approval as separate lots within the meaning hereof.
General Information and Process
1. Zoning Determination: Contact the Zoning Department (540-507-7222) for the correct zoning
2. Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance, RPA, floodplain status, and any overlay
districts: Contact Code Compliance (540-507-7222) for overlay districts.
3. Subdivision Determination: Contact the Planning Department (540-507-7434) for questions
regarding the Subdivision Ordinance and what processes need to be followed.
4. Location of Septic Drainfields: Once it has been determined a Family Exempt Division can be
done, the applicant will need to hire a private Authorized Onsite Soil Evaluator (AOSE) consultant
to locate a suitable drainfield location. Every parcel resulting from a land division (including the
parent parcel) must have both a primary drainfield and a 100% reserve drainfield area delineated,
unless public sewer is available. If an existing house with a septic system is located on a parcel
proposed for division, a 100% reserve area should be located for that parcel as well. The “Soil
Report Checklist” and the “Spotsylvania County Health Department Level I Subdivision Review”
checklist (pages 8 & 9 of this packet) should be given to the AOSE consultant. The final plat will
delineate all existing and proposed drainfield locations and be labeled accordingly.
For property line adjustments: For any parcel having its boundary line adjusted, the plat
must show that the parcel retains the primary and reserve drainfield capacity it had prior
to the adjustment, including a minimum 100% reserve. A private AOSE soil consultant
can make this determination.
With the completed application, a copy of any septic permits and/or certification letters that have
already been issued by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and/or all Soil Reports prepared
by an AOSE consultant must be included. Please note that providing a soil consultant’s report
does not guarantee the issuance of a health permit. The VDH will not review the soil consultant’s
work unless you file an application for a septic system construction permit. If you need complete
assurance that the new parcel will have a suitable drainfield site, you should apply separately for
VDH review. Contact the VDH (540-507-7386) for more information.
Failure to identify the required primary and 100% reserve drainfields on a parcel will result in said
parcel being stamped “Not Approved for Sewage” and a note placed on the plat stating “Lots
stamped as not approved for sewage’ are considered un-buildable until a re-plat is subsequently
filed and approved administratively by Spotsylvania County, according to current subdivision
regulations” per Spotsylvania Code 20-5.1.9. To have the stamp and statement removed, the
parcel will have to be re-platted and a Soil Report submitted, according to the County ordinances
and standards in effect at that time.
5. Plat Preparation: After the drainfield locations are determined, a licensed surveyor or engineer
must prepare a plat (18” X 24”) of the proposed action. Give the “Family Exempt Plat Checklist”
(pages 10 & 11 of this packet) to your surveyor. Your surveyor and soil consultant may need to
work together to ensure that proposed property lines are correctly identified and related to
drainfield areas, easements, structures, wells, and other environmental features found on the
An “Owner’s Consent and Dedication” (page 12 of this packet) is required to be placed on the
plat. This must be completed and signed by all owners of the property.
Keep in mind, a plat is a legal document. It legally establishes the boundaries of the
parcels involved once recorded.
To avoid future problems, please take care that all persons holding title to the land
have signed. If you are unsure as to who should sign, check the most recently recorded
deeds and wills or consult a private attorney.
Be aware that a plat does not transfer title. To convey title to any of the parcels you
create, you will need to have an attorney prepare a deed. One (1) original, signed, and
notarized deed needs to be submitted for review as part of the application for a Family
6. Plat Review and Approval: Submit the following items to the Community Development Permit
Intake counter on the 4th
floor of 10304 Spotsylvania Avenue, in the Lee Hill Commercial Center
a. Completed “Spotsylvania County Plat Application” form (page 22 of this packet);
b. Seven (7) folded copies of the plat (18” X 24”) sealed, signed, and dated by the surveyor
or engineer (Note: the initial review of a plat does not require the owner’s signature, etc.);
c. One (1) original, signed, and notarized copy of the deed transferring ownership;
d. One (1) completed, signed, and notarized “Family Affidavit” (page 16 of this packet);
e. One (1) copy of all Soil Reports, septic permits, or certification letters, as applicable.
f. Completed “Family Division” checklist (page 17 of this packet)
g. All fees (see the top of the application form to compute)
The plat application submission will be reviewed for compliance with all existing and current
County ordinances. The initial review of your application may take 4-6 weeks to complete. If
changes are required to the plat, or any submitted documents, a second review will be required,
again possibly taking an additional 4-6 weeks to complete. Included with each re-submittal,
the Applicant must state, in writing, how each comment was handled, including why any
comment may not have been addressed. If you need to schedule a closing date for a property
transfer, please plan accordingly. Once the plat meets all requirements, the Subdivision Agent
will sign the plat(s) to authorize recordation. Upon her/his approval, the applicant/owner who
signed the application will be notified by the Planning Department to pick up the final plat(s),
deed(s), and Family Affidavit(s) to be recorded.
7. Recording the Plat, Deed & Affidavit: The final, signed plat(s), deed(s), and Affidavit(s) must be
recorded in the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office (in the Judicial Center located at Spotsylvania Court
House) by the Applicant. The Clerk of the Court will require a cover sheet. For more information
on this procedure, contact the Clerk’s Office (540-507-7600). You will need two (2) copies of the
County approved plat (both with original signatures), the original signed and notarized deed, the
original signed and notarized Affidavit, a cover sheet, and the recording fees.
