Skip to page body Home About Community Living Doing Business Browse by Topic I Want to... Your Government

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


A facility where animals are killed for food; slaughterhouse.

Same as “contiguous.”

Accessory Building
A subordinate building of no more than 1,200 square feet, the non residential use of which is associated with and customarily subordinate to the principal building and which is located upon the same lot as the principal building.

Accessory Use
A use of land or of a building or portion thereof customarily incidental and subordinate to the principal use of the land or building and located on the same lot with such principal use.

Accessory Dwelling
A dwelling or apartment within or detached from the principal dwelling of no more than 900 square feet, the use of which is associated with and subordinate to the principal dwelling and which is located upon the same lot as the principal dwelling.

Amend or Amendment
Any repeal, modification, or addition to a regulation; any new regulation; any change in the number, shape, boundary, or area of a district; or any repeal or abolition of any map, part thereof, or addition thereto.

Any structure or devise used to collect or radiate electromagnetic waves, including both directional antennas, such as panels, microwave dishes and satellite dishes, and omnidirectional antennas, such as whips but not including satellite earth stations.

Application, Active
Any Zoning Map Amendment application, Zoning Modification application, Concept Plan Amendment application, Special Exception application, Preliminary or Final Record Plat application, site Plan application, which has been officially accepted by the Town and which is not an inactive application or has not been withdrawn or has not received a final decision.

Application, Inactive
Any Zoning Map Amendment application, Zoning Modification application or Concept Plan Amendment application officially accepted by the Town for processing but which has had processing suspended either by request of the applicant or by having no contact or activity occur in regard to the application by the applicant for a period of twelve months, or any Special Exception application, Site Plan application, Preliminary or Final Record Plat application officially accepted by the Town for processing but which has had such processing suspended either by request of the applicant or by having no contact or activity occur in regards to the application by the applicant for a period of six months.

Application, Reactivated
Any Zoning Map Amendment application, Zoning Modification application, Concept Plan Amendment application, Special Exception application, Preliminary or Final Record Plat application, Site Plan application which was classified as inactive which the applicant subsequently notifies the Town in writing of their desire to have the application brought to final decision.

Assisted Living Residences
A type of adult care residence licensed by the Virginia Department of Social Services which provides a level of non-medical supportive service for adults who may have physical or mental impairments and require at least moderate assistance with the activities of daily living.

Automobile Graveyard
Any lot or place which is exposed to the weather and upon which more than five motor vehicles of any kind, incapable of being operated, and which it would not be economically practical to make operative, are placed, located, or found.



Any establishment, including an unmanned bank teller machine(s), wherein the primary occupation is concerned with such State regulated businesses as banking, savings and loans, loan companies and investment companies. Any drive-in automatic teller machine(s) not ancillary to a bank or any bank having a drive-in window(s) or drive-in automatic bank teller machine(s) shall be deemed a drive-in facility as defined herein.

Basic Industry
An establishment engaged in the basic processing and manufacturing of materials or products predominately from extracted or raw materials, or a use engaged in storage of, or manufacturing processes utilizing flammable or explosive materials, or storage or manufacturing processes which potentially involve hazardous or commonly recognized offensive conditions.

Bed and Breakfast
Overnight accommodations and a morning meal provided in a single family detached residence that is owner or manager occupied, in which five (5) or fewer rooms without cooking facilities are rented to transient guests. Commercial use or rental of the property for business meetings, seminars, receptions and similar events or activities shall not be permitted.

A landscaped earthen mound intended to screen, buffer, mitigate noise, and generally enhance views of parking areas, storage areas or required yards particularly from public streets or adjacent land uses.

Best Management Practices (BMP's)
Methods that are determined by the State to be the most effective and practical means of preventing or reducing the amount of pollution generated by non-point sources to a level compatible with established water quality goals and further defined in the Loudoun County Facilities Standards Manual (FSM). Non-point source pollution is carried in runoff that cannot be traced to a specific source and whose point of entry into the stream cannot be determined.

That land abutting on one side of a street extending to the rear lot lines (or for parcels of land extending through to another street, to a line midway between the two streets) and lined between the two nearest intersecting and intercepting streets, or between the nearest intersecting or intercepting street and boundary of any railroad right-of-way, park, school grounds or unsubdivided acreage or centerline of any drainage channel 20 feet or more in width.

