Planning Updates: Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville

The following text was sent out via email on August 17, 2022. Sign up for PEC email alerts →

aerial image of a highway interchange, with forest and amounts on all sides
Sunset in Albemarle, looking southwest from Charlottesville. Credit: Hugh Kenny/PEC

Dear Supporter,

I’m reaching out today with some important updates about what’s happening in Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville. Both the County and the City are considering significant changes to land use planning and related policies, including a new comprehensive plan for the County and a new zoning ordinance for the City. We encourage you to participate in the public input and debate that will occur over the next few months and into 2023.

Climate change is happening now, across the globe and here in the Charlottesville-Albemarle region.Albemarle County’sPreparing for Resilience – An Overview of Albemarle County Climate Impactsfrom the Climate Vulnerability and Risk Assessment and the City of Charlottesville’s Climate Hazards – Summary of Projects for Charlottesville are compelling summaries of the climate impacts the region is currently experiencing and what we can expect going forward. 

With climate action at the forefront of the City and County’s planning, a clear understanding of those climate impacts is essential.

August 23: Learn About Albemarle’s Climate Vulnerability and Risk Assessment

In 2020, the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors crafted and adopted the first phase of its Climate Action Plan. Now, Albemarle County has partnered with The Piedmont Environmental Council, Resilient Virginia, climate modeling engineering firm Sobis, and Richmond-based marketing firm Green Fin Studio to analyze the risks and vulnerabilities of climate change within Albemarle County.

Tune into a presentation about the report on Tuesday, August 23 from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at this month’s Cville100 Climate Coalition meeting. Speakers include PEC’s own Kat Imhoff and representatives from Green Fin Studios and Resilient Virginia. The webinar is free.

AC44 Comprehensive Plan

graphical timeline of AC44 process
The County’s proposed process for the comprehensive plan update.

With regard to our climate future, Albemarle County is currently underway with the initial phase of its comprehensive plan update, with a focus on reviewing and updating the current growth management policy through the lenses ofclimate action, equity and growth projections. We hope the vulnerability and risks outlined in the Climate Vulnerability and Risk Assessment will be taken into consideration as the County develops and finalizes its next 20-year vision.

PEC is ramping up its activities and role within the broader comprehensive plan update! We’re developing specific recommendations for the County’s draft”Vision for Growth and Resilience” based on the assessment of climate threats in Albemarle, a model we hope can be implemented in other counties.

The County will soon be announcing the next phase of public engagement events, which will likely extend into late September. PEC will keep you updated. In the meantime, you can sign up to receive email updates from the County about opportunities to participate.

Diagnosing and Revising Charlottesville’s Zoning Code

Charlottesville completed its comprehensive plan at the end of last year. Now, the City is about to revise its zoning code. That process will begin this fall, with a draft available for public comment around the end of the year. In the meantime, the consultant team has released a Draft Diagnostic + Approach Report with some recommendations. I encourage you to check out the new blog post from my colleagues Wyatt Burttschell and Peter Krebs summarizing the report and providing a list of ways for you to get involved. Note that the City is accepting public comment on the diagnostic report through the end of August.


Rob McGinnis PLA FASLA
Senior Land Use Field Representative – Albemarle County
(434) 977-2033 ext. 7049

P.S. Save the date September 24 – 25 for Loop de’Ville, this year celebrating 30 years on the Rivanna Trail—the 20-mile loop encircling Charlottesville. Coinciding with National Public Lands Day, there will be multiple walks, runs, and bike rides of various distances, plus stewardship events throughout the weekend and parties on both Saturday and Sunday.

This event is a great example of what can happen when numerous organizations, groups, and individuals work toward a shared goal and why PEC pulled together the Piedmont Mobility Alliance. For more information about participating or volunteering at the event visit