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Conditional Zoning and Special Use Permits

Conditional zoning and special use permitting provide ways to add flexibility and to respond to the particular features of each site as applications are submitted for its development. Uses, which might be inappropriate to a district if permitted without limitation, can be allowed under certain specified conditions. Rezoning which allows an applicant to voluntarily propose (proffer) conditions that limit or qualify how property may be used can address many of the concerns that might arise in a wellhead protection area. The acceptability of different land uses can thereby be evaluated on a case by case basis to ensure that potentially harmful activities are adequately addressed.

In terms of ground water protection areas, these techniques can be used so that certain land uses, such as single family housing, are allowed while other more intensive uses, such as apartment complexes, are permitted only under specified conditions which would minimize impact to the aquifer, including septic tank or mass drainfield limits, impervious surface restrictions, or vegetation planting requirements. This tool is probably most effective if used in combination with site plan review.

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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