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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Bodatious CUP Renewal Information

Renewal Request:

CUP Renewal Request

Renewal - Board Staff Report

Approval Resolution 2014

Compliance Reports:

April Report

May Report

September Report

More Info:

Public Safety Information

Economic Impact

Road Issues




General Information

The 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 74-677.


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 before.

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 applications.


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)



Poultry Facilities





Comprehensive Plan

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

Code Enforcement

Cumberland 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, please contact:

Ms. Rachel Falkenstein by email at or by phone at (804) 492-3520.

Complaints do not have to provide their name in order to file a complaint.
The names of those making a zoning complaint are kept confidential and
are not subject to disclosure.


Local Biosolids Monitoring

The 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

In Lieu of Agreement – for the Construction of a single family home disturbing less than 1 acre

Land disturbing Permit – for all other projects which disturb greater than 10,000 square feet (requires approval of erosion and sediment control plan)

E&S Application
E&S Control Plan Checklist



Historic Preservation

Recognizing 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

The 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.

To 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 the guidelines.

The 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


Rural Preservation

Cumberland County’s updated Comprehensive Plan is quick to identify the protection and preservation of our rural character.

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 district.

Zoning Map

Tax Map Grid - Right click here to download an image of the tax map grid.

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