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Frequently Asked Questions

Select a question link to open the answer. Questions are sorted into categories based on department, but there are also special categories for the Community Development Block Grant, Harrisonburg Citizen Academy, How Do I, WebTrac, and Zoning FAQ.

You can also select a category from the list on the right.

Biking and Walking

Sharrow - downtownThese are "Shared Lane Markings", aka "Sharrows", which are intended to guide bicyclists to the best place to ride on the road, avoid car doors, and remind drivers to share the road with bicyclists.

Although it is the motorist's responsibility to check before opening their door, riding too close to parked cars (in the "door zone") is still a common mistake that can lead to serious injury.

Not always.

According to Virginia State Code Section 46.2-905, bicyclists are to stay to the right when riding less than the normal speed of traffic except to pass other bicyclists or vehicles, to prepare to make a left turn, when necessary to avoid conditions (including fixed or moving objects, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes too narrow for a bicycle and vehicle to travel side by side) that make it unsafe to continue along the right.

Moving to the left in the lane to avoid car doors, for instance, even if it means taking the entire lane, is permitted by the State Code.

No.

This marking is used for shared lanes; lanes that are used by bicyclists and motorists.

Shared lanes are different than bike lanes which are set aside for bicyclists and are marked by a solid white line and a different symbol.

No, bicyclists can ride on any roadway, except for those designed as limited access highways with signs explicitly prohibiting bicyclists (such as Interstate 81).

Cyclists are allowed on every street regardless of whether there is a marking or sign for them unless stated otherwise.

In 2009, the Federal Highway Administration approved the use of Shared Roadway Markings ("Sharrows") in their Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). Many cities around the country are using sharrows on streets that are both popular with bicyclists but may be too narrow for conventional bike lanes. 

The overall goals are: to improve the position of bicyclists on roads without bike lanes, reduce bicycling on sidewalks, assist bicyclists with lateral positioning in a shared lane with on street parallel parking in order to reduce the chance of a bicyclist's impacting the open door of a parked vehicle, encourage safe passing of bicyclists by motorists, and reduce the incidence of wrong-way bicycling.

No, these markings will be on streets that are designated in the City of Harrisonburg Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan.

The MUTCD states that "if used, the shared lane markings should be placed immediately after an intersection and spaced at intervals not greater than 250 feet thereafter."

City Council

At every council meeting there is an agenda item at the beginning of each meeting that allows citizens to speak up to five minutes on items not on that night’s agenda.  To find information on each council agenda, please visit the Council Agendas and Streaming Media.

No, the City Clerk does not have access to this information.  You can contact the Rockingham County Court House to obtain a marriage license, name change, passport, and deed information. The Clerk of Circuit Court for both Harrisonburg City and Rockingham County can be reached at 540-564-3111. More information about the Rockingham County Clerk of Court.

The City Clerk also cannot provide real estate information for the City.  Contact the Real Estate office at 540-432-7795.  The City Clerk cannot provide personal property (vehicle) tax information for the City.  Contact the Commissioner of Revenue office at 540-432-7704.

Send proclamation requests to either the Mayor or City Clerk for review.  If you are interested in having it mentioned at a council meeting, please submit the request at least five days prior to the meeting.

You can contact the City Clerk or City Council members to request to be placed on the agenda.

Learn more about candidate qualifications and requirements: Candidate Qualifications and Requirements.

The Mayor is not an elected official but an elected council member that is then nominated and voted on by council members.

Council members are elected to a four year term.

The City of Harrisonburg operates under a council/manager form of government.  In this form of government, the elected council hires a full-time city manager to run the day-to-day operations of the City.  The elected council members, including the mayor, do not work in city offices, but can be reached by contacting the City Manager’s Office.

City Council meets regularly on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month.  Meetings are held in City Council Chambers, located at 409 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22801.  Meetings begin at 7:00pm and are open to the public.

Council members do not work full time out of city offices, however there are multiple ways to get in touch with a council members. 

If you would like to send correspondence by mail, please send it to any council member c/o City Manager’s Office, 345 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22801. 

City Council members can also be contacted directly through email.  You may contact an individual council member using the links below.  Select the name of the council member you are interested in contacting to find their email address and/or an online form to email them through the website.

Council Members

 

Not sure which council member you should contact?  Call the City Manager's Office (540-432-7701) and the staff will be happy to assist you.

 

All council members in the City of Harrisonburg are elected at-large.  This means that the City has no wards or districts and that all members represent all citizens equally.  You may contact any City Council member about any issue regardless of where in the City you live.

City Manager

No. The City Attorney represents the City of Harrisonburg and is unable to provide legal aid to the population-at-large.  If you are in need of low cost legal assistance for a civil matter, please contact Blue Ridge Legal Services.  If you are in need of low cost legal assistance in a legal matter, the courts will appoint you an attorney.

No, the City Clerk does not have access to this information.  You can contact the Rockingham County Court House to obtain a marriage license, name change, passport, and deed information. The Clerk of Circuit Court for both Harrisonburg City and Rockingham County can be reached at 540-564-3111. More information about the Rockingham County Clerk of Court.

The City Clerk also cannot provide real estate information for the City.  Contact the Real Estate office at 540-432-7795.  The City Clerk cannot provide personal property (vehicle) tax information for the City.  Contact the Commissioner of Revenue office at 540-432-7704.

Applications are available in any city office or online for approximately two months before the program start date.  Simply fill out an application and submit it.  Online applications may be submitted electronically.  Applicants may also print out an application or pick one up at any city office and submit it by US Mail, fax or in person to the City Manager's Office at:

345 South Main Street
Harrisonburg, VA 22801  

 

Fax: 432-7778 

 

Information on the Citizen Academy

More CItizen Academy FAQ

Please contact the City Manager’s Office at 540-432-7701.  The office secretary will direct you to whomever is available at the time you call.  If there is nobody available, you will be asked to leave a message. 

