Urban Development Areas
In 2007, the Virginia legislature passed a bill (HB-2) introducing the concept of incentivizing localities to concentrate growth into centralized areas that are more easily served by roads and amenable to public transportation and walkability. The idea was that localities would designate areas on their comprehensive plans that would be where more intense growth would either be coming to or where that density already existed and could be targeted for road and infrastructure improvements. These areas are called Urban Development Areas (UDA's). Under the bill, all HB 2 "normal" state funding will be based either on conformance to UDA requirements, on Corridors Of Statewide Significance, or on Regional Networks as defined by the state. There are significant reductions in stormwater management requirements in UDA's and more density can be achieved by transferring development rights from other areas into the UDA's. Prince William has decided to list land use classifications instead of designating specific areas that are UDA's in their Comprehensive Plan.
There are other funding types that are exempt from the HB-2 requirements, including Congestion Mitigation, Regional Surface Transportation Program, Revenue Sharing, Transportation Alternatives, Highway Safety Improvement Program, Northern Virginia Regional Funding, Dedicated Bridge Program Fund and State Of Good Repair to name a few. It's unclear how much funding goes where, so it's unclear how much of a carrot the UDA program is.
The deadline for localities to amend their comprehensive plan and apply for funding is the end of September 2015, so Prince William County is rushing their Comp Plan Amendment through the process, with the Planning Commission public hearing on September 2nd and the BOCS public hearing September 8th.
The funding applications must be in by September 30th, and the Commonwealth Transportation Board will then score the proposals and see who gets the funding.
Update 9/26/15: The county staff decided to rescind their request for board action on this issue. The comprehensive plan will remain as it is.