Plats will be considered void if not recorded within six (6) months
of County approval.
8. Special Note: Development of a new driveway/access (after plat approval) may require the filing
of a minor site plan with the Planning Department. Please contact Planning (540-507-7434) for
Family Exempt Division Process Flow Chart
Step 1: Contact the Zoning
Office. Staff will determine your
tax map parcel number, zoning,
and whether the parcel is subject
to special restrictions under the
Chesapeake Bay Preservation
Step 3: Hire a private soil
consultant (AOSE certified) and/or
contact the Health Department to
locate any required drainfield
areas with 100% reserve where
Step 4: Hire a Virginia
licensed surveyor to prepare a
plat of the existing and
proposed property lines
showing all drainfield
locations, wells and existing
Step 5: Submit all application
materials and pay all fees to
Permit Intake located in the
offices on the 4
floor of 10304
Step 6: If revisions are
necessary, a letter, phone call
or email requesting the
changes will be sent to the
owner or applicant and plat
preparer. Applicant re-submits
documents with corrections.
Step 7: Once the revisions
are approved, Planning Staff
notifies the Subdivision Agent
that the plats are ready for
signature and approval.
Step 8: The Planning
Department contacts the
owner or Applicant after the
Subdivision Agent has
signed the plats.
Final Step: The Applicant records
the plat, deed, and Affidavit in the
Circuit Court Clerk’s Office, with a
cover sheet required by the Clerk’s
office. Contact the Clerk’s Office
(540-507-7600) for directions on
preparing the cover sheet.
Step 2: Contact the Planning
Department. Staff will determine
how the Subdivision Ordinance
relates to your application and
guide you through the process
Soil Report Checklist
(Give this checklist to your soil consultant)
Note: The following information is needed to verify that the requirements of the Chesapeake Bay
Preservation Ordinance and the Reservoir Protection Overlay District that relate to parcel
divisions and property line adjustments have been met. Soil reports in this format may be used to
apply with the Health Department for a septic system construction permit or certification letter.
___1. Name, title, and signature of the person preparing the report (AOSE seal).
___2. Address, phone number, and fax number (if applicable) of a contact person.
___3. Soil profiles for all proposed drainfields and reserve areas.
___4. Statement indicating capacity of drainfield (in number of bedrooms), and percentage
reserve available (at least 100%).
___5. Scaled sketch showing the following:
___a. Property lines and dimensions of existing and proposed parcels.
___b. North arrow.
___c. Tax map parcel number.
___d. Bodies of water, including ponds, lakes, streams, drainage ways, etc.
___e. Resource Protection Areas.
___f. 250’ septic setback line from mean high water line of existing or proposed reservoirs;
100’ septic setback line from flood easement.
___g. Primary drainfield and reserve areas, including existing ones within 200’ on adjacent
___h. Footprints of existing and proposed buildings, with distance between dwelling(s) and
___i. Distance between drainfields/reserve areas and property lines (5’ minimum setback).
___j. Existing or proposed driveways.
___k. Existing or proposed utility easements – Underground and aboveground (10’ minimum
setback for drainfields/reserve areas, or written permission for encroachment obtained
from utility holding the easement).
___l. Proposed wells.
___m. Existing wells and springs within 200’ of the proposed building and drainfield/reserve
area, including those on adjacent parcels.
___6. If a parcel is vacant, a primary drainfield and 100% reserve area should be located or the
parcel will be stamped “Not Approved for Sewage.”
___7. If a parcel has a dwelling with an existing septic system, a 100% reserve area is identified
___8. VDH Level 1 Subdivision Review (sample included)
(NOTE: Please note that soil reports need to clearly and accurately indicate the tax map parcel
number(s), and that the property(s) has both primary and reserve drain fields, as required. The
plat(s) need to depict both the primary and reserve drain field locations individually.)
Spotsylvania County Health Department Level I Subdivision Review
Spotsylvania TM #: _______________________________________________________________
Subdivision name: _______________________________________________________________
Reviewing EHS: _______________________________________________________________
Items to be reviewed & required: per Sewage Handling and Disposal and AOSE Regulations
Yes No N/A
Subdivision plat to scale of 1” = 100’ or larger
Original topography shown at 2 ft. intervals or less
Lot boundaries, lot line dimensions, acreage
Overall site boundary
Neighboring property lines within 200 ft. of outermost property line
Existing and proposed roads, cuts and fills
Drainage easements and structures
Significant landscape features (see county plat requirements)
Existing & proposed water supplies for each lot & within 200 ft. of outermost
Individual AOSE/PE Soil Reports identified as to individual lot, section number
Drainfield sites, reserve areas, and water supply locations clearly shown to scale
AOSE certification statement, signature, seal and date
PE certification, seal and date
Local government letter of request received
Items to be reviewed & required per Spotsylvania County
CBPA, River and Reservoir overlay detail (see site plan requirements Chapters
6A-13, 23-7.4.1-5, 23-7.5.1-.4 of the Spotsylvania County Code) as relevant to
approval of individual and overall development plans.
Conformance with Chapters 20 & 23 of the Spotsylvania County Code
100% drainfield reserve areas exist for all newly created lots.
The minimum buildable lot area >10,000 contiguous sq. ft is available outside of
protected areas including drainfields and reserves.
Family Exempt Division Plat Checklist
I. Application Completeness Review: File #:
Date sent to GIS:
___1. The seven (7) folded plats (18” X 24”) submitted are sealed, signed, and dated by the
surveyor (original signatures required on all copies).
