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Posted on: December 14, 2023

Loudoun Board of Supervisors Adopts New Zoning Ordinance

Link to text of adopted Loudoun County Zoning Ordinance

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors has adopted a new zoning ordinance, completing a nearly four-year process that included extensive public engagement with a broad range of stakeholders. The new Loudoun County Zoning Ordinance, adopted by the Board following a public hearing December 13, 2023, is effective immediately and replaces the previous ordinance known as the Revised 1993 Zoning Ordinance

“This new ordinance is modern, streamlined, and provides much-needed updates to regulations on land use in the Loudoun County of today,” said Chair Phyllis J. Randall. “The Board’s unanimous vote illustrates our endorsement of an ordinance that is both good for Loudoun and recognizes this significant milestone in the Board’s history that could only have been achieved through the collaboration of countless critical partners. Those critical partners include the county’s zoning experts, business leaders, developers, environmental protection advocates, property owners, interested citizens, and many more. This effort could be a blueprint for future efforts, ensuring that in addition to being heard, stakeholders feel heard.” 

The text of the newly adopted Loudoun County Zoning Ordinance, which includes revisions to the county’s noise study regulations, is online at loudoun.gov/zoningordinance

In addition to adopting the new ordinance, the Board of Supervisors established grandfathering rules (PDF) to allow certain types of pending development applications (accepted for processing but not yet approved) to continue being reviewed and approved under the Revised 1993 Zoning Ordinance

The Board also approved an interim process (PDF) for implementing the Loudoun County Facilities Standards Manual technical standards and Loudoun County Land Subdivision and Development Ordinance regulations until updates are made to these documents. The county also will now update the Loudoun County Codified Ordinances to update references to the new Loudoun County Zoning Ordinance.

Notable highlights of the Board’s updates to the ordinance are summarized for each chapter of the ordinance and posted online at loudoun.gov/ZORsummaries.

The Loudoun County Zoning Ordinance regulates land use throughout the county and is the primary implementation tool of the land use policies described in the Loudoun County 2019 Comprehensive Plan, a policy document that provides guidance for governmental decision-makers regarding where and how the community will grow over many years.

Future Amendments

Following adoption of the new ordinance, the county will continue to update the ordinance and Comprehensive Plan through future amendments that will address a number of needs that were identified during the Zoning Ordinance Rewrite project. Future updates include additional considerations for data centers, land use in western Loudoun, and the prioritization and preservation of prime agricultural soils to support the long-term viability of farming. More information about planned efforts in the future are available in the November 9, 2023, staff report, Department of Planning and Zoning Work Plan (PDF).  

About the Zoning Ordinance Rewrite Project

The Board of Supervisors’ adoption of the new Loudoun County Zoning Ordinance is the culmination of four years of work, which began in 2020 with an audit of the previous ordinance. The Board appointed a Zoning Ordinance Committee that conducted thorough reviews, engaged the public and provided initial recommendations for updating the ordinance. Beginning in 2022, the Loudoun County Planning Commission subsequently reviewed and revised the ordinance, held public hearings, and forwarded a draft ordinance to the Board of Supervisors for review in the summer of 2023. The Board held another public hearing and further revised the draft ordinance with additional stakeholder input. Detailed information about the multiyear Zoning Ordinance Rewrite project is available on the county’s website at loudoun.gov/zoningordinancerewrite.

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