Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012

Loudoun County Prioritizes Zoning Ordinance Amendments

At its July 17, 2012 meeting, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors adopted an intent to amend the Revised 1993 Loudoun County Zoning Ordinance as part of ZOAM 2012-0002, Commercial and Industrial Zoning Ordinance Amendments. The ZOAM focuses on commercial and industrial zoning ordinance amendments that have been identified by a Stakeholders Group and County Staff as impediments to economic development, with the intention of making the Loudoun County zoning process more business friendly.

The Board has compiled the amendments into three packages that will allow certain issues to be reviewed on a faster timeline than more complicated issues. This compilation of issues marks the beginning of phase two of the review process, which will include the research, analysis, and development of draft text. Once the text is finalized by staff, the review process will proceed to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors for final review and adoption. The goal is to have the amendments proposed in Package 1 adopted by the end of 2012. The review of Packages 2 and 3 will proceed after December 2012. Contact Randy Minchew at or Mike Romeo at if you want more information.


Package 1

  • PD-IP/PD-OP: Revise lot and building requirements; reclassify special exception uses such as “Medical care facility, outpatient only” in PD-OP and PD-IP to permitted (by-right) uses; allow increase in amount of retail and service uses permitted.
  • MR-HI: Divide the district regulations into two subcategories: “Mineral Resource Extraction Processing” and “Other”; revise lot and building requirements; reclassify special exception uses as permitted uses.
  • Site Plan Submission: Remove requirement to submit documents with each site plan.
  • Tree Canopy: Revise canopy calculation to be based on a 20 year maturity rather than a 10 year maturity.
  • Buffer Width: Reduce the required buffer yard width where the district yard requirement is less.
  • Quick-fix: Relocate requirements considered to be performance standards from the Definitions section of the Zoning Ordinance to a more appropriate location. For example, the definition of accessory building contains a maximum size limitation based on acreage. It is more appropriate for such requirements to be contained with the additional regulations of Section 5-600 which can be modified, rather than within the definition which cannot.
  • Process (Article 6 revisions): Revise timeline and plan detail requirements for SPEX and ZMAP; revise submission checklists; reduce public notice requirements, including the deletion of the required writing first notice (21 day letter) to be in conformance with the minimum requirements under the Code of Virginia; revise SPEX and ZMAP processes to shorten review timelines and reduce level of plan details.


Package 2

  • Data Center: Establish a new use; add this new use to PD-IP, PD-OP, CLI; Establish new definition and performance standards.
  • SPEX to Permitted: For zoning districts not already addressed, reclassify certain special exception uses as permitted uses.


Package 3

  • FOD and Steep Slope: Exempt certain zoning districts from the steep slope standards and expand the exemption for man-made slopes; allow density credit for major FOD and permit additional uses in the FOD.
  • Bed & Breakfasts: Revise B&B standards to have different classifications with less restrictive standards for less intensive B&Bs and allow more special events.