Status

Consistency With Other Sections Of The Comprehensive Plan

Biodiversity Committee underway, funding constrained

Strategy 1: Amend codes and programs affecting the Rural Areas and the County as a whole to protect biodiversity, reflect the recommendations of the Biodiversity Work Group and the standing Biodiversity Committee once adopted, and incorporate policy responses to issues raised by the ongoing biological resources inventory.

Historic Resource Planner frozen, Ordinance work deferred

Strategy 2:  Amend codes and programs affecting the Rural Areas to protect historic resources and reflect the recommendations of the Historic Preservation Plan.

Ongoing

Strategy 3:  Protect potential trail areas as recommended in the Greenways Plan.

Ongoing

Strategy 4: Locate trails to provide public access to natural and cultural resources without negatively impacting those resources.

Partially done, part of Board tabled clustering provision

Strategy 5: Approach protection of scenic resources by fostering viable rural economies, healthy ecosystems, and protected cultural resources, rather than only through implementation of visual design standards. Approach protection of scenic resources from the viewpoint of all rural area residents and visitors, rather than only focusing on views from designated scenic roads and streams.

 

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Agricultural Uses

Start with  Ag Support position

Strategy 1: Initiate a multi-media communication program that educates citizens of the benefits and the conflicts of living in the proximity of agricultural industries, promotes the appreciation of the Rural Areas and the importance of agricultural resources.

Ongoing

Strategy 2: Encourage the protection of prime agricultural soils from non-agricultural development through Rural Preservation Developments, conservation easements, Agricultural and Forestal Districts, the Land Use Taxation program, and the Acquisition of Conservation Easement program. 

Consider with Home  Occupation Strategy

Strategy 3: Allow appropriately scaled low-impact uses on working farms that provide supplemental economic benefit to farmers.

Ongoing

Strategy 4: Increase and establish consistent funding for the Acquisition of Conservation Easement program and actively seek supplementary public and private funding sources.

Start with Ag Support position

Strategy 5: Establish proactive support of agricultural land uses through the creation of an Agricultural/Forestal Support Program position that provides agricultural assistance that includes community education, marketing strategies, the exploration of agricultural support businesses and alternative agricultural uses.

Lower priority, deferred

Strategy 6: Revise the Zoning Ordinance to include performance standards for agricultural operations, such as confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) that may cause serious negative impacts the environment.

On hold

Strategy 7: Continue to support the Farm Tour as an educational tool.

Start with Ag Support position

Strategy 8: Support agricultural education in the classroom.  Implement a farm day for children.

Start with Ag Support position

Strategy 9: Encourage and promote agricultural related vocational education programs from middle school onward.

Ongoing

Strategy 10: Encourage the integration of conservation land uses with agricultural and forestal uses, especially if the conservation use would provide connectivity to other conservation land and/or would provide a buffer between potential conflicting uses, such as residential and other types of agricultural or forestal uses.

 

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Forestal Uses

Ongoing

Strategy 1: Encourage protection of prime forestal soils from non-agricultural development through Rural Preservation Developments, conservation easements, Agricultural and Forestal Districts, the Land Use Taxation program, and the Acquisition of Conservation Easement program.

Start with Ag Support position

Strategy 2: Encourage educational programs that teach conservation of the forest land base.

Done

Strategy 3: Continue to actively promote conservation easements.

Ongoing, but clustering tabled

Strategy 4: Consider the impact on forest fragmentation in the evaluation of land use decisions.

Start with Ag Support position

Strategy 5: Encourage cooperative management of small parcels of forestland to provide economies of scale and better management.

On going

Strategy 6: Actively promote Agricultural and Forestal Districts.

Duplicate

Strategy 7: Establish proactive support through the creation of an Agricultural/Forestal Support Program that provides forestal assistance that includes community education, marketing strategies and the exploration of forestal support businesses.

Duplicate

Strategy 8: Encourage the integration of conservation land uses with forestal uses, especially if the conservation use would provide connectivity to other conserved land and/or would provide a buffer between potential conflicting uses, such as residential uses.

 

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Conservation Uses

Duplicate

Strategy 1: Encourage protection of environmentally sensitive land from residential or commercial development through Rural Preservation Developments, conservation easements, Agricultural and Forestal Districts, the Land Use Taxation program, and the Acquisition of Conservation Easement program.

Deferred, cooperative effort w/ TJSWCD

Strategy 2: Encourage educational programs that teach conservation of natural resources, especially those programs tailored to individual user groups such as land owners, business owners, contractors, developers, and teachers.

