The Bedford County Zoning Resolution was adopted in 1998. Building Codes enforcement began in the county in 2007 and the current building code, 2015 IRC/IBC, was adopted in 2018. Bedford County requires zoning and/or building permits, not only for all new commercial and residential structures, but also for accessory structures such as swimming pools, both above and in-ground, home or building additions, porches, carports, detached garages, storage buildings, workshops, and barns, etc.
The Planning Department provides design guidance, reviews zoning and subdivision applications, and shapes public policy related to growth, preservation, and development. The Planning Department also provides recommendations to the Planning Commission. We are committed to proactive, community-based planning founded on public participation, and the building of livable, sustainable communities.
The Planning Department is the point of contact for the Bedford County Planning Commission and the Bedford County Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA). The Director is also responsible to administer and maintain the Official Zoning Map of Bedford County, the Zoning Resolution of Bedford County, the Bedford County Subdivision Regulations, the Bedford County Major Thoroughfare Map, the Bedford County Flood Damage Prevention Provisions, and the Bedford County Long Range Comprehensive Land Use & Transportation Plan.
The Director, in consultations with project developers, seeks to promote compliance with Bedford County’s existing subdivision regulations and zoning resolution while encouraging adherence to the adopted long-range land use & transportation plan. The plan encourages the preservation of natural and historic resources, cultural landscapes important to area residents, and works to maintain an overall long-range vision for intelligent population, business, education and industrial growth as well as the expansion of public services and broadband connectivity.
Plans for all subdivision developments where public infrastructure is proposed along with the requests for any division of property which encompasses a tract or parcel of land 5 Acres in size or less, are required to be submitted to this office for review and ultimate approval by the planning commission. These plans are reviewed for their adherence to or non-compliance with our existing subdivision regulations and zoning resolution.
Applications to rezone property must also be submitted to the Planning Commission. Rezoning applications are recommended to the County Commission with favorable or unfavorable votes. The County Commission, Bedford County’s legislative body, has ultimate authority as to any rezoning of land.
All persons wishing to open a business in an unincorporated part of Bedford County should confirm the zoning status of the parcel prior to opening a business.
Certain incidental home occupations are allowed in the rural areas. These home occupations are granted by the Board of Zoning Appeals as special exceptions to their existing zoning status. Applications to the Board of Zoning Appeals must be submitted through an application available through this office.
The BZA also conducts administrative reviews for decisions made by the department which an applicant wishes to challenge.
The Zoning Officer is responsible for investigating and making determinations on possible zoning violations, exemptions, and compliance. The Zoning Officer reports to the Director and the Board of Zoning Appeals. The Zoning Officer routinely observes and reports violations relating to or including the following: Open Storage; New Construction Setbacks and permitting; The storage of inoperable vehicles; Business and Sign violations; Non-conforming or grandfathered expansions; Fence construction; rubbish/litter; and, setback encroachments.
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