On February 27, 2007, the Albemarle County Planning Commission held a work session to receive an update on the Places29 master planning project. When complete, the Places29 master plan will provide a twenty-year vision for the Route 29 North corridor detailing the development, transportation, and public facilities desired by the community. The commissioners received the recently completed draft plan which has been under development since the first public workshops were held in May 2005. The Places29 Master Plan is scheduled to be adopted by the Board of Supervisors in late 2007.
The County wants your feedback on the Places29 draft framework. There are community meetings on March 5th and March 8th. See Charlottesville Tomorrow's calendar for details.
Listen using player above or download the podcast: Download 20070227-Places29-CountyPC.mp3
Here are some of the points in the presentation I found most interesting:
- The Places29 study area can handle an immense amount of housing growth. The area has 14,200 homes today. The consultants told the Planning Commission they expected growth of 6,800 additional homes during the twenty year plan (2,800 of those homes have already been approved by the County, e.g. North Pointe, Albemarle Place, Hollymead Town Center). While they did not reference population figures in their report, this housing could handle population growth of another 17,000 people over twenty years [2.5 people per dwelling unit].
- Under the master plan’s proposed land uses, the Places29 area could one day accommodate a theoretical ultimate buildout of 71,400 homes. That is a maximum number for some time way beyond this twenty-year master plan. However, they don’t expect the density of homes to be achieved in all places and thus they estimated a more likely upper limit of around 50,000 homes [that would be an additional 35,800 homes and a total population in the Places29 area alone of about 125,000].
- The Places29 area has 15,900 jobs or employment opportunities today. The consultants told the Planning Commission they expected growth of 23,900 additional jobs during the twenty year plan (14,100 of those new jobs have already been “approved” at commercial developments in the County, e.g. North Pointe, Albemarle Place, Hollymead Town Center).
- Under the master plan’s proposed land uses, the Places29 area could one day accommodate a theoretical ultimate employment potential of 107,500 jobs. That is a maximum number for some time way beyond this twenty-year master plan. However, they don’t expect the density of commercial development to be achieved in all places and thus they estimated a more likely upper limit of around 68,500 jobs.
- The transportation proposals include construction of six bridges, interchanges or overpasses along Route 29 with a cost approaching $185 million (not including right-of-way acquisition). These grade-separated approaches would eliminate traffic signals for vehicles on Route 29 at Hydraulic Rd., Rio Rd., Hilton Heights, Ashwood Blvd., Timberwood Blvd., Airport Rd. These six improvements are part of the twenty-year plan. Greenbrier Drive is expected to have a grade-separated interchange sometime after 2025.
- Outside of the improvements on Route 29, there is a strong emphasis on parallel road networks (e.g. extending Berkmar Drive across the Rivanna River to Hollymead Town Center). There is also a strong emphasis on making new development transit ready so that over time improved public transit options can be integrated with an ultimate goal of a bus rapid transit system.