Albemarle County

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Albemarle County is located in Central Virginia. The county seat is in Charlottesville, though the two jurisdictions are separate. A portion of the University of Virginia's Central Grounds is also located within Albemarle County.


Albemarle County was formed in 1744 and is named after Willem van Keppel, the second Earl of Albemarle. He was a British diplomat who served at one point as Governor of the Virginia colony. [1]. In 1761 Albemarle County was split three ways, creating the new counties of Buckingham and Amherst. Latter Nelson County was split off from Amherst County and parts of Buckingham County was split off to help creat the counties of Campbell and Appomattox. In 1761 the western most portion of Louisa County was added to Albemarle. The current borders were established in 1777 when Fluvanna County was split off.

The original county seat was located at Scott's Ferry which was west of the present day town ofScottsville, but was moved to Charlottesville in 1762.


The 2010 U.S. Census counted 98,970 people in Albemarle, making it the 10th largest county in Virginia. That represents a 17.6% increase from 2000. [2]


The county has a total area of 722.61 square miles[3]. Much of it can be explored using the County's Geographic Information Service.

Zoning and development

35 square miles (5%) of Albemarle County has been set aside as Designated Growth Areas while the remainder of the County lies in the Rural Areas. The County conducts planning efforts to channel growth into Development Areas in order to maintain the rural character of the County, facilitate economical service delivery and to promote neighborhood-style development as the preferred design.

Each of the County's designated growth areas is either master planned, or a master plan is pending. These are for Crozet, the area surrounding U.S. 29, the Pantops Master Plan, and the Village of Rivanna Master Plan.

Oversight of land use issues is performed by staff in the Department of Community Development.

County Government

The County's legislative body is the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors. Various boards and commissions help provide guidance to the Board as well as to the County Staff. A County Executive is hired by the Board of Supervisors to implement their policies, prepare and execute the budget, and to direct day-to-day operations of the County government.

All planning in the County is guided by the Comprehensive Plan, which was adopted in 1980. Capital improvement projects are managed by the County's Office of Facilities Development.

For electoral representation, the county is split into six Magisterial Districts: White Hall, Scottsville, Samuel Miller, Jack Jouett, Rio, and Rivanna. A full map is available here.

County government is guided by the County's Strategic Plan which sets benchmarks for key goals.

Albemarle is also a member of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission.

In August 2010, the county was awarded a AAA bond rating by Standard & Poor's[4].

Mission statement

"To enhance the well-being and quality of life for all citizens through the provision of the highest level of public service consistent with the prudent use of public funds"

Vision statement

"Albemarle County will feature walkable and self sufficient communities. The Countryside will be rural. The County's natural resources and natural beauty will be maintained. The County's educational system will be world class and the County's quality of life will be exceptional."


Scottsville is an independent town located along the James River in the southern part of the County. It has its own town council and police force.

Main article: List of Albemarle communities

While Albemarle County only has one independent town, there are several distinct communities in the County.

Unincorporated areas include Crozet, Batesville, Earlysville, Free Union, Ivy, Keene, North Garden, Keswick and Covesville.


The County's water supply is managed by the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority. The County Executive serves as one of five voting members of the RWSA's Board of Directors. Albemarle County residents on public water pay their bills to the Albemarle County Service Authority, which maintains the delivery to its customers.

The County does not currently build its own roads, but there has been discussion of taking on more responsibility to build and finance road projects[citation needed]. The County has a priority list for how Virginia Department of Transportation funding should be spent on both primary and secondary roads. Two members of the Board of Supervisors participate on the MPO Policy Board, a regional body that plans for area transportation.

The County has its own Fire and Rescue Department.

Pedestrian safety

One concern is whether the county's urban areas provide sufficient opportunities for pedestrians[citation needed].

External Links


  1. Rainville, Lynn. "LoCoHistory » Blog Archive » The Earl and the Queen." LoCoHistory. 3 Feb. 2007. Web. 21 July 2010. <>.
  2. Web. Analyzing area's growth will be key for future planning, Daily Progress, World Media Enterprises, February 5, 2011, retrieved February 9, 2011.
  3. "Albemarle County QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau." State and County QuickFacts. Web. 29 June 2010. <>.
  4. Albemarle County. County Receives AAA Bond Rating From Standard & Poors. Albemarle County. Albemarle County, 19 Aug. 2010. Web. 20 Aug. 2010. <>.