Bowling Alley
In-door facility for the sport of ten-pin or duck-pin bowling, with customary accessory uses such as snack bars.

Landscaping, fences, berms, walls or similar barriers or borders used to visibly separate one use from another or to shield or block noise or other nuisances.

Buildable Area
The area of the lot remaining after required yards have been provided.

A structure having one or more stories and a roof, designed primarily for shelter of persons, animals, or property of any kind.

Building Footprint
The area on the ground surface covered by the building.

Building/Structure, Principal
A building in which is conducted the principal use of the lot on which it is situated. In any residential zone, any dwelling shall be deemed to be a main building on the lot on which the same is located if the lot is used primarily for residential purposes.



The diameter of a tree trunk measured six (6) inches above the ground level for nursery stock that is less then four (4) inches in diameter and twelve (12) inches above ground for larger sizes.

Car Wash
A structure, or portion thereof, containing facilities for washing motor vehicles by hand or by using production-line, automated or semi-automated methods for washing, whether or not employing a chain conveyor, blower, steam-cleaning or similar mechanical devices.

A graveyard or place for burial of the dead.

Child Care Center
An establishment which is licensed or approved to operate as a child care center in the Commonwealth of Virginia, enrolling six or more children for whose care tuition, fees or other forms of compensation are charged. A child care center may include nursery schools, kindergartens or other facilities for which the purpose is primarily educational, recreational, or medical treatments.

A facility where the principal purpose is for members of associations or organizations, such as but not limited to fraternal organizations, to meet to pursue common goals, interests or activities and usually characterized by certain membership qualifications, payment of fees and dues, regular meetings, and a constitution and by-laws. “Club” shall not include night clubs or other institutions operated as a business.

Cluster Development
An alternate means of developing a lot in the R-2, R-4, R-6, and R-8 Districts premised on the concept of design that preserves and protects sensitive natural or man-made features. Cluster development permits a reduction in lot area, yard and bulk requirements as described in Section 10.3.1 in exchange for creating common open space within the cluster.

Commuter Parking Lot
An off-street area surfaced and improved for the parking, on a daily basis but not for the storage of vehicles for twenty-four (24) hours or longer, established in conjunction with mass transit arrangements and car pooling programs.

College or University
An institution of higher education authorized by the State to award associate, baccalaureate or higher degrees, which may include on-site student, faculty, and/or employee housing facilities. For other educational institutions refer to definition of “school.”

Community Retail Commercial
Retail commercial and service uses oriented to serve several neighborhoods which typically include neighborhood retail commercial uses that may include, but are not limited to, a variety department store, florist, milliner, furniture store, radio and television repair shop, shoe store, gift shop, liquor store, men's and women's clothing stores, book store, toy store and movie theater.

Concept Plan
The plans, maps, writings, and other documents that describe a planned development for purposes of approving the concept plan and amending the Town Plan.

A building or group of buildings in which dwelling units, offices, or floor area are owned individually, and the structure, common areas, and facilities are owned by all the owners on a proportional, undivided basis. An owners association is organized for the purpose of maintaining, administering and operating the common areas and facilities.

Conference Center
A facility to accommodate conventions, large meetings, trade shows and similar events. There may be accommodations for sleeping, eating and recreation as part of the facility.

To physically touch or border upon; or to share a common property line or border or to be located immediately across the street.

Convenience Food Store
Structure which contains less than 5,000 square feet of gross floor area and which is used for the retail sale of food or food and other items, generally purchased in small quantities but not including the sale of gasoline. Convenience food store is not designated for on-site consumption of the products purchased on the premises, and characterized by the rapid turnover of customers and high traffic/trip generation.

Country Club
Facility providing recreational facilities, including a clubhouse, golf course and other recreation facilities, open only to members and their guests for a membership fee.



Design and Construction Standards Manual (DCSM)
Guidelines and standards for the design and construction of public facilities within the Town limits, as adopted by the town.

Diagnostic Laboratory
Facility for examining and testing blood, tissue, and other samples for purposes of determining the nature, condition and treatment of a disease or injury.

Distribution Facility
An establishment engaged in the receipt of goods, products, cargo and materials, individually or in bulk, the short-term holding or storage of such goods or merchandise, and/or the breaking up into lots or parcels and subsequent shipment off-site of such goods and merchandise. Distribution may be provided to an entity with an identity of interest with the distribution facility or to businesses and individuals unrelated to the distributor. The term “Distribution Facility” shall also include a transshipment facility for the temporary holding, storage and shipment of goods or vehicles.

