AC44 Update: Nov. 13, 2023

The following text was sent out via email on November 13, 2023. Sign up for AC44 email alerts →

Dear {{FirstName or “Supporter”}},

The AC44 Planning Commission’s Work Session on Housing and Economic Development is coming fast – tomorrow, November 14 in fact. As you read about in our recent AC44 update, these work sessions, where planning commissioners take extra time to discuss and make changes to the goals and objectives of various topics in the proposed comprehensive plan, have proven beneficial.

In the last work session we learned that the County is considering adding in a Rural Area chapter – one of PEC’s key priorities in the AC44 update process. This is because protecting areas of the County that are not designated for development is essential to nearly every other aspect of life in Albemarle County, providing irreplaceable resources to the environment and the communities that rely on a healthy one to thrive.

At tomorrow’s work session, we want to continue progress with the housing and economic development topic areas. Building stronger, more sustainable communities involves addressing these topics holistically and recognizing that impacts to the Rural Area are often informed by impacts from the Development Areas.

Recommendations for Draft Housing and Economic Development Chapter Goals/Objectives

Below is PEC’s assessment of the Goals and Objectives as they are written today, with recommendations for improvements or emphasis. We encourage community members to become familiar with the two planning topics by clicking on “Topic Report” within each topic questionnaire and providing your feedback to the Planning Commissioners and Supervisors.


In general, PEC supports the draft Goals and Objectives for Housing – especially those that address the preservation of existing housing and communities, fair housing and community equity, homelessness and special populations, sustainable communities, and the need to increase the supply of affordable housing and workforce housing. 

The County should:

  • Strongly support the preservation of existing affordable housing in both the Development Areas and Rural Area through funding from local, state, and federal sources. Some local tools that support existing affordable housing including affordable housing preservation funds, right of first refusal, tenant protections, code enforcement, long-term affordability covenants, limited equity cooperatives, and community land trusts.
  • Avoid any displacement of residents in communities undergoing reinvestment through appropriate strategies for maintaining and strengthening existing communities. 
  • Ensure County investments in infrastructure – sidewalks and shared use trails, streets, roads, utilities – and accessible parks and open spaces keep pace with private-sector housing and mixed-use development.

Economic Development

Though PEC supports many aspects of the draft Goals and Objectives for Economic Development, there remain serious concerns about land use impacts associated with the growth of some targeted industries and businesses. 

The County should:

  • Complete a Rural Area Plan that addresses the protection and growth of working farms and forests. It should also address the growing agritourism sector to ensure that rural communities are protected from increased traffic, groundwater drawdown, and incompatible impacts to the rural countryside. The Rural Area Plan should also address appropriate economic development associated with the County’s outstanding outdoor recreation opportunities. 
  • Focus the development of the County’s biotechnology and Department of Defense industries to the available lands and redevelopment areas within the existing limits of the Development Areas. 
  • Support the retention of existing light-industrial zoned lands which are seeing increased pressure to convert to housing. If not addressed through comprehensive planning, there is a very real danger the rapid growth of these factors could lead to unnecessary expansion of the Development Areas and loss of Rural Area lands and resources.
Ways to Provide Comments Before or During Work Session:
Submit Comments in Writing: Public comment will be accepted in writing at the meeting, or by emailing comments to and 

Take a Questionnaire: Feedback on the draft goals and objectives of each topic will be shared with the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors. HousingEconomic Development

Speak Up tomorrow, November 14, at 6 p.m.: Citizens have three minutes to speak directly to the Planning Commission at the start of the meeting. Come to Lane Auditorium in the County Office Building to have your voice heard

Attend the Work Session: Showing elected and County officials that their citizens are paying attention to the decisions that impact them is significant. Tell your friends and family what you heard after the work

If you know anyone who may wish to receive these AC44 email updates from PEC, please forward this email to them and let them know that they can sign up for the list here. You can also find our past AC44 alerts here. We hope to see you tomorrow!

Thank you!

Rob McGinnis, PLA FASLA
Senior Land Use Field Representative
Albemarle & Greene Counties
(434) 962-9110