The Zoning Ordinance is the basic rule book for land development in the County. Together with the zoning map, it determines what can be built where, and how it can be built. Zoning helps to ensure that development occurs in an efficient and orderly manner with minimal conflicts between land uses and in accordance with the capacity of the road network, water and sewer systems, school system, etc.

Zoning in York County dates back more than sixty years to the Board of Supervisors' adoption of the first Zoning Ordinance on January 24, 1957. The County's current Zoning Ordinance was adopted in 1995 and has been amended many times since then.

Visit the Property Information System or view the Zoning Map (PDF) to find out the zoning for a piece of property.

Zoning and Code Enforcement

Code of Virginia Section 15.2-2283 Purpose of zoning ordinances

Zoning ordinances shall be for the general purpose of promoting the health, safety, or general welfare of the public and of further accomplishing the objectives of § 15.2-2200. To these ends, such ordinances shall be designed to give reasonable consideration to each of the following purposes, where applicable:

(i) to provide for adequate light, air, convenience of access, and safety from fire, flood, impounding structure failure, crime, and other dangers;

(ii) to reduce or prevent congestion in the public streets;

(iii) to facilitate the creation of a convenient, attractive, and harmonious community;

(iv) to facilitate the provision of adequate police and fire protection, disaster evacuation, civil defense, transportation, water, sewerage, flood protection, schools, parks, forests, playgrounds, recreational facilities, airports, and other public requirements;

(v) to protect against destruction of or encroachment upon historic areas and working waterfront development areas;

(vi) to protect against one or more of the following: overcrowding of land, undue density of population in relation to the community facilities existing or available, obstruction of light and air, danger and congestion in travel and transportation, or loss of life, health, or property from fire, flood, impounding structure failure, panic, or other dangers;

(vii) to encourage economic development activities that provide desirable employment and enlarge the tax base;

(viii) to provide for the preservation of agricultural and forestal lands and other lands of significance for the protection of the natural environment;

(ix) to protect approach slopes and other safety areas of licensed airports, including United States government and military air facilities;

(x) to promote the creation and preservation of affordable housing suitable for meeting the current and future needs of the locality as well as a reasonable proportion of the current and future needs of the planning district within which the locality is situated;

(xi) to provide reasonable protection against encroachment upon military bases, military installations, and military airports and their adjacent safety areas, excluding armories operated by the Virginia National Guard; and

(xii) to provide reasonable modifications in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. § 12131 et seq.) or state and federal fair housing laws, as applicable.

Such ordinance may also include reasonable provisions, not inconsistent with applicable state water quality standards, to protect surface water and ground water as defined in § 62.1-255.