Albemarle County

From Cvillepedia
Revision as of 23:00, 26 November 2023 by Welder20 (talk | contribs) (Moved disclaimer for territorial evolution article to top of History section)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Albemarle County Seal

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

Formed in 1744 from Goochland County, Albemarle County celebrated its 275th anniversary in 2019. [1]

Albemarle County is within the Charlottesville Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) as defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the City of Charlottesville with Albemarle County for statistical purposes.

Albemarle County is bordered by Greene County (north), Orange County (northeast), Louisa County (east), Fluvanna County (southeast), Buckingham County (south), Nelson County (southwest), Augusta County (west), Rockingham County (northwest).

The population of Albemarle County was estimated to be 114,424 on July 1, 2021. [2] [3]


See also: Territorial evolution of Albemarle County

The first patents for land in what would become Albemarle County were granted in 1727. Eight years later, settler Abraham Lewis secured 800 acres of land, including the area that would become the University of Virginia. Nicholas Meriwether II obtained 1,020 acres in the Southern Mountains west of what would become the City of Charlottesville. In 1737, William Taylor received patents for land that become the village of Charlottesville.[4]

In 1744, by an act of the Virginia General Assembly, Albemarle County was formed from the western portion of Goochland County and named after the Crown's Governor of Virginia Willem Anne van Keppel, 2nd Earl of Albemarle (appointed 1737; died in office December 22, 1754). [5] He never lived in the county that bears his name; governors at that time remained in London.

In 1761, Albemarle County was split three ways, creating the new counties of Buckingham and Amherst. Later, Nelson County was split off from Amherst County and parts of Buckingham County was split off to help create 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 of Scottsville, but was moved to Charlottesville in 1762.

In 1963, Landon D. Birckhead filed a petition in Albemarle Circuit Court to divide the Charlottesville Magisterial District in half, to create a seventh member of the Board of Supervisors. [6]

Several county departments moved into new offices in Court Square in 1939. [7]

Population and demographics

The population of Albemarle was estimated to be at 114,424 on July 1, 2021 by the Weldon Cooper Center. [2] The population topped 100,000 for the first time in 2011.[8]

Nearly 78% of the population is white, 9.6% is African-American, and 5.5 is Hispanic.[9]

Weldon Cooper projects the population increasing to 124,016 in 2030, 138,523 by 2040 and 155,102 by 2050. [10]


The county has a total area of 725.9 square miles.[11] Much of it can be explored using the County's Geographic Information Service.

Zoning and development

36.6 square miles (~5%) of Albemarle County has been set aside as Designated Growth Areas while the remainder of the County, totaling 687.9 square miles, lies in the Rural Areas.[11] 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

An organizational chart taken from the 2018 community report

Albemarle adopted a county-executive form of government in 1933. [12] [13] Around this time, the county eliminated the constitutional officers of Treasurer and Commissioner of the Revenue. [14] Treasurer G. Stuart Hamm refused and as 1934 began, county checks needed to be signed by both Hamm and new County Executive Henry A. Haden. [15]

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. Jeffrey Richardson became executive on October 30, 2017.

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.[16]

Albemarle established an Office of Equity and Inclusion in December 2018. [17]

In the 2010's, supervisors elevated the business development position into a full-blown Economic Development office.

On July 1, 2020, the Department of Finance and the Office of Management and Budget merged into a new Albemarle Department of Finance and Budget. [18]

Organizational history

At their meeting on October 16, 1957 – Albemarle Board of Supervisors learn that staff is preparing a retirement plan for county employees that they will review in the near future. At this time, Albemarle has 39 full-time non-school employees. This would be the first in Virginia if adopted. [19]

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."


Established communities

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

Main article: List of Albemarle communities

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

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

Formerly-proposed communities

Several plans for distinct towns to be established within the county were formulated by the Legislature in the early nineteenth century but ultimately went unrealized.[20] These include:


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, and state funding for transportation projects has declined steeply in the last decade.[21] 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. In November 2014, supervisors agreed to restore the position of transportation planner. [22]

The County has its own Fire and Rescue Department.

