AGENDA TITLE: CPA 05-02 Growth Management Policy Update



SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST: Work session on proposal to amend the Land Use Plan section of the Comprehensive Plan to be consistent with policies adopted in the Rural Areas Plan.







Benish, Cilimberg, McDowell

AGENDA DATE:    4/10/07          




ACTION:  X                                INFORMATION:




     ACTION:                               INFORMATION:










The “Growth Management” section of the Land Use Plan, which was originally adopted in 1996, includes the following Goal:


GOAL: Protect and efficiently utilize County resources by:


A.        Emphasizing the importance of protecting the elements that define the Rural Area:


1)         Agricultural and forestry resources

2)         water supply resources

3)         natural resources

4)         scenic resources

5)         historic and cultural resources

6)         limited service delivery


Of these, the protection of agricultural and forestry resources is the highest priority. 


B.                 Promoting the  Development Areas as the place where a variety of land uses, facilities, and services exist and are planned to support the County’s future growth, with emphasis placed on infill development.


The second paragraph of the introduction to the Growth Management section states:


“Planning efforts also focus on means to discourage development in the Rural Areas and support activities consistent with the character of the Rural Areas. This is accomplished through education, incentives, and voluntary and regulatory measures. Agricultural and forestal resources have been identified as the most critical County resources and the desired primary land use in the Rural Area. Such uses play an important and long standing role in the environment, heritage, and economy of the County. Loss of these resources to development is irreversible and irreplaceable. Maintenance of these resources also provides an opportunity to conserve and efficiently use other resources such as: (1) water resources (with use of property conservation techniques); (2) natural, scenic, and historic resources with the maintenance of pasture land, farmland, and forested areas; and, (3) fiscal resources by limiting development and lessening the need to provide public services to wide areas of the County. In the interest of this growth management strategy, residential development is considered a secondary use in the Rural Areas.”


On March 2, 2005, the Board of Supervisors adopted a new Rural Areas section of the Comprehensive Plan that included “Guiding Principles” establishing policy regarding the features that make up the Rural Areas. The new policy states that the following features are to be recognized as important “defining principles” of the Rural Areas in policy development:


“i) Agriculture - Protect Albemarle County’s agricultural lands as a resource base for its agricultural industries and for related benefits they contribute towards the County’s rural character, scenic quality, natural environment, and fiscal health.

ii) Forestry resources - Protect Albemarle County’s forests as a resource base for its forestry industries and watershed protection.

iii) Land Preservation – Permanently preserve and protect Albemarle County’s rural land as an essential and finite resource through public ownership or through conservation easements.

iv) Land Conservation – Protect Albemarle County’s rural land through planned management of open spaces to prevent exploitation, destruction, or neglect.

v) Water supply resources - Protect the quality and supply of surface water and groundwater resources.

vi) Natural resources - Preserve and manage the Rural Areas' natural resources in order to protect the environment and conserve resources for future use.

vii) Scenic resources - Preserve the County's rural scenic resources as being essential to the County's character, economic vitality, and quality of life.

viii) Historical, archeological and cultural resources - Protect the Rural Areas' historic, archeological and cultural resources.”


On July 19, 2005, the Planning Commission adopted a Resolution of Intent to amend the Growth Management section of the Land Use Plan to make it consistent with the Rural Areas Plan.




Goal: 2.1         Protect and/or preserve the County's rural character




In order to make the policies in the Land Use Plan and the Rural Areas Plan consistent, the older policies of the Land Use Plan must be updated. Attachment A is a draft Resolution of Intent that the Commission could adopt as the first step in the policy update. This new resolution replaces the one adopted on July 19, 2005, as staff has found another section of the Land Use Plan—the Community Facilities section—that also needs to be made consistent with the Rural Areas Plan.


Attachment B is the proposed amendment of the Growth Management section. Attachment C is the proposed amendment of the Community Facilities section.




Staff recommends that the Planning Commission adopt the attached Resolution of Intent. The proposed amendment language will be brought back to the Commission for a public hearing on April 24th.




A.     Resolution of Intent

B.     Proposed Amendment of Growth Management section of Land Use Plan

C.     Proposed Amendment of Community Facilities section Land Use Plan

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