Albemarle Launches Website and Seeks Task Force Members for Compensation Plan Update | local government

Albemarle County is beginning to update the long range planning document that will guide land use growth and development for the next 20 years and has launched a website for the plan and process.

The comprehensive plan guides county decisions for long-term planning, including transportation options and resource protection. The plan is to be completed by fall 2024 and will set the county’s vision for the next two decades.

County residents and others interested in the plan, process and participation can follow meetings and events and respond to occasional surveys on the website, engage.albemarle.org/ac44.

The county is also accepting applications for a comprehensive plan update task force, which are due Feb. 28.

Last month, the oversight board agreed to pay task force members for their time. Officials hope to attract members of historically underrepresented groups into planning processes, including those under 35; over 65; tenants; those with less than a bachelor’s degree; multilingual; Black, Hispanic, or Latino; foreign-born or non-US citizens; or those who work in Albemarle and want to live in the county.

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Localities are required by state law to review their comprehensive plans every five years. Albemarle deputy director of community development Charles Rapp said the upcoming review will be the first since 2015 to look at the framework and composition of the whole plan.

“Over the past few years, there have been revisions and updates through other long-range planning efforts, including Albemarle Housing and the Rio/29 Small Area Plan, as well as updates day of the Pantops master plan and the Crozet master plan,” he said. “These revisions and updates satisfy state code requirements.”

County staff recommended doing the update in four phases. The first phase will seek to update the county’s growth management policy “through the lens of equity, climate action and capacity projections.”

Current county policy directs development to specific, identified growth areas “while retaining the rest of the county for rural uses, such as agriculture, forestry, resource protection and others that depend on these uses”. Development areas make up about 5%, or about 35 acres, of county land.

According to the website, the policy update includes an updated capacity analysis to estimate the potential of existing development areas to meet housing demand and business growth in the county.

A 2019 capacity analysis report estimated that the development areas had the capacity for approximately 13,000 additional units at the low end and approximately 24,630 additional units at the high end.

“We will also listen to community priorities and lived experiences under the current growth management policy,” county staff wrote on the website.

Ultimately, the final recommendations will be presented to the Supervisory Board, which will make the final decision on the updated policy.

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