Charlottesville’s Strategic Investment Area (SIA)

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The Strategic Investment Area is an area just south of the Downtown Mall (photo via

The City of Charlottesville in the process of creating a plan to redevelop an approximately 330 acre area south and east of the downtown mall, called the Strategic Investment Area (SIA). This target area was identified by the City as a potential “growth” area due to its currently low density of development, vacant parcels, and location as a gateway to downtown, including pedestrian connections to the Downtown Mall area.

Read the Charlottesville Tomorrow article from May, 2017 to learn more.

What is the purpose of the SIA Plan? (via

“To initiate a transformational process to engage stakeholders, city staff, and members of the greater community in the future of the Strategic Investment Area.” To provide guidance for future redevelopment and investment in the area To provide guidance for improvements to affordable housing, including existing public and assisted housing To provide guidance for improved connections throughout the area To provide recommend strategies for expanding employment opportunities within the SIA

A switch to form-based code

In order to encourage redevelopment, the City is considering a shift from conventional zoning (i.e. the separation of uses, such as residential, commercial, industrial) to a “form-based” code.

Here’s how the Form-Based Codes Institute defines “form-based” code:

“A form-based code is a land development regulation that fosters predictable built results and a high-quality public realm by using physical form (rather than separation of uses) as the organizing principle for the code. A form-based code is a regulation, not a mere guideline, adopted into city, town, or county law.” Read more >>

Get involved

The public will have a number of chances to weigh in on the future of the SIA during Fall 2017 – Spring 2018, before decisions about zoning/ form-based code will be made.

September 2017 – Public Charrette
The City is working with the Form-Based Code Institute to draft a code for inclusion in the SIA Plan and the public is invited to weigh in. Flyer >>

September 11 – 14, 2017
IX Art Park Event Space
522 2nd Street SE
Charlottesville, VA

  • Opening presentation: Tuesday, September 12, 6:00 – 7:30pm
  • Closing presentation: Thursday, September 14, 6:00 – 7:30pm

*There are time slots that have been set aside to discuss specific topics, but people can also stop by during the studio work time slots to ask questions or give feedback about any of the topics.

Spring 2018 – Public process continues

  • Planning Commission will consider the consultant’s recommendations for a form-based code and vote on what to send
  • The City Council The City Council will consider the Planning Commission’s recommendations and vote

Questions? Contact Brian Haluska, Principal Planner, Office of Neighborhood Development Services at (434) 970-3186 or