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  • What is the Comprehensive Plan?
    The Comprehensive Plan is a long‑term guide for growth and development, establishing a vision of what Hanover County could look like in twenty years. The plan addresses a variety of topics, including land use, housing, economic development, and natural resources. It identifies objectives and strategies that can be implemented to realize the community’s vision.
  • Why was the Comprehensive Plan updated?
    The Code of Virginia requires that every locality review its long-range comprehensive plan once every five years.
  • Why is the Comprehensive Plan important?
    The Comprehensive Plan is a formal policy document, which is referenced by elected officials, appointed officials, and different departments as decisions are made regarding the County’s future. The Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors consider the plan’s recommendations when evaluating different policies and proposals, including rezoning requests, conditional use permits, and the Capital Improvement Program (CIP).
  • What is the difference between the Comprehensive Plan and zoning?
    Adoption of the Comprehensive Plan will not change the zoning of a particular property. While the Comprehensive Plan is an advisory policy document, the zoning ordinance and zoning map are regulatory documents that indicate how property can be used today. For example, if an area is designated Commercial on the General Land Use Plan but is currently zoned Single-Family Residential (R-S), it can only be used for residential purposes (unless/until a rezoning is approved). Recommendations made in the Comprehensive Plan guide decisions regarding requested zoning changes. These recommendations will be considered by the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors as future land use cases (rezonings, conditional use permits, etc.) are publicly reviewed.
  • What is the General Land Use Plan?
    The General Land Use Plan is a component of the Comprehensive Plan. It is a map that designates areas where new development may be appropriate over the next twenty years. It also identifies what types of uses (residential, commercial, etc.) and residential densities may be appropriate in certain areas, and what parts of the County should be preserved. A recommended land use designation is applied to every part of the County, and that designation is considered as the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors evaluate different land use requests (rezonings, conditional use permits, etc.). The land use designations are not intended to be site specific, but are to be used as a guide for zoning deliberations. The General Land Use Plan does not change a parcel’s zoning classification, nor does it impact the continuation of existing (legal) land uses or other uses permitted by existing zoning.
  • Why is higher-intensity residential, commercial, and industrial development planned for the Suburban Service Area?"
    Since the early 1980s, Hanover County has directed new development to the Suburban Service Area, which includes areas where public water and sewer service are available (or planned to be made available). While the SSA currently makes up less than 25% of the total area of the County, it is intended to accommodate 70% of the total growth. Directing growth to the SSA is intended to preserve the rural character of most of the County and to ensure that public infrastructure is used in an efficient and fiscally-responsible way.
  • What is the Major Thoroughfare Plan?
    The Major Thoroughfare Plan is one component of the Comprehensive Plan. This map and associated text identifies the functional classification of existing roadways and shows the location of new roadways intended to accommodate planned development.
  • Is there a video that provides an overview of the planning process that I can share?
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