A structure providing living accommodations for a student body or religious order as an accessory use for a college, university, boarding school, orphanage, convent, monastery, hospital or other similar institutional use.

Drip Line
An imaginary vertical line extending downward to the ground for the outermost edge of the tree canopy.

Drive or Driveway
An area specifically designated and designed for vehicular access to a residential lot.

  • Pipestem Driveway: Vehicular access constructed on the stem or stems of a pipestem lot or lots.
  • Common Driveway: Vehicular access to single-family detached lots constructed on ground of common ownership.
  • Private Driveway: Vehicular access constructed entirely within the limits of one lot for use only by that lot and which may connect to a street, pipestem driveway, common driveway or common parking court.

Drive-in Facility
A facility or portion thereof, which by design, physical features, service or by packaging procedures encourages or permits customers to receive services, obtain goods or be entertained while remaining in their motor vehicles.

Duplex, Vertical
A building containing two (2) separate dwelling units that are constructed with a common party wall or abutting walls and with each dwelling unit located on its own separate lot.

Duplex, Horizontal
The use of a single lot for two (2) dwelling units that are contained within a single building.

Duplex Types

Dustless Surface
A surface with a minimum of either two applications of bituminous surface treatment, concrete, bituminous concrete, or equivalent paving material approved by the Town and to be maintained in good condition at all times.

Dwelling Unit
One or more rooms, designed, occupied or intended for occupancy as separate living quarters, with cooking, sleeping and sanitary facilities provided within the dwelling unit.



A right created by an express or implied agreement of one owner of land to make lawful and beneficial use of the land of another for a special purpose not inconsistent with any other uses already being made of the land.

Eating Establishment
Establishment in which the principal use is the sale of food and beverages for dining on the premises.

  • Eating Establishment, Fast-food
    Any establishment which provides as a principal use the preparation and sale of food, frozen deserts, or beverages in a ready-to-consume state for consumption either within the restaurant, within a motor vehicle parked on the premises, or off-premises, and whose design or principal method of operation includes one or more of the following characteristics:
  • Food, frozen desserts, or beverages are served in edible containers or in paper, plastic or other disposable containers. Eating utensils, if provided, are disposable.
  • Food, frozen desserts, or beverages are usually served over a general service counter for the customer to carry to a seating facility within the restaurant, to a motor vehicle or off-premises. If consumed on premises, customers generally are expected to clear their own tables and dispose of their trash.
  • Forty-five percent (45%) or more of the gross floor area of the establishment is devoted to food preparation, storage and related activities, which space is not accessible to the general public.
  • Food, frozen desserts, or beverages are served to the occupants of motor vehicles while seated in the car.

A fast food restaurant shall have two classes; with a drive-through facility or without a drive-through facility.

Elderly Housing
A structure containing multi-family dwelling units where the occupancy of the dwellings are restricted to persons 60 years of age or older, or couples where either the husband or wife is 60 years of age or older and which meets the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 for elderly housing. Such a structure may consist of individual dwelling units, community dining areas, common recreation areas, special support services and limited medical or nursing care.

Electronic Data Storage Center
A work site used as a facility for the storage of and the operation of computer hardware, equipment for processing, storage and/or routing of electronic data.

Emergency Care Facility
A facility staffed by medical professionals exclusively for short-term treatment of injury or illness on an out-patient basis.

Emergency Shelter
Facilities providing shelter to people within the Town of Leesburg and established in conjunction with adverse weather conditions (Warming and Cooling Centers), natural disasters, and other man made situations, including but not limited to terrorism or natural disaster events. Emergency Shelters shall be established as accessory uses to churches, middle and high schools, and public buildings serving government or social service functions within the Town of Leesburg.

Extended Family Residence
Within a single family residence or within a conforming accessory structure, a living area designed to provide independence and privacy by allowing a separate bedroom, bathroom, dining area and kitchen for an extended family member.



A group of people living and cooking together as a single housekeeping body in a dwelling unit consisting of:

  • One or more persons related by blood or marriage together with any number of natural, foster, step or adopted children, domestic servants, nurses and therapists and no more than two roomers or boarders; or
  • No more than 4 unrelated persons;
  • Any group identified in Section 15.2-2291 of the Code of Virginia, 1950 as amended, shall not be considered a family.

