Frequently Asked Questions
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 does my Zoning District allow?
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 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
How can I provide my input to the PC or BOS about a zoning case?
- 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: email@example.com)
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.