You can contact the City Clerk or City Council members to request to be placed on the agenda.

The Municipal Building is located at 345 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22801.

The City Manager's Office, Finance Department, Human Resources Department, Real Estate Office, Commissioner of Revenue, Voter Registrar, Treasurer, and Information Technology Department are all located in the Municipal Building.

Please use the city departments contact information directory to call the city office for directions, or use the interactive map on the Places page to get directions to the Municipal Building or another city office.

The Public Information Officer (PIO) is responsible for media and community relations for the City of Harrisonburg.  The PIO is available to all citizens who may have questions or concerns about a situation in the City. 

The City of Harrisonburg operates under a council/manager form of government.  In this form of government, the elected council hires a full-time city manager to run the day-to-day operations of the City.  The elected council members, including the mayor, do not work in city offices, but can be reached by contacting the City Manager’s Office.

The CDBG program is a block grant given by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The program is authorized by the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 in place of several community development categorical grant programs. CDBG provides eligible metropolitan cities and urban counties (called "entitlement communities") with annual direct grants that they can use to revitalize neighborhoods, expand affordable housing and economic opportunities, and/or improve community facilities and services, principally to benefit low- and moderate-income persons.

The grants are available, by application, to programs that directly benefit low to moderate income populations.  For more information about CDBG, please visit CDBG page.

Council members do not work full time out of city offices, however there are multiple ways to get in touch with a council members. 

If you would like to send correspondence by mail, please send it to any council member c/o City Manager’s Office, 345 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22801. 

City Council members can also be contacted directly through email.  You may contact an individual council member using the links below.  Select the name of the council member you are interested in contacting to find their email address and/or an online form to email them through the website.

Council Members

 

Not sure which council member you should contact?  Call the City Manager's Office (540-432-7701) and the staff will be happy to assist you.

 

The City Manager’s Office is on the second floor of the City Municipal Building at 345 S. Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22801.  The office is in Suite 201.

In addition to the City Manager and Assistant City Manager, the office houses the Department of Economic Development, the Community Development Block Grant Administrator, the City Attorney, the City Clerk, and the Public Information Officer.

Commissioner of Revenue

December 5 of each year.  If a due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the due date is extended to the next succeeding business day.

All vehicles that are owned in the City on January 1 are subject to personal property tax.

Any vehicle purchased after January 1 of the tax year.

No, vehicles owned on January 1 in Harrisonburg will be taxed for the full year.

If you can answer yes to any of the following questions, your motor vehicle is considered by State Law to have a business use and does not qualify for Car Tax Relief.

  • Is more than 50% of the mileage for the year used as a business expense for Federal Income Tax purposes or reimbursed by an employer?
  • Is more than 50% of the depreciation associated with the vehicle deducted as a business expense for Federal Income Tax purposes?
  • Is the cost of the vehicle expensed pursuant to Section 179 of the Internal Revenue Service Code?
  • Is the vehicle leased by an individual and the leasing company pays the tax without reimbursement from the individual?

 

The Commonwealth of Virginia provides funding for tax relief for passenger car, motorcycles, and pickup or panel trucks having a registered gross weight of less than 7,501 pounds. To qualify, a vehicle must be owned by an individual or leased by an individual under a contract requiring the individuals to pay the personal property tax; AND be used less than 50% for business purposes. 
Motor homes, trailers and farm use vehicles do not qualify for tax relief.

No, the City of Harrisonburg does not require a decal, however, a vehicle license fee for the upcoming year will be added to the current year personal property bill.

The tax rate for the City of Harrisonburg is $0.63 per $100 of assessed value. This rate is subject to change annually.

 

More information about Real Estate Tax.

The Municipal Building is located at 345 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22801.

The City Manager's Office, Finance Department, Human Resources Department, Real Estate Office, Commissioner of Revenue, Voter Registrar, Treasurer, and Information Technology Department are all located in the Municipal Building.

Please use the city departments contact information directory to call the city office for directions, or use the interactive map on the Places page to get directions to the Municipal Building or another city office.

Real Estate taxes are calculated on a fiscal year basis and are billed twice a year. The first half is due December 5th and the second half is due June 5th.

There is a tax break for anybody over the age of 65 or permanently disabled with a gross income not to exceed $30,000 and a net worth not to exceed $75,000. Applications must be filed by May 1 prior to the fiscal year for which the exemption is requested. The title to the property for which exemption is claimed by the person must be held on July 1 of the taxable year by the person or persons claiming exemption.  More information.

 

The City is on a fiscal year. Whoever owns the property as of July 1 of that fiscal year will stay in that name until the next July. The new owner is responsible for the tax bills so the Real Estate Office tries to send the tax bills in c/o the new owner.

The City has partial exemption from taxation for rehabilitated, renovated or replaced real estate. The property has to be located within the B-1 Central Business District. The partial exemption from taxation shall commence on July 1 of the year following the final inspection and shall run with the real estate for a period of no longer than five years. The exemption is equal to the difference between the assessed base value established at the initial inspection before the rehabilitation, renovation or replacement and the final assessed value.

Land may be eligible for special valuation and assessment when it is used for agricultural, horticultural, forest or open space. You need to have at least five acres or more. Forest needs at least 20 acres. The applicant must furnish, upon request of the local assessing officer, proof of all prerequisites to use valuation and assessment, such as proof of ownership, description, areas, uses, and production. Any change in acres, zoning or change in use will be subject to a five year roll back tax.

 

Community Development

The driveway entrance is the responsibility of the individual property owner.  A permit will be required for construction activities and is available through the Department of Planning and Community Development.

