Frequently Asked Questions
What are the requirements for keeping horses, goats, chickens, or other farm animals on my property?
The exact requirements depend on the type of animal as well as the acreage and zoning district of the underlying property. After finding the zoning of the property, Click here and download the "Animal Keeping Requirements" summary sheet which summarizes the requirements based on the zoning district and type of animal. Horses fall under the "livestock" category.
How far from the property line does my structure need to be? (SETBACKS)
The answer depends on specifics such as type of structure, what zoning district, and which property line.
- See below Q&A about how to check Zoning of a property.
- Visit the Applications, Forms & Handouts page to download a "Setbacks Summary Sheet".
How do I check the zoning of a property?
- First you need a tax parcel number (check your tax bill), address, owner name, or other way to locate the property on a map.
- Visit the Online Interactive Maps tool on the County website.
- Locate the property using the search bar or by visually searching. TIP: Try turning on an aerial view for additional reference, or find a nearby road intersection.
- Ensure that the "Zoning" layer is turned on.
- Check what color of zoning is on the property.
- You can often see the zoning district name spelled out on the parcel or an adjacent parcel with the same color, for example, the tan color is R-A Residential Agricultural. Another way to match colors with zoning districts is by clicking the down arrow button next to the check box where the Zoning layer appears in the layers menu.
What is allowed in my Zoning District?
All of the land in the County is divided into separate Zoning Districts, each with its own set of rules regulating how the land may be used.
The rules establish:
- What land uses are allowed to occur within each zoning district (some may require Special Exception i.e. approval by the Board of Supervisors)
- Dimensional requirements for new structures on the land (such as setbacks)
- Dimensional requirements for lots and boundary line changes, such as minimum lot size, width and depth.
To view the requirements for a particular zoning district, first view the County Code using this link. Then find Chapter 90 (Zoning Ordinance) in the left sidebar and navigate to the section named for the zoning district you are interested in.
Do I need zoning approval for...?
My business? Yes. If the business is based at your house, you need to submit a "Home Occupation Zoning Approval" form. If the business is based at a commercial location, you need to submit a "Professional Business Zoning Approval" form. Forms are available here and can be submitted electronically.
A building < 256 square feet in area? Yes. Contact Building Inspections office to apply for a zoning permit.
A structure used for agriculture? Yes. Contact Building Inspections office to apply for a permit for a farm structure.
A shipping container used as a storage building? Yes. Contact Building Inspections office to apply for a zoning permit.
Where can I view a map or plat or my property?
To access recorded plats prepared by surveyor, visit the Prince George County General Circuit Court Clerks Office, located at 6601 Courts Dr., Prince George, VA 23875, which maintains land records including deeds, wills, recorded plats, etc.
The County maintains an Online Interactive Maps tool for public use, which includes aerial imagery, estimated property lines, environmental features, and more.
- To search for an owner, address, parcel number or street name, after opening the map viewer, use the search bar in the top right .
- To open the layer list and turn on / off layers, click the > button Some layers may have a down arrow next to the checkbox which allows you to see a legend for that layer.
- To measure distances and area (square feet or acres), click the "Tools" button and then the "Measure and Coordinates" tab.
How do I watch or attend a Planning Commission Meeting?
Planning Commission meetings are open to the public and held in person in the Board Room on the 3rd floor of the Administration Building at 6602 Courts Drive, Prince George VA 23875. The meeting typically begin at 6:30 p.m. on the 4th Thursday of each month. A complete meeting schedule is available on the Planning Commission webpages.
Meetings are also streamed live online and archived after the meeting concludes. Visit this webpage to watch a meeting.
Note: By default the audio may be muted. To unmute, simply click the unmute button in the bottom-left corner of the video's window.
How can I access more information about a particular rezoning, special exception or other case being considered by the Planning Commission?
Approximately a week prior to each Planning Commission meeting, Staff posts the agenda and complete meeting packet on the Meeting Documents webpage.
If you are interested in a specific case:
- Visit the page linked above
- Find the correct meeting date and click on it
- Download and open the "Packet" for that meeting
- Refer to the table of contents (usually page 2) to locate the Staff Report materials for a particular case within the document
- After locating the desired Staff Report within the document, refer to the sheet titled "Resume" for a table of contents specific to that case
Board of Supervisors meeting materials are posted before and after meetings at this link.
