Community Development  |  Pre-Application Meetings


Pre-Application Meeting Purposes
Provide the Applicant and County Staff with a common understanding of the proposed project;
Inform the Applicant about the proposed project’s consistency with the comprehensive plan, other relevant policies, and county regulations;
Broadly identify the planning, zoning and other issues raised by the application that the Applicant will need to address;
Inform the Applicant about the applicable review procedure; including Community Meetings and Planning Commission work sessions; and
Determine the information the Applicant must submit with the application, including the supplemental information delineated in Section 33.4(c).

What is the Pre-application Meeting?

The pre-application meeting is intended to provide the necessary guidance to an Applicant to ensure the smooth management of a proposed project through the review process. Per Section 33.14 and 33.31 of the Zoning Ordinance, a pre-application meeting is required to be held with each prospective Applicant prior to the submittal of a Zoning Map Amendment (ZMA) or Special Use Permit (SP) application. However, a meeting can be requested for any type of application or project.

Attendees of the meeting include staff from Community Development (Planning, Zoning, & Engineering), and where appropriate, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), Albemarle County Service Authority (water and sewer), and Albemarle County Fire & Rescue. 

What are the types of Pre-application Meeting for SP and ZMA applications?

A “Mandatory” pre-application meeting is required for SP and ZMA applications to ensure that the application is submitted in the most complete form possible; consistent with the submittal requirements of the County Code and containing the supplemental information necessary for an efficient review. These meetings require a higher level of detail from the applicant’s submitted materials. Staff will provide detailed comments and specify the supplemental information required to be submitted with the application.An “Exploratory” pre-application meeting is intended to discuss more general concepts and options for development, including multiple scenarios. Since these meetings often lack the detailed information necessary for staff to provide the level of input found in a Mandatory meeting, staff comments are usually general in nature. At Exploratory meetings for potential SP and ZMA submittals, staff will advise the applicant whether an additional mandatory pre-application meeting (satisfying the requirement of the Zoning Ordinance) is needed or will be waived by the Director of Planning. It may be determined that, based on the nature of or circumstances related to the proposal, and the level of information available at the meeting, that a mandatory pre-application meeting is no longer needed.Meetings for site plans, subdivisions, zoning clearances, etc. are considered to be Exploratory meetings.

When can I have a Pre-Application meeting?

Pre-application meetings are held every Monday at 2 p.m., 3 p.m. or 4 p.m. (Holidays excluded).  There is no fee for setting up or attending the meeting. Please note that Mandatory pre-application meetings may not be held any later than two weeks prior to an official submittal deadline. Check the SP/ZMA submittal and review schedule for specific dates.

Please note that no-shows 15 minutes after the scheduled time will be determined to have cancelled the meeting. As a matter of professional courtesy, if you anticipate that you will be arriving late, please let the Pre-Application Coordinator (Kevin McCollum) know as soon as possible.



Process and Required Information

1.     Consult with either the Pre-Application Coordinator or the Principal Planner. 

They will discuss your proposal with you and ask some questions to determine the type of pre-application meeting that is needed, as well as what agencies/departments need to attend. 

Pre-Application Coordinator: Kevin McCollum | (434) 296-5832 ext. 3141

Principal Planner: Francis MacCall | (434) 296-5832 ext. 3418


2.     Fill out the "Pre-Application Meeting Request" form.

If it has been determined that your project is ready for a pre-application meeting, then fill out the “Pre-Application Meeting Request” form. When more information about the proposal is provided, staff can better assess the issues and provide feedback on the overall proposal.

This form is now REQUIRED for all potential pre-application meetings.  

Conceptual “Sketch” Plan Guidelines
This plan does not need to be an engineered plan; a basic “sketch” plan may be adequate for most pre-application meetings. Some recommended content is listed below.
Map information is available on the County’s GIS-Web system and can be used to obtain some of the required or recommended information.
Recommended Content
The parcel(s) to be developed and the general area of the parcel(s) to be developed (the development envelope) 
Location of entrance(s) onto public street(s)
Location of proposed use (general location for buildings/building areas [envelopes] or existing structure/building/area to be used on a developed site)
Parking locations
Major environmental features (water bodies / stream buffers / floodplain, critical or steep slopes.
For larger projects, the following are encouraged, if possible:
Grading activity (rough concept for grading or detailed grading plan, if available) or topographic information for the property with 25% slopes identified (this information is available from the County’s Web-GIS site).
The type and location of stormwater management facilities
For properties within the Entrance Corridor Overlay District (EC), general location of landscaped areas, wooded areas to be retained

3.     Prepare a conceptual "sketch" plan.

Although not required, an illustration of the proposal (Conceptual “Sketch” Plan) may be useful in discussing your project, particularly identifying any engineering/site issues. A guide exists to help with conducting your “due diligence” using the County’s GIS-Web system.  You are encouraged to at least submit a boundary survey or plat of the property or any known prior approved plan or plat on the property if one exists.

This "sketch" plan is now REQUIRED for exploratory subdivision or site plan meetings.

4.     Submit a complete "Pre-Application Meeting Request" form.

Submit the following to the Pre-Application Coordinator via email, or to the front desk of Community Development office by 12 p.m. on or before any Monday:

Completed Pre-Application Meeting Request form – one (1) if physical copies provided

All additional information, including a Conceptual “Sketch” Plan (if providing one) - six (6) if physical copies provided

5.     Set meeting date & time

Once the Pre-Application Meeting Request form has been submitted, you will be contacted by staff to set up a meeting on the next available Monday. Any mandatory pre-application meeting will be scheduled within two weeks from the Monday the request is received (subject to meeting time availability).  


Scheduling Deadline
Meetings can be scheduled no later than 12 p.m. on the Monday immediately prior to your desired meeting time. This is to provide staff with sufficient time to review your proposal and prepare for the meeting. Your required Meeting Request form and supporting information must be received to confirm your meeting time.