HB2777: Comprehensive plan; includes urban development areas.

HOUSE BILL NO. 2777
Offered January 10, 2007
Prefiled January 10, 2007
A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 15.2-2223.1, relating to comprehensive plan; urban development areas.
Patron-- Athey

Committee Referral Pending

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 15.2-2223.1 as follows:

§ 15.2-2223.1.  Comprehensive plan to include urban development areas.

A.  Every county that has adopted zoning pursuant to Article 7, Chapter 22 of Title 15.2 shall, and any city or town may, amend its comprehensive plan to incorporate one or more proposed urban development areas, if such locality meets the criteria for high growth set out in § 15.2-2298.  For purposes of this section, an urban development area is an area designated by a locality that is most suited for development due to proximity to transportation facilities, the availability of public water and sewer, and its proximity to a city, town or other developed area.  The comprehensive plan shall designate one or more urban development areas sufficient to meet projected residential growth in the locality for the ensuing 20-year period.  Future growth shall be based on the projections of the Virginia Employment Commission.  The comprehensive plan shall call for commercial and residential densities within urban development areas that are appropriate for reasonably compact development, including residential densities of at least four residential units per acre or three times the density of the adjacent land outside of the urban development area.

B.  Any comprehensive plan amended pursuant to this section shall also be amended to incorporate the opportunity for development that includes features that promote an improved quality of life.  Such features may include but need not be limited to (i) walkability and pedestrian friendly road design, (ii) connectivity of road and pedestrian networks, (iii) mixed-uses, including mixed housing types and (iv) increased density that takes maximum advantage of existing and planned transportation facilities and maximizes use of services and infrastructure in the urban development areas.

C.  No county, city or town that has amended its comprehensive plan in accordance with this section shall limit or prohibit development pursuant to existing zoning or any application for rezoning based solely on the fact that the property is located outside the urban development area.

2.  That counties shall have until July 1, 2011, to amend their comprehensive plans in accordance with the provisions of this act.