 

Proactive zoning is a way for the City to help maintain the health, safety and general welfare of City residents. The Planning and Zoning Division has laid the City out into 36 sections/neighborhoods, and on a prescribed schedule, inspections are performed on neighborhoods. Any owner of a property found in violation of the Zoning Ordinance is notified and given 10 or 30 days, depending upon the type of violation, to bring their property into compliance with the Zoning Ordinance.

A zoning violation is when a property does not meet the regulations as governed in the Zoning Ordinance. The most common zoning violations in the City are inoperable vehicles, occupancy, and junk, trash and discarded materials (some junk and trash violations may be enforced by the Department of Public Works). Operating a use that is not permitted in a specific zoning district is also a violation. The City's Zoning Ordinance is designed to list permitted uses; if a use is not listed, it is considered not permitted. For a complete description of permitted uses in a particular zoning district refer to the Zoning Ordinance.

If you think a property is in violation of the Zoning Ordinance, you can contact the Planning and Zoning Division at 540-432-7700.

The number of people who can live in a dwelling (also known as its occupancy) varies by district; please refer to your specific zoning district in the Zoning Ordinance. Before purchasing property or signing your new lease agreement, check your zoning district's allowed occupancy. Violation of permitted occupancy could lead to eviction from the property. If there are questions about your occupancy, contact the Planning and Zoning Division at 540-432-7700.

A family is defined as one or more persons occupying a dwelling and living as a single housekeeping unit, all of whom are related to each other by birth, adoption or marriage.  

Any building or land that is lawfully in use, and in which the zoning district changes or the zoning text is amended, and the building or land no longer adheres to the regulations of that new district. Often this situation is referred to as "grandfathered," however the correct terminology is non-conforming.

In the event that a nonconforming use of any building or premises is discontinued or its normal operation stopped for a period of 24 consecutive months or more, the use shall conform to the regulations of the current district in which it is located. A nonconforming use shall not be extended, enlarged, reconstructed or structurally altered, except when the enlargement does not compound the existing violation.

Allowable signage is calculated differently depending on the zoning district. Sign regulations are not part of the Zoning Ordinance but rather part of the Building Code Regulations. For a detailed description of allowable signage refer to the Sign Ordinance or call the Planning and Zoning Division at 540-432-7700.

The CDBG program is a block grant given by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The program is authorized by the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 in place of several community development categorical grant programs. CDBG provides eligible metropolitan cities and urban counties (called "entitlement communities") with annual direct grants that they can use to revitalize neighborhoods, expand affordable housing and economic opportunities, and/or improve community facilities and services, principally to benefit low- and moderate-income persons.

The grants are available, by application, to programs that directly benefit low to moderate income populations.  For more information about CDBG, please visit CDBG page.

Community Development Block Grant

The CDBG program is a block grant given by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The program is authorized by the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 in place of several community development categorical grant programs. CDBG provides eligible metropolitan cities and urban counties (called "entitlement communities") with annual direct grants that they can use to revitalize neighborhoods, expand affordable housing and economic opportunities, and/or improve community facilities and services, principally to benefit low- and moderate-income persons.

The grants are available, by application, to programs that directly benefit low to moderate income populations.  For more information about CDBG, please visit CDBG page.

In addition to the City Manager and Assistant City Manager, the office houses the Department of Economic Development, the Community Development Block Grant Administrator, the City Attorney, the City Clerk, and the Public Information Officer.

Economic Development

The Municipal Building is located at 345 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22801.

The City Manager's Office, Finance Department, Human Resources Department, Real Estate Office, Commissioner of Revenue, Voter Registrar, Treasurer, and Information Technology Department are all located in the Municipal Building.

Please use the city departments contact information directory to call the city office for directions, or use the interactive map on the Places page to get directions to the Municipal Building or another city office.

In addition to the City Manager and Assistant City Manager, the office houses the Department of Economic Development, the Community Development Block Grant Administrator, the City Attorney, the City Clerk, and the Public Information Officer.

Finance

The Municipal Building is located at 345 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22801.

The City Manager's Office, Finance Department, Human Resources Department, Real Estate Office, Commissioner of Revenue, Voter Registrar, Treasurer, and Information Technology Department are all located in the Municipal Building.

Please use the city departments contact information directory to call the city office for directions, or use the interactive map on the Places page to get directions to the Municipal Building or another city office.

Fire Department

If you have a medical emergency, please call 911.  If the rescue squad need assistance getting to you they will notify the Public Works Department.

After obtaining a permit at the Water Operations Center you will be given the necessary equipment to protect the hydrant and water system during usage. Fire Hydrant Use Policy.

 

Harrisonburg Citizen Academy

The Harrisonburg Citizen Academy is a 12 week program that allows city residents to learn more about the functions of city departments and services.

The Academy is held in fall.  Sessions last two hours, beginning at 6:30pm and ending at 8:30pm. Sessions occasionally run over, participants are encouraged to decide whether they are able to stay for that additional time.  One Saturday facilities tour is included.  The tour is optional and includes a complimentary lunch.

Applications are available in any city office or online for approximately two months before the program start date.  Simply fill out an application and submit it.  Online applications may be submitted electronically.  Applicants may also print out an application or pick one up at any city office and submit it by US Mail, fax or in person to the City Manager's Office at:

345 South Main Street
Harrisonburg, VA 22801  

 

Fax: 432-7778 

 

Information on the Citizen Academy

More CItizen Academy FAQ

The Academy is open to all Harrisonburg City residents 18 years of age or older.

Due to space restrictions, class size is limited to 15.  Valid applications that are received after a class is full will be saved until the next Academy.  Applicants who have had applications carried over will be contacted prior to applications becoming available and given the chance to enroll.

