1. What is a Provisional Use Permit?
  2. What do I need when I apply for a rezoning or for a Provisional Use Permit?
  3. What does the Board of Supervisors consider in reviewing a Provisional Use Permit request?
  4. What process is involved in getting my property rezoned or in obtaining a Provisional Use Permit?

What is a Provisional Use Permit?
The Provisional Use Permit (PUP) procedure provides for certain uses that are permitted in a district but that may be approved with conditions or restrictions that make them compatible with surrounding properties. For example, most telecommunication towers require a PUP. The main differences between a Provisional Use Permit and a rezoning request are that the Provisional Use Permit is always for a specific use (such as a telecommunications tower or pool hall) and that the county can set the conditions for approval of a Provisional Use Permit. In a rezoning request, the applicant voluntarily proposes conditions (proffers) that the county can either accept or reject.


What do I need when I apply for a rezoning or for a Provisional Use Permit?
Before you submit an application for rezoning or a Provisional Use Permit (PUP), you must first contact the Planning Department at (804) 501-4602 to set up a preliminary review meeting with a member of the Comprehensive Planning staff. The purpose of this meeting is assist you with the process and to discuss the materials required for your application. In general, potential applicants must submit:

  • Completed Preliminary Review Meeting Form
  • Completed application form
  • A written legal description of the property if it is an acreage parcel or the lot, block and section numbers if it is located in a recorded subdivision
  • Two copies of a survey plat or recorded subdivision plat
  • Filing fee (amount to be determined by nature of request and acreage)
  • Proffered conditions, if submitting a conditional rezoning request

A complete application packet and explanation of the process can be viewed at http://henrico.us/pdfs/planning/apps/appack.pdf (PDF).


What does the Board of Supervisors consider in reviewing a Provisional Use Permit request?
The Board of Supervisors considers various factors, such as:

  • Is the location appropriate and not in conflict with the intent of the county’s comprehensive plan?
  • Would the public health, safety, morals and general welfare be adversely affected?
  • Are adequate utilities and off-street parking facilities provided?
  • Are necessary safeguards for the protection of surrounding property, persons and neighborhood values provided?
  • Are county code requirements satisfied?

What process is involved in getting my property rezoned or in obtaining a Provisional Use Permit?
Approval of rezoning or obtaining a Provisional Use Permit can take as little as 11 weeks or it may take several months, if deferrals are requested. The submission deadline for any given Planning Commission public hearing is approximately eight weeks prior to the meeting; see the schedule of submission deadlines available online.

Cases acted on by the Planning Commission in any given month will be scheduled for public hearing by the Board of Supervisors the following month. For instance, requests filed by March 15 would be scheduled for Planning Commission public hearing on May 10, and if acted upon, would then be scheduled for Board of Supervisors public hearing on June 12.

The Planning Commission considers rezoning and Provisional Use Permit requests on the first Thursday following the second Wednesday of the month. On rare occasions, a public hearing on a case may be deferred to another meeting.


County Staff Review
Before the request is heard by the Planning Commission, members of various county agencies review the request and the Planning Department writes an analysis for presentation to the Planning Commission.

The applicant will get a copy of the analysis/staff report prior to the public hearing. Many staff reports are available for download at http://henrico.us/planning/downloadable-staff-reports/.


Planning Commission Review
In accordance with state law, requests are heard by the Planning Commission at a public hearing. Public notice concerning the request, including the time, date and place of the Planning Commission public hearing, is sent by the Planning Department to all adjacent property owners. Legal notice of rezoning requests appears in an advertisement in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

At the Planning Commission public hearing, the following procedure is followed:

  • The Planning Department staff presents the case to the Planning Commission.
  • The property owner or his or her representative then has ten minutes to make a presentation in support of the case.
  • The general public may then comment on the case, either in favor or opposed.
  • Following discussion of the case, the Planning Commission sends a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors. The commission may either recommend approval, approval with revisions or denial. The commission also has the alternative to defer decision on the case to a future meeting date.

More information about participating in the public hearing process is available; please call the Planning Department at (804) 501-4602.


Board of Supervisors Review
The procedure for the Board of Supervisors’ meeting is basically the same as that for the Planning Commission. The request may be approved, denied or deferred to a later meeting by the Board of Supervisors.

If the request is approved, the property owner may proceed with development plans.

Should the request be denied, the property owner may not request rezoning on the parcel for substantially the same zoning for twelve months from the date of denial.