Zoning Text Amendments

Zoning Text Amendments2024-02-13T17:38:46+00:00

Planning staff is currently working on zoning reform for complete neighborhoods through text amendments that will focus on expanding housing opportunities within the City.

These text amendments are the second in a series and will continue to address priorities, policies, and actions of City Plan 2040. Priorities include:

  • Harmony with Nature | Priority One: Sustainable Land Development

  • Interwoven Equity | Priority One: Trust

  • Interwoven Equity | Priority Three: Neighborhood Choice

  • Livable Built Environment | Priority Two: Complete Neighborhoods

  • Livable Built Environment | Priority Four: Housing

  • City Design | Land Use | Priority: Design for Permanence

  • City Design | Land Use | Priority: Purposeful Land Use


The proposed amendments will remove exclusionary zoning practices, implement the comprehensive plan, and remove regulatory barriers to housing opportunities. Below are the general descriptions of the proposed changes to the zoning code. Click here view a detailed pdf of the proposed amendments.

  • Regulate dwelling as a land use

    The proposed new code would simply permit dwellings in the use tables for residential, multiple purpose, and planned unit development districts.

    The proposed code would regulate the number of dwellings permitted on a given lot in the dimensional regulations for the districts.  There would be a general increase in dwellings permitted across residential districts, with additional dwellings permitted on corner lots. The required lot area per dwelling and an absolute cap would work together to determine the number of dwellings permitted on a given lot.

  • Define Household to include Family and Nonfamily Living Arrangements

    The current code defines a household based on the familial relationships of the occupants and some forms of group living are already classified as a family by federal law. The proposed amendments redefine the term household in a way that will retain existing family living arrangements, maintain federally required living arrangements, and add nonfamily living arrangements for up to eight people sharing a dwelling.

  • Simplify various Group Care Facility types into a single Group Living land use

    The proposed text amendments would allow for permanent group housing for nine or more people in more areas and remove discriminatory limitations on housing choice. With the proposed changes, the zoning code will govern the land use taking place rather than the condition or prior status of people. The proposed code would regulate group living just like multifamily dwellings.

  • Replace Transitional Living Group Care Facility with small scale Community Housing Services and larger scale Regional Housing Services

    By defining a small-scale Community Services use classification, the proposed text amendment would remove barriers to small-scale temporary housing in multiple purpose districts and higher intensity residential districts.

  • Reclassify Dwelling Types

    The proposed code will classify new and existing dwelling types in order to manage form, location, and orientation of structures so they will be compatible in neighborhood settings.

  • Ensure the City uses remaining land efficiently

    This proposal would make changes to the dimensional regulations of each residential zoning district that would allow for the more efficient development of the limited vacant residentially zoned land within the City. Roanoke is nearly built-out, which creates issues when faced with a deficit of housing. An example of the changes that are under consideration include the reduction of lot area per dwelling unit requirements and the reduction of minimum lot sizes.

Ways to get involved:

There are several ways to get involved and stay involved in the text amendment process.

1. Attend an Open House Meeting

Please attend one of our upcoming community Open House meetings taking place in February. The event information is posted below.

2. Show Your Support

Participate in the Zoning Reform Campaign. Further details on how to get a free yard sign or purchase a shirt are located on this page.

3. Submit Feedback online

Share your thoughts on the proposed amendments here.

4. Participate in the Public Hearings

Public hearings will be held by both Planning Commission and City Council as part of the text amendment process. The comments heard during the public hearing will impact whether the text amendments are approved and adopted. Check back for public hearing dates and sign up for notifications via MyRoanoke.

Projected Timeline:

Say Yes to Housing!

Sign Campaign

The City of Roanoke is using a sign campaign to promote text amendments that expand housing opportunities. If you would like to receive a free sign, they will be available at the September and October Open House Meetings. If you are unable to make one of these meetings, additional signs will be made available in the Permit Center at 215 Church Avenue SW, Room 170 and at the Roanoke City Library Branches.

Shirt Campaign

If you are interested in getting your own Say Yes to Housing! shirt, click here to visit the PlanRoanoke campaign on Bonfire.