Not done, past of  tabled clustering provisions

Strategy 3: Identify land areas that should be maintained as natural conservation areas to assure persistence of our water and biological resources.  This should consider, among other things, maintenance of large blocks of forest to provide groundwater recharge and forest interior habitat, protection of wetlands, riparian areas and other biologically rich and ecologically important areas, maintenance or creation of wildlife movement corridors, possibly in riparian areas and mountain ridge tops.  Utilize the County’s biodiversity initiatives to identify areas or species that need conservation protection.

Deferred, partial consideration with Home Occupations

Strategy 4: Review potential conflicts between conservation areas and other, adjoining rural land uses.  Seek to develop planning and management methods that promote coexistence of these different uses.

Duplicate

Strategy 5: Continue to actively promote conservation easements.

Not done, part of Board tabled clustering provisions

Strategy 6: Consider the impact on rural land fragmentation in the evaluation of land use decisions.

Duplicate

Strategy 7: Actively promote Agricultural and Forestal Districts.

Start with Ag Support position

Strategy 8: Establish proactive support through the creation of an Agriculture/Conservation/Forestry Support Program that provides assistance including community education, marketing strategies, and the exploration of rural land use support businesses.

Ongoing

Strategy 9: Promote the benefits of conservation and preservation of land through education programs, information provided through mixed media resources, and the County web page.  Information pertaining to the Land Use Taxation program for Open Space should be included in this outreach initiative.

Duplicate

Strategy 10: Establish stability in the ACE program through a permanent funding source.

Ongoing

Strategy 11: Increase the visibility of the ACE Program.

Ongoing

Strategy 12: Increase funding of the ACE Program to enable it to keep pace with escalating real estate values. (FY2009-2010 – funding reduced)

Ongoing

Strategy 13: Assign the highest priority possible in the County's budget to the acquisition of permanent easements. (Subject to Board direction)

On going

Strategy 14: Actively pursue voluntary donations of conservation easements that prevent development and protect valued resources, whether those easements are held by the County's Public Recreational Facilities Authority or by other approved bodies.

Done

Strategy 15: Coordinate with other easement holders to create a complete and accurate conservation easement tracking system for the County.

Underway

Strategy 16: Increase its capacity to monitor the use of land under easement and ensure adherence to the terms of easements.

Not done, part of Board tabled clustering provision

Strategy 17: Preserve large areas of forest, protect or create forested stream buffers, and support good soil management in order to protect watershed services.

Stream buffer grants being completed

Strategy 18: Fund and/or provide grant assistance for voluntary conservation projects that protect agricultural and forestal resources, animal and plant habitats, and ecosystem services.

Ongoing, but constrained

Strategy 19: Upon adoption of recommendations from the Groundwater Committee, adopt measures to protect the quality and quantity of groundwater, both as a critical portion of the County's overall water system and as a water supply for rural residents. (Ordinance adopted for future protection measures; groundwater manager position frozen)

Ongoing

Strategy 20: Recognize land conservation programs as the highest priority for achieving Rural Area goals, and management of development patterns as a tool that can reduce but not prevent development impacts. (Discussed in executive summary)

 

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Rural Commercial - Crossroads Communities

Deferred, consider with future crossroads strategy

Strategy 1: Buildings in crossroads communities should be used/renovated to provide appropriately scaled services that would only benefit the immediate surrounding area while preserving the rural character, such as country stores, small scale offices, day care, and small scale doctor/dentist offices, and public institutional uses, such as post offices, with particular emphasis given to historic buildings as spaces to support the maintenance of these resources.

Ongoing

Strategy 2: Crossroads communities should remain viable rural community/social centers that retain their individual rural historic characteristics while also supporting the broader Growth Management Goals found in the Land Uses Chapter of the Comprehensive Plan.

Ongoing with applications

Strategy 3: Ensure the scale and scope of any new use is consistent with the existing infrastructure and character of the crossroads community and Rural Areas, without any requirement for upgrade or expansion of infrastructure.

Deferred, consider with future crossroads strategy

Strategy 4: Establish boundaries, such as boundaries corresponding with parcels that have been identified as historical sites or potential historical sites, to guide decisions on the location of uses in crossroads communities.

Deferred, consider with future crossroads strategy

Strategy 5: Establish design a standard, such as architectural, renovation, and sign guidelines, to ensure the scale and scope of businesses maintain the character of the crossroads communities and supports the County's growth management policies.

Deferred, consider with future crossroads strategy

Strategy 6: Encourage the adaptive reuses of historic structures should encourage their maintenance and preservation.

Deferred, consider with future crossroads strategy

Strategy 7: Implement policies in the Zoning Ordinance that promote the character of the Rural Areas and not urban style development such as relaxing the required parking standards and requirements for parking lot surfaces, entrance requirements, and landscape requirements.

