Baker Development Resources

Richmond Virginia Development Community Resource


Zoning Issues and Special Approvals

Zoning issues can arise when you least expect them and they can be diverse in nature.  Zoning issues can impact the most modest request for an addition by a home owner or the largest scale commercial developments.  Whatever your zoning issue, BDR is prepared to address them and keep your project on track.

Zoning issues can arise without any action on the part of the owner.  They can be brought about by changes in existing regulations or by a change in the condition of a project that forces non-compliance.  Or, conformance issues can be recognized during due diligence work associated with proposed projects.  In instances where land is vacant or underutilized, the actual market may change over time rendering the zoning obsolete and impractical for marketable uses. The zoning may not be consistent with the Master Plan in these cases or there may be unique circumstances that suggest a zoning change or special approval is needed.  In any case, these issues can severely impact the value of developed property and determine the value of vacant or underutilized properties moving forward.  And, these issues can often be addressed through special approval processes.

While many zoning issues can be addressed through local approval processes, these processes vary greatly and they can be intimidating and time consuming.  BDR helps make sense of it all.  We are equipped to analyze each situation and work with local staff toward reasonable solutions.  Where special approvals are necessary, BDR works to place their clients in the appropriate process with the greatest chance for success.  We offer full service turnkey solutions from project design to project approval for every potential process you might encounter.   Our experience, local knowledge, contacts with City and County staff, and relationships with local decision makers help soften the gauntlet, keep these projects on track, and save our clients’ time and money.  Examples of local special approval processes managed by BDR are as follows:

  • Special Use Permits
  • Rezonings/Conditional Rezonings
  • Community Unit Plans
  • Conditional Use Permits
  • Board of Zoning Appeals
  • Proffer Amendments
  • CAR Certificates of Appropriateness

By-Right or Ministerial Processes

Even when things are going smoothly, development projects can encounter a number of local processes that can be complex and time consuming.  These processes are just a part of the by-right approval process.  But don't let the "by-right" description fool you.  There are still certain thresholds that must be met.  BDR has the experience to help your project fulfill these requirements while also balancing any concerns of the local staff.  In doing so, we provide the best outcome for your request while freeing you to focus your valuable time elsewhere, such as originating new deals.  Examples of by-right processes managed by BDR are as follows:

  • Plans of Development
  • Site Plans
  • Tentative Subdivisions
  • Final Subdivisions
  • Lot Splits and Lot Line Adjustments
  • Encroachments
  • Easements



RDC Happy Hour News

Stay tuned for details on this months RDC happy hour.

Contact Information

Mark R. Baker
Baker Development Resources, LLC

1718 East Cary Street
Richmond, Virginia 23223
Phone: 804-874-6275
Fax: 804-775-0003

Join the RDC

A forum for members of the Richmond Virginia development community (developers, investors, lenders, appraisers, consultants, attorneys, realtors, engineers, architects, contractors, planners, etc.)
Go there now.