Richmond, VA, Code of Ordinances

Updated January 2020


Table of Contents

Affordable Housing Programs

The city’s codified ordinances contain a voluntary affordable housing program (Chapter 30, Article VI, Division 10.1). Developers are incentivized to develop affordable housing through density bonuses, fee reduction, and expedited review. Chapter 16 outlines the affordable housing administrative provisions, including how to provide notice of availability of affordable dwelling units and tenant eligibility criteria, and discusses the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

Inclusionary Housing

The city offers incentives for the voluntary provision of affordable housing in its zoning code (§30-691 et seq.). Any residential project is eligible; qualifying affordable units must be affordable to ownership households at 80 percent of AMI and rental households at 60 percent of AMI. 

Available density bonus feature incentives offered for different zoning districts in exchange for specified affordability percentages include reductions in minimum required lot area, lot width and side yard widths for single-family or duplex projects; increasing allowable density for single-family or multifamily units; increasing maximum floor area for dwelling use and maximum allowable height in business districts. Applicants are also eligible for reductions in development fees equal to the percentage of affordable units and applications will be given expedited consideration. Affordable unit distribution, appearance, and mix of types and sizes must be comparable to market-rate units.

Tactical Urbanism

The city’s streets and sidewalks code establishes a permit process for parklets and bike corrals (§24-251 et seq.). Permitting standards address definitions, application requirements and process, fees, indemnification, insurance, bonding, permit requirements, administrative regulations, and approvals.

Urban Agriculture

The city’s code addresses urban agriculture. It creates a community garden program that allows applicants to use city-owned property to create community gardens (§8-394 et seq.). The code describes the permit application procedure and requirements. The initial fee is $50, and renewal fee is $25 (Appendix A).

Richmond, VA

2010 Population: 204,214

2010 Population Density: 3,414.66/square mile