Participants in the academy must attend 9 of the 12 regular sessions (the optional tour is not included in this figure) to receive a certificate.  We recognize that our participants may experience conflicts over the course of the Academy program.  However, the city staff works very hard to make sure that participants get a comprehensive picture of the City.  If more than three sessions are missed, this picture is not complete.  Extenuating and unexpected circumstances will be taken into account as necessary.  We ask our participants to remember that city staff are also making time in their schedules to be available and participate in this program, in many cases without compensation.  If your schedule will not allow you to attend at least 9 of the 12 regular sessions, we would ask that you delay your application to a year which will work better for you.

Not at this time.  Many of the services provided by the City of Harrisonburg differ from the services provided by our counterparts in the nearby counties.

In the future, we may consider expanding the program to have mini sessions geared toward those people who use the City but do not live within the city limits.  If that would interest you, please let Ande Banks in the City Manager's Office know.  Ande Banks can be contacted by email at Ande.Banks@harrisonburgva.gov or by phone at 540-432-7701.

The City has excellent Citizen Police Academy that is open to all area residents and held in the spring.  That program details the activities of the Police Department.  The Harrisonburg Citizen Academy covers all city departments and services as opposed to just the Police Department.  The programs compliment each other and the City encourages you to participate in both.

Different people have different reasons for participating.  While our citizens use city services every day, they very rarely see what happens "behind the scenes" or have access to information regarding why and how things happen.  The Academy is a great way to find out more about how the City of Harrisonburg is working for you.  Additionally, citizens who are considering or who may consider applying for an appointment to one of our many boards and commissions or even a future run for City Council will gain insight into our departments and functions.  The City of Harrisonburg encourages all of its citizens to be engaged in the process of government.  Oftentimes, the structure of local government is not as clear as we would hope.  The Academy offers Harrisonburg residents a chance to take another look at their City.

The Academy is free to any city resident 18 years of age or older.  The only cost to you is two hours a week.

Applications are accepted, and enrollment is granted, on a first come first served basis.  Applications from members of the public who do not reside within the Harrisonburg City limits are not considered.  The decision of the program administrator on all applications is final.

The Public Information Officer (PIO) is responsible for media and community relations for the City of Harrisonburg.  The PIO is available to all citizens who may have questions or concerns about a situation in the City. 

Harrisonburg-Rockingham Emergency Communications Center

If you have a medical emergency, please call 911.  If the rescue squad need assistance getting to you they will notify the Public Works Department.

Commendations

To commend or compliment the performance an HRECC employee, notify the Operations Manager by calling 540-432-6150 or by emailing Dee Dee Sencindiver at ddsencindiver@hrecc.org.

When a commendation is received, a memorandum will be completed by the Operations Manager and forwarded through the organizational structure to the director.

Letters of commendation from citizens are posted for all employees to view and become a part of the employee's personnel file.

 

Complaints

It is the policy of the HRECC to investigate all allegations and complaints of misconduct against any member of the staff.  A complaint can be made in writing, in person, or by telephone.  Complaints can be made by emailing Dee Dee Sencindiver at ddsencindiver@hrecc.org, by calling 540-432-6150, or at the HRECC office located on the 5th Floor of the Public Safety Building at 101 N. Main St., Harrisonburg, VA 22802.

A complaint report is completed by the supervisor receiving the complaint based on the information provided.  A copy of the form is provided to the complainant unless the complainant wished to remain anonymous.

Complaints of misconduct concerning employees will be assigned to the employee's direct supervisor.

The Operations Manager will be responsible for investigation of complaints involving criminal activity, complaints against supervisory personnel, and complaints of severe infractions.  Complainants shall receive follow up notification from a member of the HRECC once the investigation of the complaint is complete.

Public Safety Building

How Do I?

Commendations

To commend or compliment the performance an HRECC employee, notify the Operations Manager by calling 540-432-6150 or by emailing Dee Dee Sencindiver at ddsencindiver@hrecc.org.

When a commendation is received, a memorandum will be completed by the Operations Manager and forwarded through the organizational structure to the director.

Letters of commendation from citizens are posted for all employees to view and become a part of the employee's personnel file.

 

Complaints

It is the policy of the HRECC to investigate all allegations and complaints of misconduct against any member of the staff.  A complaint can be made in writing, in person, or by telephone.  Complaints can be made by emailing Dee Dee Sencindiver at ddsencindiver@hrecc.org, by calling 540-432-6150, or at the HRECC office located on the 5th Floor of the Public Safety Building at 101 N. Main St., Harrisonburg, VA 22802.

A complaint report is completed by the supervisor receiving the complaint based on the information provided.  A copy of the form is provided to the complainant unless the complainant wished to remain anonymous.

Complaints of misconduct concerning employees will be assigned to the employee's direct supervisor.

The Operations Manager will be responsible for investigation of complaints involving criminal activity, complaints against supervisory personnel, and complaints of severe infractions.  Complainants shall receive follow up notification from a member of the HRECC once the investigation of the complaint is complete.

Public Safety Building

The Municipal Building is located at 345 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22801.

The City Manager's Office, Finance Department, Human Resources Department, Real Estate Office, Commissioner of Revenue, Voter Registrar, Treasurer, and Information Technology Department are all located in the Municipal Building.

Please use the city departments contact information directory to call the city office for directions, or use the interactive map on the Places page to get directions to the Municipal Building or another city office.

You may submit an application for water and sewer service in person or by mail.

If you decide to come in person, the Public Utilities Department is located at 2155 Beery Road, Harrisonburg, VA 22801. 

