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Zoning Information

View the Zoning Ordinance on the City Code Website

PDF[883KB] Zoning Map

Bullet itemPurpose of Zoning Regulations

Bullet itemZoning Districts

Bullet itemRezonings, Special Use Permits, and Ordinance Amendments

Bullet itemVariances and Appeals

Bullet itemZoning FAQs

Bullet itemZoning Verification Letter

 


 

Purpose of Zoning Regulations

The zoning regulations and districts have been made in accordance with the comprehensive plan, to promote, in accordance with present and future needs, the health, safety, morals, order, convenience, prosperity and general welfare of the citizens of Harrisonburg, Virginia, and to provide for efficiency and economy in the process of development; for the appropriate and best use of land, for convenience of access and of traffic and circulation of people and goods; for the appropriate use and occupancy of buildings; for healthful and convenient distribution of population; for protection against overcrowding of land, undue density of populations in relation to the community facilities existing or available, destruction of or encroachment upon historic areas, obstruction of light and air, or loss of life, health or property from fire, flood, panic or other dangers; to encourage good civic design and arrangement; to facilitate the creation of a convenient, attractive and harmonious community and for adequate public utilities, public services and facilities, by regulating and limiting the height and bulk of buildings and structures, the area of yards and other open spaces, and the density of use. They have been made with reasonable consideration, among other things, for the existing use and character of property, the comprehensive plan, to the character of the district and its peculiar suitability for particular uses, to trends of growth or change, and with a view to conserving natural resources and the value of land and building and encouraging the most appropriate use of land throughout the incorporated territory of the City of Harrisonburg, Virginia.

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Zoning Districts

The purpose statements which accompany each district below are intended to describe in a general way the character of uses to be encouraged in the district, to assist with selection of appropriate districts for application to various conditions of land use, existing or planned, and with interpretation of questions which may arise with respect to particular land uses in particular locations. In any case of difference between the purpose statement and the use regulations for the district the use regulations shall control.

 

R-1 Single-Family Residential District

The Zoning Ordinance states that the R-1, Single-Family Residential District is intended for low-density, relatively spacious single-family residential development. The residential density ranges from 1 to 4 units per acre, with a minimum lot size of 10,000 sq. ft.

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R-2, Residential District

The Zoning Ordinance states that the R-2, Residential District is intended for medium-density, single-family and duplex residential development. The residential density ranges for R-2 are single-family, 7,000 sq. ft. minimum and duplex, 5,500 sq. ft/unit.

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R-3, Multiple Dwelling Residential District

The Zoning Ordinance states that the R-3, Multiple Dwelling Residential District is intended for medium- to high-density residential development and other uses intended to respect the residential character, which are aesthetically compatible within the district by means of architectural expression, landscaping, and restrained traffic flow. The residential density ranges for R-3 are single-family, 6,000 sq. ft. minimum; duplex, 4,000 sq. ft/unit; multi-family, 3,000 sq. ft. minimum per unit; townhouses, 2,000 sq. ft. minimum per unit; and other uses, 6,000 sq. ft. minimum.

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R-3, Medium Density Residential District

The Zoning Ordinance states that the R-3, Medium Density Residential District is intended for medium density residential development and other uses intended to respect the residential character, which are aesthetically compatible within the district by means of architectural expression, landscaping, and restrained traffic flow. The residential density ranges for R-3 are single-family, 6,000 sq. ft. minimum; duplex, 4,000 sq. ft/unit; townhouses, 2,000 sq. ft. minimum per unit; other uses, 6,000 sq. ft. minimum and by special use permit multi-family, 3,000 sq. ft. minimum per unit.

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R-4, Planned Unit Residential District

The Zoning Ordinance states that the R-4, Planned Unit Residential District is intended to permit the development of planned residential neighborhoods containing not less than twenty-five (25) contiguous acres under one ownership or control at the time of approval for development. Within the district the location of all buildings, playgrounds, recreation and green areas, parking areas and open spaces shall be developed in such a manner as to promote a variety of residential and permitted nonresidential buildings in orderly relationship to one another. The residential density ranges for the R-4 district are single-family, 6,000 sq. ft. minimum; duplex, 3,000 sq. ft./unit; multi-family, 3,000 sq. ft./unit; and townhouse, 2,000 sq. ft./unit.

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R-5, High Density Residential District

The Zoning Ordinance states that the R-5, High Density Residential District is intended for medium to high density residential development, including townhouses and multiple family dwelling units, together with certain governmental, educational, religious, recreational and utility uses.

