Charlottesville’s and Albemarle’s Comprehensive Plans

Land use (for many) is boring and is the task of other people. But … if you live in (or are thinking about living in) the Charlottesville or Albemarle areas, you should be paying at least some attention to the Comprehensive Planning Processes of the County of Albemarle and City of Charlottesville. This stuff matters.

I haven’t reviewed the respective Comprehensive Plans, but the one thing that I think would be a crucial component would be how each locality plans to cooperate and collaborate with the other – particularly on infrastructure. Our locality’s inability to plan effectively and more importantly – implement and execute (at all) – are damaging to the community, real estate values and quality of life. 40 years ago, the Meadowcreek Parkway was a logical road (from what I’ve been told); today, notsomuch. But it’s the best that could be done apparently.

Naturally, Charlottesville Tomorrow reports on both.

The City of Charlottesville’s Comp Plan:

After two years of review and more than 60 meetings, the Charlottesville Planning Commission will hold a public hearing Tuesday on the document that will help shape land use decisions through 2018 and beyond.


The plan also includes an analysis of the city’s ability for future growth. There are currently around 10,000 potential residential units that could be built by-right, though only 800 of those would be in the city’s lower-density neighborhoods.


Haluska also said that the city is running out of vacant land for new residential development, so new homes will likely be built on sites that will have to be redeveloped.

And the County of Albemarle’s Comp Plan:

“[In the 2007 version] we had five sections in the Comprehensive Plan and they were kind of unbalanced,” county principal planner Elaine Echols said. “Those sections were created at different times and they each start with the growth management policy.”

“[In the current draft] we’ve pulled these sections together into one single document and moved the growth management policy [to the beginning of the plan],” Echols added, noting that these changes should decrease repetition and increase ease of use.

I’ve said many times that

The relationship between the City of Charlottesville and the County of Albemarle is akin to that of divorced parents who really kind of hate each other but are able to keep it together justenough to keep the kids fed. In this case, the kids are the citizens of Albemarle and Charlottesville.

I’d love to have a plan to force cooperation, but for now all I can say is “please, do better.”

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  1. RobE April 9, 2013 at 09:25

    Reading the cville tomorrow article Tom Olivier from ASAP states that 165,000 people are the max amount of residents Albemarle county can sustain. If that limit is ever reached and the 165,001 prospective resident is denied residency to Albemarle county, I will gladly sell my home and leave promptly so they can move here. Population control no matter how justifiable it may seem is not my idea of a free America or Viginian Commonwealth!

  2. Simon Campbell April 15, 2013 at 07:17

    Investors can take advantage of a land use plan. Areas that have older residential construction but are located on the edges of commercial sections can be good purchases. Especially is this so if the homeowner or agent prices them as an older less desirable residential property. An investor comes in, buys the property, tears down the house and now is sitting on a prime commercial parcel.

  3. jeff jeckson April 24, 2013 at 14:41

    Good to know that this topic is being covered also in this website & there are a lot of developers working on this segment but this is one of the best innovative idea ever seen


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