___2. The Soil Consultant's reports, or Approved VA Department of Health permits, are
provided indicating availability and location of the primary drainfield area with a 100%
reserve capacity (individually delineated) for each parcel. If a septic system already
exists on the parcel being divided, a 100% reserve area for that system should be
located. Soil reports shall meet VDH minimum information requirements. AOSE
certification is required. One copy of the soil report is provided for each lot created
___3. The individuals listed on the “Family Division Affidavit” are eligible according to Chapter
20-2.1.3, and the affidavit is complete, signed, and notarized. All names match the plat
exactly. The Affidavit contains the name and address of the person(s) filling out the
___4. One (1) original, signed, and notarized deed is submitted that matches the plat and
Affidavit exactly and contains the required 5-year retention and private road clauses (see
pg. 15 of this packet).
___5. The division is exempt from regulation under the Subdivision Ordinance (Sec. 20-2.1.3,
definition of Subdivide), the parcel existed on February 12, 2002, and/or the allowable
divisions of the parent parcel since February 12, 2002 have not been exhausted.
___6. The application form is complete, signed by the owner or agent with POA, and all fees
have been paid.
II. Plat Review:
___1. The Owner's Consent form and family notes are correct (see model forms and notes).
___2. All seven (7) of the plats contain all original signatures with the Owner's Consent form
signed by all parties.
___3. The Notary form is correct and includes a list of all signing parties (exactly as shown in
the Owner’s Consent and deed). The Notary has signed and their name is clearly
readable (if they affixed their seal it must be able to be photocopied), and their
Registration Number and Commission expiration date are shown.
___4. The Surveyor's certificate or seal is original, correct, complete, and signed and dated on
all plat sheets.
___5. County review form is correct and states that Note under the County Review Form in bold
that states, “NOTICE: THIS PLAT SHALL BECOME NULL AND VOID AND BE IN NO
FURTHER FORCE AND EFFECT IF THE PLAT IS NOT RECORDED IN
ACCORDANCE WITH THE SUBDIVISION ORDINANCE OF SPOTSYLVANIA
COUNTY WITHIN SIX (6) MONTHS OF THE DATE OF APPROVAL.” [20-4.6.1(a)(4)]
___6. Note required on all plats, in bold that states, “APPROVAL AND/OR RECORDING OF
THIS PLAT DOES NOT CONSTITUTE ASSURANCE THAT PUBLIC SEWER OR
PUBLIC WATER SERVICE WILL BE AVAILABLE TO SERVE THE LAND
DESCRIBED ON THIS PLAT AT ANY PARTICULAR TIME. [20-4.6.1(a)(4)]
___7. Inset sketch/Vicinity Map provided at a scale of 1”:2,000’ and includes a North Arrow.
___8. North Arrow present for the plat rendering.
___9. Floodplain boundary shown on plat if zone “A” touches parcel, or there is a note stating
that parcel is not in zone “A” per FEMA maps (see model forms and notes).
___10. Existing RPA is shown on the plat. Note as either field delineated or “RPA Shown per
County Maps.” Required RPA clause is shown in the Notes section (see Other Required
___11. CBPA clause is present in the Notes section (see Other Required Plat Notes).
___12. The 35’ wide scenic buffer strip and note are shown on the plat for existing primary or
secondary road frontages [Sec. 20-2.1.3, definition of Subdivide].
___13. Family divisions have a minimum lot size of two (2) acres, including the remainder/parent
parcel, unless as noted below for properties in the River and Reservoir Protection
___14. Is the property within the Reservoir Protection Overlay District? If so, a note is included
that identifies the property as being within the Reservoir Protection Overlay District. The
additional restrictions are as follows:
___a. five (5) acre minimum lot size if using a septic system and the property is adjacent to an
existing/proposed reservoir [Sec. 23-7.5.4(1)a].
___b. two (2) acre minimum lot size if using public sewer and the property is adjacent to an
existing/proposed reservoir [Sec. 23-7.5.4(1)b].
___c. 200' lot width along mean high water line of existing/proposed reservoir [Sec. 23-
___d. 150' buffer shown from the existing or proposed “mean” or “normal pooling level” of the
reservoir [Sec. 23-7.5.4(3)a].
___e. 75' river and perennial stream buffer is shown [Sec. 23-7.5.4(3)b].
___f. 250' septic setback from mean high water line of the existing or proposed reservoir [Sec.
___g. 100' septic setback from flood easement (Ni Reservoir only) [Sec. 22-232].
___h. 200' septic setback if under 1.25 acres (Ni Reservoir only) [Sec. 22-232].
___15. Minimums conform to the “River Protection Overlay District” standards. If the property is
located within the district, a note is added that identifies the property as such.
___a. five (5) acre minimum lot size if using septic system [Sec. 23-7.4.4].
___16. If the property is located in the Highway Corridor Overlay District (HCOD): add HCOD
note – “This property is located in the County’s Highway Corridor Overlay District.”
___17. Existing and proposed primary and reserve drainfields are delineated on the plat (indicate
VDH permit numbers for existing drainfields)
___18. No drainfields in the 100-year floodplain [Sec. 23-7.4.7(1)].
___19. No structures or septic systems are located within the RPA, unless a buffer reduction is
approved in accordance with Section 6A. Water wells are permissible [Sec. 6A-10(c)].
