Glossary of Planning and Land Use Terms

The following is a list of planning and land use terms in alphabetical order. Use the linked letters below to go to a specific section of the alphabet.
 
 
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  L  M  N  O  P  R  S  T U V Z
 

A

A-1, Agricultural: This zoning district allows one detached single-family dwelling per 10 acres.
 
 
AE, Agricultural or Estate: This Long-Range Land Use classification allows one dwelling per 10 acres.
 
 
AP: Approved
 
B
B-1, General Business: This zoning district allows retail stores, shopping centers, office, and institutional uses.
 
 
B-2, Neighborhood Business: This zoning district allows neighborhood scale retail, office, and institutional uses with the aggregate non-residential uses not to exceed 120,000 gross square feet and no single use greater than 12,000 gross square feet.
 
 
B-3, Convenience Retail: This zoning district provides for areas within the County where convenience goods and services may be located. The non-residential uses shall not exceed 15,000 gross square feet, with no single user larger than 8,000 gross square feet.
 
 
BOCS: Board of County Supervisors: the elected governing body for Prince William County.

 

C

CAC: Citizens' Advisory Committee

 

CEC, Community Employment Center: This Long-Range Land Use classification is for sites at or near intersections of principal roads or commuter rail stations. It allows 75% employment use and 25% retail and/or residential, 6-12 dwellings per acre.

 

CGA: Critical Groundwater Area

 

CIP: Capital Improvement Program

 

CPA: Comprehensive Plan Amendment

 

CR, Convenience Retail: This Long-Range Land Use classification provides for retail 'nodes' to serve rural areas located within 10-15 minutes drive time.


CRHS, County Registered Historic Site:
This is a Long-Range Land Use classification that identifies important cultural resources, including architectural, archaeological, and historical resources and is intended to protect said cultural resources.

D

DCSM: Design and Construction Standards Manual

DEQ: Department of Environmental Quality.

Development Area:
 That portion of Prince William County that has already been developed or is expected to be developed at residential densities greater than those in the Rural Area.  The Development Area also contains commercial, office and industrial uses. It is intended that all areas of the Development Area are to be served by public water and sewer.

DF:
Deferred

DHR:
Department of Historic Resources

DN:
Denied
 

ECA, Environmental Constraints Analysis:
A report required with a rezoning or special use permit application mapping natural site conditions to aid in the identification and protection of significant environmental resources.
 

EI, Industrial Employment:
 This Long-Range Land Use classification provides for manufacturing, industrial parks, truck and auto repair, wholesale/distribution, and warehouses.
 

ER, Environmental Resource:
All 100-year floodplains, Resource Protection Areas, areas with 25 percent or greater slopes, areas with 15 percent or greater slopes in conjunction with soils that have severe limitations, soils with a predominance of marine clays, public water supply sources, and critically erodible shorelines and stream banks.
 
 
 

FAR:
Floor Area Ratio.
 

FEC, Flexible Use Employment Center: This Long-Range Land Use classification provides for light manufacturing, 'start-up' business, and offices.
 

FEMA:
Federal Emergency Management Act.
 

Flood Hazard Overlay District:
– also, Flood Hazard Area. Any normally dry area that is susceptible to being inundated by water. The flood hazard areas include, but are not limited to, the land subject to the 100-year flood.  
 
 
 

GC, General Commercial:
 This Long-Range Land Use classification provides for infill of existing commercial activity along major County roadways that serve a local market rather than a regional market.
 

GDP, Generalized Development Plan: A written statement and graphic depiction of the uses intended for a subject property in a rezoning application.
 
 
 

HCOD, Highway Corridor Overlay District:
 Zoning overlay intended to reduce traffic congestion and visual clutter.
 

HEOD, Higher Education Overlay District:
 Zoning overlay intended to promote harmonious development with an institute of higher education and compatible nonresidential uses involving services which are associated with the curriculum offered at an institute of higher education.  
 

HOD, Historic Overlay District:
A zoning district that is created for the purpose of imposing special requirements in addition to the requirements pertaining to the underlying zoning in designated areas of the County, in order to protect and perpetuate those areas or structures which have been determined to be of significant historic, architectural, or cultural interest.

 


LOS,
Level of Service Standards: 
Six of the Comprehensive Plan chapters address facilities and services provided by the County to its residents and businesses: Fire and Rescue, Libraries, Parks and Open Space, Police, Schools, and Transportation. The departments responsible for these services have established levels of service (LOS) standards, which are standards by which each agency measures the quality of the service it provides.

