Sign In
alert

​Trending Searches:     Fire & Rescue Reform | Parks | Library

Nonconforming Uses including Signs

NonConforming Use, Lot, or Structure

To apply for verification of a nonconforming use, lot, or structure, submit the following to the Zoning Administration Division of the Planning Office:

  1. Completed Application for Verification of Nonconforming Use, Lot, and Structure.
  2. Processing fee payable in cash, check, or credit card in accordance with the current Zoning Fee Schedule.
  3. At least two of the following pieces of information applicable to the request will be required, one of which must be an item identified by an asterisk:
    • *Tax Payment Records
    • *Letters or bills from utility companies
    • *Dated photographs
    • *License(s)
    • *Bills
    • *Receipts from customers/vendors (minimum of 1 receipt for each year since existence of nonconformity)
    • Deeds applicable to the property (original deed of subdivision for verification lots)
    • Approved plats/plans
    • Building and/or land use permits
    • Lease agreements containing descriptions of the property uses
    • Sketch or plan indicating area occupied by structure and/or use
    • Sworn affidavits from persons with knowledge of the use
  4. Supporting documents as noted on the following check list:
    • For Nonconforming Uses: Provide date that use(s) began and where they occur on the property.
    • For Nonconforming Lots: Provide the date that the lot was initially created (date of recorded subdivision)
    • For Nonconforming Structures: Provide date(s) that the structure(s) were built.

NonConforming Signs

To apply for verification of a nonconforming sign, submit the following to the Zoning Administration Division of the Planning Office:

  1. Completed Application for Verification of Nonconforming Sign(s).
  2. Processing fee payable in cash, check, or credit card in accordance with the current Zoning Fee Schedule.
  3. At least two of the following pieces of information applicable to the request will be required, one of which must be an item identified by an asterisk:
    • *Plats/Plans - approved site plan showing the location of each sign and setbacks from the property line (for freestanding signs only)  
    • *Sign drawings to scale showing dimensions, location of the sign(s) on the building, building or unit facade length, projection from the wall, type of illumination, color, sign content, and installation method
    • Documentation of the date that the sign was installed
    • Building permits for the sign(s)
    • Electrical permits for the sign(s)
    • Dated photographs of the sign(s)
    • Dated invoice from a sign vendor showing information about the sign(s)
    • Sworn affidavits from persons with knowledge of the sign on the property
    • Deeds applicable to the property 
    •   

32-601.10. "NonConforming Use", "Lot", "Structure", and "Sign" Defined

What is a nonconforming use? Any use that was lawful on the date of enactment of the Prince William County Zoning Ordinance, or amendment thereto, which has been continued although otherwise rendered unlawful by such enactment or amendment. Any use that was unlawful on the date of enactment of the Zoning Ordinance, or amendment thereto shall remain unlawful and shall not be a "nonconforming use."
 
What is a nonconforming lot? Any lot that was lawful on the date of enactment of the Prince William County Zoning Ordinance, or amendment thereto, which has been continued in existence although otherwise rendered unlawful by such enactment or amendment thereto. Any lot that was unlawful on the date of enactment of the Zoning Ordinance, or amendment thereto shall remain unlawful and shall not be a "nonconforming lot." A lot is nonconforming if one or more of the following standards are not met as a result of enactment or amendment of this chapter: lot area and/or lot width/frontage.
 
What is a nonconforming structure? Any structure, except signs, that was lawful on the date of enactment of the Prince William County Zoning Ordinance, or amendment thereto, which has continued in existence although otherwise rendered unlawful by such enactment or amendment thereto. Any structure that was unlawful on the date of enactment of the Zoning Ordinance, or amendment thereto shall remain unlawful and shall not be a "nonconforming structure." A structure is nonconforming if one or more of the following standards are not met as a result of enactment or amendment of this chapter:
  • Setbacks, Yards, Buffers
  • Chesapeake Bay
  • Storm water management
  • Open space
  • Lot coverage
  • Tree canopy
  • Height
  • Floor Area Ratio
  • Provisional Use Permit (PUP)/Special Use Permit (SUP)
What is a nonconforming sign? Any sign that was lawful on the date of enactment of the Prince William County Zoning Ordinance, or amendment thereto, which has continued in existence although otherwise rendered unlawful by such enactment or amendment thereto. Any sign that was unlawful on the date of enactment of the Zoning Ordinance or amendment thereto shall remain unlawful and shall not be a "nonconforming sign". A sign is nonconforming if one or more of the following standards are not met as a result of enactment or amendment of the zoning ordinance: sign type, sign size, number of signs permitted per lot, maximum height for freestanding signs, minimum setback for freestanding signs, and district where signs are permitted.
 

Re-verification of a nonconforming use, lot, structure, or sign:

After verification of the lawful status of a nonconforming use, lot, or structure, the owner/operator shall file a report with the Zoning Administrator on the Nonconforming Use Verification Application form, showing that the nonconforming use, lot or structure has not ceased for two (2) year period, or been abandoned, and that the use is being operated in accordance with the decision rendered as part of the nonconforming use verification. To apply for recertification of the nonconforming use, submit a completed application for Re-Verification of a Nonconforming Use, Lot, or Structure or Re-Verification of a Nonconforming Sign and supporting documentation as noted on the document submission check list. 
 
Questions or comments? Contact the Zoning Administration Division of the Planning Office at zoning@pwcgov.org or 703-792-7615

Disclaimer

You are now leaving the official Prince William County Government website.