___20. All drainfield systems are set back a minimum of five (5) feet from all property lines and a
minimum of 10' from all utility easements (including overheads) per VDH regulations.
___21. All existing structures are shown with no apparent building setback encroachments.
___22. No apparent access road/driveway entrance hazards exist.
___23. Minimum road frontage provided as required by the zoning district for public road
frontage [Sec. 23-6], if required.
___24. Parcels share access points on the existing secondary road to the maximum extent
possible [Sec. 20-2.1.3, definition of Subdivide].
___25. If not fronting a public road, a minimum 25' wide private access easement (labeled as
“Private” and “Hereby Reserved” on the plat) is shown that does not exceed 2,500’ in
length [Sec. 20-2.1.3, definition of Subdivide]. Required road maintenance, use, etc.
language appears in the “Notes” section of the plat, as well as in the deed.
___26. No peculiarly shaped parcels or elongations exist, and no lot has a length five times
greater than its width (5:1 rule) [Sec. 20-5.1.9(e)].
___27. No pipe-stem lots exist, except in RR zoning or by Planning Commission approval [Sec.
___28. Parcels provide desirable building site, with at least 10,000 contiguous square feet of
buildable area exclusive of steep slopes (>15%), floodplains, wetlands, drainfields,
reservoir/river protection overlay district buffers, and RPA [Sec. 20-2.1.3, definition of
___29. Property lines do not extend into a water body [Sec. 20-5.1.9(g)].
___30. If the lot is minimum acreage, the Owner's Consent and/or plat do not say "more or less".
___31. Property lines to be eliminated are labeled “hereby vacated” or “hereby extinguished.”
___32. Adjacent property owners are correctly identified with deed book/page numbers and/or
land records (LR) recording number.
___33. All signatures are original and in blue ink.
___34. Plat title contains the tax map number and “Family Division” as part of its identification.
Also, surveyor contact information present, i.e. phone number, address, etc.
III. Plat/Deed Approvals (Staff Only):
___ GIS has reviewed and approved plat.
___ Legal documents have been approved as to form.
___ Subdivision Agent has approved and signed plat.
Model Forms and Notes
Family Division With
Surveyor’s Seal or
Public Road Frontage Seal 1 Yes
CBPA, RPA, Floodplain,
Overlay & Family Notes
Private Access Easement Seal 2 Yes
CBPA, RPA, Floodplain,
Overlay & Family Notes
OWNER’S CONSENT FORMS 1 & 2
COUNTY REVIEW/APPROVAL NOTE
Owner’s Consent #1:
DESIGNATED AS PARCELS/LOTS
USING PUBLIC ROAD FRONTAGE
Owner’s Consent and Dedication
The creation of the parcels of land shown on this plat, containing
__acres, and designated as (tax map # of parent parcel), (subdivision
name/lot number) situated in ______Magisterial District, in the County
of Spotsylvania, Virginia, is with the free consent and in accordance
with the desires of the undersigned owners thereof. The undersigned
owners certify that parcel/lot (tax map # of parent parcel) was created
prior to February 12, 2002, and that the divisions have resulted in no
more than 10 lots.
The said ___acres of land hereby subdivided having been conveyed
to (names of owners) by ___________ by deed dated
_____________ 20__, and recorded in the Clerk’s Office of the Circuit
Court of Spotsylvania County, Virginia, in Deed Book ___ Page __ or
Instrument # ____________.
Given under my/our hand(s) this _____day of ___________ 20__.
City/County of __________________, to wit:
The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me by_________
this ____day of ____________ 20___.
My Commission expires the day of , 20 .
My Registration # is: .
_________________ __Printed Name
Owner’s Consent #2:
DESIGNATED AS PARCELS/LOTS
USING PRIVATE ACCESS EASEMENTS
Owner’s Consent and Dedication
The creation of the parcels of land shown on this plat, containing ___ acres, and
designated as (tax map #. of parent parcel), (subdivision name/lot number)
situated in ____________ Magisterial District, in the County of Spotsylvania,
Virginia, is with the free consent and in accordance with the desires of the
undersigned owners thereof, all streets, access easements or accesses for this
parcel/lot are private and do not comply with the Virginia Department of
Transportation (VDOT) requirements for acceptance into the Secondary System
and will not be maintained by either the County or VDOT. The streets, access
easements or accesses shall be maintained by the owners of the parcels/lots
and/or the owners of dwellings located on such parcels/lots that use the street,
access easements or accesses. Prior to any future request for their addition to
the State Secondary System, these streets, access easements or accesses
must be developed in full compliance with VDOT requirements in effect at that
time. Any such development shall be at the expense of the owners of the
parcels/lots and/or dwellings located on such parcel/lots who use the streets,
access easement or accesses. The undersigned owners certify that parcel/lot
(tax map # of parent parcel) was created prior to February 12, 2002, and that
the divisions have resulted in no more than 10 lots.
The said __acres of land hereby subdivided having been conveyed to (names of
owners), by deed dated____,20__, and recorded in the Clerk’s Office of the
Circuit Court of Spotsylvania County, Virginia in Deed Book __, Pg. __ or
Instrument # ____________.
Given under my/our hand(s) this day of , 20 .
State of ________________
City/County of __________________, to wit:
The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me by ____________ this
___ day of ____________, 20___.
My Commission expires the day of , 20 .
