Planning & Zoning
Sara E. Carter, Planning Director
Mackenzie Tate,; Assistant Planning & Zoning Administrator
PH: (804) 492-3520, M-F 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
NEW Online GIS System
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping data is now available to use online. Available data includes tax map parcels, streets, addresses, aerial photos, zoning districts, waterways, schools, fire and rescue squads and several other county-wide features.
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Cumberland Planning Department is responsible for the administration and
enforcement of the County’s subdivision and zoning ordinances. This includes
the review and approval of subdivision plats, site plans and the processing
of rezoning, conditional use permit and variance applications. The department
also processes fireworks and festival permit applications. The Planning
Department also staffs the Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals
(BZA), Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) committee and the Citizen’s
Forms, Information & Applications:
Lot Line Adjustment: When the configuration of
existing parcels change. Allowable as long as the adjustments do not make
any parcel involved less conforming to dimensional requirements of the
subdivision and zoning ordinances.
|Vacation of Line: First you will need to locate a survey plat of your
property. On a copy of this survey you will have a professional surveyor or
engineer designate which line will be adjusted and how it will be adjusted.
Next you will need to complete the application. Please note, If you are
adjusting a line that will affect someone else’s property the owner of that
property will also need to sign the application. Finally you will need to
submit your application along with a copy of your survey to the Planning
& Zoning Department for approval. Prior to picking-up your plat you
will need to pay the application fee.
Conditional Use Permit (CUP): A conditional use permit (CUP) authorizes a use not routinely allowed on a
property without review of how the use will affect the area and adjacent
properties. A CUP requires a public hearing and, if approved, adherence to
specific conditions. The County Code describes uses for each zoning
district that may be permitted with a CUP (for example, a church may be
permitted in an agricultural zone with a CUP). More information about CUPs
and conditional zoning can be found in County Code Sec. 74-671 through
Rezoning (REZ): Changing the zoning of a property (i.e. to change it from agricultural to
residential). Applicant may submit proffers (conditions) that help offset
the impact the change in use may have on the County. A cash proffer policy
was established in 2006 for those interested in pursuing residential rezonings.
Signs: Most permanent and temporary signs require a permit from the County. There
are size and placement limitations based on the property zoning. Contact the
planning department if you have any questions.
Site Plans: Plans of development are required for commercial and industrial developments.
Details parking, landscaping, erosion control, outdoor lighting, and
screening among other things.
Subdivision: when a parcel of land is divided into 2 or more parcels of land.
Family Division - a subdivision between
immediate family members and such divisions are generally less restrictive,
a family division affidavit is required to be completed with the application.
Minor Division - a division which results in a total of 5 or fewer lots. Parent tracts are any parcel of property
in existence (on record in the county clerk’s office) April 5, 1991 or
Major Division - a division which results in 6 or more lots. Major divisions require the Planning Commissions approval of a preliminary plat.
Variance Request (VAR): A relaxation of the standards as stated in the zoning ordinance. When the
strict application of the zoning ordinance would result in an unreasonable
hardship to the property owner. All variances must be approved by the Board
of Zoning Appeals.
Zoning Permit: Required before any building permit is issued. Completed by the Planning
Department listing building setback lines and ensuring that the proposed
use complies with the zoning ordinance. Please see the below information
entitled, “Approval Process to Build a Dwelling/ Accessory Building” for
more details. Zoning Permits are now combined with building permit
Festival Application: Required for any outdoor gathering of more than 150 people. Granted by the
Board of Supervisors.
Fireworks Permit Application: Required for any indoor or outdoor display of fireworks granted by County
Administrator in consultation with the County Fire Marshal.(Choose between
indoor or outdoor)
The Comprehensive Plan includes an inventory and analysis of the County and its current policies, as well as goals and objectives to guide future growth. The Plan is an official statement of policy that provides guidance for the future physical development of the County. The 2013 – 2018 Comprehensive Plan was adopted by the Board of Supervisors on August 13, 2013.
