Albemarle County Service Authority Jurisdictional Area Boundaries and Rural Area Policy



A work session to consider information regarding ACSA service & Jurisdictional Area boundaries in the Rural Area and to determine whether JA boundary changes should be made. 



Tucker, Foley, Graham, Cilimberg, Benish, Ragsdale





October 6, 2004


ACTION:                               INFORMATION:     X



  ACTION:                             INFORMATION:   










As a result of the Service Authority’s proposal to upgrade and extend service in the Ivy Area of the County, the Board directed Planning Staff in 2003 to study the possible implications of serving all RA properties within the ACSA Jurisdictional Area (JA) boundaries.  There was concern that the Jurisdictional Areas (JA) located in the Rural Areas (RA) of the Comprehensive Plan are not consistent with the County’s current policy for providing water and sewer service. These services by policy are intended to serve the designated Development Areas where growth is encouraged and are to be discouraged in the Rural Area because thy are a potential catalyst to growth.  Furthermore, the policy discourages the extension of public water and sewer into the RA except in cases where lines are adjacent to the property requesting service and there is an existing health/safety issue.  Major concerns expressed by the Board at that time included the possibility of increased pressure for more properties to hook-up as lines moved closer to the fringe of the JA and thereby encouraging the continued extension of service in the RA, and the possible strain on limited water resources and capacity if all RA properties within the JA are served. It should be noted that the JA designations were not an issue specifically addressed as part of the current RA Comprehensive Plan review and recommendations are not contained in the draft RA Plan that support changes to the ACSAJA boundaries.




Goal 2.1:  Protect and/or preserve the County’s rural character

Goal 2.2:  Protect and/or preserve the County’s natural resources




Staff has outlined several options in the attached report with regard to possible JA boundary changes, including the option of not changing the boundaries. (Attachment A) The following are key points to consider regarding this issue:



The following are options for amending the Jurisdictional Areas located in the Rural Area.  The first option is the null (no change) option.  Options 2 through 4 can be done independently or in combination with one another.  Any changes to the existing Jurisdictional Area boundaries will require public hearing and notice to all affected parties.


  1. Do not change the ACSAJA Boundaries or type of service designation at this time.

This option would have no effect on property owners in the County.  Based on input staff has received from citizens in the Ivy area, this is a desired option. There are some areas in the County that are prone to well failures and it would be a substantial burden and cost for property owners who now are within the JA, if taken out the JA, to meet the criteria set forth in policy to extend service to them.  This option, however, does not address the inconsistency of the JA boundaries with current County policy regarding the provision of service to the RA, impact to overall water supply/treatment capacities, and pressure to continue to extend lines generated by providing service to this area.



  1. Take all parcels without service that are vacant out of the JA.

This option would make the Rural Area part of Jurisdictional Area more consistent with current County policy for utility service in the Comprehensive Plan.  Because these properties are undeveloped, they would not be eligible for service unless the properties were first developed (on private systems) and later encountered a health or safety problem, which would require Board approval through the Jurisdictional Area amendment process.  This option would impact 307 parcels.  


  1. Designate all of the JA in the Rural Area currently designated for “water and sewer” service or “water only” service which is already served by the ACSA as “service to existing structures only”.

This option would make the Rural Area part of Jurisdictional Area more consistent with current County policy for utility service in the Comprehensive Plan, in that it would limit future use to only the existing structures at the time of the amendment.  Service would be limited to structures currently in existence.  Any additional service (beyond the existing structures) would be subject to Board approval through the Jurisdictional Area amendment process.  For parcels that are undeveloped, option 2 (above) would also have to be used, since there are no existing structures on the undeveloped parcels.  This option would impact the most properties (2400 parcels). Approximately 2100 parcels have either “water and sewer service” or “water only designations,” and 307 parcels are undeveloped.


  1. Remove only certain geographic areas of the Rural Areas from the ACSAJA.

There are portions of the JA that are not currently served by the ACSA and service to these particular areas may result in extension of lines adjacent to the Rural Areas. Substantial areas around Crozet and the Town of Scottsville are not currently served by the ACSA and are within the Rural Area. There are also properties to the east of Neighborhood 3, an area southwest of Neighborhood 5, and adjacent to Neighborhood 1 (by the reservoir) that are not served.  If the Board is most concerned about extending utility lines further in the RA and increasing the number of RA properties that are adjacent to lines, then this may be an option to consider. This is a parcel specific approach that would require further study and analysis to determine the particular impact of these parcels if provided with service and which particular parcels should be taken out of the Jurisdictional Area. This option would be labor intensive for staff to undertake and decisions will need to be criteria based to insure fairness and avoid the perception of arbitrary decisions.




This information is provided to the Board for discussion. While amendment to the JA boundaries in the RA would forward the goals of the Comprehensive Plan, consideration should be made for the long standing history of the current JA designations, most 20 years or longer, and the expectations of property owners based on that that history.




A - Study of Properties within the RA of the Comprehensive Plan and the ACSAJA

B - Map of JA Properties within the RA not currently serviced by the ACSA

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