My Registration # is:
Based on the representations contained in the Owner’s
Consent, this plat does not constitute a “subdivision” as
defined in Section 20-2.1.3 of the Spotsylvania County Code.
Further division of this parcel or the parent parcel may
constitute a “subdivision” and require compliance with the
County Subdivision Ordinance.
County Administrator or Date
Agent of the County Board of Supervisors
NOTICE: THIS PLAT SHALL BECOME NULL AND VOID AND BE
IN NO FURTHER FORCEAND EFFECT IF THE PLAT IS NOT
RECORDED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SUBDIVISION
ORDINANCE OF SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY WITHIN SIX (6)
MONTHS OF THE DATE OF APPROVAL.
APPROVAL AND/OR RECORDING OF THIS PLAT DOES NOT
CONSTITUTE ASSURANCE THAT PUBLIC SEWER OR PUBLIC
WATER SERVICE WILL BE AVAILABLE TO SERVE THE LAND
DESCRIBED ON THIS PLAT AT ANY PARTICULAR TIME. 13
Other Required Plat Notes
The following is the preferred wording to be shown on all plats as it relates to FEMA Floodplain
designations (the engineer/surveyor is responsible for replacing “xxx” with the correct FEMA map #):
“No portion of the land hereon is located in the F.I.R.M. 100-year special flood area zone “A”, as
indicated on FEMA map # xxx dated February 18, 1998. However, this land is located in zone “X”
(areas outside of the 500-year floodplain).”
“Portions of the land hereon are located in the F.I.R.M. 100-year special flood area zone “A” as
indicated on FEMA map # xxx dated February 18, 1998 and is so designated hereon.”
Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act Notes
Per the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act and the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance of
Spotsylvania County the following statements must be applied to all site plans and plats.
“CBPA is an overlay district for the entire Spotsylvania County and the parcel described within
this plan lies within the RMA features and (does/does not) contain RPA features within the
Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Overlay District.”
If the parcel/lot does have a RPA feature on it, please include the following note:
“Resource Protection Area (RPA) is a 100 foot wide buffer area that shall remain undisturbed and
vegetated in accordance with Spotsylvania County Code Chapter 6A- Chesapeake Bay
Reservoir Protection Overlay District Note
If the parcel/lot is located in a Reservoir Protection Overlay District, include the following note:
This parcel/tract is located in the Reservoir Protection Overlay District of the County.
River Protection Overlay District Note
If the parcel/lot is located in a River Protection Overlay District, include the following note:
This parcel/tract is located in the River Protection Overlay District of the County.
Highway Corridor Overlay District Note
If the parcel/lot is located in the Highway Corridor Overlay District, include the following note:
This parcel/tract is located in the Highway Corridor Overlay District of the County.
Additional Required Family Exempt Division Notes
The following shall be placed in the “Notes” section on all affected plats:
VDOT approval required prior to access to all public roads.
Per Section 20-2.1.3, Lots shall have a scenic buffer strip 35 feet in width along the existing
secondary or primary road frontage, in which the existing vegetation and contours of the land will
not be disturbed or altered. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit ingress/egress
on the secondary or primary road where permitted by the standards of this chapter and VDOT,
nor to prohibit the placement of fences or the planting of additional landscaping within the scenic
Owner’s Consent of Transfer (insert)
The following note shall be completed and inserted into the “Owner’s Consent and Dedication”
(between paragraphs one  and two  of the model used) on each plat submitted. The
accompanying deed of transfer must match the family names exactly as listed below:
BY DEED(S) EXECUTED AND RECORDED CONCURRENTLY HEREWITH AMONG THE LAND
RECORDS OF SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY, VIRGINIA AS SET FORTH BELOW, THE PARCELS OF
LAND CREATED BY THIS PLAT ARE CONVEYED TO (**whomever) OF THE UNDERSIGNED
OWNER(S) WHO SHALL RETAIN TITLE TO SUCH PARCELS IN THEIR OWNERSHIP FOR A PERIOD
OF 5 (FIVE) YEARS FROM THE DATE OF TRANSFER, IN ACCORDANCE WITH SPOTSYLVANIA
COUNTY SUBDIVISION ORDINANCE SECTION 20-2.1.3.
SUCH TRANSFERS ARE PROPOSED AS FOLLOWS: (add as many lines as there are family members
receiving divisions from the parent parcel)
PARCEL # GRANTEE NAME RELATIONSHIP GRANTOR
____________ __________________ __________________ _______________
____________ __________________ __________________ _______________
(**whomever - Insert the full name and relationship to the owner in this space)
Family Division Deed Restriction Language
A) The following language shall appear in all deeds whereby a family division lot is initially
Family Division. The lot conveyed herein is created by a family division of land; the conveyance herein
is to an immediate family member of the Grantor; the Grantee shall retain title to such lot for a period of
not less than five (5) years from the date of this conveyance; only one (1) such family division lot shall be
conveyed to the Grantee within the County, and this conveyance is not made with the purpose or intent to
circumvent the County’s subdivision ordinance requirements, all such provisions made in compliance with
and as provided for in Section 15.2-2244 of the Code of Virginia and Section 20-2.1.3 of the Code of
Spotsylvania County. A voluntary transfer or conveyance of this lot by the Grantee, within five (5) years
of the date of this conveyance, to anyone other than (i) the Grantee’s spouse or (ii) an immediate family
member (as defined by Section 20-2.1.3 of the Code of Spotsylvania County) of the Grantor of this deed
shall render the family subdivision whereby this lot was created void and of no legal effect; and any
subsequent division of this property must then comply with all requirements of Spotsylvania County
Subdivision Ordinance as in effect at the time of such subsequent transfer.
