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Small Area Plans


The Prince William County Board of County Supervisors has initiated an update to the County’s Comprehensive Plan, which includes the creation of small area plans to direct growth to key locations throughout the County. Small area plans provide greater emphasis on detailed planning, visioning, economic development, and design in order to develop plans that represent each study area with its own character, vision, and implementation strategy. These small area plans are similar in nature to the County’s existing sector plans, potentially including new components and analysis to guide development:

• Strategic plan implementation
• Design guidelines
• Economic development analysis
• Level of service analysis
• Implementation and phasing plans

Project Methodology

Each Small Area Plan process consists of the following tasks:

Task 1: Conduct Background Research

  • Review existing documents, studies/reports, comprehensive plan elements, and zoning text
  • Conduct site analysis including site visits and constraints identification and mapping

Task 2: Hold Preliminary Stakeholder Meetings

  • Meet with County agencies, external agencies, and other stakeholders to collect background information and input

Task 3: Hold a Public Town Hall Meeting

  • Introduce the small area plan project
  • Execute a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) exercise, for the development of the vision, goals, objectives, and design guidelines
  • Conduct a visual preference survey in order to help establish design objectives/guidelines. Potential VPS topics for a study area may include:
    • Architecture/Density
    • Streetscapes
    • Sidewalks and Trails including bicycles
    • Public/Open Spaces
    • Parking

Task 4: Hold a Visioning and Design Charrette

  • Introduce the project and charrette process
  • Conduct an exercise exploring the site analysis of existing conditions including assets and liabilities in the study area
  • Conduct a visioning exercise: vision statement, goals, objectives
  • Draft plan alternatives (ideally 2-3 alternatives)
  • Draft preferred illustrative plan
  • Create an implementation plan with specific action strategies and timeframe

Task 5: Draft Document

  • Staff will draft the document based on all of the information from research, meetings, and charrettes

Task 6: Hold a PC Work Session

  • Present draft plan and provide opportunity for review/comments from the public and the Planning Commission

Task 7: Hearing Process

  • Planning Commission Hearing
  • Board of County Supervisors Hearing

Current Small Area Plans

• Dale City
• Innovation Park
• North Woodbridge
• Parkway Employment Center
• Route 29
• Independent Hill 

    Future Small Area Plans (These projects will begin after current plans have been completed)

    • Independent Hill
    • Triangle
    • Yorkshire
    • Fairgrounds/New Dominion

       Benefit to Prince William County

    These small area plans will provide a foundation to guide growth and development for the County. In addition, they will have the opportunity to address Prince William County’s Strategic Plan goals, and by identifying necessary improvements to the multi-modal transportation network. As a result of these plans, the County also expects to highlight the potential for defined mixed-use town centers, increased private sector investment, and improved transportation infrastructure.

    Questions, comments, or concerns may be submitted to the Planning Office at 703-792-7615, through the comment form, or email at


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