Farmers Market
A building, stalls, stands or place which is open to the general public for the sale of horticultural or agricultural products.

The production, keeping, maintenance, sale, lease or personal use of plants and animals useful to man, but not to include feedlots and chicken farms.

Fire and/or Rescue Facility
A facility including the storage of fire and/or rescue equipment and chartered by the Town of Leesburg and the Code of Virginia, which provides for the protection of life and property from the hazards of fire or explosions wherever located. For the purposes of this Zoning Ordinance, a fire and/or rescue facility shall not include a burn building.

Flood (100-Year) or Base Flood
The flood having a one percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.

The area as designated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), by the U.S. Geological Survey and/or the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Floor Area, Gross
The sum of the total horizontal areas of the several floors of a building from the exterior face of exterior walls, or from the centerline of a wall separating two buildings. Gross floor Area shall include basements, elevator shafts and stairwells at each story. The following are excluded from Gross Floor Area: cellars, outside balconies which do not exceed a projection of six (6) feet beyond the exterior walls of the building; parking structures above or below grade; rooftop mechanical structures; penthouses enclosing only mechanical equipment; any space where the floor-to-ceiling height is less than six (6) feet; and enclosed or structural walkways designed and used exclusively for pedestrian access between buildings and/or parking structures.

Floor Area Ratio (FAR)
A ratio of a site’s building area to land area. It is calculated by dividing total gross floor area of all buildings on a lot measured to the outside of walls, by the total lot area. (For example, a 25,000 square foot building on a 100,000 square foot lot has an FAR of 0.25.) However, see Sec. 8.5.3.D for calculation of floor area ratio in a Planned Development District.

Funeral Home
A structure used for human funeral services. A funeral home may contain facilities for the preparation of the dead for burial and the storage of caskets and funeral supplies.



An accessory structure or part of a principal building used primarily for the storage of passenger vehicles as an accessory use of the residing occupant or guests, and having no provisions for repairing or servicing such vehicles for profit.

Golf Driving Range
A practice range for hitting golf balls from a common tee-off area, and for purposes of this Zoning Ordinance, not operated in conjunction with a golf course or country club.

Golf Course
Land, whether publicly or privately owned, on which the game of golf is played, including accessory uses such as golf driving ranges and buildings customary thereto.

The slope of a road, channel or natural ground. The finished surface of a canal bed, road bed, top of embankment, or bottom excavation; any surface prepared for the support of construction such as paving or laying of a conduit.

Group Home
A residential facility in which no more than eight (8) mentally ill, mentally retarded or developmentally disabled persons reside, with one or more resident counselors or other staff persons. A residential facility shall be deemed a group home when the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Service is the licensing authority. For the purposes of this Zoning Ordinance, persons in a group home shall not be deemed a family.



A dense planting of shrubs or small trees arranged in a row.

Height, Building
The vertical distance to the highest point of the roof for flat roofs, to the deck line of mansard roofs, and to the average height between eaves and the ridge of the gable, hip and gambrel roofs measured from the average grade around the entire building. (See Sec. Error! Reference source not found.)

Helicopter landing area with facilities for pick-up and discharge of passengers and cargo, which may include hangars, maintenance areas and other accessory structures.

Home-Based Child Care
Any private family home in which five or fewer children, except children related by blood or marriage to the person who maintains and resides in the home, are received for care, protection and guidance during only a part of the twenty-four hour day, except (i) homes which accept children exclusively from local departments of welfare or social service, and (ii) homes which have been approved by a licensed day-care system.

Home Improvement Center
A retail use in a structure with a gross floor area of at least 50,000 square feet in which a variety of building supplies, hardware, landscaping materials and household supplies and equipment are sold.

Home Occupation
A business, profession, occupation or trade conducted for gain or support within a residential building or its accessory buildings by a resident of the dwelling which use is incidental and secondary to the use of the buildings for dwelling purposes and which does not change the residential character of such buildings. (See Error! Reference source not found..3 for Home Occupation standards).

