Planning and Zoning Initiatives


Planning and zoning initiatives work with the ACRES concept to provide sustainable strategies, policies, and procedures to agriculturally focused citizens and groups within Goochland County. These efforts are primarily driven by the County’s Community Development office.

· 2035 Comprehensive Plan
Includes a ‘Rural Strategies’ section to support agriculture and rural development (see supplemental info) implementation strategies for the following areas: Agriculture and Forestry uses, Rural Production and Economic Vitality, Protect and Enhance equestrian activities, Residential development in rural area, and Commercial development in rural areas. Comprehensive Plan has a designated growth area that supports keeping the County 85% rural.

· County serves as a liaison with Monacan Soil and Water Conservation District with a Memorandum of Understanding Agreement for shared responsibilities. Agricultural cost share program and VCAP stormwater management cost share program

· Biosolid monitor for DEQ

· Work with conservation groups to allow Conservation easements

· Allow farmers to have mobile homes on the property for farm workers

· Farm Use Affidavit
No building permit required, no fees, no inspections, but does require approval from zoning and the fee is $25.00.   Zoning reviews the use and the setbacks.

· Zoning Ordinance Rewrite
Benchmarked agricultural uses from other rural localities and is recommended additional
agricultural uses. Recommends a Minor POD process to encourage redevelopment in our rural crossroads. Proposes use standards for several agricultural uses.

· Zoning Ordinances

· Supports public assembly uses at wineries, breweries and cideries.

· Rural Preservation District – allows for residential development but continues to allow agricultural uses in the preservation area, equestrian activities, forest management plans.

· Allow chicken keeping in Goochland’s low density residential areas

· Allows for up to three screened inoperable vehicles in agricultural areas as opposed to one screened inoperable vehicle on property zoned for residential purposes

· The grass/weeds ordinance does not apply to agricultural property, only to residential, commercial and industrial.

· Subdivision - Parcels of land 25+ acres in size are allowed more than one residential dwelling unit according to the following schedule: 25-50 acres - two units; 51-100 acres - three units; 101 acres plus - four units.

· By Right and  Conditional Use
Properties zoned Agricultural (A1 or A2) have less restrictions of use through the “by right” or “Conditional Use Permit” A full list of available uses can be obtained from Goochland County Community Development. 

· Created a Rural POD process that saves time for agricultural uses.

· Rural Economic Development Committee
Numerous agricultural uses were added as by right on CUP uses to the Agricultural Districts.