Zoning Confirmations & Determinations
As a service, the County offers zoning confirmation letters that provide verification of the zoning regulations, permitted uses, non-conforming uses/structures, and past development approvals that may be associated with a particular property. There is a form, available below, as well as a required fee for confirmation letters. Please note that research is conducted only after the form, any supporting documentation, and the $335 fee are received.
Applicants are advised that the County is not able to make broad, generalized statements, such as “all structures and/or uses comply with all applicable regulations,” as part of any zoning confirmation letter. Confirmation letters only provide specific information which is definitively known about a property. Specific questions falling outside of the above categories may be provided responses if sufficient documentation is provided and/or readily available. Please note that speculative information will not be provided as part of any zoning confirmation letter.
The Zoning Administrator is empowered by the Spotsylvania County Zoning Ordinance as well as the Code of Virginia to make written interpretations of Zoning Ordinance requirements. A Zoning Determination may include documenting the presence and ordering remediation of a violation; making findings of fact and conclusions of law regarding vested rights associated with a structure or use of land; and providing verification of the applicability of various zoning regulations as they apply to a specific use or property, where ambiguity or the need for interpretation exists. A determination request may be general in nature, such as interpretation of an Ordinance requirement, or specific to a particular piece of property, such as whether vested rights exist.
An application for an official Zoning Determination should be made in writing to the Zoning Administrator and should be specific in its request. The required fee is $440 (in the event the determination process exceeds 4 hours total, an additional fee of $90 per hour will be assessed). Each parcel requires a separate request and fee, unless otherwise approved by the Zoning Administrator. Zoning information is only considered a legal determination if it is labeled as such and if the standard appeal notice is affixed to it. The Zoning Administrator may take up to 90 days to respond to a written determination request. All Zoning Determinations are considered final and binding if the 30-day appeal period lapses without a successful appeal to the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA). Any un-appealed determination becomes of the same force and effect of the Zoning Ordinance after 60 days, and may not be reversed or rescinded. In the event an official determination is appealed to the BZA, appellants are advised the BZA has separate application fees and forms.