Aha! Where “urban mixed use designation areas” could be approved…

On Wednesday, April 15, the Planning Commission will consider Plan B to update the Land Use Chapter for the Comp Plan on April 15.  (Plan A was drafted by Planning Department staff.)

Plan B includes a proposal to create “urban” and “suburban” mixed use designation areas.  Unfortunately, Plan B  includes no map indicating where such developments might be approved, especially the “urban” areas that would require a minimum of 100 acres.

No need to stay in the dark; the locations can be identified and displayed.  The following maps may not be 100% complete or perfect, but now you can check out where Plan B proposes growth to occur.

At least seven places appear to qualify as urban mixed use designation areas, where intense development would be encouraged.   All are in the Development Area, though one is near the edge of the Rural Area. Four are in the Gainesville and Brentsville magisterial districts.

Any place within the Potomac Communities sector plan would qualify for an urban mixed use designation area.  In addition, parcels with at least 100 acres in four separate planning classifications – Regional Employment Center (REC), Regional Commercial Center (RCC), Mass Transit Node (MTN), or Urban Mixed Use (UMU) would qualify.  The most likely candidates for UMU proposals include:

Based on recent proposals to initiate new Comp Plan amendments, developers think our planners/supervisors will continue to let growth occur in a random pattern, based on the preferences/timing of the developers.  Everyone is “talking smart” – but continuing plans to “let developers decide.”

If Prince William ever expects to see town centers, then the county must designate one or two places for concentrated development.  If we keep putting more “build here” spots on the map than the market can support, then county officials are abdicating their responsibility to plan growth.

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