Providing distinct Centers of Commerce and Centers of Community within
Prince William County will encourage future growth to be concentrated in vibrant, mixed-use
centers that will accommodate a range of housing and transportation choices. These compact, walkable areas should develop with attractive design to foster a sense of place. Centers are generally located in areas that already have significant investment in public facilities.
Focusing growth in centers will ease development pressures on existing communities. This policy complements the goal of preserving existing communities and ensuring appropriately scaled in-fill development.
Centers Goal: To provide distinct centers of commerce and community.
CEN-POLICY 1.6. To encourage Centers of Community in appropriate locations within the
Development Area, resulting in the development of livable, planned communities that
promote a variety of residential opportunities, and provide public facilities, goods and
services, open space, recreational opportunities, and related employment at a neighborhood scale.
AS 1. Provide Centers of Community in areas that allow for distinctive, attractive development
with a strong sense of place.
AS 2.25. Within Centers of Community, encourage private developers to develop at the high end
of the density and intensity range, for residential, mixed use buildings, low- to mid- to
high-rise office, and structured parking as part of the rezoning and special use permit
process for areas designated SRH, URL, URM, URH, UMU, VMU, REC, FEC, O, and
RCC, CEC, and MTN.
Encouraging mass transit opportunities in these areas will
actually support the goals and objectives of the Environment Plan, by placing high density
in appropriate areas of the County and by preserving environmentally sensitive
areas with lower density/intensity uses. All development should conform to the
principles and guidelines established for development in the Community Design chapter.
AS 3. Incentives such as density bonuses, shared parking, and lower parking requirements— should be considered to encourage the desired land uses within centers of community.
CEN-POLICY 2: To create, within Centers of Community, an appropriate mix of uses that meet
the needs of the community.
AS 1. Development within Centers of Community should complement the mix and concentration
of uses as defined in this chapter.
AS 2. Residential development within Centers of Community should develop at a higher density
than the surrounding residential uses outside of the center.
AS 3. Commercial development within Centers of Community should serve local rather than
AS 4. Centers of Community with an excess of one or more land use types are encouraged to
redevelop with an appropriate mix of uses.
AS 5. Encourage compatible institutional and public facility uses to be located within the
Centers of Community through the CIP and through new development.
AS 6. Encourage open space within new development in Centers of Community that protects and
complements existing environmental resources.
AS 7. Allow flexibility in the mix of uses allowed in land designated CEC within Centers of
Community provided the project contributes to the Center’s mix of uses and form as
defined in this chapter.
Land Use Classifications, The Suburban Areas (formerly Appendix A)
Centers of Community Overlay. Centers of Community should be neighborhood centers for
residents to live, shop, dine, recreate, and congregate. Centers of Community should contain a mix of uses with low- to mid-rise offices (that serve a local market), neighborhood-serving retail, a range of housing types (including both high and lower-density), and institutional uses.
Centers of Community should be planned and developed in a comprehensive, coordinated
Centers of Community as shown on the Long Range Land Use map should be located at
or near the intersections of principal arterials and/or major collector roads, transit hubs,
and commuter lots and generally encompass land within ½ mile of the center.
While access to these centers is typically via automobile, emphasis must be placed on
pedestrian connections to nearby residential districts, as well as internal pedestrian
While a mix of residential densities is desired, Centers of Community are encouraged to
be developed at a higher density than surrounding residential uses.
Retail and retail service uses should serve local rather than regional needs.
Institutional uses such as parks, libraries, public safety facilities, schools and religious
institutions should be located in Centers of Community.
Emphasis should be placed on consistent architecture that is at a pedestrian-friendly
scale and that complements the surrounding neighborhood.
Proposed designs should be evaluated based on connectivity of the transportation
network, mix of uses that meet community needs and pedestrian walkability.
Open space should be integrated into the design and should contribute to protecting
environmental resources of the center.