Albemarle County is located county 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 an island of Albemarle County.
In 2005, the US Census estimated Albemarle County's population at 92,035 people.
The county has a total area of 726 square miles. Much of it can be explored using the County's Geographic Information Service.
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.
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.
County government is guided by the County's Strategic Plan which sets benchmarks for key goals. The goals for the current strategic plan are as follows:
- Enhance the Quality of Life
- Protect Natural Resources
- Develop Infrastructure
- Fund the Future
- Manage Growth
All planning in the County is guided by the Comprehensive Plan, which was adopted in 1980.
"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."
The County adopted an affordable housing program in 2004.
"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."
Land Use Plan
Additionally, a master plan has been created for Crozet.
While Albemarle County only has one independent town, there are several distinct communities in the County.
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.
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. The County has a priority list for how Virginia Department of Transportation funding should be spent on both primary and secondary roads.
The County has its own Fire and Rescue Department.