[Explanatory Note (do not include the following in the deed): The intent of this deed restriction language
is to prevent circumvention of the Subdivision Ordinance by abuse of the Family Subdivision provisions.
This language is not intended and shall not be construed to work a restraint on alienation of property.
Transfer of a lot created by family subdivision within less than five (5) years shall, by this language,
render the family subdivision void, but shall not in itself affect the transferee’s title to the property
transferred. In consequence of this, the transferee would continue to hold title to the subject property, but
such property would no longer constitute a legal lot for which a building permit, occupancy permit, or
other governmental approval could be granted or maintained.]
B) All plats, contracts of sale, and deeds for a lot in a subdivision in which private lanes,
roads or streets are allowed shall contain language which clearly discloses to a potential
purchaser the following minimum information. Lots with frontage on state maintained
roads, streets, or lanes are not required to use this language when accessing those
roadways directly via a driveway
a) The lot is served by a privately maintained road and will not be maintained by the state or
county. Any costs necessary to bring the road to a condition qualifying it for acceptance
as part of the secondary system of state highways shall be sustained from resources
other than those administered by the Virginia Department of Transportation and the
County of Spotsylvania or any other public agency;
b) School bus service shall not be provided by the County along private roads, lanes or
streets; unless approved by the Spotsylvania County School Board;
c) United States Postal Service shall not be provided along private roads, lanes or streets;
unless approved by the United States Postal Service;
d) The expense and responsibility for maintaining the roads within the development shall be
paid for and borne by the lot owners and/or developer, as the case may be;
e) It shall be the responsibility of the developer for the initial construction and subsequent
maintenance, if any, of the roads. If the roads are to be maintained by a property owners
association or other legal entity, the disclosure must clearly so inform the buyer.
Family Division Affidavit and Form
The affidavit on the following page must be completed, signed, notarized, and submitted with the
application. The affidavit is to be recorded with the final deed of transfer.
Family Division Affidavit
STATE OF: Prepared By:
CITY/COUNTY OF: Address:
I/we, after having been duly sworn, do hereby certify
and affirm that: (Print Name of Affiant/s)
1. [ ] I [ ] We hold title to the parent parcel identified below, and desire to divide the parent parcel
under the authority of the County’s Family Exempt provisions as found in Section 20-2.1.3, definition of
Subdivide, Subsection B.
2. The parent parcel is identified as: Spotsylvania County Tax Map # , also
known by the street address of:
or otherwise described as set forth in the attached "Exhibit A" (legal description from deed), recorded in:
DB# Pg.# , dated , or LR # .
3. The transfer of the divided portion of the parent parcel will be to:
whose relationship to me/us is/are: , such relationship being
within the definition of an immediate family member (who has reached the age of 18) of the owner of the
parent parcel as defined in Section 20-2.1.3 of the Spotsylvania County Code; and
4. That the deed of such transfer to be recorded in the Clerk's Office of the Spotsylvania County
Circuit Court upon County approval of the proposed plat of division of land shall include a restriction on
transfer or alienation of the land by the immediate family member (the grantee under the deed) for a
period of not less than five (5) years from the date of transfer to such immediate family member named
5. THAT THE PROPOSED FAMILY DIVISION IS NOT FOR PURPOSES OF CIRCUMVENTING
THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY SUBDIVISION ORDINANCE;
AND FURTHER, I/we hereby affix our seal(s):
(Print name of Affiant)
(Signature of Affiant)
(Print name of Affiant)
(Signature of Affiant)
I, , a notary public for the Commonwealth of Virginia, do
hereby certify that affiant(s),
whose name(s) is/are subscribed to the foregoing affidavit, duly swore and made oath that the facts
contained herein are true and correct to the best of his/her/their information, knowledge and belief, all
before me in the said County of Spotsylvania, State of Virginia, this day of
, 20 .
My commission expires the day of , 20 .
My Registration number is:
Family Division Checklist
____ ____ First page of the document bears an entry showing the name of either the person
or entity who drafted the instrument.
Prepared by: ____________________________
City, State, Zip:
____ ____ Owners name on documents must match name on plat and match the name as
shown on the recorded deed where the owner acquired title.
____ ____ The Tax Map No. is listed at the top of the document.
____ ____ The Tax Map No. must be the same on plat.
_____ _____ The property is zoned Ru, A1, A2, A3, RA or RR
_____ _____ The parent parcel existed on February 12, 2002
_____ _____ The property is passing to a member of the immediate family as defined in
Section 20-2.1.3 of the Code of the County of Spotsylvania
_____ _____ Minimum lot size is two (2) acres
_____ _____ Lots which front on existing secondary or primary roads have a scenic buffer
strip of thirty-five feet (35’) in width
_____ _____ Items of Section 20-2.1.3(C)(7) (a) through (e) of “subdivide” are included on
the plat, in the deed and where there are private roads
_____ _____ Family deed restrictions language is included in the deed.
____ ____ The Notary must list his/her commission expiration date.
____ ____ The Notary must list his/her registration number.
____ ____ If sealed, whether by hand held or stamp, the notary must be able to be
reproduced by photocopy.
____ ____ The Notary should print his/her name under his/her signature and/or the
signature should be legible.
