Guidelines for Growth in the Development Areas

(Part 2)




Establish policies for land use decisions in the Development Areas and the associated Master Planning of these areas




Tucker, Foley, Davis, Graham, Cilimberg







January 3, 2007


ACTION:     X                        INFORMATION:   



  ACTION:                             INFORMATION:   











On October 4, 2006, the Board of Supervisors held its first work session on establishing policies for growth in the Development Areas and the associated master planning of these areas.  (See Executive Summary, Attachment A)  At that work session, staff posed three questions to the Board on which the Board reached consensus, as noted below:



The Board also agreed that staff should further research sustainable population initiatives with the possibility of establishing a baseline for ultimate growth in the areas being master planned.  Staff has since met with representatives of Advocates for a Sustainable Albemarle Population (ASAP), who have proposed such initiatives, to discuss how this might be undertaken.  Information on this initiative was included for the Board’s discussion as part of the Community Development Five Year Work Plan.







It was noted in the Executive Summary for the Board’s first work session that “the rezoning of property throughout a particular master planned area, without a connection to other areas or the centers identified in the master plan, will likely result in a scattered pattern of development where neighborhoods are not connected to and with the necessary infrastructure to achieve the vision of the Neighborhood Model and Rural Area protection.”  For this reason, it is important that the Board provide direction as to a policy for prioritizing future land use decisions in the Master Plan priority areas. 


As an example, the lack of such a policy has been raised by Board members in consideration of several development proposals in Crozet. While Crozet’s Master Plan identifies target areas or “centers”, it does not specifically prioritize these areas for public investment or preference in land use decisions.  The result has been approval of new development that is somewhat scattered geographically and presents a more cost prohibitive challenge to consistently aligning public infrastructure investment with new development.


The Board’s direction on October 4 to establish priority areas in Master Plans for the purpose of public infrastructure investment begins to address this issue.  With this direction, staff is identifying priority areas for public infrastructure and corresponding future capital project funding as an element of both the Pantops Master Plan and Places 29.  However, without policies that also favor land use decisions in priority areas over other areas in the Master Plans, the best opportunity for more concurrent development of each may not be realized.


It should be understood that, even with such intertwined policies, concurrency is not assured.  Public funds are limited, and there will be great challenges in meeting all desired infrastructure needs in all priority areas.  Further, there will remain large areas within the Master Plans that can develop by-right, far removed from where public infrastructure investment will be occurring, and that may not provide the type and form of development envisioned by the Master Plans.  However, absent such policies working in concert, there will be much less opportunity to achieve desired results in priority areas.




The County’s operating and capital budget will be impacted in the long term by decisions made by the Board regarding the establishment of priority areas for considering the approval of rezoning requests and for making public investments.  Scattered development within the development areas is likely to have a greater budget impact than would investment and rezoning in priority areas. 




The information contained herein is intended to conclude the Board’s discussion of its intent for accommodating growth in the Development Areas and the associated Master Planning of these areas.  Moving forward, it will be important for the Board to provide final guidance by answering this remaining question resulting from the discussion above:





A – October 4, 2006 Board of Supervisors Executive Summary

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