Homeowners' Association
A non-profit organization approved by the State Corporation Commission operating under recorded land agreements through which: (a) each lot/property and/or homeowner in a clustered or planned development is automatically a member, and (b) each lot is automatically subject to a charge for a proportionate share of the expenses for the organization's activities, such as maintaining a common property, and (c) the charge if unpaid becomes a lien against the property.

Facility licensed and accredited by the Commonwealth of Virginia to receive in-patients and render medical and/or surgical care. “Hospital” shall include both general hospitals and institutions in which service is limited to special fields such as cardiac, pediatric, orthopedic, dermatology, chronic disease, and obstetrics. Ancillary facilities such as laboratories, outpatient facilities, rescue squad and training facilities, pharmacies, cafeterias and emergency facilities shall be considered hospital uses as well as a heliport serving the hospital.

Any single building or group of dwelling units, combined or separated, containing guest rooms used for the purpose of housing transient guests, each unit of which is provided with its own toilet, washroom and off-street parking facility, and which may include features such as conference rooms, a restaurant or snack bar, or swimming pool or exercise room that would attract clientele other than transient guests.



Industrial, Flex
Any structure occupied by at least two (2) of the following uses: contractors offices and shops; establishments for production, processing, assembly, manufacturing, compounding, preparation, cleaning, servicing, testing, or repair of materials, goods or products; warehousing establishments; wholesale trade establishments; and offices; provided however that non-office use shall utilize at least 65% of the total gross floor area of the site

The utilization of vacant land in previously developed areas for buildings, parking lots, recreational facilities and other uses.

A commercial facility for housing and feeding of transient quests in a building containing no more than fifteen (15) guest rooms without cooking facilities. Commercial use or rental of the property for business meetings, seminars, receptions and similar events or activities shall be permitted.

Inoperable Vehicle
As defined in Section 10-157 of the Town Code, Leesburg, Virginia.



- N/A -



Any place or establishment in which dogs, cats and other domestic animals are kept, boarded, bred or trained for commercial gain.



Structure, either publicly or privately owned, used for collection and storage of books, periodicals, and similar materials, and providing facilities for reading, research and/or borrowing of the collected materials.

Land Development Official
An appointed Town official who serves as the Director of Planning, Zoning and Development for Leesburg, Virginia, or his or her designee.

Landscape Contractor
An establishment providing for the planting and maintenance of gardens, grounds and yards; such use shall be inclusive of lawn mowing services that employ more than one person.

A designated parcel tract or area of land established by plat, subdivision or otherwise permitted by law, occupied or intended to be occupied by a principal building or use and its accessory buildings and uses.

Lot Area
The total area within the boundary lines of a lot excluding any public land.

Lot, Corner
A lot located at the intersection of two or more streets. A lot abutting on a curved street or streets shall be considered a corner lot if straight lines drawn from the format point of the lots meet at an interior angle of less than 135 degrees.

Lot, Double Frontage (Through)
An interior lot that fronts upon two parallel streets. Also known as a “through lot.”

Lot, Interior
A lot bounded by a street on only one side, and a lot other than a corner lot.

Lot, Reverse Frontage
A through lot that is not accessible from one of the parallel streets upon which it fronts.

Lot Depth
The mean horizontal distance between the front and rear lot lines.

Lot of Record
A lot which has been recorded among the land records in the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Loudoun County, Virginia.

Lot Width
The distance between side lot lines measured parallel to the front line at the point of the minimum required front yard setback. No portion of the lot between the front and required rear yard (setback) lines shall be less than the minimum lot width required for the zoning district.

Lumber and/or Building Material Sales Facility
Structure used for storage and sale of timber, beams, planks, boards and other building materials.



Mailing Service
Retail sales or business service establishment to facilitate the transmittal and receipt of letter, bulk and packaging mail

Manufactured Home (Mobile Home)
A structure intended for human habitation that is transportable in one or more sections, is eight feet or more in width or forty feet or more in length, or when erected is 320 or more square feet in area. Such a structure is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used as a dwelling with or without a permanent foundation, connected to the required utilities and contains plumbing, heating, air-conditioning, and electrical systems.

Manufacturing and Assembly
The processing, fabrication, assembly, distribution of products such as, but not limited to: scientific and precision instruments, photographic equipment, communication equipment, computation equipment, household appliances, toys, sporting and athletic goods, glass products made of purchase glass, electric lighting and wiring equipment, industrial controls, radio and TV receiving sets, optical goods, and electrical machinery.

