City County Relations

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Because of Virginia's unique laws, cities and counties are separate political jurisdictions. For many years, cities had a relatively easy path towards annexing of county land. Charlottesville slowly accumulated its current boundaries of 10.4 square miles through the annexation process by taking sections of Albemarle County until the practice was stopped by the General Assembly.

The localities have separate agencies for nearly every government service, though there are several examples of how the two work together.

A group called the Citizens Committee for City-County Cooperation has spent many years seeking to foster collaboration between the two jurisdictions.

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Shared services

Public transportation

The city runs Charlottesville Area Transit but the county contributes to funding. CAT operates 13 routes, 10 of which cross city boundaries into Albemarle County. [1]

Other agreements

Fire Services Agreement

The City of Charlottesville is paid by Albemarle County to use its Fire Department to cover parts of the County, most notably the Pantops area.

2003 - $121,404[2]

On December 7, 2011, the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors voted to terminate the agreement as of June 13, 2013 in anticipation of new stations in the community.[3]

<mp3player>File:20111207-BOS-Fire-Services-Discussion.mp3 </mp3player>



In 2014, members of the Board of Supervisors sought to have a joint meeting with the City Council. They discussed the item at their meeting on April 2, 2014.

<mp3player>File:20140402-BOS-City-meeting-thoughts.MP3 </mp3player>


2016 Memorandums of Understanding

The City Council and Board of Supervisors met in joint session on March 1, 2016 at the Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center. One result that came out of the meeting was a set of four memorandums of understanding that indicated areas in which city and county staff might work together. These include transportation, affordable housing, education, and redevelopment and affordable housing. They were signed in May 2016.

Memoranda of understanding

A fifth memorandum of understanding on economic development was signed in September 2017. Click here


Council and Supervisors met on January 30, 2019 for their first joint meeting of the year. One topic discussed was the possibility of coordinating capital improvement programs in both localities. [4] [5]

The two bodies met for a second time on June 6, 2019. One of the topics was progress made toward the various MOU's since then. Matrix of progress


  1. Web. Albemarle supervisors briefed on transit options, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, February 8, 2017, retrieved December 26, 2017.
  2. Charlottesville City Council Minutes. 5 May 2003. City of Charlottesville, Virginia. 31 Mar. 2009 <>.
  3. Web. [ Fire Services Agreement Between the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County], County of Albemarle, December 7, 2011, retrieved December 12, 2011.
  4. Web. Charlottesville, Albemarle Leaders Discuss Coordinating Joint Projects, Pete DeLuca, News Article, January 30, 2019, retrieved February 8, 2019.
  5. Web. City, county discuss collaboration efforts, Allison Wrabel, Daily Progress, World Media Enterprises, January 30, 2019, retrieved February 7, 2019.