The first step in selecting a location for your business is to determine if it is appropriately zoned for your business purpose or if it would require a special use permit or rezoning. To help you determine how a location or lot is currently zoned and for what types of uses, enter the specific address into the County’s Geographic Information System (GIS) or call the Planning Department at (540) 586-7616 and provide the address by phone.
Home Occupation Permit
Home-based businesses must complete an Application for a Home Occupation Permit. The type of application to be completed depends on whether the home is in an urban (Type I) or rural/agricultural (Type II) area of the county. Your signature on the application will certify that you agree to comply with all Bedford County home occupancy permit regulations as set-forth by the Bedford County code. You may be asked to sketch the layout of the dwelling and include the following details:
- Number of stories
- Area and square footage for the portion of the dwelling to be used for the Home Occupation
- Total square footage of finished area of dwelling
- If an accessory building is to be used, the sketch should also reflect the layout of that building, number of stories, square footage of the area of the structure to be used for the Home Occupation.
- A notarized owner authority letter may be required in cases where the applicant is not the landowner. Fee of $50.00 may be paid in cash or check.
Commercial businesses with development of fewer than 1,000 sq. ft. are required to submit a Plot Plan prepared by a professional site planner as part of the application for applying for a zoning permit. See the Plot Plan Checklist for additional information. There is no fee associated with this permit. Commercial businesses with development of over 1,000 sq. ft are required to submit a Site Plan prior to approval of a zoning permit. The fee associated with this permit is $300 plus $10 per acre of development. The type of information that will be required for this include:
- Applicant information and name of development
- Date, scale and north point of plan
- Lot size in acres or square feet and dimensions
- Location, names of owners, and tax map numbers of adjacent properties
- Physical features such as ground cover, natural watercourses, floodplain, etc.
- Zoning and land use of all adjacent properties
- All property lines and easements
- All buildings, existing and proposed, and dimensions, floor area, and heights
- Location, widths, and names of all existing or platted streets or other public ways within or adjacent to the development
- Dimensions and location of all driveways, parking space, and loading spaces
- Notarized owner authority letter in cases where the applicant is not the landowner, certifying the owner is aware of the site plan requirements and will comply with local zoning laws.
NOTE: Prospective business owners may consult the Bedford County Zoning Ordinance for further information. Some of the more pertinent sections concerning small businesses and relevant forms are listed below:
- Section 30-79 Permitted Use Table by Zoning District
- Article II Definitions of Uses for Classification
- Application Requirements and Fees
- Plot Plan Requirements (for developments under 1,000 square feet)
- Site Plan Requirements (for developments 1,000 square feet or more)
- Section 30-92 Screening, Landscaping, and Buffer Yards
- Section 30-91 Off Street Parking, Stacking, and Loading
- Section 30-93 Signs & Application for a Sign Permit
- Section 30-19 Special Use Permits
- Application for Rezoning/Special Use/Variance/Special Project Review
- Section 30-82-3 Home Occupation, Type I and Type II & Application for a Home Occupation Permit
Some application/forms may be filled out on line here. Forms not available on line may be requested by visiting the County’s Office of Zoning at 122 East Main Street, Suite G-03, Bedford, Virginia or by calling them at (540) 586-7616.
For more information, please contact:
Bedford County Department of Planning
Division of Zoning and Planning
122 East Main Street, Suite G-03
Bedford, VA 24523
Call 1 (540) 586-7616