The Neighborhood Model is a set of urban design standards intended to plan for growth within the development areas of Albemarle County. The goal is to move development away from a pattern of sprawl and toward compact, interconnect buildings and infrastructure.
The Neighborhood Model was included in the 1996 Land Use Plan, as part of the county's comprehensive plan. The model applies specifically to the development areas designated for growth. The Development Initiative Steering Committee (DISC) continued to augment the plan from 1997 to 2000. The Neighborhood Model was adopted by the Board of Supervisors in 2001.
- Accommodates walkers, bikers, and public transportation so that mobility can be a reality for the elderly, the young, and those with limited access to automobiles.
- Makes open space integral to overall design so that residents and workers can walk to a public park, experience preserved natural areas, and enjoy public gathering places.
- Keeps buildings and spaces at a human scale so that street views are attractive and pedestrian friendly.
- Incorporates varying densities and gradually allows for an overall increase in density in the Development Areas to meet the goals of the Comprehensive Plan.
- Contains a mixture of residential and non-residential uses so residents have convenient access to work, to services, and to entertainment.
- Requires interconnected streets within developments and between developments so that pedestrians can walk easily to many destinations, traffic has alternative routes, and car trips are reduced in number and length.
- Moves off-street parking out of sight and encourages on-street parking.
- Mixes housing types and markets so that the full range of housing choices is offered within the neighborhood.
- Emphasizes re-use of sites.
- Adapts development to site terrain so that natural topography can be preserved.
- Maintains a clear boundary between Development Areas and Rural Areas.
- Provides for neighborhoods to have a designated center to bring diverse and continuous activity to a neighborhood.