Strong Communities

PEC believes that the work of protecting natural resources and the work of building better communities are integral to each other. 

Piedmont Environmental Council and Albemarle County Team Up to Share Latest Information on Expected Local Risks from Climate Change

Piedmont Environmental Council and Albemarle County Team Up to Share Latest Information on Expected Local Risks from Climate Change

In partnership with Albemarle County, The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) has developed a series of tools to help residents learn more about the local risks associated with climate change.

Albemarle Climate Action Videos

Albemarle Climate Action Videos

The following video interviews with local residents and experts will introduce you to the #ClimateConversation happening in Albemarle and arm you with the knowledge you need to take action in your community.

Prince William County Considers Land Use Changes That Encourage Sprawl

Prince William County Considers Land Use Changes That Encourage Sprawl

Prince William County is evaluating three different land use changes that would introduce industrial and residential sprawl into the Rural Crescent, to the detriment of water quality, wildlife habitat, agriculture, historic resources, tourism and the rural atmosphere.

PEC Calls on U.S. Senators To Stop Mountain Valley Pipeline

On Earth Day, The Piedmont Environmental Council joined 24 groups and 17 members of the General Assembly in a letter to U.S. Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner unequivocally outlining the environmental and social justice impacts of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP).

Loudoun Update – Rt. 15 North & Zoning Ordinance

Loudoun Update – Rt. 15 North & Zoning Ordinance

This Wednesday, May 11 at 6 p.m., the Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing about the related Route 15 North Comprehensive Plan Amendment, which calls for:

  • Widening the road to four lanes between Montresor Road and the village of Lucketts,
  • Building a bypass (on one side or the other) around Lucketts
  • Adding a median to the two-lane section of Route 15 north of the village to St. Clair Lane. 

PEC Signs Letter Asking National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board to Reduce Transportation Emissions, Sprawl

PEC Signs Letter Asking National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board to Reduce Transportation Emissions, Sprawl

On May 1, PEC joined 34 other groups around Virginia, D.C. and Maryland in signing on to a joint letter from the Coalition for Smarter Growth (CSG) to make necessary and feasible changes to the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TBP)’s Visualize 2045 plan.

Lessons from Loudoun: What can Albemarle County learn from Loudoun County’s Rural Roads Program?

Lessons from Loudoun: What can Albemarle County learn from Loudoun County’s Rural Roads Program?

As Albemarle takes another look at its own future⁠—and how to preserve what it has historically done well⁠—now seems like a good time for local advocates to hear from their counterparts in other localities, who have been successful in similar socio-physical landscapes.

Rivanna Bridge Update

Rendering: VBH via VDOT


As you may know, the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Policy Board voted last week to pursue VDOT SMARTSCALE funding for a pedestrian bridge connecting Pantops and Woolen Mills at the end of Market Street (the Wool Factory). Allison Wrabel wrote a good story about the vote.

Read the full project background here.

Getting a pedestrian connection over the Rivanna in this area is a big win for the community, and I’m excited for the next step. Although the public survey and MPO Technical Committee both preferred the Chesapeake Street location, Market Street has powerful logic of its own and some late-breaking and not-obvious factors were decisive in the vote.

For one thing, much of the support for Chesapeake Street was contingent on the bridge being an elegant suspension bridge, which came into doubt late in the process. Many people might well have voted differently if they had known the bridge style would likely be more industrial in nature. Of course, it would have been better to know this from the beginning, but the process did work in that it brought the issue to light before the final location was selected.

What’s more, the Albemarle Board of Supervisors has a strong preference for the Market Street alignment adjacent to the Wool Factory site, which locates the bridge entirely in the County. Albemarle is stringing together a series of projects that merge economic development and community wellness in Pantops, the Old Mills Trail, the Wool Factory and Broadway. The bridge at Market Street ties them all together.

Not only is Albemarle putting forth plans, it is putting money behind them. The existing improvements at the Wool Factory are one example. Also quite interesting is the fact that the county has recently juiced several transportation projects with millions from its Transportation Leveraging Program.

That kind of local support (or Economic Development funds) could help mitigate the cost difference between the two bridge location options and be of critical importance if unforeseen contingencies arise. Although both options had strong appeal, the Policy Board (with representatives from Albemarle, Charlottesville, and VDOT) selected the one that it would best be most able to get behind and push to completion.

For all those reasons, this is a very positive outcome.