 

 

M

M-1, Heavy Industrial: This zoning district is intended to provide areas for and to encourage development of heavy and intensive industrial processing, manufacturing and storage.

M-2, Light Industrial: This zoning district is intended to provide areas for research and development centers, light industrial manufacturing, warehousing, wholesaling and related office and institutional uses.

M-T, Industrial/Transportation: This zoning district is intended to provide for areas and encourage development of heavy industrial uses, particularly those that generate considerable truck and/or heavy equipment traffic, or which require access to more than one mode of transportation.

Magisterial Districts: Prince William County is divided into seven local election districts:

  • Brentsville
  • Coles
  • Gainesville
  • Neabsco
  • Occoquan
  • Potomac
  • Woodbridge

Go to the County Mapper XM to view a map of the districts (At the mapper page click on Layers, then select Service Areas and check Magisterial Districts).

MCB-Q: The United States Marine Corps Base at Quantico.

MTN: This Long-Range Land Use classification provides for higher density, mixed use development near existing and future commuter rail, Metrorail stations and other mass transit centers.

MWCOG/COG: Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

MZP, Master Zoning Plan:

 


NC, Neighborhood Commercial:
 This Long-Range Land Use classification provides commercial areas to serve surrounding residential neighborhoods. Primary uses are those permitted in the B-2 zoning district. Maximum project size in the NC zoning district should be 15 acres.

 
 

O, Office:
 This Long-Range Land Use classification provides for low- to high-rise, suburban-scale offices or research and development activities.
 

O(F), Office/Flex: 
This zoning district is designed to provide areas for research and development centers, office, institutional, and minimal impact industrial uses.
 

O(H), Office High-Rise:
This zoning district is designed to provide areas for high-rise offices and institutional uses.
 

O(L), Low-Rise Office:
 This zoning district is designed to provide areas for offices with a minimum 10,000 square foot lots.
 

O(M), Mid-Rise Office:
 This zoning district is designed to provide areas for mid-rise offices and institutional uses.
 
 
 

PBD, Planned Business District:
This zoning designation allows a planned nonresidential development with a mix of commercial, research and development, office complexes, and certain types of manufacturing and related land uses within a minimum district size of 15 contiguous acres.
 

PC: Planning Commission:
an eight citizen panel appointed by the Board of County Supervisors to advise the Board on land use issues in the County.
 

PL, Public Land:
This Long-Range Land Use classification identifies public land within the County in order to provide an indication of existing and planned public facilities, institutions, or other government installations.

 

PMD, Planned Mixed Use District: This zoning district allows a mix of nonresidential and residential within a minimum district size of 25 contiguous acres.

 

PMR, Planned Mixed Residential: This zoning district is designed to permit and encourage the establishment of communities of varied housing types in planned developments.

 

POS, Parks and Open Space: This Long-Range Land Use classification illustrates a number of existing parks and recreational areas of the County.

 

 

R-2, Suburban Residential: This zoning district allows one detached single-family dwellings per 20,000 square foot lot.

 

R-4, Suburban Residential: This zoning district allows one detached single-family dwellings per 10,000 square foot lot.

 

R-6, Suburban Residential: This zoning district allows a maximum of six single-family attached or detached units per acre.

 

R-16, Suburban Residential Multi-family: This zoning district allows a maximum of 16 units per acre with a minimum of six units per acre.

 

R-30, Suburban Residential Multi-family Mixture: This zoning district allows a maximum of 30 units per acre.

 

RCC, Regional Commercial Center: This Long-Range Land Use classification is intended to provide for large-scale retail projects that serve a regional market. As much as 25% of a project area may consist of local-serving retail or residential at a density of 16-30 units per acre.

 

REC, Regional Employment Center:  This Long-Range Land Use classification is for sites close to or with good access from major interstate highways. It allows 75% employment use and 25% retail and/or residential with 16-30 dwellings per acre.

 

 

 

ROD, Redevelopment Overlay District: Zoning overlay intended to promote and perpetuate the continued economic viability of older commercial neighborhoods which are experiencing economic decline.
 

