Zoning Frequently Asked Questions
Rezoning of property and Provisional Use Permits and Street Addressing:
What is zoning?
Zoning provides the standards and regulations of how properties can be lawfully used and developed in the County. Zoning is implemented by the County’s Zoning Ordinance, which can be viewed and purchased at the County’s Permit Center. Every property in Henrico has a zoning classification and the zoning on your property depends on your location. To find out your zoning, you may:
- Visit the Permit Center or Planning Department in the County’s Administration Building at 4301 East Parham Road, Richmond, Virginia. We are on the 2nd floor of the building. You may also phone us at (804) 501-7281 (Permit Center) or (804) 501-4602 (Planning Department).
- Visit the Eastern Government Center at 3820 Nine Mile Road or call (804) 652-3600
The Henrico County Zoning Ordinance (Chapter 24 of the County Code) is also available online at www.municode.com.
What is a rezoning?
Rezoning is a process where the Board of Supervisors approves a request to change the zoning classification of a piece of property or properties in order to develop or use the land for purposes other than what is permitted by the current zoning classification. The property owner or representative with a Power of Attorney may request either a conventional rezoning or a conditional rezoning. A conventional request proposes to change the existing zoning district classification to another classification which permits the proposed use. A conditional request permits the same action as a conventional request but it allows the owner to voluntarily proffer (offer) conditions which may enhance the proposal or address concerns of nearby property owners. Proffers are similar to covenants, in that they “run” with the land. However, once they have been accepted by the Board of Supervisors, changing proffers requires submitting a proffer amendment request and public hearings before the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors.
What is a provisional use permit?
The Provisional Use Permit (PUP) procedure provides for certain uses which are permitted in a district but which may be approved with conditions or restrictions that make them compatible with surrounding properties. For example, most telecommunication towers require a PUP. The main differences between a provisional use permit and a rezoning request are that the provisional use permit is always for a specific use (such as a telecommunications tower or pool hall), and the County can set the conditions for approval of a provisional use permit. In a rezoning request, the applicant voluntarily proposes conditions (proffers) that the County can either accept or reject.
Where do I apply for rezoning or provisional use permit?
Applications for Rezoning or Provisional Use Permits are available on line at of online at www.co.henrico.va.us/planning/apps/appack.pdf or you may pick up application forms at the County’s Permit Center and Planning Department located at:
Administration Building, Western Government Center
Parham and Hungary Spring Roads (4301 E. Parham Road)
Eastern Government Center, 3820 Nine Mile Road
What do I need to apply for a rezoning or provisional use permit?
Before you submit an application for rezoning or a provision use permit, you must first contact the Planning Department at (804) 501-4602 to set up a Preliminary Review Meeting with a member of the Comprehensive Planning Staff. The purpose of this meeting is assist you with the process and to discuss the materials required for your application. In general, potential applicants must submit:
* Completed Preliminary Review Meeting Form
* Completed application form.
* A written legal description of the property if it is an acreage parcel or the lot, block and section numbers if it is located in a recorded subdivision.
* Two (2) copies of a survey plat or recorded subdivision plat.
* Filing Fee (amount to be determined by nature of request and acreage).
* Proffered conditions, if submitting a conditional rezoning request.
A complete application packet and explanation of the process can be viewed here.
Approval of rezoning or provisional use permit request can take as little as 11 weeks or it may take several months, if deferrals are requested. The submission deadline for any given Planning Commission public hearing is approximately 8 weeks prior to the meeting; see the schedule of submission deadlines for more information. Cases acted on by the Planning Commission in any given month will be scheduled for public hearing by the Board of Supervisors the following month. For instance, requests filed by March 15th would be scheduled for Planning Commission public hearing on May 10th, and if acted upon, would then be scheduled for Board of Supervisors public hearing on June 12th. The Planning Commission considers rezoning and provisional use permit requests on the first Thursday following the second Wednesday of the month. On rare occasions, a public hearing on a case may be deferred to another meeting.
County Staff Review
Before the request is heard by the Planning Commission, members of various County agencies review the request and the Planning Department writes an analysis for presentation to the Planning Commission.
The applicant will get a copy of the analysis / staff report prior to the public hearing. Many staff reports are available for download at www.co.henrico.va.us/planning/download.htm.
Planning Commission Review
In accordance with State law, requests are heard by the Planning Commission at a public hearing. Public notice concerning the request, including the time, date and place of the Planning Commission public hearing, is sent by the Planning Department, to all adjacent property owners. Legal notice of rezoning requests appear in an advertisement in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
At the Planning Commission public hearing, the following procedure is followed:
The Planning Department staff presents the case to the Planning Commission.
The property owner or his or her representative then has ten minutes to make a presentation in support of the case.
The general public may then comment on the case, either in favor or opposed.
Following discussion of the case, the Planning Commission sends a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors. The Commission may either recommend approval, approval with revisions, or denial. The Commission also has the alternative to defer decision on the case to a future meeting date.
More information about participating in the public hearing process is available.
Board of Supervisors Review
The procedure for the Board of Supervisors’ meeting is basically the same as that for the Planning Commission. The request may be approved, denied or deferred to a later meeting by the Board of Supervisors.
If the request is approved, the property owner may proceed with development plans.
Should the request be denied, the property owner may not request rezoning on the parcel for substantially the same zoning for twelve months from the date of denial.
Is the request consistent with the County’s Land Use Plan?
Could development allowed by the request be expected to be reasonably compatible with existing development?
Would approval of the request be consistent with other decisions to approve requests for similar uses and sites?
Can a need for the change be established?
Is the change consistent with the orderly development and growth of the community?
Does the change conform to the County’s plan for major street development?
Will the change adversely affect or impede the normal flow of traffic?
Will the change constitute spot zoning?
Will the change adversely affect the value of surrounding property?
Is the change in conflict with the County’s plan for future land use?
What does the Board of Supervisors consider in reviewing a provisional use permit request?
The Board of Supervisors considers various factors, such as: Is the location appropriate and not in conflict with the intent of the County’s comprehensive plan;
Would the public health, safety, morals and general welfare be adversely affected?
Are adequate utilities and off-street parking facilities provided?
Are necessary safeguards for the protection of surrounding property, persons and neighborhood values provided?
Are County Code requirements satisfied?
Who comes up with street names and how are they approved?
Street names in new subdivisions are created by the Developer/Engineer for the project. These street names have to be approved by the Richmond Regional Planning District Commission. The County Planning Department has final approval of all street names. If the street name is not in a recorded subdivision then the owners of all adjacent property have to agree to the name and it has to be approved by Richmond Regional Planning District Commission. The County Planning Department has final approval of these names.