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There is no official instruction manual for how government works in the greater Charlottesville area, but this section of cvillepedia is intended to help provide easy-to-use information for community members to better understand how things are supposed to work. This site is a work in progress, and if you have suggestions, log-in and make some changes!

Area Governments

All localities in Virginia are subdivisions of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The 1971 Constitution of Virginia includes definitions for cities, counties, towns, and regional governments. [1] The General Assembly must provide permission for localities to exercise powers, something known as "enabling authority." A recent example is the granting of counties the ability to raise taxes on cigarettes, a power that had been reserved for cities until legislation that passed in 2020. [2] [3]

For the purposes of this Wiki, the main coverage area of local governments are the localities within the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission. This covers the counties of Albemarle County, Fluvanna County, Greene County, Louisa County, and Nelson County as well as the city of Charlottesville. The TJPDC is largely an advisory body that consists of elected and appointed officials from each of these areas.

There is also the University of Virginia which is an entity of the state not subject to local codes. UVA is one of area's largest employers and a major driver of growth and development patterns in a region greater than that covered by the TJPDC. They have a companion University of Virginia Foundation which purchases real estate for eventual use by UVA.

In addition, there are other independent governmental regional governments that build, maintain, and operate critical infrastructure such as the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority, as well as entities that provide regional services.

Government-related Categories

The top-level category for the government portal is Government.

Most categories are in the Charlottesville or Albemarle County subcategories. It is intended that these parallel one another -- they should look the same. We're not quite there, yet.

Topic Charlottesville Albemarle County
Top-level Charlottesville government Albemarle County government
categories about government groups
Boards, commissions and task forces Charlottesville boards and commissions Albemarle County Boards and Commissions
Departments Charlottesville offices and departments Albemarle County departments
Finance, also subcats of Category:Government finances
Budgets Charlottesville budget Albemarle County budget
zoning and development
Magisterial districts not applicable Magisterial Districts
Master plans category needed Albemarle County Master Plans
People; also subcats of Category:People in government
Charlottesville officials Albemarle County personnel
Co-operation Category:City-County Cooperation

Other important government subcategories include:

Government-related templates

Government Citation templates

Government meeting minutes and agendas provide significant raw material for cvillepedia articles. A necessary condition of using those sources is providing citations from those sources.

Here are some templates make creating these citations simple:

Government-related Lists


  1. Web. Article VII. Local Government - Section 1. Definitions, Constitution of Virginia, Virginia's Legislative Information System, retrieved September 9, 2021.
  2. Web. HB 785 Localities; authority to levy taxes, Delegate Vivian Watts, General Assembly Bill, Virginia's Legislative System, retrieved September 9, 2021.
  3. Web. Article VII. Local Government - Section 1. Powers, Constitution of Virginia, Virginia's Legislative Information System, retrieved September 9, 2021.