Planning and Zoning Frequently Asked Questions

The Planning Department aids the Board of Supervisors, Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, and other designated committees in establishing and implementing community development policies for the County. Proposals for changes in plans, ordinances, land use, and the division of land are reviewed with Federal, State, and local agencies for consistency with applicable regulations and policies. The staff also disseminates policy information to the Board, Planning Commission, other boards and committees and the public. The revenue received is primarily from zoning permits and various fees.
 
The County and Town Planning and Zoning departments are separate entities which are responsible for planning, community development and code enforcement in their respective jurisdictions while by a mutual agreement the County provides building inspection services to both localities. The County Planning Department and Building Inspections are located in the Warren County Government Center in Suite 400 while the Town Planning Department is located in the Front Royal Town Hall on the lower level. Questions regarding the County can be directed to the Planning Staff at (540) 636-3354 or via e-mail at planning@warrencountyva.net.

 

Planning Questions

Planning Related Questions:
Where can I view a copy of the Comprehensive Plan?Click Here
Visit the Warren County Planning Department page and Comprehensive Plan from the menu located on the left side of the page.  The chapters can be downloaded as PDF files. A hardcopy of the Plan is kept on file in the Planning Department for viewing during office hours.
 
Can I subdivide my property?
Subdivision of property in Warren County varies between zoning districts and includes many factors for each district including road frontage, size and shape of new parcels and the existing number of subdivided parcels from the parent parcel. Staff can answer most questions regarding subdivision of land but some deed research may be required to verify the number of parcels and dates of prior subdivisions in order for us to make a determination for the citizen.
  
Where can I get a plat of my property?
The Warren County Circuit Court Clerk’s office in the County Courthouse keeps land records, deeds and plats for properties in the County. Their phone number is (540) 635-2435 and they are located at 1 East Main Street, Front Royal.

 

Zoning Questions

Zoning Related Questions:
Where can I find the Warren County Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances online?
Log on to the Warren County website and from the main tool bar select Residents and scroll down to “Warren County Code”. The Subdivision Ordinance is Chapter 155, and the Zoning Ordinance can be found in Chapter 180.
  
Where can I find out what my property is zoned?
You can find out what your property is zoned by visiting Warren County’s GIS or by contacting our office at (540) 636-3354.
  
What are the zoning requirements to construct a single family dwelling on my vacant property?
Construction of a single family dwelling must meet the property line setback requirements for the underlying zoning district and the well and septic requirements as defined by the Virginia Department of Health rules and regulations and Warren County Code Chapter 179.
 
How many dwellings can I have on my property?
The Warren County Code allows one principle structure on a single lot in the Agricultural and Residential zoning districts.
 
What are the setbacks for structures on my property?
Zoning setbacks are determined by the underlying zoning district. In the Agricultural (A), Rural Residential (RR), Residential One (R1) and Two (R2), districts, a principle dwelling must be 50’ in the front from the edge of the right-of-way (R-O-W), 15’ from each side property line and 35’ from the rear property line.
 
For Village Residential (VR) the setbacks are 25’ in the front from edge of the R-O-W, 15’ from side and rear property lines. For Suburban Residential (SR) the setbacks are 20’ in the front from edge of the R-O-W, 20’ in the rear and 15’ from the side property lines.
 
Can I put a shed or garage on my property?
Accessory structures must be located in the side or rear yard only and shall meet the side and rear setbacks for the underlying zoning district. Only the Agricultural district may have may have an accessory structure in the front yard meeting the setback of 50’ and to be used for maintenance equipment only, the number of these structures are based on lot acreage. Additional requirements relating to size, number of structures, height and setbacks vary between zoning districts, contact Planning and Zoning staff for additional information prior to your building permit application being submitted.
  
How do I find out if my property perks for a septic field?
Contact the Warren County Environmental Health Department at (540) 635-3159.
 
What are the setbacks for a well and drainfield on my property?
Warren County requires a setback of 100’ feet between well to well and well to drainfield. Setback information can be found by contacting the Warren County Health Department or in Warren County Code Chapter 179.
 
What are the zoning requirements and fee for getting a business license for a home business?
A certificate of zoning must be issued by the Planning Department prior to the Commissioner of the Revenue issuing a business license. This is in order to determine if the use qualifies as a home occupation as found in Warren County Code Section 180-17.  The current fee for this is $15.00 and payment is payable in check or cash only.
 
