Zoning Ordinance Modernization (ZOMod) Project

Implementing the Comprehensive Plan

In the fall of 2019, Chesterfield County issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking the services of qualified professionals to assist the county in a comprehensive re-write of its Zoning Ordinance, Chapter 19.1 (PDF) of the Chesterfield County Code. The Zoning Ordinance serves as the primary tool to implement the Comprehensive Plan. While the Comprehensive Plan itself has changed over time to reflect the growth and development vision for county, much of the core content of the current Zoning Ordinance remains unchanged since the 1970s. A comprehensive re-write of the Zoning Ordinance is necessary to fully implement the future vision.

  1. Project Timeline

Project Timeline

The Zoning Ordinance Modernization Project, known as ZOMod, will have four phases:

  • Phase 1 - Diagnostic (concluded Fall 2021)
  • Phase 2 - Drafting
  • Phase 3 - Public Hearing and Adoption
  • Phase 4 - Training and Implementation

Learn more about the ZOMod Project timeline in the ZOMod General Overview video. 

Current Stage - Drafting

The county is now in the second stage of the Scope of Work, which is the Drafting Phase. Please view the Phase Two video which provides additional information regarding this important next step in the ZOMod process.

  1. ZOMod Goals
  1. Presentations and Resources
  1. ZOMod Educational Video Series
  1. Consultant Selection

Review and Comment on the Draft Zoning Ordinance

Planning will be releasing draft zoning ordinance sections for public review and comment. Available sections will be listed below and open for comment until Monday, July 31, 2023.

Use Matrix, Use Regulations and Definitions

The Use Matrix is a key piece of the new zoning ordinance because it identifies where different types of homes, businesses and other forms of development are allowed. The new Use Matrix is a vast improvement over the one in the current zoning ordinance today. It identifies modern land uses, while removing obsolete terms and uses that are no longer relevant. The new Use Matrix has also been streamlined, reducing the overall number of uses to make it easier to use. Additionally, in the Definitions section, all the uses in the Use Matrix have been defined which is a change from what we have today.

All these changes result in a clearer structure for the zoning ordinance, reducing guesswork about what is and isn’t allowed. The new Use Matrix is structured in a much more user-friendly way, categorizing uses by their primary function or theme, rather than alphabetically. Accompanying the Use Matrix are Use Regulations that establish standards for individual uses, including regulations for restricted uses and other conditions that may apply.

The third portion of the draft zoning ordinance, covering the Use Matrix, Use Regulations and Definitions, is available through Monday, July 31, 2023, for review and comment. Learn more by viewing the Use Matrix, Use Regulations and Definitions video.

Zoning Districts

A zoning district is a place where a given set of property regulations, like permitted uses, setbacks and building heights are housed that govern development and help maintain the character of the county.

  1. Residential and Agricultural Districts

Residential and Agricultural Districts
Chesterfield’s current zoning ordinance includes 13 different types of residential districts plus the agricultural district. However, the new draft zoning ordinance consolidates these into six residential districts plus an agricultural district. This will simplify the ordinance and make it easier for everyone to use.

The first portion of the draft zoning ordinance, covering the Residential and Agricultural Districts, is available through Monday, July 31, 2023, for review and comment. Learn more by viewing the Residential and Agricultural Districts video.

  1. Commercial, Mixed Use and Employment Districts

Share Your Thoughts

We always welcome input and would appreciate any feedback you have. View the ZOMod Comprehensive Explanation and Virtual Public Outreach video and the ZOMod Public Comment Update video and then share with us your comments about the Chesterfield County Zoning Ordinance. What works well? What needs improvement? What priorities would you like to see in the new ordinance?

Comments and questions can be directed to ZOMod Project Manager Rachel Chieppa by email or by calling 804-748-1050.

ZoMod - Zoning Ordinance Modernization