Is Albemarle County growing too fast?

Today’s release of Albemarle County’s citizen survey notes a few interesting facts: (Summary) (Full report – 142 pages!)

We as a people have a lot of growing to do. I’ve said it before – we are going to grow. How we grow, where we grow, and where we locate job centers will determine what type of quality of life we are going to have.

Regarding Quality of Life: in spite of the challenges our County has, the QOL factor remains quite high.

Quality Of Life In Albemarle – 8.04 out of 10. Not bad.

**What we need is a regional study of the same scope and clarity.

What follows are highlights from the report:

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Citizens don’t seem to recognize the importance of tourism to our area.

Top 5

Top 5-1
Bottom 5

Bottom 5-2

Like it or not, tourism brings people here. Sure, some of them purchase homes, but most come, spend money and leave. That’s a good thing.

Regarding Citizens’ satisfaction with service items:

Picture 3-2

Hmmm. County’s rural character. Affordable Housing. Recycling. Public Transportation. Couldn’t these all be wrapped under the heading of “Manage Growth”?

All in all, that the County 1) does this survey and 2) it’s so comprehensive and publicly accessible are extraordinary, in my opinion.

This page seems to sum up citizens’ views quite succinctly –


Services are important. Developing sources to alleviate the dependency on property taxes – not so important. Ah well, such is life.

To put these growth trends in perspective, look at these two charts, courtesy of CensusScope:

Virginia' Growth trends Growth trends of the USA

As usual, cvillenews has a great discussion on this. *I am not linking to the discussion to avoid cluttering up the comments with another “pingback.”

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  2. C October 13, 2006 at 16:59

    Is Alb. Co. growing too fast?
    The answer is…..Yes. So says the survey. The question is: do our politicians have the political will to adopt innovative growth management strategies, such as phasing. According to the Sept. 13 Albemarle Board meeting, three members (David S., Dennis and Sally) do and three members don’t. The survey results on growth have been about the same for several years, so its time for new policies and new directions.

  3. Jim Duncan October 16, 2006 at 07:17

    But the alternative is not “shutting down” all growth, as is advocated by some. Smart (not “smart”) growth can be achieved by implementing a regional plan rather than a piece meal plan as we have now. Every locality planning in relative absence of their neighbors is a recipe for disaster.

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