Three proposed zoning changes in Richmond, VA

The city is looking to revise short-term rental regulations, eliminate parking space minimums, and permit accessory dwelling units.

The Richmond skyline as seen from the James River

Learn about three proposed changes to zoning in Richmond.

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The city’s Dept. of Planning and Development Review is looking for public feedback on three proposed zoning changes. We’ll take you through what could change and how to share your voice as the process continues.

We’re now in Phase 3 of the project, where the city will provide draft recommendations before starting the legislative process. There are three public meetings on the books for December.

  • Tuesday, Dec. 6 | 12 p.m. | Microsoft Teams
  • Thursday, Dec. 8 | 6 p.m. | Microsoft Teams
  • Tuesday, Dec. 13 | 6 p.m. | RPL Main Branch, 101 E. Franklin St.

At these meetings, the team will gather feedback. There may also be an online survey available soon for those who can’t make the meetings.
In August, the city hosted public meetings and telephone town halls to introduce the proposed changes and gather initial responses. Here’s what could change.

Revising short-term rental regulations

For this proposal, think Airbnb or VRBO — any situation where a room or space that is intended for occupancy is rented out for a period of fewer than 30 consecutive days. As it stands, Richmonders wanting to rent out their space need to own the property and should use it as their primary residence — meaning they have to be living there 185+ days out of the year.

Amending the zoning ordinance could change the primary residency requirement, the number of nights a dwelling unit could be used as an STR, or the enforcement measures for non-compliance.

Eliminating parking space minimums

Right now, new residential + commercial properties have to include a minimum amount of parking spaces. The city wants to eliminate these minimums and look into parking reform initiatives to lower costs for businesses and housing development.

Permitting accessory dwelling units

Accessory dwelling unitsalso known as secondary or in-law suites — are allowed in the city, but require a special use permit. The proposed changes would permit ADUs by-right in all residential zoning districts.