Richmond VA > Planning and Development Review > Zoning Division

Last Updated: 2016-10-27

News Regarding EnerGov and Permits Web Inquiry Function

1. To make it easier for everyone to check on the status of their plan submittal, permit status, or schedule of inspections we have reactivated “Permits Web Inquiry” on the Department’s web page. You can find it HERE.

Please feel free to go there and use it. It may look a bit different than the old page, but we hope you’ll find it an easy-to-use tool that will answer some of your questions. Just like the former page you’ll be able to search the status of plans, permits, property maintenance cases, and inspections scheduled for that day.

We appreciate your patience and look forward to bringing you the full online plan submission, plan review, permitting and inspection scheduling system as soon as we possibly can.

2. We are now accepting plan submittals on thumb drives. Please bring your plans to us on a thumb drive when you come in to apply for a permit and we’ll upload it onto our system. Doing so will save you time, money, and provide for enhanced plan review.

The Zoning Administration Division provides a variety of functions related to permitting and planning services. Every parcel within the city has a zoning designation that governs its use. These uses are defined in the official zoning ordinance supported by the official zoning map. Zoning staff review permits to promote the orderly development of every parcel within the city as it relates to the individual use of the property.

Zoning staff is responsible for enforcing the zoning ordinance primarily through the review of building permits, sign permits, and Certificate of Occupancy applications.

Zoning staff reviews and issues Certificate of Zoning Compliance (CZC) applications and researches and responds to Zoning Confirmation Letter requests and any Request for Letter of Zoning Confirmation - Buildable Lot/Lot Split Validation.

When certain conditions of the zoning ordinance are not or cannot be met, such as front or side yards (setbacks), required parking, use of a structure or other features of properties, Zoning staff coordinates the Administrative Variance process or coordinates and prepares necessary documentation for monthly Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) meeting agendas for Variances, Special Exceptions and appeals of a decision of the Zoning Administrator.

Projects that require review and approval by either the Commission of Architectural Review (CAR), City Planning Commission (CPC), or Urban Design Committee (UDC) may also require concurrent zoning approval.

Complaints and concerns from the public, city Administration and City Council related to potential zoning violations are investigated by zoning staff. Code enforcement issues include:

  • the illegal use or density of property
  • operation of businesses without required permits
  • fences that are too high
  • auto repair operations
  • unscreened dumpsters
  • illegal or excessive signage
  • parking of commercial vehicles in residentially-zoned areas

The staff takes appropriate actions to obtain voluntary compliance with the zoning regulations or, if necessary, initiates court proceedings to force compliance.

Possible violations of the Zoning Ordinance can be reported to the Zoning Administrator. File a zoning violation using the automated Citizens' Request System. Providing a numbered street address of the property and information on the nature of the violation would assist in the review. Personal information does not need to be provided.

Zoning related brochures and documents

Frommer's 2014 Badge Auditor Reports Issued FIOA Request

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