Prince William County planners have released a new draft of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan.
The Comprehensive Plan is a guiding document for county land-use policies. While not committing the Board of County Supervisors to any decisions, it declares the county’s vision for future development.
The most substantial change in the draft is an appendix focused on guidelines for developers to include affordable housing in their projects.
County planner David McGettigan said officials are working on an affordable housing ordinance, but the appendix would be the first guidelines for developers.
The document says about 20% of proposed developments should include affordable housing, as well as a variety of regulations about income limits and locations.
“We are looking that all residential projects should have an affordable component,” McGettigan said.
McGettigan said developers have offered affordable units on their own recently, so “it’s something that the development community is willing to do.”
One of the controversial elements of an initial proposal was to increase density in what’s known as the “rural crescent” – roughly 117,000 acres restricted to no more than one home for every 10 acres with strict prohibitions on the expansion of public sewer lines.
The draft plan called for increasing that density to one home per five acres, but planners have reverted the area to allowing one house per 10 acres.
While density proposals were reduced, the planned changes to allow expansion of public sewer throughout the county continued to move forward.
The plan avoids inclusion of the PW Digital Gateway, a proposal for data centers on 2,100 acres along Pageland Lane. It provides options for some office and retail uses in the area if the digital gateway is not approved.
The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the plan Sept 28 at 7 p.m. at 1 County Complex Court, Woodbridge.