The Potomac Community Design Guidelines and Vision of a New Woodbridge have long called for mixed-use developments based on Smart Growth principles, such as transit-oriented development and connecting neighborhoods to amenities such as parks and entertainment hubs. Now, Prince William County will begin to codify what this should look like in our community, with the help of a a $50,000 grant from the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board, or TPB, to help develop county code to encourage mixed-use development.
The TPB is the “federally designated planning organization for metropolitan Washington” that works with “local, state, regional and federal partners” to coordinate future land use plans, according to the TPB website.
The county’s planning office submitted its grant application under the title “Development of Mixed-Use Zoning Regulations to Support Multi-Modal Travel and Connectivity in Small Area Plans.”
The planning process, which is likely to begin later in the summer, will include working with consultants, the Prince William County Department of Transportation and the Board of County Supervisors to make sure that sound decisions are made. The public will also be invited to submit input.
“Both Potomac Community Guidelines and Vision of a New Woodbridge were created with input from County residents. There is a real desire to see more thoughtful land use, with development that connects people to the places they work, play and shop, and that takes infrastructure needs into account from the start,” said Woodbridge District Supervisor Frank Principi. “This grant will allow us to codify many of the ideas and desires expressed by area residents, so that new development will better align with their vision for the future of our community.”
“This is a transportation and land use connections grant; therefore, the expectation is that we are integrating land use and transportation decision-making so that we can make more holistic decisions,” said Prince William County Planning Department Director Rebecca Horner.
The mixed-use code proposal that the planning office will develop should better integrate appropriate land uses. The study should also help move the county toward a goal of establishing mixed-use development with multi-modal transportation options. The end result should be a draft zoning text that could be incorporated into the county’s zoning ordinance.
The public will have the chance to weigh in on the ordinance before it is written, Horner said. “We will hold public input meetings to gather input before drafting the text. We will engage the Prince William Board of County Supervisors’ Development Ordinance Review Advisory and Commercial Development committees to gather their input. We will then have a work session with the Planning Commission and public hearings at both the Planning Commission and the Board of County Supervisors meetings.”