 

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Rural Commercial – Alternative Uses

Consider with Home Occupations

Strategy 1: Review the Zoning Ordinance to re-evaluate by-right uses and uses by special permit, such as home occupations and farm sales, to encourage uses that promote the preservation of rural lands and activities (including but not limited to farm sales and agricultural service businesses, low-impact forms of recreation, temporary special events, and arts and crafts sales), garden centers, and discourage uses that are contrary to the County's growth management policies (including but not limited to swim or tennis clubs, new schools, and off-site parking for industrial districts).

Deferred for Ag Support position

Strategy 2: Change farm sales to a by-right use without site plan requirements.

Consider with Home Occupations

Strategy 3: Revise the definitions and standards relating to home occupations to streamline approvals for low-impact uses (preferably by right), require special use permits for uses with higher impacts, and clarify which uses will not be permitted as home occupations.

Deferred for Natural Heritage Committee’s work

Strategy 4: Establish performance standards that minimize impacts on natural and cultural resources, and avoid conflicts with agricultural and forestal uses.

Deferred, consider with Historic Resources Ordinance

Strategy 5: Revise the Zoning Ordinance to permit tours of National or State registered historic sites or buildings and of contributing structures in historic districts by special use permit, as recommended in the Historic Preservation Plan, and consider performance standards for these uses to mitigate any impacts on the building, historic district, or Rural Areas

Consider with Home Occupations

Strategy 6: Limit the size and intensity of rural alternative uses so that they do not conflict with the character of the Rural Areas.

Ongoing

Strategy 7: Maintain the existing policy of not expanding public water and sewer service to the Rural Areas, including rural alternative uses.

Consider with Home Occupations

Strategy 8: Ensure that subdivision is not possible for the duration of alternative uses that are not related to agriculture, forestry, or conservation.

Consider with Home Occupations

Strategy 9: Require alternative uses located in the Rural Areas to use lighting (if any) that conforms to the design specifications found in the Natural Resources and Cultural Assets Plan.

Consider with Home Occupations

Strategy 10: Consider allowing hospice facilities within the Rural Areas.

 

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Land Use Patterns, Density, and Residential Development – RPDs & Subdivisions

Tabled by Board

Strategy 1: Require Rural Preservation Development (clustering) for all Rural Areas subdivisions, with exceptions to be determined with the implementation plan.

Tabled by Board

Strategy 2:  Maximize to the extent possible the rural preservation parcel in RPDs, in terms of size and benefit to the natural environment, scenic resources, historic resources, agricultural and forestal soils and uses by requiring that the preservation parcel be contiguous and with a minimum percentage of the total acres of the RPD Reduce the impact of the development parcels by minimizing to the greatest amount feasible the acreage used for residential parcels within a Rural Preservation Development by establishing a maximum residential lot size. The preservation parcel should not be less than 80% of the total acreage in the RPD.  The residential parcel sizes shall be determined with the implementation plan.

Tabled by Board

Strategy 3: Require that residential lots should be clustered together, to the extent possible, in order to reduce the impacts of fragmentation and to avoid conflicts with agricultural and/or forestal uses.

Tabled by Board

Strategy 4: Require that the primary consideration for the location of residential lots and the preservation tract in RPDs must be the protection and conservation of rural open space and/or natural, historic, or scenic resources, as well as the conservation and protection of critical slopes, stream valleys, floodplains, perennial streams, prime, important or unique agricultural or forestal, non-tidal wetlands, water supply watersheds, groundwater recharge areas, and mountain protection areas, as described in Chapter Two of the Comprehensive Plan.

Tabled by Board

Strategy 5: Adopt standards and restrictions for subdivisions that are consistent with the policies of the Comprehensive Plan and of the Rural Areas Guiding Principles.

Done

Strategy 6: Restrict access for all development lots in RPDs to an internal street in accordance with Chapter 14 of the Code of Albemarle.

Done

Strategy 7: Restrict the number of RPD lots to no more than the number that could be achieved with a conventional subdivision.

Partially tabled by Board

Strategy 8: Encourage the connectivity of conservation land wherever feasible by locating the RPD conservation easement adjacent to other conservation easement properties.

Deferred as result of tabled RPD provisions

Strategy 9: Set a maximum acreage for development right lots in subdivisions that will effect a significant reduction in land consumption through development compared to the current 31-acre total for five development rights, while ensuring reasonable flexibility to make wells and septic fields possible in difficult terrain.

Tabled

Strategy 10: Adopt a phasing (time-release) program that would permit a limited number of lot(s) to be created in a fixed period of time.

Deferred for Natural Heritage Committee’s work

Strategy 11: Establish overlay districts (for example, a combined stream buffer and habitat corridor district) and building site definitions that better protect important resources identified in the Comprehensive Plan and Critical Resources Inventory from the impacts of residential development.