 

RMA, Resource Management Area: Land area that protects and buffers the sensitive features of the RPA (Resource Protection Area). The RMA is located landward and contiguous to the RPA. Land areas designated RMA include those areas, such as floodplains, highly erodible soils, steep slopes, highly permeable soils, and nontidal wetlands.

RPA, Resource Protection Area: Land area at or near the shoreline that contains sensitive features that play an important role in protecting water quality from nonpoint source pollution through the ecological and biological processes they perform. These areas are also sensitive to any impacts and can be easily damaged, resulting in degraded water quality. Under the Chesapeake Bay Protection Act, the following land areas must be designated as Resource Protection Area:
  • Tidal wetlands;
  • Nontidal wetlands connected by surface flow to tidal wetlands or perennial tributary streams;
  • Tidal shores;
  • A 100 foot wide buffer area located adjacent to and landward of perennial tributary streams and the other above RPA
RPC, Residential Planned Community: This designation is both a zoning and long-range land use designation intended for planned developments not less than 500 contiguous acres under one ownership or control in those areas of the County where provisions for sanitary sewers, sewage disposal facilities, adequate highway access, and public water supply are assured. Within such planned communities, the location of all residential, commercial, industrial, and governmental uses, school sites, parks, playgrounds, recreational areas, commuter parking areas, and other open spaces shall be controlled in such a manner as to permit a variety of housing accommodations and land uses in an orderly relationship to one another.

RU, Urban Residential:
 Zoning district intended to implement the urban residential and mass transit nodes land use classifications of the Comprehensive Plan, to allow multifamily residential development at not less than 31 units per acre.

Rural Area: That portion of Prince William County which contains agricultural, open space, forestry and large-lot residential land uses, as well as occasional small-scale convenience retail centers and community facilities. It is intended that the Rural Area may be served by public water facilities but not by public sewer facilities, except under emergency conditions as identified in the Sewer Plan. This is also referred to as the "Rural Crescent."
 
S

Sector Plans:
A Comprehensive Plan for a small geographic area.

SR-5, Semi-Rural Residential: 
This zoning district allows one detached single-family dwelling per five acres.  

SR-1, Semi-Rural Residential:
This zoning district allows one detached single-family dwelling per one acre.

SR-3, Semi-Rural Residential:
This zoning district allows one detached single-family dwelling per three acres.

SRH, Suburban Residential High:
This Long-Range Land Use classification provides for multifamily residential development (apartments and condominiums), allowing 10 - 16 dwelling units per acre.

SRL, Suburban Residential Low:
This Long-Range Land Use classification allows one to four single-family detached dwellings per acre. Single-family detached is preferred with single-family attached limited to 25% of total land area.

SRM, Suburban Residential Medium:
This Long-Range Land Use classification allows four to six dwellings per acre. Single-family detached is preferred with single-family attached limited to 25% of total land area.

SRR, Semi-Rural Residential: 
This Long-Range Land Use classification allows one dwelling per 2.5 acres.
 
T

TCM:
Transportation Congestion Management.
 
TDM: Transportation Demand Management.


TeOD
, Technology Overlay District:

TIA: Traffic Impact Analysis.
 
 
U
UMU, Urban Mixed-Use: A Potomac Communities Plan long-range land use classification providing for a coordinated project or integrated group of projects, consisting of at least three components – residential, office or regional employment, and recreation – combined to take full advantage properties with excellent transportation access.

URL, Urban Residential Low:
A Potomac Communities Plan long-range land use classification providing for attached or detached residential development at a density up to eight dwellings per acre, and attendant community facilities such as schools, churches, and public safety stations.

URM, Urban Residential Medium:
A Potomac Communities Plan long-range land use classification providing for attached residential development at a density up to 20 dwellings per acre, and attendant community facilities such as schools, churches, and public safety stations.

URH, Urban Residential High:
A Potomac Communities Plan long-range land use classification providing for attached residential development at a density of 20 to 30 dwellings per acre, and attendant community facilities such as schools, churches, and public safety stations.

 

V

V, Village District:
A zoning district that implements the VMU, Village Mixed-Use land use classification of the Potomac Communities Plan. 

VDOT:
Virginia Department of Transportation.


VMRC:
Virginia Marine Resource Commission. 

VMU,
Village Mixed-Use:

VRE: Virginia Railway Express


Zoning Ordinance:
Chapter 32 of the Prince William County Code for the purpose of promoting health, safety, order, prosperity, the conservation of natural and historic resources, and the general welfare of the public.