Board of Zoning Appeals meeting materials are posted before and after meetings at this link.
How can I provide my input to the Planning Commission or Board of Supervisors prior to a scheduled public hearing??
- Online --> Public Comment Form
- In person at a public meeting. Additional information: Board of Supervisors Meeting Guidelines (much of this also applies to Planning Commission)
- Contact staff to submit your comment (preferably email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
What are the requirements for keeping horses or other animals on my property?
The answer varies depending on the various factors including the type of animal, zoning district, size of property, and distance to neighbors. A summary sheet is available on the Applications, Forms and Handouts page under "Summary Sheets & Policies".
Are short-term rentals permitted in Prince George County?
Short-term rentals (such as those advertised on Airbnb, VRBO, etc.) are permitted in certain zoning districts with certain approvals required:
A-1 or R-A zoning districts:
A "Cottage industry", which includes the rental of up to 4 bedrooms, may be permitted as a home occupation with a Special Exception approval from the Board of Supervisors. The owner or operator must live in the dwelling and provide food to clients in a "bed and breakfast" format. The property is required to have at least 5 acres zoned A-1 or R-A to be eligible to request a Special Exception. In addition to Special Exception approval, it will require building code approval, business zoning approval and a business license To get started, contact the Planning & Zoning office to discuss the process.
R-3 zoning district:
"Tourist homes" are permitted without approval of the Board of Supervisors but still require building code approval, business zoning approval and a business license. To get started, contact the Planning & Zoning office to discuss the process. --Tourist home means an establishment used for dwelling purposes in which less than ten rooms, with or without meals, are offered to transient guests for compensation.
Do I need zoning approval for my business and how do I obtain it?
If the business has a physical location / address in Prince George County and a business license is required according to the Commissioner of Revenue office, then yes it needs zoning approval for the physical location.
Click here to access forms for zoning approval
If your business will operate out of a commercial location (e.g. office building, store, warehouse, etc.), you will need to submit the Professional Business Zoning Approval form.
If you have a home-based business, you will need to submit the Home Occupation Zoning Approval form.
NOTE: People who work for a company but are not employees of that company typically are considered independent business owners. Though the majority of work is completed at a location other than the home, this is usually considered a "Home Office" type of business. The home is the base of operations (office) for the off-site work. People who provide food delivery or transportation services using phone apps are common examples.
Is my property in the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area (CBPA)?
To find out if a property is located in the CBPA:
- Access the Online Interactive Maps from the County website.
- Locate your property using the search bar.
- Turn on the “Chesapeake Bay Watershed” layer.
- The shaded areas represent the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area (CBPA). If the shaded areas are partly inside the tax parcel boundaries of the property you are concerned with, then the property is located inside the CBPA and subject to CBPA regulations.
Are there any restrictions on construction in a FEMA Flood Zone and if so what are they?
Before you engage in construction activity within a FEMA Flood Zone (floodplain), you need to apply for a Floodplain Development Permit which entails submitting information to confirm what elevation the structure will be in comparison to the base flood elevation (BFE), which is essentially the estimated water level during a one-percent annual chance flood event. Generally, structures need to be constructed above the BFE. The exact requirements for building within a floodplain depend on the specifics of the project and location.
Click here for more specific information based on the specific type of construction envisioned and the specific floodzone.
Where can I learn about road/intersection improvement projects in Prince George County?
Click here to view a list of transportation projects for the Richmond region, including Prince George County. All projects in Prince George are managed by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). Each individual project has a dedicated web page with more information and contact information for the VDOT project manager. As of March 2023, here are the current projects listed for Prince George County:
- Hopewell/Prince George - Route 36 (Hopewell-Oaklawn Boulevard) STARS Study
- Prince George - Intersection Improvements at Courthouse Road (Route 106) and Bull Hill Road (Route 630) (Construction of a dog bone roundabout)
- Prince George - Intersection Improvements at Route 460 and Queen Street (Traffic operation and safety improvements)