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Urban Development Area Technical Assistance Grant Program

The Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment of the Secretary of Transportation is offering grants for technical assistance to establish and support Urban Development Areas. If selected, your locality or regional entity will receive direct planning consultant support through one of OIPI’s on-call consultant teams.

What is it? Who is eligible? What is it for? What are UDAs? Background Information Who is eligible?

What is the Grant Program?

 

 

As enabled by Virginia Code § 2.2-229, the Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment (OIPI) of the Secretary of Transportation is offering grants for professional planning consultant assistance to local governments and regional entities to establish and support Urban Development Areas.

 

Urban Development Areas (UDAs) can cover a wide variety of community types, ranging from small town or village centers to suburban activity areas to urban downtowns. UDAs can help local governments and regional entities to focus investments and create great places that attract businesses and workers alike.

 

The technical assistance, in the form of direct on-call consultant support, will assist local governments in one or more of the following:

 

  • plan for and designate at least one urban/village development area in their comprehensive plan,
  • revise as appropriate applicable land use ordinances (including appropriate zoning classifications and subdivision ordinances) to incorporate the principles of traditional neighborhood design (see §15.2-2223.1 of the Code of Virginia),
  • assist with public participation processes, and other related tasks.

 

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Who is eligible for the grant program?

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The assistance will be made available through an application and award process over the coming months with the goal of implementing UDAs by fall of 2015, with flexibility as needed, to be considered in the VTrans2040 needs assessment, serving as the first HB2 screening criteria, as well as to be considered in the HB2 project prioritization process. Communities of all sizes are encouraged to apply for funding as these principles work in diverse places such as small towns, rural communities, urban centers, and suburban communities.

 

 
 

Three tiers of assistance can be applied for, as described below:

 

  • Tier 1 Grant: Up to $65,000 to support planning for and adopting new Urban/Village Development Areas* (Locality under 130,000 population per 2010 Census)
  • Tier 2 Grant: Up to $120,000 to support planning for and adopting new Urban/Village Development Areas* (Locality over 130,000 population per 2010 Census)
  • Tier 3 Grant: Up to $65,000 to support planning for and adopting revisions to existing designated Urban/Village Development Areas* (Any population)


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What is it for and why should we do it?

 

 

As part of an ongoing effort to promote economic development and promote the coordination between transportation and land use planning, the Virginia General Assembly has continued to support programs and policies within its transportation agencies that promote Urban Development Areas (UDAs).

 

Through legislation, the General Assembly has directed that transportation improvements to support UDAs be considered in both the needs assessment contained in the long range plan known as VTrans, as well as be considered in the HB2 statewide prioritization process for project selection . VTrans focuses on a multifaceted strategy that recognizes the importance of the Corridors of Statewide Significance, Regional Networks, and Urban Development Areas to help maximize the Commonwealth’s public transportation investments.

 

That is why the Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment (as enabled by Virginia Code § 2.2-229) is excited to announce that it will be offering professional planning consultant assistance to local governments and regional entities interested in designating such areas. Assistance will also be available for those interested in updating areas already designated as UDAs, or updating similarly designated growth areas to meet the legislated characteristics of UDAs (per Virginia Code § 15.2-2223.1) . While the primary purpose of this Grant Program is to help maximize transportation investment dollars, UDAs can also improve local quality of life and foster economic development in focused activity centers in communities small and large.

 

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What are UDAs?

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UDAs were authorized by the Code of Virginia in 2007 (Virginia Code § 15.2-2223.1.) as a requirement for certain high growth localities to designate areas “sufficient to meet projected residential and commercial growth in the locality for an ensuing period of at least 10 but not more than 20 years.” In 2012, however, the Code was amended to define UDAs more broadly and make them optional rather than mandatory.

 

UDAs, under the new Code designation, can be any areas designated by a locality in their comprehensive plan for higher density development that incorporate the principles of Traditional Neighborhood Development.

 

Traditional Neighborhood Development embodies classic characteristics of traditional communities such as

 

  • Walkable neighborhood centers
  • Interconnected streets and blocks
  • Diversity of land uses
  • Easy access to jobs, housing and recreation by a variety of travel options (auto, bus, walk, bike, etc.)
  • The Transportation Efficient Land Use and Design Guide provides examples of these principles in real places in Virginia and lists tangible economic and quality of life benefits resulting from these design approaches.

 

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Background Information

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Evolution of UDAs:

 

UDAs have an extensive history in Virginia’s planning context. The timeline below shows some of the benchmarks in the evolution of UDAs:


 

UDA Timeline

Some Statistics:

 

  • Number of UDAs currently designated in Virginia: 77
  • Number of UDAs within MPO boundaries: 35

 

Designated UDAs in:

 

  • Cities – 7
  • Counties – 54
  • Towns – 16
  • Average size of designated UDAs: 3.41 square miles
  • Average population (2010) of designated UDAs: 3,921
  • Click here to see a complete list of UDAs identified though research and outreach.


Click Here for Interactive Map >

If you a have a designated UDA and are not on this list, please contact us!

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Map of UDAs in VA

 

Map of UDAs in Virginia

In 2010, VDOT conducted a similar Technical Assistance Grant Program for Virginia localities to plan for and designate UDAs. Over 30 localities participated. Some examples of results from the grant program:

 

  • Montgomery County TND Ordinance
  • Town of Blacksburg Residential Infill Guidelines
  • Fluvanna County, Zion Crossroads Development Area Zoning Text Amendment
  • Fauquier County, Bealeton Development Area Plan
  • Isle of Wight County, Camptown Buildout Analysis
  • City of Martinsville Infill Development Ordinance
  • Albemarle County and Fluvanna County UDA Transportation Benefits studies

 

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How to apply

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APPLYING FOR A GRANT

 

Click Here for a Grant Application

 

Due Date: Close of Business, August 31, 2017

 

For more information:

Herbert L. Pegram

Virginia Department of Transportation

1401 East Broad Street

Richmond, VA

Telephone (804) 786-2865

Email : herbert.pegram@VDOT.Virginia.gov

If selected, your locality will receive direct consultant support through one of OIPI’s on-call consultant teams. These teams are made up of some of the leading experts in land use and transportation, and have a variety of planning staff with a range of experience in assisting localities in Virginia. Please submit an application no later than August 31, 2017. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and decisions will be made in approximately two weeks upon OIPI’s receipt of a complete application.

 

All grant recipients will be required to sign an agreement committing to the adoption of the UDA into their respective comprehensive plans, within 1 year of study completion. Localities that accept the grant but do not adopt the UDA, or adopt all necessary zoning ordinances required to implement the UDA (or have those ordinances already in place) will be required to reimburse the Office for the grant assistance within 1 year following the missed adoption due date (within 2 years of study completion).”

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