____ ____ If someone other than the owner is signing on behalf of the owner he/she must
provide a copy of a document authorizing a power of attorney to sign for any
party to the document.
Family Division Frequently Asked Questions
What was the intent of the family division ordinance that had been originally adopted on
Land in the Ru, A-1, A-2, A-3, resort agricultural (RA) and resort residential (RR) districts are
allowed to have family divisions;
Divisions are based upon the parent parcel as it existed on February 12, 2002 and no more
than ten (10) total lots can be created;
Lots can be conveyed to a family member: defined as natural or legally defined offspring,
spouse, sibling, grandchild, grandparent, parent, step-child, step-parent or step-siblings of the
Include a recorded deed restriction for five (5) years from the date of transfer;
Minimum lot size (which includes the parent/remainder parcel) shall be two (2) acres;
Lots shall have a scenic buffer strip thirty-five (35) feet in width along the existing secondary
or primary road frontage, in which the existing vegetation and contours of the land will not be
disturbed or altered. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit ingress/egress on
the secondary or primary road where permitted by the standards of this chapter and VDOT,
nor to prohibit the placement of fences or the planting of additional landscaping within the
scenic buffer strip;
All plats of division submitted under this provision shall be accompanied by a signed and
notarized Affidavit indicating the proposed transfer of the parcel from one family member to
another immediate family member as defined in Chapter 20-2.1.3 (B). The approved Affidavit
must then be recorded with the deed and plat.
What changes in the original 7/12/05 ordinance resulted from the new family division
ordinance adopted on 10/9/07?
Family member was re-defined as: “…a member of the immediate family is defined as any
person who is a natural of legally defined offspring, spouse, sibling, grandchild, grandparent,
or parent of the owner…” to comply with the state code.
The number of lots created under the family exempt provisions shall not exceed one (1) lot
per family member and the residential lot yield cannot exceed ten (10) lots from the parent
parcel which existed on February 12, 2002.
What is the minimum lot size for parcels created under this ordinance?
Two (2) acres (including the parent parcel), unless located in the River or Reservoir Protection
Overlay Districts, which may require a larger parcel (see Checklist).
What zoning districts allow family divisions?
A1, A2, A3, Ru, RR, & RA only.
Do I need to build a public (VDOT) and/or paved private road?
No, you are only required to provide a minimum of a private, 25’ wide ingress/egress easement to
the nearest public road for the new lot(s). No public road frontage is required. There are road
standards depending on the number of lots created, though. These standards are detailed in the
definition of subdivide (page 4 of this packet). A minor site plan may be required to construct a
new driveway/access. Contact the Planning Department (540-507-7434) for further instructions.
How long do I need to keep the new parcel in the family name?
Once the lot is conveyed to an immediate family member, the new lot must remain in the family
for not less than five (5) years. The five (5) year time period is committed to in a required deed
restriction and on the plat. The five (5)-year period begins with the recording of the deed of
What is a deed restriction?
The deed transferring ownership must specifically state that the family division (lot) must stay in
the family member’s name for a minimum of five (5) years from the date the property is deeded to
said family member (see page 15 of this packet).
Can I prepare my own deed for a family division?
Yes, but it is not advised, and it is strongly recommended that you hire an attorney to ensure all
legal standards are met.
What is the definition of family?
Family is defined as the natural or legally defined offspring, spouse, sibling, grandchild,
grandparent, or parent of the owner.
Is the spouse (husband or wife) of an immediate family member also considered a “family
member” as defined in the ordinance?
No, for the purpose of deeding a lot under the Family Exempt Division process, only the individual
who meets the definition of “family member” may be part of the recorded plat and deed
transferring the property from one immediate family member to another.
If my land was divided prior to February 12, 2002, can I still divide it?
Yes. The requirement is based on the acreage of the parent parcel as it existed on February 12,
2002. Consult the Planning Department for a determination.
What if my property has been divided since February 12, 2002, can I do additional divisions of
Yes, provided that all allowable splits have not been exhausted. Consult the Planning
Department for a final determination.
How many lots can an individual family member receive under the Family Exempt Ordinance?
You can transfer only one (1) lot to each immediate family member during their lifetime.
Can a spouse (husband or wife) give the other a parcel under the Family Division Ordinance?
Yes, but only if the spouse deeding the parcel is the only one named on the parent parcel’s deed,
and then the new parcel must be deeded in the other spouse’s name only.
How many lots can I create?
The districts, A1, A2, A3, Ru, RR, and RA, allow no more than ten (10( lots based on the parent
parcel of 2/12/2002.
What can I do in Resort Agriculture (RA) zoning?
RA allows family divisions only.
What if my land is landlocked and I want to create a family division?
You will need to obtain a minimum of a 25’ wide access easement from any neighbor to the
nearest public road. This is a private issue and can only be resolved between you and your
neighbor(s). The county does not have any involvement in private easements.
How do I start the process?
Follow the plat procedures outlined in the “Family Exempt Division Plat Application” packet (see
page 7 of this packet).
Can I divide land in a conventional subdivision?
If the parcel/lot is in a conventional subdivision (contact the Planning Department if you are not
sure), it meets all the acreage requirements previously outlined, and there are no acreage
restrictions imposed by a Homeowner’s Association, covenants, or the deed of ownership, you
may be able to undertake a Family Exempt Division of your property. To be sure, though, consult
with the Planning Department and your Homeowner’s Association, as well as checking both your
deed and any subdivision covenants before beginning the process.