Phillip Moore, Zoning Administrator, and Planning staff, in coordination with Lauren Waldron, Community Engagement Manager, and Josh Johnson, Neighborhood Services Coordinator, produced a live event, “Zoning Text Amendments Q&A Session,” on October 28th, 2021.

2021 Text Amendment Timeline:

These text amendments were the first in a series and completed the following actions of City Plan 2040:

  • Harmony with Nature | Priority One: Sustainable Land Development

    Policy 5: Reduce impervious surface through development requirements

    • Action Item: Remove minimum parking requirements
  • Interwoven Equity | Priority Three: Neighborhood Choice

    Policy 3: Enable a range of housing types in each part of the community to achieve inclusive, livable neighborhoods that prosper over time

    • Action Item: Permit accessory dwelling units in all residential zones
  • City Design | Land Use | Priority: Design for Permanence

    Policy 2: Promote development patterns that contribute to places of enduring value

  • City Design | Land Use | Priority: Purposeful Land Use

    Policy 2: Encourage active, productive uses of land and preclude unproductive uses of land

  • Text amendments will also include electric vehicle charging stations and solar energy facilities as accessory uses. These amendments will take action towards policies within the Harmony with Nature theme.

Questions or Comments?

Email: planning@roanokeva.gov

Phone: 540-853-1730

Zoning Reform for Complete Neighborhoods

Planning staff is currently working on zoning reform for complete neighborhoods through text amendments that will focus on expanding housing opportunities within the City.

These text amendments are the second in a series and will continue to address priorities, policies, and actions of City Plan 2040. Priorities include:

  • Harmony with Nature | Priority One: Sustainable Land Development

  • Interwoven Equity | Priority One: Trust

  • Interwoven Equity | Priority Three: Neighborhood Choice

  • Livable Built Environment | Priority Two: Complete Neighborhoods

  • Livable Built Environment | Priority Four: Housing

  • City Design | Land Use | Priority: Design for Permanence

  • City Design | Land Use | Priority: Purposeful Land Use


The proposed amendments will remove exclusionary zoning practices, implement the comprehensive plan, and remove regulatory barriers to housing opportunities. Below are the general descriptions of the proposed changes to the zoning code. Click here view a detailed pdf of the proposed amendments.

  • Regulate dwelling as a land use

    The proposed new code would simply permit dwellings in the use tables for residential, multiple purpose, and planned unit development districts.

    The proposed code would regulate the number of dwellings permitted on a given lot in the dimensional regulations for the districts.  There would be a general increase in dwellings permitted across residential districts, with additional dwellings permitted on corner lots. The required lot area per dwelling and an absolute cap would work together to determine the number of dwellings permitted on a given lot.

  • Define Household to include Family and Nonfamily Living Arrangements

    The current code defines a household based on the familial relationships of the occupants and some forms of group living are already classified as a family by federal law. The proposed amendments redefine the term household in a way that will retain existing family living arrangements, maintain federally required living arrangements, and add nonfamily living arrangements for up to eight people sharing a dwelling.

  • Simplify various Group Care Facility types into a single Group Living land use

    The proposed text amendments would allow for permanent group housing for nine or more people in more areas and remove discriminatory limitations on housing choice. With the proposed changes, the zoning code will govern the land use taking place rather than the condition or prior status of people. The proposed code would regulate group living just like multifamily dwellings.

  • Replace Transitional Living Group Care Facility with small scale Community Housing Services and larger scale Regional Housing Services

    By defining a small-scale Community Services use classification, the proposed text amendment would remove barriers to small-scale temporary housing in multiple purpose districts and higher intensity residential districts.

  • Reclassify Dwelling Types

    The proposed code will classify new and existing dwelling types in order to manage form, location, and orientation of structures so they will be compatible in neighborhood settings.

  • Ensure the City uses remaining land efficiently

    This proposal would make changes to the dimensional regulations of each residential zoning district that would allow for the more efficient development of the limited vacant residentially zoned land within the City. Roanoke is nearly built-out, which creates issues when faced with a deficit of housing. An example of the changes that are under consideration include the reduction of lot area per dwelling unit requirements and the reduction of minimum lot sizes.

