On October 8, 2019, Supervisors Candland and Principi and I introduced a joint resolution to suspend the Rural Preservation Study Process:
Resolution to Suspend Rural Preservation Study Process
Joint Resolution: Supervisor Peter Candland, Supervisor Jeanine Lawson and Supervisor Frank Principi
WHEREAS, the Rural Area in Prince William County covers approximately 117,000 acres, including MCB Quantico and two national parks;
WHEREAS, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors created the Rural Area, an Urban Growth Boundary, in 1998 with the adoption of a Comprehensive Plan that established a Rural Area and a Development Area;
WHEREAS, the Rural Area is intended to provide a tool to promote and protect agriculture, woodland, open space, and other rural land, and better control sprawl development;
WHEREAS, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors initiated a Rural Preservation Study in 2012 to review, evaluate, and make recommendations for policy revisions to better meet the County’s objectives;
WHEREAS, public input gathered throughout the study process revealed a strong consensus supporting the importance of maintaining an Urban Growth Boundary, Rural Area, in Prince William County;
WHEREAS, the Board of County Supervisors initiated further study of the options presented in the Rural Preservation Study on September of 2016;
WHEREAS, County Planning staff published draft policy revisions to the Comprehensive Plan regarding the rural area on September 17, 2019;
WHEREAS, the recent report of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) calls for planned housing growth to be located near transit;
WHEREAS, all chapters and recommendations prepared by the Prince William Planning Department for the 2040 Comprehensive Plan must be consistent with implementation of the housing targets adopted by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments on September 11, 2019.
WHEREAS, existing rural area policies have proven to be a successful policy protecting the rural area from suburban sprawl and thereby channeling taxpayer funding for services into the development area;
WHEREAS, the rural area has significant assets including over 40 miles of Virginia Scenic Byways recognizing the value of scenic countryside views;
WHEREAS, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors renews its commitment to smart growth policies and recognizes the need for a comprehensive review of County land use policies;
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Prince William County Board of Supervisors directs all County staff to suspend any and all efforts on the Rural Clustering and Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) programs, including any possible policy changes to the Rural Area/Urban Growth Boundary; removes from the Planning Commission’s work schedule the current Rural Area review work on the Rural Clustering and Transfer of Development Rights programs; and that County staff continues only the review of the Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) program with a focus on the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ adopted goals and recommendations.