R E A LT O R S ® Take Action
Making Smart Growth Happen
REALTORS® in central Virginia like to say that they
take a “panoramic view of the landscape, and a long
view of the future.” So when Culpeper County was
required to review its comprehensive land use plan, the
Greater Piedmont Area Association of REALTORS®
(GPAAR) realized the best way to help county leaders
bring the area’s housing long view into focus was to
work together. And thanks to a unique collaboration;
county planners, local REALTORS® and area research
and policy experts have a clear understanding of the
current housing picture and what that landscape will
look like in 25 years.
Comprehensive plans provide local leaders with essential vision, examination and guidance and Virginia law
requires their review every five years. Plans include detailed
data for infrastructure areas such as public facilities,
public services, utilities, parks and transportation and
essential community data concerning demographics,
economics, housing, agriculture and historic resources.
A plan also makes recommendations for existing and
future land use, but doesn’t specify development time-lines or initiatives.
Culpeper County’s first comprehensive plan was cre-
ated in 1964 and was scheduled for review in 2015.
The county has always been rural, but since it’s located
near the metropolitan area of Washington D.C., some
local leaders were concerned it could be on the verge of
becoming a bedroom community. With unprecedented
population growth during the last decade, county officials
needed sound data to inform zoning and municipal plans
that would not only meet the county’s growing needs
but still maintain its desired rural character. GPAAR
leadership knew what data was necessary for an under-
standing of local housing and recognized that county
leaders might welcome an expert, independent analysis.
ON COMMON GROUND SUMMER 2016 64
Photo by Kim Atkins
Photo by Kurt Wagner