following questions are frequent property-related questions. For additional
information on any of following topics, contact the Planning department at (804) 365-6171 or
review the requirements of the county's zoning ordinance.
Zoning regulates the
use of property. All property in the county is located within one of
several zoning districts, which govern how property may be used. Zoning districts are generally
classified for residential, business, or industrial use. The county’s mapping system can be used as a guide to determine the zoning classification of an individual
Each zoning district permits
certain land uses by right and others by special permit, which may be either
a conditional use permit or Special Exception (SE).
Review the zoning
ordinance to determine how a property may be used. This
reference table can help in searching for business and
Upon request, a
letter from Planning can be issued that confirms whether or not a use is
permitted. To obtain such a letter, please submit an application for a zoning compliance letter.
If a property owner
wishes to change the way in which a property may be used, a change of zoning
classification or a special permit is generally required.
is divided into smaller parcels through the subdivision process. The number and size of lots that a property owner can
create depends on the zoning of the property. To subdivide a parcel, a citizen
or developer must submit a subdivision application and a plat showing the new
lots that will be created. Planning reviews the documentation to ensure the new
lots meet applicable zoning and subdivision ordinance requirements.
a property owner wishes to divide a parcel of land among family members, the
owner may be eligible to use the family division process. The family division process is shorter and
less complex than a typical subdivision. The zoning classification of the
property may need to be changed or rezoned.
The size of property may be adjusted by changing property lines with adjoining parcels. Even though this transaction does not create a
new lot, a surveyor must prepare a property or boundary line adjustment
plat that shows the new location of the new property line(s). The reconfigured lots
must meet applicable zoning requirements. If the property line adjustment does
not involve an existing subdivision, the surveyor’s plat does not need to be
formally reviewed by the county. Property line adjustments that involve
existing subdivision lots require a resubdivision plat review.
Projects that involve building a new structure, altering an existing structure, demolishing, or changing the use of a structure may require a building permit.
Home businesses are
occupations, professions, or activities conducted by one or more members of a
family within their home. Some home businesses require a special permit.
In many residential zoning districts, an
apartment for a qualifying family member(s) is allowed with a SE. The apartment must be attached to
the main house or attached to another building on the property, such as a
garage. For more information, review the requirements for accessory
family housing units in the zoning ordinance.
owners are generally permitted to have domestic animals, such as dogs and cats.
However, there are various restrictions regarding the number and type of
animals such as livestock, chickens, and other exotic animals. Structures that
house certain animals must also be set back from the property line. For more
information, see the zoning ordinance or contact a code compliance officer in Planning.
county restricts the storage of certain commercial vehicles in residential
zoning districts, including the A-1, Agricultural District.
The Hanover County
Code defines inoperable
motor vehicles as any motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer that:
property with A-1, Agricultural District zoning, a property owner may store up
to five inoperable vehicles. In other residential zoning districts, the county code
restricts the open storage of inoperable vehicles. For more information, see
Chapter 17, Article 1, Section 17-19.
The zoning ordinance restricts
the location of recreational vehicles (RVs) and boats on residential property. For
more information, see the zoning ordinance or contact a code compliance officer in
Reference Table for Uses in the Business & Industrial DistrictsResubdivision ApplicationSpecial Exception ApplicationZoning Compliance Letter Application