Thursday, Dec 28, 2023

Loudoun County Adopts New Zoning Ordinance

On December 13, 2023, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors approved a new, rewritten Loudoun County Zoning Ordinance, which now governs land use and development in Loudoun County. This newly adopted ordinance reflects the land use recommendations of the 2019 Loudoun County General Plan and supersedes the Revised 1993 Loudoun County Zoning Ordinance. The new zoning ordinance may be found by clicking here 

Applications which were officially accepted for County review prior to the December 13, 2023 adoption date will continue to be administered under the prior Revised 1993 Loudoun County Zoning Ordinance, subject to grandfathering provisions adopted by the Board of Supervisors concurrently with the new ordinance. The resolution adopting the grandfathering provisions may be found by clicking here.  

New legislative and administrative land use applications officially accepted after December 13, 2023 will be administered under the newly adopted ordinance, subject to vested rights associated with the Route 28 Tax District, or as previously approved through legislative or administrative applications. The newly adopted Loudoun County Zoning Ordinance contains new regulations which will affect the development potential of land for residential, commercial, or industrial purposes. Some of these key provisions include:  

  • New zoning districts, dimensional standards, and permitted uses;  
  • New use standards for specific uses developed in the County, whether agricultural, residential, commercial, recreational, industrial, or energy-generation;  
  • New overlay district regulations, including updates to environmental regulations in the Floodplain Overlay District, Mountainside Overlay District, and Limestone Overlay District; 
  • New affordable housing regulations which require new projects to provide fifteen percent (15%) of single-family units as affordable, and ten percent (10%) of multifamily units as affordable, with additional density available for exceeding the required ADU percentages;  
  • New open space requirements within individual zoning districts, and new regulations governing how open space is calculated;  
  • New parking regulations for commercial, industrial, and residential uses, including a requirement that each residential garage space shall be counted as one-half space for the purposes of calculating required parking;  
  • New data center regulations which require approval of a Special Exception to develop data centers on land zoned to the Office Park – OP zoning district, and increase requirements for façade treatments and setbacks from residential uses; and  
  • A new Planned Unit Development District, which allows for customizable land use regulations consistent with the 2019 Loudoun County General Plan 

Our Leesburg Office stands by ready to assist our clients in analyzing how the newly adopted Loudoun County Zoning Ordinance may affect development potential for properties located in Loudoun County. For any questions related to the new ordinance, or regarding vested rights, please reach out to the Loudoun Office so that we may assist.  

This article was authored jointly by Randy Minchew, Erin Swisshelm, Sasha Brauer, Mike Romeo, and Morgan Hadlock, all of the Leesburg office.