Zoning is the process of classifying land in a locality into districts and establishing in each district regulations concerning building and structure location and design and the uses to which land, buildings and structures may be put. Virginia Code § 15.2-2201.
In order to improve the public health, safety, convenience, and welfare of our citizens and to plan for the future development of our community the city adopted a zoning ordinance as provided by § 15.2-2204 of the Code of Virginia, as amended.
The Zoning Administration Division’s primary purpose of the department is to provide proposals, advice and assistance on land use, development review and zoning issues by enforcement and administration of the provisions of the City of Salem Zoning Ordinance.
A zoning ordinance divides a locality into different districts or “zones.” For each district or “zone,” the ordinance designates allowable uses as either “by right” or as “special exceptions.” The zoning ordinance consists of 1) a text, which contains definitions, procedural rules, and regulations pertaining to the uses allowed and placement thereof within each zoning district; and, 2) a map, which shows the boundaries of each district. Unlike the general boundaries of a comprehensive plan, the boundaries in a zoning ordinance must be specific enough to be located by a land surveyor.
- Investigation of alleged violations
- Analysis and drafting of amendments to the Ordinance
- Providing interpretations of the Ordinance
- Site Plan Review
- Permit application review such as building permits and home occupation permits