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Zoning Variance Information
What is a Variance?
"Variance" means, in the application of a zoning ordinance, a reasonable deviation from those provisions regulating the shape, size, or area of a lot or parcel of land or the size, height, area, bulk, or location of a building or structure when the strict application of the ordinance would unreasonably restrict the utilization of the property, and such need for a variance would not be shared generally by other properties, and provided such variance is not contrary to the purpose of the ordinance. It shall not include a change in use, which change shall be accomplished by a rezoning or by a conditional zoning.

About the Variance Process
Virginia State Code requires that all variance petitions heard by the Board of Zoning Appeals and meet the public hearing requirements, which include mailings to adjacent property owners and a legal advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation. The adjacent property owners are notified by mail of the date, time, and location of these hearings.

Length of Process
Because of these requirements, the typical variance process will take about one month, from the submission of the application to the public hearing. Planning and Zoning Department staff is available to assist citizens throughout the variance application process.

If the Board of Zoning Appeals' decision is to deny the variance, the petitioner may appeal the decision to the Circuit Court within 30 days.

Contact Us
For more information or to begin the variance process, download a variance application form and contact the Planning and Zoning Department at (540) 772-2065.