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R-6, Low Density Mixed Residential Planned Community

The Zoning Ordinance states that the R-6, Low Density Mixed Residential Planned Community is intended to provide opportunities for the development of planned residential communities offering a mix of large and small-lot single family detached dwellings and open spaces, together with certain government, educational, religious, recreational and support uses. Innovative residential building types and creative subdivision design solutions are encouraged to promote neighborhood cohesiveness, walk-ability, connected transportation systems, community green spaces and protection of environment resources. Communities shall be developed and redeveloped in accordance with a master development plan.

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R-7, Medium Density Mixed Residential Planned Community

The Zoning Ordinance states that the R-7, Medium Density Mixed Residential Planned Community is intended to permit the development of planned residential communities offering a mix of single family detached and attached dwellings and open spaces.  Innovative residential building types and creative subdivision design solutions are encouraged to promote neighborhood cohesiveness, walk-ability, connected transportation systems, community green spaces and protection of environmental resources.  Communities shall be developed, redeveloped, and amended in accordance with a master development plan.

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MX-U, Mixed Use Planned Community District

The Zoning Ordinance states that the MX-U, Mixed Use Planned Community District is intended to provide opportunities for the development of planned mixed use communities offering an integral and compatible mix of residential, commercial and employment uses and open spaces, together with certain governmental, educational, religious, recreational and support uses. Innovative building types and creative subdivision design solutions are encouraged to promote neighborhood cohesiveness, walk-ability, connected transportation systems, community green spaces and protections of environmental resources. Communities shall be developed and redeveloped in accordance with a master development plan adopted at the time of rezoning or a subsequent approved amendment thereof.

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MH-1, Manufactured Home Park District

The Zoning Ordinance states that the MH-1, Manufactured Home Park District is intended to permit development of manufactured home parks for residential occupancy as rental projects on sites of not less than five (5) contiguous acres in those areas of the city adequately provided with street access, approved water supply and sewers.

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MH-2, Manufactured Home Subdivision District

The Zoning Ordinance states that the MH-2, Manufactured Home Subdivision District is intended to permit development of manufactured home subdivisions for residential occupancy as a subdivision of individually owned manufactured homes on sites of not less than five (5) contiguous acres in those areas of the city adequately provided with street access, approved water supply and sewers.

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B-1A, Local Business District

The Zoning Ordinance states that the B-1A, Local Business District is intended to provide primarily for retail shopping and personal service uses to be developed either as integrated units or as individual parcels to serve the needs of a relatively small area, primarily nearby, low density or medium density residential neighborhoods. To enhance the general character of the district, its function of local and neighborhood service, and its compatibility with its residential surroundings, the size of certain uses is limited. 

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B-1, Central Business District

The Zoning Ordinance states that the B-1, Central Business District is intended as an urban and regional center for the conduct of commercial, financial, professional and governmental activities to which the public requires direct and frequent access. No minimum lot size or setback restrictions exist in the B-1, Central Business District.

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B-2, General Business District

The Zoning Ordinance states that the B-2, General Business District is intended to provide sufficient space in appropriate locations for a wide variety of retail shopping, commercial, automotive, miscellaneous recreational, and service activities. No minimum lot size restrictions exist in the B-2, General Business District.

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M-1, General Industrial District

The Zoning Ordinance states that the M-1, General Industrial District is intended primarily for manufacturing, processing, storage, and distribution activities, which are not properly associated with, nor compatible with, residential and institutional development. No minimum lot size restrictions exist in the M-1, General Industrial District.

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I-1, Institutional Overlay District

The Zoning Ordinance states that the I-1, Institutional Overlay District is intended to provide for orderly development of certain nonprofit institutional uses and is created as a special overlay district to be superimposed on base districts by approval of City Council. Dimensional and density regulations are intended to supplement those permitted in the underlying zoning classification.

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U-R, Urban Residential District

The Zoning Ordinance states that the U-R, Urban Residential District is intended for medium density and single family development that is of an historic nature, located near the center of the city, together with certain governmental, educational, religious, recreational and utility uses subject to restrictions and requirements necessary to ensure compatibility with residential surroundings.

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R-P, Residential Professional District

The Zoning Ordinance states that the R-P, Residential Professional District is intended to provide flexibility in the use of buildings located at the outer limits of traditional residential areas. Professional offices and other uses that respect both the residential nature and aesthetic character of the adjacent neighborhood are permitted. Uses permitted by special use may be subject to restrictions and requirements to ensure compatibility with residential surroundings.

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Zoning Verification Letter

PDF[76KB] Zoning Verification Letter Application

A zoning verification letter is a document provided by the City to verify the current zoning of a piece of property. The letter can also confirm:  whether the existing use is conforming to the Zoning Ordinance, the types of uses allowed in the specific zoning district, whether the property has received variances, if the property is within a special or overlay district, if the property was developed with an approved site plan, if the property is in compliance with minimum parking requirements, and many other details. Depending upon the amount of the information requested, there could be a fee of $50.00.

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