James City County
Close date: 
Friday, March 29, 2019

Location: Williamsburg, Virginia

Comprehensive Plan Consultant Services

Issue Date: February 28, 2019

Due Date: March 29, 2019, 2PM, local time at the Purchasing Office

Submit: Original and six (6) copies, Return this signed Cover Sheet

Inquiries: Kitty Hall, VCO, Purchasing Director, (757) 253-6644,

Questions must be submitted in writing via email:, not later than 2:00pm, March 13, 2019.


James City County, Virginia (“the County”) is requesting proposals from qualified, interested parties to guide an update to the Comprehensive Plan for the County. Consultants are invited to submit a proposal which includes an outline of their experience and qualifications in performing work directly related to the services that are selected by the offeror.

Since 1980, every Virginia locality has been required by State law to have a Comprehensive Plan. The purpose of the Comprehensive Plan is to guide growth and development over a 20-year or longer time period by providing the long-range vision, goals, and strategies of the community. James City County’s plan serves as a guide to landowners, developers, businesses, citizens and County officials about future land use decisions. By considering the types and locations of development and services needed or desired for a 20-year or longer time period, decision makers are better able to evaluate individual proposals in the context of long-term goals.

Beginning with its first Comprehensive Plan in 1975, James City County has consistently aimed to provide innovative comprehensive planning for its citizens, with an emphasis on sound growth management. This growth management approach has enabled the County to incorporate new development into the existing character of an area while minimizing the impact on public resources.

James City County is a full service local government located in southeastern Virginia near historic Williamsburg. James City County is a growing, urbanizing community of 144 square miles with a mixture of rural lands, low to medium density residential and low to medium density commercial land uses. The County’s population has grown substantially since its first Comprehensive Plan, increasing from approximately 20,000 in 1975 to 49,000 in 2000 to 75,500 in 2018. Projected population growth (to a population of more than 100,000 by 2040) is expected to increase development pressure within James City County, which raises the question of how James City County will plan for growth the next twenty years and beyond while balancing the community’s desire to stay connected to its rural roots and maintain its community character.

The County is seeking qualified offerors to help answer this question through a staff-led, consultant- supported Comprehensive Plan review process. Using the existing Comprehensive Plan adopted in 2015, Toward 2035: Leading the Way, and other adopted County plans as a foundation, the County is interested in offerors who can engage with the community to help the County determine the best options for maintaining or enhancing its natural resources, infrastructure, community character and fiscal health while accommodating anticipated growth. The offeror should have extensive knowledge of growth management principles and strategies, particularly as they are applied in Virginia, as well as comprehensive planning experience working with localities facing significant growth pressure. The offeror should be familiar with place making, community design standards, fiscal and growth modeling, and maintaining and preserving rural areas versus growth areas through a growth management boundary line. It is desirable for the offeror to be familiar with, and have demonstrated experience with, the lexicon of the New Urbanism and various tools such as form-based codes and the SmartCode that are used in building places that people cherish.

Hallmarks of past Comprehensive Plan reviews in James City County have been extensive community engagement. James City County is interested in having this plan completed proactively and transparently with community acceptance. The process should allow for both active and passive involvement ensuring diverse and inclusive community participation. While the details of the planning process are to be determined and negotiated with the chosen consultant, a five-step process to be considered may include:

  • Assessing Needs;
  • Setting Direction (Vision);
  • Focusing Efforts (Goals and Objectives);
  • Researching Issues and Formulating Plan; and
  • Developing a Plan Implementation Approach.

For more detailed information about the RFP, you can visit the County website, or view the RFP documents here.