Quick Reference for Zoning and Subdivision

The table below provides a simple reference for zoning and subdivision requirements when developing land (like subdividing into smaller lots, building homes, and constructing accessory buildings) in the County. Two additional tables at the bottom of this page clarify exceptions for lots zoned A-1 that are between 10 and 29 acres in size (as of December 2010), and for Open Space Cluster Subdivisions.

Not all acreage and setback requirements are included on this page. For example, requirements are not included for some development at Bryce Mountain. For complete details on County zoning and subdivision rules, please see the official code at http://www.ecode360.com/SH1548 or contact the Zoning Administrator at
459-6185Property in a town is subject to town ordinances and not County zoning. If you are unsure which zoning district your property is in, follow the instructions at http://shenandoahcountyva.us/zoning/find-my-zoning/.

(1) Corner lots require minimum frontage on both roadways.
(2) The front of a property is along the road or, in cases where the property is not beside a road, the front of the property is the side where the driveway enters the property.
(3) For corner lots the front is the shortest side. A setback equal to the front setback is required along all roads. A setback equal to the side setback is required on the other two sides.
(4) 100′ setbacks are required between residential zones/uses and industrial zones/uses. This setback may be reduced, as allowed, where opaque screening is provided.
(5) Underground utilities, curbs, gutters, sidewalks, and street lights are required, as well as dedication to VDOT for divisions of 4 lots or more.
(6) Special Use Permit Required
(7) When adjoining a residential district, side setbacks are 20’.
(8) Parcels in existence prior to 5/1/03 may be divided and served by private wells and septics.
(9) Lots in existence prior to 12/14/10, 3 or more acres, but less than 10 acres, may be divided into 2 parcels subject to family division exemption requirements. Lots of 10 or more acres in area, but less than 20 may be divided into 2 parcels, and lots of 20 or more acres, but less than 30 acres may be divided into 3 parcels, none of which may be less than 1 ½ acres. 


Open Space Cluster Developments

County zoning ordinances also allow for Open Space Cluster Developments which have more flexible setbacks and minimum lot sizes than show in the table at top. Those requirements are summarized below. To take advantage of the flexibility provided under Open Space Cluster Developments, between 50%-80% of the development (depending on zoning) must be placed in a conservation easement. See http://www.ecode360.com/9742097 for details.