For much of the mid 2010's, Albemarle County considered enacting a stormwater utility fee.[23] However, supervisors ended consideration of this idea in the spring of 2018. [24]

Albemarle is also exploring public-private partnerships to fund redevelopment of commercial spaces on U.S. 29 in the urban ring. [25]

Transportation history

20th Century

In 1933, Albemarle County was concerned they were not getting enough funding from state government. [26]

21st century

Pedestrian safety

One concern is whether the county's urban areas provide sufficient opportunities for pedestrians. [27]

External Links

See also: Albemarle County population


  1. Web. Albemarle County prepares to celebrate 275th anniversary, Staff reports, News Article, CBS19, September 27, 2019, retrieved September 29, 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Web. [University of Virginia Weldon Cooper Center, Demographics Research Group. (2020) Virginia Population Estimates], University of Virginia Weldon Cooper Center, Demographics Research Group, retrieved May 31, 2022. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "wc2021" defined multiple times with different content
  3. Web. Population growth up 12.8 percent, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Town Crier Productions, January 29, 2022, retrieved May 31, 2022.
  4. Web. Charlottesville Urban Design and Affordable Housing, Kenneth A. Schwarz, Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, retrieved November 29, 2012.
  5. Rainville, Lynn. "LoCoHistory » Blog Archive » The Earl and the Queen." LoCoHistory. 3 Feb. 2007. Web. 21 July 2010. <>.
  6. Web. Petition Asks District Split, Daily Progress Digitized Microfilm, Lindsay family, September 30, 1963, retrieved September 29, 2022. Print. September 30, 1963 page 17.
  7. Web. New County Office Building, Staff Reports, Daily Progress Digitized Microfilm, Lindsay family, July 14, 1939, retrieved July 14, 2016 from University of Virginia Library. Print. July 14, 1939 page 4.
  8. Web. Albemarle population tops 100K for first time, Daily Progress Staff Reports, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, January 30, 2012, retrieved January 31, 2012.
  9. Web. Albemarle County Demographic & Economic Data, 2010, Elaine Echols et. al., County of Albemarle, retrieved October 10, 2011.
  10. Web. Virginia Population Projections, Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia, retrieved November 19, 2023.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Albemarle County Comprehensive Plan Area as of December 2011." Community Development Department Albemarle County. PDF. 24 October 2013. <>.
  12. Web. Seth Burnley Decides to Remain as City Manager, Daily Progress Digitized Microfilm, Lindsay family, December 1, 1933, retrieved December 1, 2022. Print. December 1, 1933 page 1.
  13. Web. Comprehensive Annual Financial Report Year Ended June 2018, County of Albemarle, Comprehensive Annual Financial Report Year Ended June 2018, Albemarle County, November 26, 2018, retrieved November 30, 2018.
  14. Web. Hamm Adamant in Refusal to Give Up Ofice, Daily Progress Digitized Microfilm, Lindsay family, January 2, 1934, retrieved February 11, 2023. Print. January 2, 1934 page 1.
  15. Web. Checks Signed by Hamm, Haden, Daily Progress Digitized Microfilm, Lindsay family, January 3, 1934, retrieved February 11, 2023. Print. January 3, 1934 page 1.
  16. Albemarle County. County Receives AAA Bond Rating From Standard & Poors. Albemarle County. Albemarle County, 19 Aug. 2010. Web. 20 Aug. 2010. <>.
  17. Web. Albemarle County creates Office of Equity and Inclusion, News Staff, News Article, CBS19 News, December 7, 2018, retrieved December 9, 2018.
  18. Web. Two county offices merge in Albemarle County, News Staff, News Article, CBS19, July 1, 2020, retrieved July 2, 2020.
  19. Print: County to Study Retirement Plan, , Daily Progress, Lindsay family October 17, 1957, Page 19.
  20. Web. Albemarle County in Virginia, C.J. Carrier Company, 1901
  21. Web. Transportation Fund Gives Little Money to Central Virginia, Newsplex, 25 Feb 2013, retrieved 9 July 2013.
  22. Web. Albemarle to hire transportation planner, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, retrieved November 11, 2014.
  23. Web. County public works plan for stormwater mandate, Aaron Richardson, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, March 25, 2013, retrieved March 27, 2013.
  24. Web. Albemarle supervisors direct staff to abandon stormwater utility fee, Allison Wrabel, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, April 11, 2018, retrieved November 20, 2018.
  25. Web. Albemarle eyes public-private partnership for new government complex, Sean Tubbs, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, June 14, 2017, retrieved June 26, 2017.
  26. Web. County To Investigate Byrd Road Plan Operation, Daily Progress Digitized Microfilm, Lindsay family, August 16, 1933, retrieved May 5, 2019. Print. August 16, 1933 page 3.
  27. Web. Recent Death Spotlights Pedestrian Safety Issues in Albemarle County, NBC29, 16 Nov 2012, retrieved 9 July 2012.