After the adoption of the updated citywide Comprehensive Plan, we will be working to revise the zoning ordinance. More information about how you can be involved in that process will be provided as we get closer to that point (currently anticipated for early 2021).
What is Zoning?
Zoning means the regulations that govern the built form and use of private land. Zoning breaks the City up into districts, each with their own allowed urban form and land uses. A zoning map tells users which districts apply to each property. Today’s zoning is in Chapter 34 of the Charlottesville code. Zoning authority is granted to the City by the Commonwealth of Virginia in order to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the community.
What is Planned for the Zoning Ordinance?
Nothing yet! This project will include preparing revised zoning regulations for the entire City once the comprehensive plan update (including the affordable housing plan) is finalized. There are several steps along the way to new zoning, and we will seek your input on all of them! The steps include:
- Diagnostic Report that lets everyone know the issues related to the existing ordinance
- Approach Report which proposes general changes to be made to the ordinance
- Draft Zoning Ordinance
- Draft Zoning Map
- Final Zoning Ordinance and Zoning Map
Why Update the Zoning Ordinance?
The Zoning Ordinance is a key tool to implementing the comprehensive plan and affordable housing strategic plan. Changes to make the City’s zoning regulations align with the new plans, and implement them, will be needed soon (and are required by law). Today’s zoning also has a number of flaws and barriers to development previously identified by City planning staff and elected and appointed officials. This is an opportunity to cure these flaws and remove the barriers to the kind of development that will be described in the updated comprehensive plan. Finally, the new zoning will be easier to read and apply for everyone involved, due to its plain-language drafting style and rich graphic content.