Healthy Growth Initiative

Healthy Growth Initiative 
A-1 Zoning Ordinance Amendment

The Stafford County Board of Supervisors and the Stafford County Planning Commission held a joint public hearing on October 29, 2020, to consider amendments to the Zoning Ordinance and Comprehensive Plan relating to allowed densities in the A-1, Agricultural Zoning District.  

On March 2, 2021, the Board adopted Ordinance O21-07 with a change in how property may be subdivided in the A-1 Zoning District.  Previously, residential development on rural land zoned A-1 was determined by how many three-acre lots could be achieved on a piece of property.  The Board amended the zoning ordinance to allow a gross density of one dwelling unit for every six acres.  The Board also voted to grandfather any subdivision plans that have already been fully submitted, and allow the five properties in progress from the Purchase of Development Rights program in 2017 to be evaluated under the previous requirements. The Board also requested the Planning Commission to begin the review process to exempt family subdivisions from the zoning change.  This decision comes after a long three-year process that included public outreach and public hearings with the Planning Commission.

Under the ordinance change, which goes into effect immediately, land located within the A-1 zoning district may be subdivided with a gross density of six acres, with a minimum lot size of three acres, or 1.5 acres if located in a cluster subdivision.  Gross density is determined by everything located on the land, whether it is usable or not – such as wetlands.  For example, someone with 30 acres could create five residential lots allotted across the 30 acres.  That person could subdivide in any combination of acreage as long as the minimum lot size is three acres.  If the person chose to develop a cluster subdivision, 50% of the land would have to be subtracted and lot sizes would be a minimum of 1.5 acres.

The associated Comprehensive Plan Amendment that was adopted by the Board can be found here.

If you have any questions regarding the proposed amendments that are not addressed in the information above, please contact the Department of Planning and Zoning at (540) 658-8668 or at