I have it figured out! This is originally referencing the trouble I was having starting apache-2.2.10 and using mod_chroot-0.5 (http://www.uno-code.com/?q=node/155). You cannot use mod_chroot with apache-2.2.10. Apache-2.2.10 because apache has built in chroot support now.
All you need to do is provide a ChrootDir variable in httpd.conf. The problem is that mod_chroot sets that value as well, I think it was trying to do a "double" chroot. Removing the -D chroot flag from /etc/conf.d/apache2 flags and configuring the variable got the server to start, and I verified that the chroot jail was working. What I'm mostly surprised with is that nobody seemed to have this problem. No follow up posts in the forum, and the bug is getting no activity.
I'll close the bug and state the issue is solved in the forum.
Hope this helps someone out there.. it was a pain to get to the bottom of it.