 

Deferred for Natural Heritage Committee’s work

Strategy 12: Address the impacts of residential development on biodiversity by altering zoning and subdivision regulations to include design criteria that direct residential development away from large areas of forest, wildlife corridors, and highly valued habitats, and by implementing the recommendations of the Biodiversity Committee.

 

Partially done, remainder tabled

Strategy 13: Adopt programs and regulations to implement the mountain protection goals identified in the Natural Resources and Cultural Assets section of the Comprehensive Plan, in accord with new information on debris flow hazard areas and with the future input of the Critical Resources Inventory.

Done

Strategy 14: Set standards that limit the slopes and curvature of driveways in the Rural Areas to prevent erosion and provide safe access.

Not yet scheduled

Strategy 15: Limit or prevent residential development in debris flow hazard areas as needed to protect public safety.

Phase II lighting effort not yet scheduled

Strategy 16: Require use of lighting that conforms to the design specifications found in the Natural Resources and Cultural Assets Component of the Plan in all residential development approvals.

Done

Strategy 17: Consider revising time requirements for family ownership both before and after a family division.

Legis. done; implementation tabled

Strategy 18: Actively support enabling legislation for the Transfer of Development Rights. When TDR programs are enabled, the County should adopt measures for implementation.

 

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Land Use Patterns Density and Residential Development – RPDs & Subdivisions

With Natural Heritage Committee, funding constrained

Strategy 1: Adopt a set of Rural Areas status indicators and develop a set of frequently updated maps (or map layers) that show the status and trends of Rural Areas resources and features. These measures should be reviewed annually to inform policy, program, and regulation changes.

With Natural Heritage Committee, funding constrained

Strategy 2: Develop a method of ecological footprint analysis to be used in estimating the impacts of proposed policies and land uses, and use that method in policy analysis and project review.

With Natural Heritage Committee, funding constrained

Strategy 3: Before the next revision of this chapter of the Comprehensive Plan, engage in a participatory process that establishes a vision for achieving agricultural and forestal land conservation, biodiversity protection, watershed protection, historic preservation and other land use goals on a shared landscape. Use the outcomes of this process to guide an overall landscape plan for achieving the Vision for Rural Albemarle County.

 

Status

Infrastructure/Community Services - Transportation

SSYP funding constrained

Strategy 1: Focus road improvements on safety improvements such as providing shoulders, guardrails, and spot improvements such as straightening curves rather than the paving and widening of rural roads.

Done

Strategy 2: Pursue the Rural Rustic Roads Program as an alternative to the Pave-In-Place program for qualified roads that have been designated to be paved by the County.  The Rural Rustic Roads Program is a more environmentally friendly and less costly way than the Pave-In-Place Program.

Deferred

Strategy 3: Consider expanding transportation alternatives, such as JAUNT, to provide and enhance rural transit opportunities.

Deferred to  work on with  crossroad communities

Strategy 4: Explore new transportation alternatives such as park and ride lots and traffic calming in crossroad communities.

Ongoing transportation planning effort

Strategy 5: Except for agricultural and forestal purposes, limit construction of new roads in the Rural Areas, especially where road building would impact or fragment natural habitats.

Deferred for Natural Heritage Committee work

Strategy 6: Require that new-road projects and road improvement projects include measures that avoid degrading habitats or actively improve them (for example, wildlife tunnels where roads cross migration corridors, stream crossing designs that consider habitat connectivity as well as flood level impacts, etc.).

Deferred for Ag Support position

Strategy 7: Identify roads that would provide for connections/destination routes to serve the rural population and to provide farm-to-market routes. It should be clearly noted that these secondary roads should not be designated or designed to become the impetus for growth corridors.

 

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Fiscal and Tax Tools

Alternative use value taxation program underway

Strategy 1: Establish a committee to review the County's use-value taxation program and revise the program within the framework of state enabling legislation. The Committee should ensure that this program supports rural area policy goals and does not subsidize residential development or other activities that are counter to rural area goals.

Deferred for Natural Heritage Committee work, funding constrained

Strategy 2: Revise the standards for the Open Space category of the use-value taxation program to allow landowners to qualify through the protection of environmental resources (such as biodiversity) and ecosystem services (such as watershed protection), and create a straightforward application process for this purpose.

Ongoing

Strategy 3: Review the County budget for opportunities to effectively provide incentives that support rural area policies and to remove inadvertent subsidies of uses and activities that are counter to rural area goals.

Partially done, alternative use value taxation program underway

Strategy 4: Conduct an analysis of the fiscal impacts of rural residential development, and revise policies and regulations to address those impacts.

Ongoing

Strategy 5: Find outside funding sources for the purchase of development rights and other forms of resource protection and effectively use that funding for County land protection programs. County staff should help landowners find funding for conservation purposes.

 

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