You may complete the application first online but will also need picture identification, a copy of the front and back signature page of your lease, and a letter of credit or pay the corresponding security deposit. James Madison University students may use the Utility Deposit Application Program (UDAP) contract in lieu of paying the security deposit.

Human Resources

The Municipal Building is located at 345 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22801.

The City Manager's Office, Finance Department, Human Resources Department, Real Estate Office, Commissioner of Revenue, Voter Registrar, Treasurer, and Information Technology Department are all located in the Municipal Building.

Please use the city departments contact information directory to call the city office for directions, or use the interactive map on the Places page to get directions to the Municipal Building or another city office.

Information Technology

The Municipal Building is located at 345 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22801.

The City Manager's Office, Finance Department, Human Resources Department, Real Estate Office, Commissioner of Revenue, Voter Registrar, Treasurer, and Information Technology Department are all located in the Municipal Building.

Please use the city departments contact information directory to call the city office for directions, or use the interactive map on the Places page to get directions to the Municipal Building or another city office.

Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation's primary focus is for city residents who, through their payment of city taxes, fund the programs and activities offered.  For that reason, Parks and Recreation offers a discount to all city residents for fees and activities.
 

On the outskirts of the City, the Harrisonburg address extends into Rockingham County.  Many of our patrons have Harrisonburg addresses but physically reside in Rockingham County.  The discounted rates are based on where you reside.

No, only those residing within the city limits of Harrisonburg are eligible for these discounted rates.

If you have previously enrolled in Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation classes, call 540-433-9168 to establish your account.

If you are a new customer, you will need to visit the Parks and Recreation Administrative Office at 305 South Dogwood Drive, Harrisonburg, VA 22801 with your driver’s license and electric bill.

If you have an email address in the system and provided answers to the security questions (mother's maiden name, city where you were born), we can email your password to you. Just click the "Having Trouble Signing In?" link on the WebTrac™ login screen. If you did not enter an email address or answer the security questions, please call 540-433-9168.
 

City residents can register beginning at 8:00am on the city registration day. Non-residents can register beginning at 8:00am on the non-city registration days.  These dates vary by the activity season.  Activities will not be available online after their registration deadline.
 

A current photo ID or any legal document or utility bill that lists your residence address.

If your electric bill is from Harrisonburg Electric Commission, then you are a city resident.  Any other electric company means you are not a resident.

City Resident Adult:  $30

Non-Resident Adult:  $60

City Resident Senior (Ages 55+):  $15

Non-Resident Senior (Ages 55+):  $30

City Resident Teen (Ages 12-17):  $5

Non-Resident Teen (Ages 12-17):  $15

More information.

Shelters will not be available through online reservations at this point. Reservations for shelters can be made in person or over the phone.

In WebTrac™, go to "Search" > “Activity” > “Search by Type”, and all activities are listed here.  If you don’t see the activity, it may not be available for online registration. At this time, online registration is not available for childcare programs and swimming lessons.

We accept debit and credit cards only online (Visa and Mastercard).

Yes, the WebTrac system uses SSL to protect your Web session. Your session is encrypted using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer).

Read more about this GoDaddy.com Verified and Secured site.

Be sure you have selected the appropriate credit card type (Visa or MasterCard) in the drop-down box. Enter your card number without any spaces or dashes. The expiration date should also be entered without any dashes or slashes. If you still have trouble, contact the Parks and Recreation office at 540-433-9168.

Cecil F. Gilkerson Community Activities Center hours are as follows:

Monday – Friday:  6:30am - 9:00pm
Saturday:  9:00am - 5:00pm
Sunday:  1:00pm - 6:00pm

Classrooms:  City Residents ($15/hour), Non-Residents ($20/hour)
Craft Rooms:  City Residents ($10/hour), Non-Residents ($15/hour)

First proof is a legal photo ID with local residency.  If photo ID does not have local residency, then a utility bill, lease agreement, or other legal document with name and address, along with photo ID.

Only current annual pass holders of the Cecil F. Gilkerson Community Activities Center or Simms Center may access the Exercise Room.

Middle school students with a current annual pass age 12 and over may access the Exercise Room with parental supervision. High school age students through adults with a current annual pass may access the Exercise Room with no restrictions.

Current annual pass holders may reserve court space for racquetball, squash, and Wallyball by calling the Community Activities Center at 540-433-2474 up to two days in advance.  Courts are reserved by the hour, on the hour.

The official times of open swimming on weekdays can vary due to other programming in the pool. On weekends open swimming times are always: Saturday 12-6 and Sunday 1-8.

View pool hours on the Swimming page.

The diving pool is 25 yards x 54 feet. The Olympic pool is 50 meters x 25 feet.

Westover Pool offers many activities year round including swimming lessons offered several times a year, swim teams, aqua aerobics, life-guarding classes, an annual dog swim, birthday parties, etc.

Swimming lessons are offered several different times during the year. Parks and Recreation offers multiple sessions during the summer during the week. In the winter and fall months there are classes during the week and classes on Saturdays. For specific dates check the most recent Activity Guide.

The following items are prohibited: outside food and beverages, gum, glass, boom boxes without headphones, hard plastic footballs, basketballs etc.

Police Department

If you have a medical emergency, please call 911.  If the rescue squad need assistance getting to you they will notify the Public Works Department.

Please submit a service request to the Public Works Department or call Public Works at 540-434-5928.  After hours (7:30am-4:00pm), please call the Harrisonburg Police Department at 540-434-4436.

Neighborhoods with speeding traffic and cut through traffic concerns are encouraged to participate in the Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program.

The City has excellent Citizen Police Academy that is open to all area residents and held in the spring.  That program details the activities of the Police Department.  The Harrisonburg Citizen Academy covers all city departments and services as opposed to just the Police Department.  The programs compliment each other and the City encourages you to participate in both.

