Zoning Ordinance Update

Staff is working on a comprehensive update of the County’s Zoning Ordinance (Appendix B of the County Code). This update will incorporate revisions based on changes to the State Code, Board initiatives as outlined in the Strategic Planning effort, recommendations from the Business Development Focus Group, and recommendations identified in the County’s Comprehensive Plan and by staff as part of their daily interactions with the public.  Planning and Zoning staff meet weekly to discuss/review the proposed zoning amendments before taking them to the Planning Commission for input.  This is a multi-year project involving public engagement throughout the process.  For information on how to get involved contact the Planning Department at 804-693-1224.  See Ghant Chart for progress to date.


Phase 1- The first phase focuses on simplifying and clarifying the ordinance to establish a solid foundation for the second phase and future amendments.  Goals of this first phase are to:

  • Reformat the district regulations to ensure a user friendly, straightforward, and adaptable structure
  • Remove unnecessary requirements/regulations
  • Clarify intent/interpretations
  • Conform with State Code

Phase 2- The second phase will focus on implementing the community’s vision as adopted in the Comprehensive Plan. This phase will include addressing several Comprehensive Plan recommendations, such as establishment of a Working Waterfront district, and the possible establishment of a Rural Residential district. Other needed revisions to sections such as signage and parking will also be addressed.

Progress To Date

The documents linked below (previously presented to the Planning Commission for review/comment) highlight the recommended changes.  Others will be added as available.

Proposed Format Change Recommendations

Staff created a new use table and district regulations format to simplify the Zoning Ordinance and make it more user-friendly. Proposed format changes are illustrated utilizing the SC-1 Suburban Countryside district.

Definitions and Use Table Recommendations

Definitions and uses have been divided into six categories: residential, institutional/civic, consumer products/services, industrial/utilities, agriculture/animal/outdoor and other.

Use CategoryDraft Document
Residential Uses
Residential Uses – Draft Changes
Institutional and Civic Uses
Institutional and Civic Uses – Draft Changes

The tables below contain presentations from the Board and Planning Commission Joint Meetings as well as completed draft versions of sections within the Zoning Ordinance. Others will be added as available.


Presentation NameMeeting DatePresentation Topics
July 2018 BOS-PC Joint Work SessionJuly 31, 2018Schedule, Format, Districts, & Uses
February 2019 BOS-PC Joint Work SessionFebruary 1, 2019Districts & Definitions
May 2019 BOS-PC Joint Work SessionMay 4, 2019Districts & Definitions
August 2019 BOS-PC Joint Work SessionAugust 13, 2019Supplemental Regulations for Uses

Draft Documents

Ordinance SectionDraft Document
Article 2- DefinitionsDraft Article 2
Article 4- Establishment of DistrictsDraft Article 4
Article 5- Table of Permitted UsesDraft Article 5 (Table)
Article 5- District Regulations (Agriculture)Draft Article 5 (Agriculture)
Article 5- District Regulations (Business)
Draft Article 5 (Business)
Article 5- District Regulations (Conservation)
Draft Article 5 (Conservation)
Article 5- District Regulations (Industrial)
Draft Article 5 (Industrial)
Article 5- District Regulations (Mixed Use)
Draft Article 5 (Mixed Use)
Article 5- District Regulations (Residential)
Draft Article 5 (Residential)

Existing Zoning Map

Existing Zoning Map