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Back to 2008 Comprehensive Plan Update
Existing, Planned & Zoned Residential Densities
2008 Mobility Committee Recommendations
Centers of Community: Proposed Text for the 2008 Comprehensive Plan Land Use Chapter Update


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 regional needs.

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 manner.

  • 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 walkability.

  • 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.

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