How do I report a violation for trash and debris or inoperable vehicles in my neighborhood?
Contact the Planning Department to speak with the Zoning Administrator. Staff will fill out a Zoning Violation Complaint form with pertinent information if he is unavailable. The Zoning Administrator will follow-up with a site visit to the property and a letter of inspection or violation. You report in confidential and no names will be released regarding the complaint.
 
How many dogs and cats are legally allowed in my household?
Four (4) dogs six months of age or older per household are allowed by-right in all zoning districts. Kennels are allowed by Conditional Use Permit in the Agricultural (A) and Rural Residential (RR) Zoning Districts for five (5) or more dogs. Contact Planning staff for further information.  The County does not have an ordinance for cats. 
  
Can I have horses or chickens on my property?
This depends on the zoning district in which your property is located. If zoned Agricultural (A) it is an allowed use by-right. If zoned Rural-Residential (RR) it is an accessory use permitted by-right but with some limitations, refer to Section 180-24(C) of the Warren County Code. If the property is zoned Village Residential (VR) it is a conditionally permitted use subject to limitations and conditions approved by the Warren County Board of Supervisors. It is recommended that you contact the Planning Department for further information regarding this matter.
  
Can I park a Recreational Vehicle or travel trailer (camper) on my property and live in it?
Major recreational vehicles shall not be used for living, sleeping or occupancy on residential lots not approved for such use. Recreational vehicles not parked in a garage, carport or other building shall be located at least 3 feet from the dwelling or accessory structures and not be located in the front yard except in a driveway perpendicular to the street and a minimum of 10 feet from the right-of-way on the part of the property determined to be the front yard; Warren County Code Section 180-10 Accessory Uses.

 

Floodplain Questions

Floodplain Related Questions:
How do I determine if my property is located in the floodplain?
Look on Warren County’s GIS website, go to File Folder Icon on toolbar and select the “Flood Zones” layer in the layer control panel or request a floodplain determination from the County Floodplain Manager. You can also use the FEMA website to create a FIRMette for your property.  The flood map for Warren County is 510166 and the Town of Front Royal is 510167.
 
How do I obtain a floodplain determination?
Contact the Planning and Zoning department with the address or tax map and parcel number for the property and speak to the County Floodplain Manager.
 
Can I construct a single family dwelling if my property is in the floodplain?
Warren County Code Section 180-16 defines the zoning criteria and requirements for approval to construct in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). A meeting with the County Floodplain Manager is advised prior to starting any construction plans or the building permit process.
 
What are the zoning requirements for use of an RV in the floodplain?
All recreational vehicles must be on-site for fewer than 180 consecutive days, be fully licensed and ready for highway use and roadworthy if parked in the floodplain in any zoning district. The Residential One (R1) and Residential Two (R2) zoning districts require a conditional use permit for private use camping to establish a recreational use.

 

E-911 and GIS Questions

E-911 and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Related Questions:
How do I get an address for new construction of single family dwelling or commercial-industrial structures?
Once an application for a building permit has been received by the Building Inspections Department, they will submit a new address request to the Zoning Administrator after the foundation is constructed and inspected.
 
How long does it take to receive an address on my dwelling?
Addresses are assigned within 1 or 2 weeks of receiving the request. The property owner will then receive notification of the new address within a few days of when the address is assigned.
 
Does the County address accessory structures?
The County does not address accessory structures.
 
How do roads get named in the County?
Name requests for platted private or other right-of-way access roads serving three (3) or more residences will be reviewed by the Zoning Administrator from a list of three names submitted by the subdivision developer, property owners association or property owners that are adjacent to the new road. Road names will be reviewed and approved by the WC Board of Supervisors.
 
How do I access the County’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) website?
Go to the website address: http://www.warrengis.org/.
  
The County Planning and Zoning Department is located in the Warren County Government Center in Suite 400, the phone number is (540) 636-3354. We recommend that you contact us to schedule a meeting with Planning Staff if research is required for your answer.

Contact

  info (@) warrencountyva.net
  540.636.4600
  540.636.6066
  220 N. Commerce Avenue
     Front Royal, VA 22630

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