2013-2018 Comprehensive Plan
County is committed to providing a beautiful, safe and healthy environment
for all its citizens. To achieve this goal, the county seeks to clean up
areas visible from roads and adjacent properties where there are abandoned
vehicles, trash and junkyards.
If you would like to make a complaint or have any questions,
Ms. Rachel Falkenstein by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (804) 492-3520.
Complaints do not have to provide their name in order to file a
The names of those making a zoning complaint are kept confidential and
are not subject to disclosure.
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is the state agency that permits
the land application of biosolids in Cumberland County.
Farmers apply biosolids as a fertilizer to the
soil. Prior to being applied to the land, the biosolid material is stabilized with lime at a waste water treatment plant.
In addition to state monitors, Cumberland has a local biosolids monitor to ensure biosolids are properly applied
and stored in the County. The monitor, Mr. Manuel Toombs, is also the local biosolids monitor for several adjacent localities.
If you have any questions or concerns with the use of biosolids in Cumberland County, please contact the Planning Department at 804-492-3520.
Erosion & Sediment Control Program
Erosion & Sediment Control Permits
that historic resources are part of what makes Cumberland County a unique
place, the County is committed to historic preservation. Historic buildings
and landscapes, such as mills, schools and agricultural complexes, tell the
narrative about local people, places and events. Historic preservation is
often a catalyst for economic development and increased civic involvement.
There are many tools to aid historic preservation including surveys,
rehabilitation tax credits and educational programs.
Cumberland Courthouse Historic District
To view a map of the district click here
county received a cost-share grant from the Department of Historic Resources
to conduct a survey of all the buildings in the Courthouse village area. The
results of this work formed the Cumberland County Historic District, approved
by the Dept. of Historic Resources on June 6, 2007 placing it on the Virginia
Landmark Register. The National Park Service also reviewed the findings and
added the district to the National Register of Historic Places on August 16,
2007. These designations are honorary listings that will allow property
owners to take advantage of rehabilitation tax credits as well as increase
tourism to the County.
continue this successful collaboration, Cumberland County partnered with the
Department of Historic Resources and EHT TRACERIES, an architectural history
consulting firm located in Washington D.C., in 2008. The goal of the
partnership was to prepare draft historic design guidelines for the
Cumberland Courthouse Historic District and the entrance corridor on State
Route 60 between Cumberland Courthouse and the Powhatan County line. EHT
TRACERIES presented their final draft of the historic design guidelines to
the Planning Commission in 2009. The next step will be for the Planning
Commission to make a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors on the use of
guidelines are intended to assist property owners, architects, builders and
county officials in preserving architecture and patterns of the District and
Entrance Corridor as well as providing design standards for new development
in these areas. Currently these guidelines are voluntary recommendations.
Cumberland Courthouse Historic District & Rt. 60
Entrance Corridor Design Guidelines
To view the Design Guidelines, click here
Cumberland County’s updated Comprehensive
Plan is quick to identify the protection and preservation of our rural
The County is working to develop several programs to protect rural character.
The first to be developed is a purchase of development right (PDR) program
where a landowner would sell their property’s development rights to the
County who would in turn extinguish them and permanently protect the land
through a conservation easement. The County adopted this program in 2007. A
PDR committee made up of County residents has been established to review
applications and help educate landowners about the program.
Other land use tools include conservation subdivisions using clustering and
open space (instead of a traditional subdivision where all the land is used
up for lots and roads, cluster subdivision allows smaller lots, but require a
percentage of the development to be in open and undeveloped land). The County
adopted its first cluster subdivision provisions in late 2007. This cluster
subdivision is an option in the A-2, Agricultural zoning district and
requires 75% of the development to remain undeveloped. The County is also
developing a cluster development option for the R-2, Residential zoning
Tax Map Grid - Right click here to download
an image of the tax map grid.
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Zoning Map- the official county zoning map is on file for public viewing in
the planning department during regular business hours which are 8:30am
-4:30pm Monday through Friday