Places29 – Development Unwanted in Albemarle’s Development Area?

By. Neil Williamson

“It would be so nice if something made sense for a change.” – Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Should Albemarle County‘s Comprehensive Plan be written to promote development in the entire development area? 

In 1980, Albemarle County determined 5% of its land mass should be designated for development; leaving 95% of the county “rural”.  The goal of the development areas is to have the amenities and infrastructure that will attract new residents and enterprises to a more densely populated area where it is less expensive to deliver required services.

With this in mind, page 8-7 of the Places 29 Implementation Plan (pdf) I found the following passage most interesting:

If the infrastructure needed to support a proposed development outside the Priority Areas is not in place, the proposed development should not be approved.

On the surface, this may seem like a reasonable concept ….. but wait, the project is in the development area. 

Doesn’t Albemarle County bear some of the burden for providing infrastructure within the 5% of the county it has designated for development?

While we understand and concur with focusing limited local dollars in priority areas, the Free Enterprise Forum believes development area land use decisions should be evaluated on their individual merits not  on the basis of if they are in the county’s newly defined Priority Areas.

Does the Places29 Master Plan contemplate rejecting worthy projects within the development areas in favor of less worthy projects in the newly designated Priority Areas? 

Where do you believe such spurned projects will end up? 

We believe they will compete for the highly prized (and priced) real estate in the Priority Areas or will they simply move up US 29 into more business friendly Greene County

Will such “Priority Planning”  help traffic on US 29?

As usual, we have more questions than answers.

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