March 18, 2013
What will Albemarle County look like in the next 20 years?
After two years of work behind the scenes, Albemarle County staff are ready to roll out a revised comprehensive plan, and they're about to seek the public's input.
Every county in Virginia has a comprehensive plan, and each is required to review it every five years. This year, the county is creating the first overhaul of the plan since 1996.
"Over the years as we have amended sections of the plan, it has gotten larger," said Andy Sorrell, a senior planner in the county's department of community development. "And it's gotten more difficult to find the information we're trying to get out to the public and the citizens and things like that."
Now, county staff has amended the comprehensive plan, a look 20 years into the future, to update facts and figures while removing repetitive entries.
"This is the first time we've pulled it all together," Sorrell said. "And so that's sort of exciting to have that information all together so that people can see all the chapters fit together, how our value, our mission and our management policy, all those things sort of come together."
The plan tackles three newer priorities. It takes a look at key expansion areas in the county, maintaining prime land value in rural areas and incorporates a plan for urban agriculture.
"Those are things like chickens within residential areas," Sorrell said. "Those are things that have all come up in recent years that we want to make sure we're ahead of the curve and we want to address."
The public's first chance to give input will be Thursday at the Albemarle County Office Building. Staff will hold an open house to answer any questions about the comprehensive plan.
There will be another opportunity on April 2, when the county's planning commission also reviews the plan.
Ultimately, after a number of public hearings, the board of supervisors will approve the final plan sometime later this year.