The Future of Albemarle County

This email alert was sent out on March 21st, 2013:

Help Determine the Future of Albemarle County


We had a great response to the update I gave last week about the Western Bypass, with more than 140 people already sending emails to our U.S. Senators with their concerns. I encourage you to write if you haven’t already. Today though, I want to update you about another important process going on in Albemarle County — a process that impacts County and City residents alike.

The beautiful views we experience while visiting Monticello, taking a hike through Shenandoah National Park, or driving through the countryside remain intact because of the County’s comprehensive planning.
Photo by David Anhold

A Comprehensive Vision

Albemarle is a beautiful and unique place to live, but it hasn’t happened by mere chance. County residents, along with PEC, other organizations, and County government have spent years taking proactive steps to ensure desired growth does not diminish our natural, cultural or historic resources

Much of this work is reflected in the County’s Comprehensive Plan, a locality’s vision statement and road map for the future. It is the community’s most important document regarding land use, transportation and resource utilization; and it is the basis for decisions and regulations regarding development.

Localities are required by state law to periodically update their Comprehensive Plans and over the past two years, Charlottesville and Albemarle County have been drafting revisions to their plans, both separately and collaboratively.

Keeping the Rural Areas Rural?

When Counties update their Comprehensive Plans, there’s often a temptation to allow expanded commercial activities in the Rural Area that are unrelated to agriculture — particularly during a down economy. In this case, we’re very concerned that Albemarle County may open up our rural areas to new development and expanded commercial uses.

The draft Comprehensive Plan is now available on the County’s website and I’ll be carefully reviewing it over the next few weeks. There are also plenty of opportunities for local residents to learn more and speak up:

Open House: Today, 9:30am – 7pm

Albemarle County Office Building
Today, there will be an open house in the lobby of the Building. County staff will be available to explain features of the plan, answer any questions, and take comments.

Public Meeting: Tuesday, April 2nd at 6pm

Albemarle County Office Building
The County Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposed changes. After any final adjustments by the Planning Commission, the public input process starts all over with the Board of Supervisors. After their review and public hearings, the board will decide on the final version of the revised Comprehensive Plan.

I’ll keep you posted through our website at or email — and we hope to see you at the public meetings listed above. If you have any questions about the revised plan, or the public process, feel free to contact me.


Jeff Werner
Albemarle County Land Use Officer
The Piedmont Environmental Council

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