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Why Zoning Matters to Rockingham County Residents

The county zoning ordinance is essential to our high quality of life in Rockingham County. It provides the framework to achieve our community’s vision and goals, as outlined in the Rockingham comprehensive plan.

Without zoning, anyone could build anything, anywhere without considering the impacts on a neighbor, the community or the county as a whole. Good zoning:

  • Finds the right balance between the community’s values and a property owner’s desires.
  • Minimizes conflicts that spring from incompatible land uses.
  • Protects property values by providing some certainty that adjacent land use is compatible.
  • Protects health and safety through siting, design and construction standards for land uses.
  • Minimizes wasteful, sprawling development that triggers tax increases to provide public services in rural areas, such as water, sewer, fire and rescue, and long circuitous school bus trips.
  • Protects the unique rural character of Rockingham County, enhances existing neighborhoods, villages and towns, and supports our economic goals for rural, commercial and industrial areas.

2006 Comprehensive Plan

Rockingham County will update its Comprehensive Plan for growth in 2016. Supervisors approved the current plan in February 2007. CAP believes that two of the best things in the current plan are the Urban Growth Boundaries (UGB) and the goal to channel 80 percent of new development to areas within the UBG.

By targeting growth around existing towns and the City of Harrisonburg, where water and sewer services currently exist, and by designating the rest of the county as “Agricultural Reserve,” the County has sent a strong message to landowners and developers about the County’s growth intentions.


CAP provides timely and accurate information to foster good public policy in transportation, land use planning and land conservation.


CAP studies how local, regional and state plans will impact Rockingham County's rural heritage, traditional towns and villages, and the natural, historic and other resources essential to our high quality of life.


CAP helps Rockingham residents make their voices heard on matters that impact the County's rural character, urban spaces and natural and cultural resources.