Ways to get involved:

There are several ways to get involved and stay involved in the text amendment process.

1. Attend an Open House Meeting

Please attend one of our upcoming community Open House meetings taking place in February. The event information is posted below.

2. Show Your Support

Participate in the Zoning Reform Campaign. Further details on how to get a free yard sign or purchase a shirt are located on this page.

3. Submit Feedback online

Share your thoughts on the proposed amendments here.

4. Participate in the Public Hearings

Public hearings will be held by both Planning Commission and City Council as part of the text amendment process. The comments heard during the public hearing will impact whether the text amendments are approved and adopted. Check back for public hearing dates and sign up for notifications via MyRoanoke.

Projected Timeline:

Say Yes to Housing!

Sign Campaign

The City of Roanoke is using a sign campaign to promote text amendments that expand housing opportunities. If you would like to receive a free sign, they will be available at the September and October Open House Meetings. If you are unable to make one of these meetings, additional signs will be made available in the Permit Center at 215 Church Avenue SW, Room 170 and at the Roanoke City Library Branches.

Shirt Campaign

If you are interested in getting your own Say Yes to Housing! shirt, click here to visit the PlanRoanoke campaign on Bonfire.

Phillip Moore, Zoning Administrator, and Planning staff, in coordination with Lauren Waldron, Community Engagement Manager, and Josh Johnson, Neighborhood Services Coordinator, produced a live event, “Zoning Text Amendments Q&A Session,” on October 28th, 2021.

2021 Text Amendment Timeline:

These text amendments were the first in a series and completed the following actions of City Plan 2040:

  • Harmony with Nature | Priority One: Sustainable Land Development

    Policy 5: Reduce impervious surface through development requirements

    • Action Item: Remove minimum parking requirements
  • Interwoven Equity | Priority Three: Neighborhood Choice

    Policy 3: Enable a range of housing types in each part of the community to achieve inclusive, livable neighborhoods that prosper over time

    • Action Item: Permit accessory dwelling units in all residential zones
  • City Design | Land Use | Priority: Design for Permanence

    Policy 2: Promote development patterns that contribute to places of enduring value

  • City Design | Land Use | Priority: Purposeful Land Use

    Policy 2: Encourage active, productive uses of land and preclude unproductive uses of land

  • Text amendments will also include electric vehicle charging stations and solar energy facilities as accessory uses. These amendments will take action towards policies within the Harmony with Nature theme.

Questions or Comments?

Email: planning@roanokeva.gov

Phone: 540-853-1730

Open House Meetings

Unable to attend a meeting? Provide your feedback here.

Click here to view meeting materials.

Belmont Library Branch

Wednesday, February 7

4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Location: 1101 Morningside St. SE

Melrose Library Branch

Thursday, February 8

4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Location: 2502 Melrose Ave. NW Suite D

Gainsboro Branch Library

Thursday, February 15

4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Location: 15 Patton Ave. NW

Virtual Meeting

Tuesday, February 13

6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Location: Zoom
PH: 1(646)-931-3860 | ID: 864 3655 5523

Main Library Branch

Wednesday, February 21

4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Location: 706 S. Jefferson St.

Williamson Library Branch

Wednesday, February 28

6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Location: 3837 Williamson Road, NW

Raleigh Court Library Branch

Thursday, February 29

4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Location: 2112 Grandin Road, SW

Open House Meetings

Unable to attend a meeting? Provide your feedback here.

Click here to view meeting materials.

Belmont Library Branch

Wednesday, February 7

4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Location: 1101 Morningside St. SE

Melrose Library Branch

Thursday, February 8

4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Location: 2502 Melrose Ave. NW Suite D

Virtual Meeting

Tuesday, February 13

6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Location: Zoom
PH: 1(646)-931-3860 | ID: 864 3655 5523

Gainsboro Branch Library

Thursday, February 15

4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Location: 15 Patton Ave. NW

Main Library Branch

Wednesday, February 21

4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Location: 706 S. Jefferson St.

Williamson Library Branch

Wednesday, February 28

6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Location: 3837 Williamson Road, NW

Raleigh Court Library Branch

Thursday, February 29

4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Location: 2112 Grandin Road, SW

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