Public Transportation

You can get real time stop predictions and view a live map of each transit route using Nextbus.

 

Yes. You can view the Harrisonburg Department of Public Transportation's lost and found policy and call their office at 540-432-0492 if you believe you left something on a bus.

Harrisonburg Transit buses operate almost exclusively in the city limits. JMU's student travel options page has compiled resources for transportation options for travelling outside Harrisonburg.

You can apply for any open City of Harrisonburg position (including those with HDPT) at the City's job portal.

Harrisonburg Department of Public Transportation offers multiple routes of transportation to students from one end of campus to the other.  Use this guide to find bus stops and the routes that service them.

 

 

 

Public Utilities

Check your faucet screens and valves for possible clogging, then check with your neighbors to see if they are experiencing any similar problems. If so, call the Public Utilities Billing office at 540-434-6783 or the Operations Center at 540-434-9959 for further recommendations.

Check all of your valves, especially your main valve, and check your faucet screens. Then call the Public Utilities Billing Office at 540-434-6783 so a city service professional can determine the problem. The problem may be in the city line. You will be told if you need to have your pipes checked by a plumber. The City cannot pay for your plumber service.

Many dripping faucets can be remedied by changing a washer. If the leak persists, call a plumber – leaks can become expensive. All usage and maintenance fees are the responsibility of the customer.

 

A commode that continually runs is an expensive water waster. By placing household food coloring into the tank of the commode, they can determine if water is running. If you do have a problem, you must employ a plumber. All customers must pay usage and maintenance fees.

You may submit an application for water and sewer service in person or by mail.

If you decide to come in person, the Public Utilities Department is located at 2155 Beery Road, Harrisonburg, VA 22801. 

You may complete the application first online but will also need picture identification, a copy of the front and back signature page of your lease, and a letter of credit or pay the corresponding security deposit. James Madison University students may use the Utility Deposit Application Program (UDAP) contract in lieu of paying the security deposit.

No. However, you can purchase another connection, a second meter, for the exclusive purpose of water usage for lawn care, avoiding a sewer fee. There is a connection fee for this meter however.

 

Check for running commodes and leaking faucets, garden hoses, etc. Then call the Public Utilities Billing Office at 540-434-9959. Explain your problem. Someone will reread your meter and listen for leaks in your line.

After obtaining a permit at the Water Operations Center you will be given the necessary equipment to protect the hydrant and water system during usage. Fire Hydrant Use Policy.

 

No. There can be no backflow connection between a public and private water supply. Virginia Waterworks Regulations dictate the conditions with some permitted exemptions.

First, do not run any water into the fixtures and call the Public Utilities Operations Center 540-434-9959 or the emergency response number.

It could be a problem with a city sewer line. You will be told by a city employee if you need to call a plumber. If you call a plumber first and it turns out to be a city problem, you will not be reimbursed for the plumber's fees.

Some discharges are illegal while others are approved through special permits.

In general, contact the Water Operations Center at 540-434-9959 for information about restrictions or necessary permits.

The City ordinance prohibits connecting drain spouts or drain pumps to your sanitary sewer building lines. Unpolluted water should be routed to storm drainage systems. Misdemeanor charges and monthly surcharges are enforcement actions which are available to the Department of Public Utilities.

Water customers should contact the Public Utilities Department at 540-434-9959 for advice on the best way to fill home swimming pools.

Most customers fill their pools from their existing water meter. There are other options, such as installing a separate water meter for your pool, having the Fire Department fill your pool and obtaining a "Water Use Agreement" upon payment of fee, or obtaining a fire hydrant use permit.

Due to the chlorine and chemicals used, pool water is contaminated and must be disposed through the city’s sanitary sewer system for treatment and discharge. Sewage charges are applied to all pool applications unless you qualify for an exemption. Qualifications for exemptions are determined by the Public Utilities Director.

Improper access to meter boxes will cause damage. You will be held responsible for damage caused by you or your plumber.

Contact the Billing Department 540-434-6783  for assistance to access your meter box.

Contact the Operations Center 540-434-9959  to have a meter box moved.

Relocation of meter boxes, if performed to accommodate building or landscaping, will be billed to the customer.

Public Works

If the dead animal is on private property, it is the landowners responsibility to dispose of the animal properly.

If the dead animal is on public property and is domesticated (cat, dog or other pet), call the Animal Control Office: 540-434-2545.  

If the dead animal is on public property and a non-domesticated (wild) animal, call the Public Works Department Office: 540-434-5928.

 

The snow plow trucks run on a primary route system, which includes approximately 60% of the lane miles in the City. The trucks remain on these primary routes until the snow/precipitation has ended then they begin on the remaining streets. It is important to remember that the number one concern is to clear the main streets for emergency traffic.

 

If you have a medical emergency, please call 911.  If the rescue squad need assistance getting to you they will notify the Public Works Department.

The Department of Public Works has an ongoing replacement/repair program, in which they annually take inventory of all city curb and sidewalks and determine their condition. Public Works then fixes the structures depending on the condition and usage.

The driveway entrance is the responsibility of the individual property owner.  A permit will be required for construction activities and is available through the Department of Planning and Community Development.

 

Please submit a service request to the Public Works Department or call Public Works at 540-434-5928.  After hours (7:30am-4:00pm), please call the Harrisonburg Police Department at 540-434-4436.

Please call the Public Works office at 540-434-5928 to make a request.  They will review the request and forward acceptable requests to the Harrisonburg Electric Commission.

Neighborhoods with speeding traffic and cut through traffic concerns are encouraged to participate in the Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program.

The Public Works Department offers leaves at $4 per scoop, weekdays between 7:30am to 7:45am and again from 3:30pm to 3:45pm.

