A lawsuit against the City of Charlottesville alleging the Comprehensive Plan adopted last November is invalid can proceed, but Charlottesville Circuit Court Judge Claude Worrell on Friday dismissed three of the plaintiff’s four counts.
Worrell agreed that the city may not have provided sufficient language in the notice for the November 15 City Council public hearing by not stating a vote would be held and by not adequately describing what “updated density” might mean.
However, Worrell agreed with the city’s request that seven anonymous parties did not have the legal standing to argue against the plan for insufficient consideration of transportation, the use of manufactured housing, and whether the plan was too specific in nature.
A motion on whether the plaintiffs should be identified will be taken up later this year as the case proceeds.
Is this the summer of 2022, or is it the Summer of AC44?
AC44 is the name Albemarle County has given for the review of its Comprehensive Plan. That’s a document Virginia requires all localities to adopt and review every five years. Albemarle last updated its plan in 2015 and work got underway earlier this year.
“We’re currently in phase one, plan for growth, where we are reviewing and evaluating the current growth management policy, using lenses of equity, climate action, and capacity projects,” said Tori Kannellopollous, a senior planner with Albemarle County.
Albemarle County is in the first phase of a review of its Comprehensive Plan with an eye on a growth management policy. A second questionnaire on the policy closes on July 17, and Albemarle’s Communications and Public Engagement office produced an explanatory video.
“The growth management policy is one of the tools that we use to implement the county’s vision by helping us to make intentional decisions about how and where we grow and what areas are protected,” states the narrator of the video.
For the past six months, Albemarle staff have been working behind-the-scenes on the update of the Comprehensive Plan, which will be conducted in four phases.
“And the first phase is Plan for Growth where we are evaluating the current growth management policy and we’re using the theoretical maximum build-out of the county’s development areas based on the current land use plan from our 2015 plan to determine what the maximum build-out could be of those development areas,” said Rachel Falkenstein, one of Albemarle’s planning managers.
Albemarle County is in the first phase of a four phase review of the Comprehensive Plan, and the Albemarle Historic Preservation Committee was consulted on the Comprehensive Plan at their meeting on April 25, 2022. Specifically they were asked two questions by Margaret Maliszewski, one of Albemarle’s planning managers.
“What opportunities exist for achieving our historic preservation goals, objectives, and strategies?” Maliszewski asked. “Are there new, or current, or ongoing threats to the county’s historic resources?”
On Thursday morning, staff in Albemarle County’s Communications and Public Engagement office will hold the first in a series of pop-ups on the county’s review of the Comprehensive Plan. The county’s Planning Commission learned about how the update will be conducted, including details of a working group that will be appointed to work on the project. But what is a Comprehensive Plan? (pop-up info)
“It’s a guiding document for growth, development, and investment in the county, and its used to guide decisions on public infrastructure and funding, also policies and programs, and then review of some development applications that come through the county,” said Rachel Falkenstein, the county’s planning manager.
Albemarle County has formally begun the process of updating its Comprehensive Plan. The Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution on November 3 that kicks off a multiphase process and public engagement plan for the first round. But let’s get a reminder on what this is from planner Tori Kanellopoulos.
“The Comprehensive Plan is a guiding document for the county and is a twenty year plan which includes housing, transportation, land use, economic development, natural and historic resources,” Kannellopoulos said.
The plan influences everything from the Capital Improvement program to decisions on land use such as rezoning. Supervisors last adopted a plan six years ago.
For decades, Albemarle County has planned for growth and investments such as the Pantops public safety station by concentrating residential development into designated areas. That’s codified in the county’s Comprehensive Plan which was last adopted in July 2015. Michaela Accardi is a senior planner with Albemarle County.
“The Comprehensive Plan or the comp plan establishes Albemarle’s long-range vision that guides growth, development, and change for the next 20 years,” Accardi said. “The Comprehensive Plan serves as the basis for land use development regulations and decisions, such as rezoning and special use permits, capital improvements, new county programs and the distribution of county budget dollars to programs and agencies.”
Planning staff in Albemarle’s Community Development Department have recommended a three-year review of the county’s Comprehensive Plan, but some members of the Board of Supervisors suggested it should take place faster.
Virginia’s code requires the Planning Commission in each locality to create and maintain such a plan to guide future development.
“In the preparation of a comprehensive plan, the commission shall make careful and comprehensive surveys and studies of the existing conditions and trends of growth, and of the probable future requirements of its territory and inhabitants,” reads 15.2-2223.