What is Zoning?

Zoning is a tool that localities use to govern the physical development of land and the kinds of uses allowed on individual property. Zoning may also regulate the dimensional requirements for lots, buildings, and structures; the density of development; and how development relates to its surroundings, including other buildings, open spaces, and the street. Zoning is regulated under Virginia State Code §15.2, Chapter 22, Article 7.

Zoning Can:

  • Divide land into districts for different uses, such as industrial, commercial, and residential.
  • Regulate the size and type of building that can be constructed in each district.
  • Require development standards, such as screening and setbacks, to minimize impacts on adjacent property.
  • Protect sensitive resources from inconsistent or harmful use.
  • Enhance community character with signage, parking, and landscaping standards. Support affordable housing and economic development goals.

Zoning Cannot:

  • Change or correct land use or buildings already in existence.
  • Guarantee that development will take place.
  • Assure that land uses will be permanent.
  • Treat similar uses differently within a district. Ensure property is maintained. (This is accomplished through other means, such as Virginia Maintenance Code and Blight Abatement.)
  • Guide public or private investment in infrastructure.
Share What is Zoning? on Facebook Share What is Zoning? on Twitter Share What is Zoning? on Linkedin Email What is Zoning? link
<span class="translation_missing" title="translation missing: en-US.projects.blog_posts.show.load_comment_text">Load Comment Text</span>