Charlottesville, VA, Code of Ordinances

Updated April 2018

By: City of Charlottesville
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Accessory Dwelling Units

The city’s zoning code permits internal and detached accessory apartments by right in most residential districts, subject to use-specific standards (§34-420). These standards address owner occupancy, building code compliance, height, maximum unit occupancy, unit entrances, unit placement, and unit size (§34-1171). The code’s off-street parking standards stipulate 1 space per dwelling unit for single-family dwellings (§34-984).

active transportation

The city’s zoning code requires bike storage for non-residential uses based on square footage of public space on site, per dwelling unit in multifamily dwellings, and bedroom square footage for dormitories, sororities, fraternities, and similar uses (§34-881). The code also sets clear design standards.

Short-Term Residential Rentals

The city’s zoning ordinance addresses short-term residential rentals.

A 2015 ordinance defines "homestay" as a home occupation use for a primary residence (§34-1200). Homestays are permitted by right in all residential districts (§34-420) and all mixed-use corridor districts (§34-796). A provisional use permit is required.

The code’s standards for home occupations include specific standards for homestays that address maximum occupancy, exterior signage, property ownership requirement, safety equipment, inspection requirement, and provisional use permit information; permits may be revoked after three substantiated complaints within a calendar year (§34-1172).

Social Service Uses

The city’s zoning code defines and regulates multiple types of residential and nonresidential social service uses. It defines “philanthropic institution/agency,” “residential treatment facility,” “shelter care,” and “single room occupancy (SRO)’ (§34-1200). It permits philanthropic institutions by right, subject to district standards (§34-480 & §34-796). It permits residential treatment facilities, shelter care facilities, and SROs by right in certain districts and with a discretionary use permit in others, subject to district standards (§34-420, §34-480 & §34-796).

Student Housing

The city’s zoning code includes multiple student-housing-related uses and districts. It defines “boarding house” and “boarding, fraternity and sorority house” (§34-1200). It permits boarding houses and fraternity and sorority houses by right in certain districts and with a discretionary use permit in others (§34-420, §34-480 & §34-796).

All students occupying dwelling units must satisfy the code’s residential occupancy limits for unrelated persons (§34-420, §34-480 & §34-796).

It establishes two multifamily residential zoning districts for areas near the University of Virginia campus: University Medium Density and University High Density (§34.350(c)). These districts encourage higher-density residential development, subject to dimensional requirements and bedroom density limits (§34-353 & §34-367).

Charlottesville, VA

2010 Population: 43,475

2010 Population Density: 4,246.43/square mile