Rural Preservation Study 

Survey Results are In!
Thank you for your participation in the
Rural Preservation Policies Survey. Your 
feedback is greatly appreciated!  


Project Mission
The Board of County Supervisors has directed the Planning Office to conduct research on appropriate planning tools to help in the preservation of open space in rural areas. The purpose of the rural preservation study is to provide an overview of the County's rural preservation policies and an evaluation of their effectiveness, identify additional rural preservation tools that may be appropriate and effective, and make recommendations regarding possible amendments to the County's land use planning policies. Opportunities for stakeholder input will be provided throughout the project. Project information will be posted here as it becomes available.
Prince William County has a long history of rural preservation. In 1964, Harland Bartholomew and Associates conducted a planning study for Prince William County and recommended a Comprehensive Plan that identified a significant portion of the County as "Large Estate and Agricultural." The preservation goals for this area became more formalized through designation of the Rural Area in the 1998 Comprehensive Plan. In addition to the Rural Area, the County has adopted various rural preservation measures including policies and strategies for Chapters in the Comprehensive: Environment, Parks, Open Space, and Trails, Long Range Land Use, and Sanitary Sewer, Zoning Ordinance provisions, and Subdivision Ordinance standards. Together, these measures constitute the County's overall rural preservation vision, goals, policies, and strategies. However, since the establishment of the Rural Area, the County has not measured the effectiveness of the rural preservation tools.
  ​ Meetings + Details

Project "Kick-Off"
June 4, 2013​

Presentation of the Rural Preservation Study before the Board of County Supervisors.
Board Report + Board Presentation
Public Input Meeting
August 1, 2013​

​Discussed the County's Rural Preservation Goals and Strategies
Agenda + Presentation

Status Update
October 15, 2013

Presentation of the current status of the study to the Board of County Supervisors.
Rural Study Update Presentation

Rural Preservation
Study Workshop
December 7, 2013

The workshop featured an all-day self-guided open house with planned 1 to 1.5 hour work-sessions discussing topics specific to rural preservation policies in the County. Project staff provided an overview of the project, shared results from public input to-date, presented information about rural preservation tools available to the County, and spoke with the community to seek additional input.

Rural Area Study Workshop Program Agenda

If you were unable to attend the workshop, below you will find the presentations for three of the four sessions held, in addition to the study maps presented:

Rural Character Presentation

Land Preservation Presentation

The Rural Economy Presentation


Rural Area Study Maps:

RFP Map Contours

RFP Map Parcels 20 Acres Plus

RFP Map Parcels 5 Acres Under

RFP Map Parcels 5 to 20 Acres

RFP Map Water and Sewer Infrastructure

RFP Map Protected Open Space

RFP Map Zoning

RFP Map Rural Area

RFP Map Public Facilities and Open Space

RFP Map Planned Land Use Intensity

RFP Map Prime Agricultural Soils and Wooded Areas

RFP Map Aerial Photography (PWC)

RFP Map Long Range Land Use

RFP Map Environmental Resources and Cultural Resources

RFP Map Existing Land Development Status

RFP Map Current Land Use


Rural Preservation Study
Public Information Open House
January 23, 2014

The Prince William County Planning Office held a public information open house between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 23rd in Room 107 of the Development Services Building (5 County Complex Ct., Woodbridge, VA). At the open house, project staff provided an overview of the project, shared results from the public input to date, presented information about rural preservation tools available to the County and sought additional input.

For more information, contact Ray Utz, Chief of Long Range Planning at (703) 792-7615.

The slideshows and study maps presented can be found above, following the Rural Area Study Workshop Program Agenda.

Thank you for your participation!​

   ​Additional ​Materials
Rural Preservation Maps
Draft Maps with Amendment Description Log
​Stakeholder Information Stakeholder Input Summary​
​Rural Preservation Survey

Rural Area Study Survey Summary

If you were unable to respond to the survey but would like to submit comments please send them to us at the following address: or use the comment form below.

 Comments may be forwarded to the Planning Office using the Planning Office comment form.