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Richmond Regional TPO

Emergency Management

Legislative Program



Street Name Clearinghouse



Public Comment,
Requests for Proposal, &
Financial Auditing

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The RRPDC is a regional planning agency serving
the Town of Ashland;
the City of Richmond; and
the counties of Charles City, Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent, and Powhatan.

Richmond Regional
Planning District Commission

9211 Forest Hill Avenue
Suite 200
Richmond, VA 23235

Directions to RRPDC

Phone:  804.323.2033
Fax:  804.323.2025

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


Street Name Clearinghouse

Street Name Reference 4-4-19

SNC Request Form

Richmond Regional PDC SNC Procedures

Street Name Review Criteria

Guidelines for SNC Requests

Street Types


The regional Street Name Clearinghouse (SNC) is one of the earliest programs undertaken by the Richmond Regional Planning District Commission. The intent of the program is to avoid and eliminate, whenever possible, existing street name duplicates which create confusion in property and address location. This confusion increases public and private service delivery costs and creates a public safety hazard resulting from delays in emergency service responses.

The Street Name Clearinghouse (SNC) program is advisory only. The recommendations may be (and occasionally have been) disregarded as a prerogative of local government. However, over the years, local governments have usually honored the recommendations from the Richmond Regional Planning District Commission.  With the implementation of the E-911 system for Richmond, Powhatan, Henrico, Goochland, Chesterfield, New Kent, Charles City, and Hanover counties, avoiding duplication and sound-alikes is extremely important. 

This procedural guideline report summarizes the responsibilities of Richmond Regional Planning District Commission (RRPDC) staff, local government staff, and the developers (or their agents) in obtaining street name approvals.

The Development Process

Normally there are many stages of review before a subdivision development is ultimately built. Most local governments require that the developer submit an approval form from the Richmond Regional PDC street name clearinghouse along with their final plat for development approval. The street name review process works best if the developer contacts the clearinghouse early in the process. Ideally, a developer should clear the proposed names through the SNC before completion of the preliminary plat so the names may be submitted for approval from the locality along with the preliminary plat.  

Sometimes developers do not seek street name approvals early in the process, but as the very last step before the development plan is recorded as the official, legal document. Or if changes are made to the development theme, the subdivision name and street names may change requiring a re-submission for new names in the development. In this case the action may be an urgent priority for the developer in order to close a development deal, start work, etc. The clearinghouse attempts to accommodate these emergencies but cannot be responsible for missed deadlines.  

Distribution of these guidelines to the development community should help better inform them of the clearinghouse process and reduce the need for urgent requests. In addition, local governments often forget to notify the clearinghouse of recorded plats and their street names. Developers and local governments should be reminded of the importance of maintaining an accurate and up-to-date list of reserved and recorded street names.

Richmond Regional PDC SNC Procedures

  1. The developer or the local government submits a street name reservation request form (generally received via fax).  This form includes information about the contact for the reservation, the locality of the reservation, the proposed street names to be reserved, and the types of street names (St., Rd., Ct., etc.).

  2. Staff responsible for the SNC reviews these proposed names using the SNC database to find duplicates or sound-alikes.  Staff also uses the SNC criteria (listed below) to evaluate proposed street names.

  3. After all the submitted names have been reviewed and accepted (or rejected), the RRPDC staff faxes the request form to the developer (or his agent) to advise him/her of which names are acceptable. This form should be submitted to the county at the time the subdivision plat is submitted as the approval document.

  4. At the same time the request form is faxed, the requested names are added to the SNC database. The reservation form then goes into a monthly SNC reservations file for future reference.

  5. While the name is to be held on reserve for the developer for two years, sometimes developers are delayed in planning or completing designs for their projects and the street name reservation expires. In order to ensure that the reservation is valid, local government staff will normally require the developer to obtain a time extension on the name reservation. This type of request is handled by following the above steps, except that the extension box is checked on the reservation request form.

Street Name Review Criteria

The following criteria are used in considering name requests:

  1. The requested name should be easily understood over the telephone. Foreign language words should be pronounceable by the "average" person.

  2. The developer must be clear about spelling of the street name, indicating single or double word name, proper capitalization, and/or punctuation (e.g., hyphens or apostrophes).  

Guidelines for Street Name Clearinghouse Requests

  • The requested name should be easily understood over the telephone.  Foreign language words should be pronounceable by the ďaverageĒ person.

  • The developer must be clear about spelling of the street name, indicating single or double word names, proper capitalization, and/or punctuation (e.g., hyphens or apostrophes).

  • The proposed name should be unique with in the entire Richmond Region.  Intended use of the name outside the city/county where the name is currently used or reserved for use is irrelevant.  The principle here is to avoid regional duplications!

  • Use of the same street names with different street type designations is acceptable if it is understood that the main road will be designated as a road, drive, avenue, street or boulevard (implying a through street), with all remaining same street names branching off of this main road to be named as court, place, circle, way, and terrace (implying a dead-end or cul-de-sac situation).  Pictorial Example


Deep Creek Road--                  main road

Deep Creek Court--                 connected to main road (cul-de-sac)

Deep Creek Terrace--              connected to main road (dead-end)

  • Directional prefixes (e.g., N. Deep Creek and S. Deep Creek Court) are not acceptable as unique names.

  • If single-word street name represent duplication, a second word may be added to make a unique compound word street name.


Existing--                               Cavalry Rd.

Proposed--                             Cavalry Drive  -                   unacceptable duplication

Alternatives--                         Cavalry Creek Dr.  -              ok, if not duplicated

                                            Cavalry Horse Rd. -              ok, if not duplicated

                                            Cavalry Charge Blvd. -          ok, if not duplicated

  • The review of the name for possible duplications will also check for similar sounding, but differently spelled names.


Proposed Name--                     Pines Dr., sounds like

Existing Name--                       Pine Dr.

Proposed Name--                     Pear Dr., sounds like

Existing Name--                       Pare Dr.

Proposed Name                        Patty Lane., sounds like

Existing Name--                       Paddy Drive

Such similarly sounding names should be rejected to avoid address confusion.

  • The street name canít contain two extensions. (Emerald Terrace Court, Maple Row Drive)

  • The Street Name Reference (a PDF) can be reviewed or saved to your computer as a guide to what name are existing or reserved.  Reviewing this information will help to avoid submitting numerous requests that are rejected for duplicates, sound-alkies, etc.


Street Types


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Richmond Regional Planning District Commission | 9211 Forest Hill Avenue | Suite 200
Richmond, VA 23235 | (804) 323-2033

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