AC44 Phase 2: Development Areas Land Use and Transportation

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Recommendations for land use help decide how and where the county will develop over time and are intended to reflect the needs of both current and future community members.

This includes accommodating demand for housing, businesses, and recreation. Future land use recommendations provide guidance for where new development and redevelopment should occur and what types of housing and mixed-uses to expect. Related guidance for community facilities and services supports new development and redevelopment along with existing neighborhoods.

Draft Land Use Designations

The County’s Growth Management Policy designates the Development Areas for future residential and business growth (currently about 5% of the county’s land area) and the Rural Area for primarily land conservation, protection of the natural environment, and agriculture and forestry uses. To accommodate this growth, the Development Areas are expected to include higher density and mixed-use areas supported by multimodal transportation networks, public parks and trails, and other infrastructure.

Future land use designations are applied to every property in the county and provide recommendations for future land uses and the form, scale, and density of future development. These designations provide guidance for development applications that require legislative review (rezoning and special use permits), meaning the proposed development is not allowed by-right under the existing zoning district.

To support the Growth Management Policy and provide more clear guidance for future development, the updated Comp Plan is expected to apply the consolidated and updated set of future land use designations to an updated future land use map for the Development Areas in a one to one ‘matching’ approach. This draft future land use map will be shared in Phase 3. Click the image below for the draft updated land use designations, which will continue to be refined throughout AC44.

Draft Activity Centers and Multimodal Transportation

In the Development Areas, one of the ways we can encourage vibrant, mixed-use, and walkable communities and support the Growth Management Policy is by identifying Activity Centers connected by a future multimodal transportation network. Activity Centers (currently called ‘centers’ in the County’s Master Plans) are places that have a variety of businesses, services, and housing types (either now or in the future) where community members can gather, shop, stroll, and go to meet daily needs.

There are three draft activity center place types: Neighborhood, Town, and Destination activity centers. All activity center types are expected to be walkable and mixed-use, though they vary in recommendations for form and scale.

Multimodal transportation options include walking, biking, transit, and using a personal vehicle, and should provide safe and efficient routes to access employment, educational, and other opportunities. Multimodal transportation planning is critical for addressing climate change. In 2018, greenhouse gas emissions from transportation accounted for approximately 52% of Albemarle County’s estimated emissions total.

Read more about how the draft Activity Centers were identified, how multimodal planning is being incorporated into the Comp Plan, and draft future land use designations in the following presentation:

Draft Activity Center and multimodal transportation maps for each Development Area are available below (click each map image to download the PDF). These maps will be updated and shared again for community input in Phase 3.



Recommendations for land use help decide how and where the county will develop over time and are intended to reflect the needs of both current and future community members.

This includes accommodating demand for housing, businesses, and recreation. Future land use recommendations provide guidance for where new development and redevelopment should occur and what types of housing and mixed-uses to expect. Related guidance for community facilities and services supports new development and redevelopment along with existing neighborhoods.

Draft Land Use Designations

The County’s Growth Management Policy designates the Development Areas for future residential and business growth (currently about 5% of the county’s land area) and the Rural Area for primarily land conservation, protection of the natural environment, and agriculture and forestry uses. To accommodate this growth, the Development Areas are expected to include higher density and mixed-use areas supported by multimodal transportation networks, public parks and trails, and other infrastructure.

Future land use designations are applied to every property in the county and provide recommendations for future land uses and the form, scale, and density of future development. These designations provide guidance for development applications that require legislative review (rezoning and special use permits), meaning the proposed development is not allowed by-right under the existing zoning district.

To support the Growth Management Policy and provide more clear guidance for future development, the updated Comp Plan is expected to apply the consolidated and updated set of future land use designations to an updated future land use map for the Development Areas in a one to one ‘matching’ approach. This draft future land use map will be shared in Phase 3. Click the image below for the draft updated land use designations, which will continue to be refined throughout AC44.

Draft Activity Centers and Multimodal Transportation

In the Development Areas, one of the ways we can encourage vibrant, mixed-use, and walkable communities and support the Growth Management Policy is by identifying Activity Centers connected by a future multimodal transportation network. Activity Centers (currently called ‘centers’ in the County’s Master Plans) are places that have a variety of businesses, services, and housing types (either now or in the future) where community members can gather, shop, stroll, and go to meet daily needs.

There are three draft activity center place types: Neighborhood, Town, and Destination activity centers. All activity center types are expected to be walkable and mixed-use, though they vary in recommendations for form and scale.

Multimodal transportation options include walking, biking, transit, and using a personal vehicle, and should provide safe and efficient routes to access employment, educational, and other opportunities. Multimodal transportation planning is critical for addressing climate change. In 2018, greenhouse gas emissions from transportation accounted for approximately 52% of Albemarle County’s estimated emissions total.

Read more about how the draft Activity Centers were identified, how multimodal planning is being incorporated into the Comp Plan, and draft future land use designations in the following presentation:

Draft Activity Center and multimodal transportation maps for each Development Area are available below (click each map image to download the PDF). These maps will be updated and shared again for community input in Phase 3.



  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    A goal is a high-level and long-term direction to fulfill the vision and framework. An objective is a specific outcome or target that accomplishes a goal. The goals and objectives developed now, in Phase Two, will inform the action steps that will be drafted in Phase Three.


    The process of creating the Goals and Objectives included:

    • collaboration by an interdisciplinary team of County staff, in coordination with partner agencies
    • review of the current Comprehensive Plan
    • incorporating best planning practices utilized throughout the country
    • community, Planning Commission, and Board of Supervisors input
    • AC44 Framework for an Equitable and Resilient Community 
      • "As we move toward 2044, Albemarle County aspires to be a community that is Green and Resilient, Welcoming and Equitable, Connected and Accessible, and Thriving and Prosperous"


    Read more about Development Areas Land Use and Transportation in the updated Topic Report.


    Along with goals, objectives, and action steps, there are a variety of tools and maps that are used to guide land use and transportation planning in the Development Areas. These include future land use designations, community design guidelines (currently ‘neighborhood model principles), activity centers, and multimodal systems planning


    This questionnaire is designed for you to share your feedback on the draft Goals and Objectives and on draft land use designations, community design guidelines, and multimodal planning for the Development Areas Land Use and Transportation chapter. Community input will be shared with the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors. The draft Goals and Objectives will be refined based on community, Commission, and Board feedback.  

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Page last updated: 29 Mar 2024, 08:26 AM