§ 15.2-2223.1. Comprehensive plan to include urban development areas; new urbanism.
A. Every county, city, or town that has adopted zoning pursuant to Article 7 (§ 15.2-2280 et seq.) of Chapter 22 of Title 15.2 and that (i) has a population of at least 20,000 and population growth of at least 5% or (ii) has population growth of 15% or more, shall, and any county, city or town may, amend its comprehensive plan to incorporate one or more urban development areas. For purposes of this section, population growth shall be the difference in population from the next-to-latest to the latest decennial census year, based on population reported by the United States Bureau of the Census. For purposes of this section, an urban development area is an area designated by a locality that is appropriate for higher density development due to proximity to transportation facilities, the availability of a public or community water and sewer system, or proximity to a city, town, or other developed area. The comprehensive plan shall provide for commercial and residential densities within urban development areas that are appropriate for reasonably compact development at a density of at least four residential units per gross acre and a minimum floor area ratio of 0.4 per gross acre for commercial development. The urban development areas may provide for a mix of residential housing types, including affordable housing, to meet the projected family income distributions of future residential growth. The comprehensive plan shall designate one or more urban development areas sufficient to meet projected residential and commercial growth in the locality for an ensuing period of at least 10 but not more than 20 years, which may include phasing of development within the urban development areas. Future growth shall be based on official estimates and projections of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service of the University of Virginia or other official government sources. The boundaries and size of each urban development area shall be reexamined and, if necessary, revised every five years in conjunction with the update of the comprehensive plan and in accordance with the most recent available population growth estimates and projections. Such districts may be areas designated for redevelopment or infill development.
B. The comprehensive plan shall further incorporate principles of new urbanism and traditional neighborhood development, which may include but need not be limited to (i) pedestrian-friendly road design, (ii) interconnection of new local streets with existing local streets and roads, (iii) connectivity of road and pedestrian networks, (iv) preservation of natural areas, (v) satisfaction of requirements for stormwater management, (vi) mixed-use neighborhoods, including mixed housing types, (vii) reduction of front and side yard building setbacks, and (viii) reduction of subdivision street widths and turning radii at subdivision street intersections.
C. The comprehensive plan shall describe any financial and other incentives for development in the urban development areas.
D. No county, city, or town that has amended its comprehensive plan in accordance with this section shall limit or prohibit development pursuant to existing zoning or shall refuse to consider any application for rezoning based solely on the fact that the property is located outside the urban development area.
E. Any county, city, or town that would be required to amend its plan pursuant to this section that determines that its plan accommodates growth in a manner consistent with this section, upon adoption of a resolution certifying such compliance, shall not be required to further amend its plan.
F. Any county that amends its comprehensive plan pursuant to this section may designate one or more urban development areas in any incorporated town within such county, if the governing body of the town has also amended its comprehensive plan to designate the same areas as urban development areas with at least the same density designated by the county.
G. To the extent possible, state and local transportation, housing, and economic development funding shall be directed to the urban development area.
(2007, c. 896; 2009, c. 327.)
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