Can I divide a lot that has been recently created through the Family Division process
Yes, depending on the number of family splits that may have been previously undertaken and
approved. Consult the Planning Department for a final determination.
Can I do a conventional and family division on the same parcel at the same time?
No. The two processes are dissimilar, have different standards and requirements, and therefore
must work independent of one another. After consulting with the Planning Department to
determine what division rights may be available to you, you should complete the family division
first, recording the new lots, and only then attempting to undertake a Record Plat for the
May I deed property to my family?
Yes, you may transfer property ownership to family members as defined in the ordinance. If you
divide the property by deed or plat that will require a new tax map identification number, you will
need County approval. If the property is deeded to all family members without dividing the
property, no County approval is needed. If the tax map identification number changes for any
reason, then County approval is required.
What is the minimum age a family member has to be in order to own (take title to) property in
Can I deed a parcel to my minor (under 18) son/daughter through a Trust?
No. By the definition of family contained in the Ordinance, a “Trust” is not an immediate family
member and, therefore, cannot be the recipient of a family division tract.
Can property held in an Estate be subdivided under the Family Exempt process?
No. By the definition of family contained in the Ordinance, an “Estate” is not an immediate family
member and, therefore, is not eligible under the Family Exempt Ordinance.
Can a Will be used to subdivide property under the Family Exempt process?
No. By the definition of family contained in the Ordinance, a “Will” in of itself is not an “immediate
family member” and, therefore, cannot be used as a family member under the Family Exempt
Is a right-of-way dedication required?
No, not unless you want to. You only need an ingress/egress easement that is a minimum of 25’
wide for the new parcels.
What if I divide land under the Family Division Ordinance and then sell it outside of the family
prior to the 5-years?
Transfer of a lot created by a family subdivision within less than 5 years shall, by the deed
restriction language, render the family subdivision void, but shall not in of itself affect the
transferee’s title to the property transferred. In consequence of this, the transferee would
continue to hold title to the subject property, but such property would no longer constitute a legal
lot for which a building permit, occupancy permit, or other governmental approval could be
granted or maintained.
When do I need to provide soil reports?
Soil reports proving both primary and 100% reserve drainfield capacity are required for any lot
created (including the remaining portion of the parent parcel) upon application. If you wish to
create a lot without septic capabilities, the lot may be approved, but it will not be approved for
sewage and will be stamped “Not Approved for Sewage” on the plat and a note added to the plat
stating “Lots stamped as ‘not approved for sewage’ are considered un-buildable until a re-plat is
subsequently filed and approved administratively by Spotsylvania County according to current
subdivision regulations.” per Spotsylvania Code 20-5.1.9. If you wish to build on a parcel so
labeled in the future, it must be re-platted meeting all County ordinances related to drainfields,
etc. in effect at that time.
Updated as of 3/5/08
SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY PLAT APPLICATION
Submit the completed application, folded plats, fees, and
supplemental information to Code Compliance Permit Intake
10304 Spotsylvania Avenue, 4th
Fredericksburg, VA 22408
March 1, 2008 Fee Schedule
10304 Spotsylvania Ave, Ste 420 Planning: 110-0000-316-16-03 (39) $
Spotsylvania, VA 22408 Code: $250 prelim. $125 record/final 260-0000-313-03-45 (017) $
(540) 507-7434 (voice) Processing Fee: 260-0000-318-99-14 (017) $ 50.00
(540) 507-7445 (fax) GIS: 110-0000-316-16-10 (334) $
www.spotsylvania.va.us TOTAL FEE PAID: $
Type: (Check One) All plats must be folded prior to submission (Soil reports are required, if applicable)
___ Preliminary Plat 20 folded plats (Planning fee: Minor (9 lots or less) $2600 + 85/lot; Major (10 or more lots) $3000 + $100/lot;
Code fee: $250; GIS fee: $2500)
___ Record Plat/Final Plat 13 folded plats (Planning fee: Minor (3 lots or less) $1500+100/lot; Major (4 or more lots) $2000 + $100/lot;
Code fee $125; GIS $3500+ 10/lot)
___ Family Exempt Division 7 folded plats (Planning fee: $1000 + $50 per lot; GIS $300)
___ Consolidation or Adjustment 7 folded copies (Planning fee: $1000; GIS fee $300)
___ Easement or Right of Way Plat 8 folded copies (Planning fee: $1500; GIS fee $300)
Deed & certificate of title are required for right of way dedication
Subdivision Name or Owner’s Name: __________________________________________________________________________
Section # _______ # of lots _______ Nearest State Route # _______ Zoning District _______
Voting District _________ Magisterial District ___________ Public Water: Y N Public Sewer: Y N Public Streets: Y N
Tax Map/Parcel # ____________________________________ Acreage _____________________________________________
Developer (Owner if no developer) Engineer/Surveyor
City, State, Zip City, State, Zip
Phone/Fax Number Contact Person Phone/Fax Number Contact Person
E-mail: ____________________________________________ E-mail: _____________________________________________
E-mail will only be used to send comments as a result of the review.
Signature(s): All owners must sign the application or submit an agent authorization letter.
Signature(s) of owner(s) or authorized agent: Date:
FOR OFFICE USE ONLY
Application received by Date Application Number
Zoning Dept: Zoning district information is correct. Density and lot sizes conform to district minimums.