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meetingCharlottesville, like many other communities in the United States, has been experiencing uneven physical development patterns that have far reaching impacts on our neighborhoods. That is, while some parts of the City have undergone rapid and intense growth of property values, other parts have experienced deterioration and blight due to both lack of financial investment and increased human neglect.

Development in the region has brought the benefits of economic growth, but has also brought increased demands for utilities, road improvements, schools and other public services at ever increasing costs. Development has also created urban sprawl, contributed to traffic congestion, and increased flooding and erosion at public and private expense.

Faced with the prospect of continued development and the need to conserve neighborhoods while, at the same time, promote economic prosperity, the Charlottesville Planning Commission will develop a comprehensive plan to help guide the physical growth of the City for the next twenty-five years. The Plan consists of the following:

An inventory and assessment of current, social, economic, and environmental factors effecting growth and neighborhood stability in the community.
A statement of goals and policies which serve as a broad directive for future growth and neighborhood improvement and preservation.

An implementation strategy that provides an explanation of how the goals and policies will be put into action.


This Plan will be prepared so that the important neighborhood and development issues in the community might be studied and analyzed with the intent of providing proper courses of public action, as well as to comply with state regulations which require local planning.

The overall purpose of the Comprehensive Plan is to provide realistic guidelines for future development and neighborhood stability with specific consideration given to the:

Protection of the long-range interest of citizens through the anticipation of possible changes in such areas as transportation, housing, energy, economic and industrial bases, and other related factors;
Protection of all valuable community resources including such diverse resources as unique natural features, historic structures, established neighborhoods and recreational areas;

Coordination and general allocation of public expenditures to maximize their effectiveness by adequately determining future needs and resources;

Maintenance of proper coordination among various planning and administrative bodies to avoid conflict between neighborhoods, land use, transportation, housing, utilities, services, conservation, community facilities and other problems at the local, county, regional, state and federal levels; and

Establishment and implementation of specific local policy objectives, which are consistent with, and complementary to, regional, state, and federal land use policies as expressed in existing and future plans and programs.

The Comprehensive Plan should serve to coordinate private development with present and future policies as may be reflected through zoning, capital improvement programs, code enforcement and other similar means.

Comprehensive Plan - Full Text: The full text of the Comprehensive Plan can be found here.


To provide a comprehensive framework for establishing or modifying local policies, improving existing conditions and maintaining adequate coordination of public programs, this report will include a discussion of the following processes used in its preparation:

  • A description of the Comprehensive Planning process including data needs, establishment of planning periods, proposals for formulating policies and recommendations, and a description of the various planning stages used to develop the Plan;

  • An explanation of the neighborhood involvement process used in the development of the Comprehensive Plan.

  • A summary of relevant findings from the inventory and assessment of existing conditions;

  • The development of goals, policies, and program recommendations to implement proposed policies and community development measures; and

  • A description of implementation procedures and an action plan to be used following Plan adoption, and the means by which policies will be coordinated with other local planning programs.


This Plan may be effectively used in a variety of ways. First, and foremost it should serve as a guide for the government and neighborhoods of Charlottesville in making decisions about land use Making plansand urban development related matters. Secondly, the Plan may serve as a source of information for private sector entities concerned with the location, timing, and intensity of new development. Third, it is important to realize that the Plan be used as a means of coordinating local government activities including capital improvements programming, community and economic development activities, zoning, housing initiatives, transportation improvements, open space utilization, and community facilities plans aimed at improving our neighborhoods and quality of life. Because this Plan presents an outline for the pattern, intensity and timing of land uses, it should be used as the primary source of information for those persons engaged in urban policy making and administration.


To develop the Charlottesville Comprehensive Plan, the Planning Commission will conduct an 8-month study of community characteristics and needs. This effort will be organized into a planning process that includes participation by departmental staff, public officials, and especially local neighborhood residents. Unique to this planning process is the fact that the plan will be developed through a series of meetings with nineteen neighborhoods to formulate the one Comprehensive Plan.


The Comprehensive Planning Process began on February 12, 2000 with a community-wide kick-off event. For the next six months, there will be a series of meetings with neighborhoods to develop a draft plan. The draft plan will be presented to the Planning Commission, which will review and then recommended it for adoption to the City Council. The City Council will conduct a public hearing and then adopt the plan by mid-November, 2000.