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Zoning Process Frequently Asked Questions
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Andrew Gillies

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Office (804) 748-1050
Fax (804) 717-6295

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P.O. Box 40
Chesterfield, VA 23832-0040

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9800 Government Center Parkway, 2nd Floor
Chesterfield, VA 23832Map this 

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Zoning Process Frequently Asked Questions

What is zoning?

Zoning designates the types of uses that are permitted on parcels of land. Generally, houses are built on parcels with residential zoning, manufacturing plants on parcels with industrial zoning, etc. You can download the county zoning ordinance which contains a detailed list of districts and their development standards or purchase a hard copy in Planning.

How is zoning changed?

First, file an application with Planning. Zoning cannot be changed until both the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors hold public hearings on the zoning change proposals.

How do I learn of proposed zoning changes?

There are several ways we notify citizens of zoning change applications:

Public notice

Each month, two weeks prior to the public hearings, the Planning Department mails notices to civic associations and adjacent property owners. If you have a civic association and wish to be added to Planning's mailing, please call (804) 748-1050. Proposed changes are also published in the Chesterfield Observer. The newspaper advertisements are published in the classified advertising section one week and two weeks prior to the public hearing.

Zoning amendment signs

At least three weeks prior to a public hearing, a sign will be posted on the property indicating a pending zoning request.  The sign will read "Zoning Amendment Pending" and will contain a telephone number (751-4700) and a three-digit number corresponding with the last three-digits of the case number.  (Example: Case 00SN0223 would be listed as Sign #223). Anyone with a touch-tone telephone can call the number 24 hours a day to get information about the particular zoning case.

Review files

Files for each zoning case application are available for public review upon request. If you wish, we will also provide you with the name, address and phone number of the applicant.

Pending zoning cases online

How does the county process a zoning change?

Each request is submitted to Planning and distributed to several different state and county agencies. Each agency reviews the request, compares it with their polices, rules and regulations, and identifies any issues which should be addressed.

We visit each site, compare the request to the county's adopted land use plan, review the comments from other agencies and prepare a written analysis and recommendation on each request. This analysis is forwarded to the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors prior to their public hearings. Download the analysis or contact us for a hard copy.

Public hearings are held by the Planning Commission on the third Tuesday of each month in the public meeting room at the Chesterfield County administration building, beginning at 6:30 p.m. After receiving public comments, the Commission makes its own recommendation and forwards the request to the Board of Supervisors for final action. The Board of Supervisors meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. to consider zoning changes. All meetings are open to the public.

How do I participate in a zoning change?

Meet with the developer & county staff

The Commission has a policy that zoning applicants meet with adjacent property owners and civic associations active in the area of the request prior to public hearings. Applicants are encouraged to notify these potentially interested parties of neighborhood meetings. Many such meetings are attended by the Planning Commissioners of the magisterial district in which the request lies and county staff.

Should you wish to meet with an applicant, the Planning Department can provide the contact information. You may arrange a community meeting for presentation and discussion of the project. On request, representatives from Planning and the Planning Commission are available to attend these community meetings.

Attend a public hearing

During each public hearing, citizens are invited to speak in support of, or in opposition to, each request. In preparing a presentation, groups or communities sharing similar concerns are encouraged to select representatives to address the Board or Commission. This preparation will assure that all opinions are expressed while avoiding repetitive comments.

The public hearing begins with a presentation of the request by a staff member. The applicant then discusses the case.  Individuals wishing to speak to the request present their views and the applicant will be permitted closing remarks.

The Commission and Board are experienced in balancing development and in protecting area neighborhoods and adjacent properties.  They are knowledgeable about traffic, drainage and land transition issues throughout the County. It is important for citizens to provide specific comments about how the request will affect their neighborhood.

Call or write your Planning Commission or Board of Supervisors representative