 

Please call the Public Works Department at 540-434-5928, and supply your name, address and phone number.  After they have received this information, you may come to their office (320 East Mosby Road) and pick one up or Public Works can deliver a recycling bin to your door within five to ten business days.

Sharrow - downtownThese are "Shared Lane Markings", aka "Sharrows", which are intended to guide bicyclists to the best place to ride on the road, avoid car doors, and remind drivers to share the road with bicyclists.

Although it is the motorist's responsibility to check before opening their door, riding too close to parked cars (in the "door zone") is still a common mistake that can lead to serious injury.

Not always.

According to Virginia State Code Section 46.2-905, bicyclists are to stay to the right when riding less than the normal speed of traffic except to pass other bicyclists or vehicles, to prepare to make a left turn, when necessary to avoid conditions (including fixed or moving objects, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes too narrow for a bicycle and vehicle to travel side by side) that make it unsafe to continue along the right.

Moving to the left in the lane to avoid car doors, for instance, even if it means taking the entire lane, is permitted by the State Code.

No.

This marking is used for shared lanes; lanes that are used by bicyclists and motorists.

Shared lanes are different than bike lanes which are set aside for bicyclists and are marked by a solid white line and a different symbol.

No, bicyclists can ride on any roadway, except for those designed as limited access highways with signs explicitly prohibiting bicyclists (such as Interstate 81).

Cyclists are allowed on every street regardless of whether there is a marking or sign for them unless stated otherwise.

In 2009, the Federal Highway Administration approved the use of Shared Roadway Markings ("Sharrows") in their Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). Many cities around the country are using sharrows on streets that are both popular with bicyclists but may be too narrow for conventional bike lanes. 

The overall goals are: to improve the position of bicyclists on roads without bike lanes, reduce bicycling on sidewalks, assist bicyclists with lateral positioning in a shared lane with on street parallel parking in order to reduce the chance of a bicyclist's impacting the open door of a parked vehicle, encourage safe passing of bicyclists by motorists, and reduce the incidence of wrong-way bicycling.

No, these markings will be on streets that are designated in the City of Harrisonburg Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan.

The MUTCD states that "if used, the shared lane markings should be placed immediately after an intersection and spaced at intervals not greater than 250 feet thereafter."

Real Estate

The tax rate for the City of Harrisonburg is $0.63 per $100 of assessed value. This rate is subject to change annually.

 

More information about Real Estate Tax.

Real Estate taxes are calculated on a fiscal year basis and are billed twice a year. The first half is due December 5th and the second half is due June 5th.

The Municipal Building is located at 345 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22801.

The City Manager's Office, Finance Department, Human Resources Department, Real Estate Office, Commissioner of Revenue, Voter Registrar, Treasurer, and Information Technology Department are all located in the Municipal Building.

Please use the city departments contact information directory to call the city office for directions, or use the interactive map on the Places page to get directions to the Municipal Building or another city office.

There is a tax break for anybody over the age of 65 or permanently disabled with a gross income not to exceed $30,000 and a net worth not to exceed $75,000. Applications must be filed by May 1 prior to the fiscal year for which the exemption is requested. The title to the property for which exemption is claimed by the person must be held on July 1 of the taxable year by the person or persons claiming exemption.  More information.

 

The City is on a fiscal year. Whoever owns the property as of July 1 of that fiscal year will stay in that name until the next July. The new owner is responsible for the tax bills so the Real Estate Office tries to send the tax bills in c/o the new owner.

The City has partial exemption from taxation for rehabilitated, renovated or replaced real estate. The property has to be located within the B-1 Central Business District. The partial exemption from taxation shall commence on July 1 of the year following the final inspection and shall run with the real estate for a period of no longer than five years. The exemption is equal to the difference between the assessed base value established at the initial inspection before the rehabilitation, renovation or replacement and the final assessed value.

Land may be eligible for special valuation and assessment when it is used for agricultural, horticultural, forest or open space. You need to have at least five acres or more. Forest needs at least 20 acres. The applicant must furnish, upon request of the local assessing officer, proof of all prerequisites to use valuation and assessment, such as proof of ownership, description, areas, uses, and production. Any change in acres, zoning or change in use will be subject to a five year roll back tax.

 

The Real Estate Office can run sales by zoning, neighborhood, and use code. Real Estate also has a map that they put the sales on. All sales are public information. Real Estate can also fax or email the information.

You can either call the Real Estate Office and they will send a new bill to the owner, or you can mail it back or give it to the new owner.

Treasurer

No, the City of Harrisonburg does not require a decal, however, a vehicle license fee for the upcoming year will be added to the current year personal property bill.

December 5 of each year.  If a due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the due date is extended to the next succeeding business day.

All vehicles that are owned in the City on January 1 are subject to personal property tax.

Any vehicle purchased after January 1 of the tax year.

No, vehicles owned on January 1 in Harrisonburg will be taxed for the full year.

The Commonwealth of Virginia provides funding for tax relief for passenger car, motorcycles, and pickup or panel trucks having a registered gross weight of less than 7,501 pounds. To qualify, a vehicle must be owned by an individual or leased by an individual under a contract requiring the individuals to pay the personal property tax; AND be used less than 50% for business purposes. 
Motor homes, trailers and farm use vehicles do not qualify for tax relief.

The Municipal Building is located at 345 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22801.

The City Manager's Office, Finance Department, Human Resources Department, Real Estate Office, Commissioner of Revenue, Voter Registrar, Treasurer, and Information Technology Department are all located in the Municipal Building.

Please use the city departments contact information directory to call the city office for directions, or use the interactive map on the Places page to get directions to the Municipal Building or another city office.

