Contributed by Prince William County Government
The Prince William County Planning Department’s Potomac Communities Design Guidelines project will continue into its next phase on Wednesday, Dec. 18 when the public is invited to attend a public exhibition and open house. Visitors to the event, to be held between 6-8 p.m. in the atrium of the Dr. A.J. Ferlazzo Building at 15941 Donald Curtis Drive in Woodbridge, will have the opportunity to learn what came out of a public citizen input meeting last fall and the resulting Potomac Communities Design Guidelines.
“The open house will provide the public an opportunity to revisit what has been accomplished to date, as well as offer the first glimpse of the design guidelines,” said Steve Hall, Prince William County’s Community Development Manager. “There will be numerous boards on display highlighting various accomplishments of this project. Staff will be on hand to answer any questions the public may have. It will be an informal setting with ample opportunity for one-on-one discussion and engagement. We’re going to bring maps, sample design guidelines and a draft of the entire finished product.”
County staff compiled suggestions, likes and dislikes articulated by the public at the previous meeting and applied development expertise to develop the guidelines, which would apply to three areas along the U.S. 1 Corridor. Those areas include the North Woodbridge area, the “Mid-corridor” area (the area between Woodbridge and Triangle) and Triangle.
The initial set of guidelines includes capitalizing on the corridor’s existing assets, creating a sense of place, creating a walkable and welcoming pedestrian and cycling environment, creating active mixed-use spaces, and ensuring that communities are stable and resilient.
One component defined in the guidelines includes identifying areas of opportunity which are currently ripe for redevelopment and may include boarded, blighted or vacant properties. Another component of the guidelines includes areas that are susceptible to change and might include properties where owners are open to redevelopment, revitalization or reinvestment. Staff also looked at what types of development might be appropriate in each of the three defined geographical areas.
The open house/public exhibition will be an opportunity to discuss how the guidelines will be used by Planning staff in negotiations with private industry as redevelopment proposals come forth. The guidelines will serve as the foundation for the design of future development activity and land use controls along the U.S. 1 corridor, Hall said.
Hall said refined guidelines should be compiled by early next year. “When the guidelines are fully complete in January, Planning staff will immediately begin to implement the guidelines on an advisory basis with Special Use Permits and Rezoning requests along the corridor. It is anticipated that the guidelines will be linked to the Comprehensive Plan to offer policy guidance,” Hall said.
For more information or questions about the Potomac Communities Design Revitalization Plan, contact Steve Hall at 703-792-7615.
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