Northampton County, Virginia

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Zoning Application

A Zoning Clearance is required by Northampton County certifying that a proposed structure or land use meets all applicable requirements of the county's zoning ordinance. A Zoning Clearance is required before the use of land occurs, including any construction activity requiring building permit.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to meet with Zoning Administrator prior to submitting an application. This can be done by telephone at (757) 678-0443 or by visiting our office. After discussing your project and the applicable development standards that will apply to your project, the Administrator will be happy to discuss and assist you with the application process. Such a preliminary meeting will help expedite the permit process.

Zoning Application and Checklists (PDF)


Application Materials

Application packets are available at the Planning and Zoning Department. Included with the packets is a checklist of the materials that must be submitted for a complete application, including the planning application and applicable processing fee.

Zoning Map Amendment

A Zoning Map Amendment is a procedure to amend the official zoning map of the county by changing the boundaries of any zoning district. An application packet is available at the Planning and Zoning Department.


Variances are exceptions to zoning regulations based on demonstration of a hardship and made on a case-specific basis. The Zoning Administrator can grant an Administrative Variance under certain conditions. If the variance request is denied by the Administrator, the applicant can appeal to the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) which has the authority to reverse the Zoning Administrator's decision. The 5 member Board, appointed by the Virginia Circuit Court Judge, is comprised of private citizens who live in Northampton County. An application packet is available at the Planning and Zoning Department.

Special Use

Special Use Permits are required for proposed activities which appear on the schedule of uses in the zoning ordinance and are essentially compatible with other permitted uses in a zoning district, but which possess characteristics or locational qualities which require individual review. The Northampton County Board of Supervisors may approve a Special Use Permit with or without conditions, following public hearings as required by Virginia law.

Land Disturbance

All land areas in Northampton County that are either Resource Protection Area or Resource Management Area. As such, any permitted development or redevelopment activity that is 2500 square feet or greater must submit a Land Disturbance Permit application to the Environmental Engineer. An Erosion and Sediment Control Plan is required as part of the submission. Submission requirements for an ES application are available at the Planning and Zoning Department.

Single-family residential applicants can sign an agreement in lieu of an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan if there is no Resource Protection Area on or immediately adjacent to the property.

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