Zoning Overlay Districts
- Historic Overlay
- River Protection Overlay
- Reservoir Protection Overlay
- Highway Corridor Overlay
- Airport Protection Overlay
The County has adopted several Historic Overlay Districts to help preserve, protect, and promote important historical sites. The first districts were originally adopted in April, 1988. There are currently 8 such districts, totaling approximately 5,800 acres:
- The Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park: Several sites - Wilderness, Brockroad, Chancellorsville, Spotsylvania Courthouse, and Artillery Ridge.
- The Rapidan Dam Canal of the Rappahannock Navigation: From the confluence of the Rapidan and Rappahannock Rivers, stretching downstream along the Rappahannock for 1 ½ miles and encompassing 500 feet on either side of the canal.
- Tubal Furnace Archeological Site: Near where Pipe Dam Run crosses Spotswood Furnace Rd (Route 620).
- Spotsylvania Courthouse District: The historic core of Spotsylvania, encompassing approximately 67 acres, generally around the original Spotsylvania Courthouse.
- St. Julien: Southwest of the intersection of Mills Dr (U.S. 17) and Sandy Lane Dr (Route 2).
- Prospect Hill: North of Lake Anna on Monrovia Rd (Route 612).
- Massaponax Church: At the northwest quadrant of the Jefferson Davis Hwy (U.S. 1)/Massaponax Church Rd (Route 608) intersection.
- LaVista: East of Interstate-95 on Guinea Station Rd (Route 607).
Each district is subject to the requirements of Article 7, Division 3 of the Zoning Ordinance. Additionally, development within the historic districts is subject to review and approval by the Historic Preservation Commission. The boundaries of each district are shown as a layer on the online GIS.
The River Protection Overlay District was adopted in March, 1988 to help prevent water quality degradation within the Rapidan and Rappahannock rivers.
The overlay regulations are contained within Article 7, Division 4 of the Zoning Ordinance, and provide additional regulations for land use activities which include, notably:
- Increased minimum lot sizes for those served by septic systems.
- A restriction on placing septic systems within a floodplain.
- Restrictions on above-ground storage of hazardous liquid materials.
- A prohibition on sewage pumping stations.
- A prohibition on the application of biosolids.
The River Protection Overlay District is overlapped by the Reservoir Protection Overlay District, with both districts having unique requirements governing use and development of land within their boundaries. The boundaries of each district are shown as a layer on the online GIS.
There are 3 reservoirs in Spotsylvania County (largest to smallest): Hunting Run, Ni River, and Motts Run. The Reservoir Protection Overlay District, the regulations for which are contained within Article 7, Division 5 of the Zoning Ordinance, was originally adopted in July, 1988 to help protect the quality of these water supplies.
The overlay provides additional regulations for land use activities within the watersheds of these 3 reservoirs, which include, notably:
- Higher minimum lot size and lot width requirements adjacent to each reservoir site.
- Establishment of a 150’ buffer extending outward from the shoreline of each reservoir.
- Establishment of a 75’ buffer from either side of any perennial stream/river.
- A general restriction on septic drainfields within 250’ of the shoreline of each reservoir site (administrative relief is possible for lots recorded prior to August 14, 1990).
- Within 100’ (200’ for lots smaller than 1 ¼ acres) of the floodplain of a reservoir, a restriction on septic tanks and drainfields.
- A general restriction on certain uses.
- Plan requirements for stream/river crossings.
- A restriction on buried fuel tanks larger than 550 gallons within 100’ of the floodplain of a reservoir.
The Reservoir Protection Overlay District overlaps the River Protection Overlay District, with both districts having unique requirements governing use and development of land within their boundaries. The boundaries of each district are shown as a layer on the online GIS.
Highway Corridor Overlay Districts (HCODs) have been adopted for several important roads in the county as a means of fostering higher quality site design and signage standards along each corridor. HCODs are categorized as either “primary development” or “rural development.” The following roads, either fully or in part, are subject to HCOD requirements:
- Plank Road (Route 3)
- Courthouse Road (Route 208)
- Jefferson Davis Highway (U.S. Route 1)
- Lafayette Boulevard (U.S. Route 1 Business)
- Harrison Road (Route 620)
- Leavells Road (Route 639)
- Salem Church Road (Route 639)
- Hood Drive (Route 636)
The county’s online GIS illustrates the extent of each HCOD as a layer. Each district is also described and delineated in Sec. 23-7.6.5. of the Zoning Ordinance. All development within an HCOD must adhere the Standards of the Zoning Ordinance as well as the standards prescribed by Article 8 of the Design Standards Manual.
The Airport Protection Overlay District (Article 7, Division 7 of the Zoning Ordinance) is a three-dimensional district that extends 9,000’ outward and gradually upward from the Shannon Airport runways. The regulations prohibit activities that might interfere with aircraft or the operations of Shannon Airport. This overlay is necessary to ensure safe and unobstructed landing and takeoff flight paths and general airspace for aircraft. The shape and extent of the overlay are established as part of the Shannon Airport Master Plan, which is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The extent of this overlay district is illustrated two-dimensionally as a layer on the online GIS.
Generally speaking, this overlay doesn’t impact most development or properties except for those within the approach zones that extend outward from either end of the runways. The approach zones extend outward 5,000’ and upward from the runway ends at a slope of 15:1 (outward 15’ for every 1’ upward). They also fan out gradually to 1,200’ wide (2,000’ for Runway 24). Obstructions cannot penetrate the “floors” established by the approach zones, or by any other zone (airport, conical, or transitional) set forth in the overlay district.
All tower applications within a 20,000’ radius of a runway require special review by the FAA pursuant to federal law and the overlay district regulations.