Looking to put in a new fence, shed, or other small structure on your property? That’s great…but WAIT!
Why? I’m excited and ready to roll!
The Town encourages and supports your desire to make investments that increase the value of your property and as such, we want to help by ensuring that your plans (or those of your licensed contractor) are in compliance with all Town codes BEFORE construction begins.
In an effort to increase the level of service provided by the Department of Planning and Community Development and decrease the amount of zoning infractions by small projects around town that are otherwise overlooked, the Town of Ashland (via ORD-2023-08), has implemented a new required Zoning Permit.
When did this change happen?
On June 14th, 2023, the Planning Commission held a public hearing to consider whether to recommend approval or denial of this ordinance to the Town Council. No comments were made by members of the public during the public hearing nor were any public comments received prior to the public hearing.
Town Council voted to approve the ordinance at their regularly scheduled meeting on July 5th, 2023.
But the Town has never required a permit like this in the past. Doesn’t Hanover County handle that?
The Hanover County Building Permit application no longer asks for setbacks, which is critical for determining zoning compliance on projects like these. The omission of this information has resulted in the building permit review process taking longer than necessary for Ashlanders.
Further, there have been several instances in recent years where homeowners have had to remedy completed projects or change course mid-construction at their own cost due to a lack of knowledge about Town setbacks, etc.
Our goal with the Zoning Permit is to get Town staff engaged at the very beginning to ensure compliance, and therefore, avoid costly corrections, confusion, and resident frustration.
Okay, I get it. What do I need to do?
If you have a small project on the horizon, call us! We’re happy to help, address your questions or concerns, and even walk you through the Zoning Permit Application process. Our helpful Community Development Specialist, Clayton Keller, can visit your property and talk through your plans in person.
And to help Ashlanders get acquainted with this new process, the Town is waiving the $25 application fee for the first year.
Bottom line: The new Zoning Permit is designed to HELP not HAMPER your property improvement efforts. We know Town Code language and zoning regulations can be confusing, but we’re here to clarify and demystify, anytime.
Contact: Clayton Keller at firstname.lastname@example.org or (804) 798-9219