Real Estate taxes are calculated on a fiscal year basis and are billed twice a year. The first half is due December 5th and the second half is due June 5th.

There is a tax break for anybody over the age of 65 or permanently disabled with a gross income not to exceed $30,000 and a net worth not to exceed $75,000. Applications must be filed by May 1 prior to the fiscal year for which the exemption is requested. The title to the property for which exemption is claimed by the person must be held on July 1 of the taxable year by the person or persons claiming exemption.  More information.

 

The City is on a fiscal year. Whoever owns the property as of July 1 of that fiscal year will stay in that name until the next July. The new owner is responsible for the tax bills so the Real Estate Office tries to send the tax bills in c/o the new owner.

The City has partial exemption from taxation for rehabilitated, renovated or replaced real estate. The property has to be located within the B-1 Central Business District. The partial exemption from taxation shall commence on July 1 of the year following the final inspection and shall run with the real estate for a period of no longer than five years. The exemption is equal to the difference between the assessed base value established at the initial inspection before the rehabilitation, renovation or replacement and the final assessed value.

Land may be eligible for special valuation and assessment when it is used for agricultural, horticultural, forest or open space. You need to have at least five acres or more. Forest needs at least 20 acres. The applicant must furnish, upon request of the local assessing officer, proof of all prerequisites to use valuation and assessment, such as proof of ownership, description, areas, uses, and production. Any change in acres, zoning or change in use will be subject to a five year roll back tax.

 

Voter Registrar

The Municipal Building is located at 345 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22801.

The City Manager's Office, Finance Department, Human Resources Department, Real Estate Office, Commissioner of Revenue, Voter Registrar, Treasurer, and Information Technology Department are all located in the Municipal Building.

Please use the city departments contact information directory to call the city office for directions, or use the interactive map on the Places page to get directions to the Municipal Building or another city office.

WebTrac

If you have previously enrolled in Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation classes, call 540-433-9168 to establish your account.

If you are a new customer, you will need to visit the Parks and Recreation Administrative Office at 305 South Dogwood Drive, Harrisonburg, VA 22801 with your driver’s license and electric bill.

If you have an email address in the system and provided answers to the security questions (mother's maiden name, city where you were born), we can email your password to you. Just click the "Having Trouble Signing In?" link on the WebTrac™ login screen. If you did not enter an email address or answer the security questions, please call 540-433-9168.
 

City residents can register beginning at 8:00am on the city registration day. Non-residents can register beginning at 8:00am on the non-city registration days.  These dates vary by the activity season.  Activities will not be available online after their registration deadline.
 

If your electric bill is from Harrisonburg Electric Commission, then you are a city resident.  Any other electric company means you are not a resident.

Shelters will not be available through online reservations at this point. Reservations for shelters can be made in person or over the phone.

In WebTrac™, go to "Search" > “Activity” > “Search by Type”, and all activities are listed here.  If you don’t see the activity, it may not be available for online registration. At this time, online registration is not available for childcare programs and swimming lessons.

We accept debit and credit cards only online (Visa and Mastercard).

Yes, the WebTrac system uses SSL to protect your Web session. Your session is encrypted using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer).

Read more about this GoDaddy.com Verified and Secured site.

Be sure you have selected the appropriate credit card type (Visa or MasterCard) in the drop-down box. Enter your card number without any spaces or dashes. The expiration date should also be entered without any dashes or slashes. If you still have trouble, contact the Parks and Recreation office at 540-433-9168.

Zoning

Proactive zoning is a way for the City to help maintain the health, safety and general welfare of City residents. The Planning and Zoning Division has laid the City out into 36 sections/neighborhoods, and on a prescribed schedule, inspections are performed on neighborhoods. Any owner of a property found in violation of the Zoning Ordinance is notified and given 10 or 30 days, depending upon the type of violation, to bring their property into compliance with the Zoning Ordinance.

A zoning violation is when a property does not meet the regulations as governed in the Zoning Ordinance. The most common zoning violations in the City are inoperable vehicles, occupancy, and junk, trash and discarded materials (some junk and trash violations may be enforced by the Department of Public Works). Operating a use that is not permitted in a specific zoning district is also a violation. The City's Zoning Ordinance is designed to list permitted uses; if a use is not listed, it is considered not permitted. For a complete description of permitted uses in a particular zoning district refer to the Zoning Ordinance.

If you think a property is in violation of the Zoning Ordinance, you can contact the Planning and Zoning Division at 540-432-7700.

The number of people who can live in a dwelling (also known as its occupancy) varies by district; please refer to your specific zoning district in the Zoning Ordinance. Before purchasing property or signing your new lease agreement, check your zoning district's allowed occupancy. Violation of permitted occupancy could lead to eviction from the property. If there are questions about your occupancy, contact the Planning and Zoning Division at 540-432-7700.

A family is defined as one or more persons occupying a dwelling and living as a single housekeeping unit, all of whom are related to each other by birth, adoption or marriage.  

Any building or land that is lawfully in use, and in which the zoning district changes or the zoning text is amended, and the building or land no longer adheres to the regulations of that new district. Often this situation is referred to as "grandfathered," however the correct terminology is non-conforming.

In the event that a nonconforming use of any building or premises is discontinued or its normal operation stopped for a period of 24 consecutive months or more, the use shall conform to the regulations of the current district in which it is located. A nonconforming use shall not be extended, enlarged, reconstructed or structurally altered, except when the enlargement does not compound the existing violation.

Allowable signage is calculated differently depending on the zoning district. Sign regulations are not part of the Zoning Ordinance but rather part of the Building Code Regulations. For a detailed description of allowable signage refer to the Sign Ordinance or call the Planning and Zoning Division at 540-432-7700.

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