Contributed By McGuireWoods LLP
The Code of Virginia provides localities with the ability to classify and determine the use and other characteristics of territory in its jurisdiction. A prospective buyer generally ascertains the uses permitted for a parcel of real estate by reviewing the jurisdiction’s zoning map, and consulting the related provisions of the locality’s zoning ordinance and comprehensive plan. The zoning ordinance will typically provide a range of uses, with qualifications where applicable, which may be permitted on the parcel either by right, or through one or more legislative approval processes. An owner seeking uses not typically permitted under the applicable zoning may seek a rezoning of the parcel, which typically requires the owner to agree to appropriate development conditions or proffers, all dependent on and related to the development proposal.