Mini-Warehouse Facility
A structure or structures containing separate storage spaces of varying sizes leased or rented on an individual basis.

Mixed Use
A variety of complementary and integrated uses, including but not limited to residential, office, manufacturing, retail, public, entertainment, conference and lodging uses arranged in a compact urban form.

Model Home
A temporary or permanent structure used for display purposes only and not as a contractors office, real estate office or annex thereof.

A single, self-supporting pole-type structure, tapering from base to top and supporting a fixture designed to hold one or more antennas. For purpose of this Zoning Ordinance, a monopole shall not be deemed to be a tower.

A building or portion thereof, or group of buildings of similar design, providing transient accommodations with at least 25 percent of all rooms having direct access to the outside.

Multi-Family Dwelling
A building containing three or more dwellings units located on a single lot or parcel of ground where each unit access the outside via a common hallway, stairs or elevators. Such units are located back-t-back, adjacent or stacked on top of each other. Multi-family dwellings shall include apartments, condominiums, triplex dwellings, quadplex dwellings, and “2 over 2” units.

Facility used for the primary purpose of displaying artifacts, art work. historical documents, photographs, costumes, and other natural or man-made objects. The facility may include accessory meeting rooms and lecture halls.



An area of a community with characteristics that distinguish if from other community areas by boundaries defined by physical barriers such as major roadways or natural features such as rivers.

Neighborhood Retail Commercial
Neighborhood-oriented retail uses typically include a grocery store, drug store, personal service establishments, small specialty shops and a limited number of small professional offices.

Net Acreage
Gross acreage minus acreage in the floodplain and steep slopes.

Nonconforming Lot
A lot, the area, dimensions or location of which was lawful prior to the adoption, revision or amendment of the Zoning Ordinance, but which fails by reason of such adoption, revision or amendment to conform to the present requirements of the zoning district. Also called a `legal nonconforming lot’.

Nonconforming Structure
A structure or building, the size, dimension or location of which was lawful prior to the adoption, revision or amendment of the Zoning Ordinance, but which fails by reason of such adoption, revision or amendment to conform to the present requirements of the zoning district. Also called a `legal nonconforming structure’.

Nonconforming Use
A use or activity which was lawful prior to the adoption, revision or amendment of a Zoning Ordinance, but which fails by reason of such adoption, revision or amendment to conform to the present requirements of the zoning district.

An interference with the enjoyment and use of property.

An agricultural/commercial enterprise where plants and accessory products are sold on a retail basis. Twenty-five percent (25%) of the gross sales receipts of the commercial nursery must be derived from plants produced on site; or twenty-five (25%) of the area designated as a commercial nursery shall be dedicated to the cultivation of plants to be sold on-site.

Nursing Home
An extended or intermediate care facility licensed or approved by the Commonwealth of Virginia to provide full-time convalescent or chronic care to individuals who, by reason of advanced age, chronic illness or infirmity are unable to care for themselves.



A building, room or group of rooms used for conducting the affairs of a business, profession, services or government. For the purpose of this Zoning Ordinance, an office shall not involve manufacturing, fabrication, production, processing, assembling, cleaning, testing or repair of materials, goods or products.

Off-site means not on site; that is, outside the lot or parcel that is the subject of a given land use application.

“On-site” shall mean within a lot or parcel that is the subject of a given land use application.

Open Space
Land area within a development intended to provide light, air and space to be designated for aesthetic or recreational purposes and to be accessible and in reasonable proximity to residents or occupants of the development. Open space may include, but is not limited to, lawns, decorative plantings, walkways, active and passive recreation areas, children’s playgrounds, fountains, swimming pools, undisturbed natural areas, wooded areas, water bodies and those areas where landscaping and screening are required by provisions of this Zoning Ordinance. Open space shall not include driveways, parking lots or other vehicular surfaces; any area occupied by a building, nor areas so located or of such size or shape as to have no substantial aesthetic or recreational value and any area within individual residential lots. Open space parcels shall not be required to meet the minimum lot size, lot width or yard area requirements of the district regulations.

Open Space, Common
Open space owned and maintained by a property owners association or a condominium unit owners association in accordance with the provisions of Sec. Error! Reference source not found..

Open Space, Public
Open space dedicated or conveyed for public use.

Outdoor Storage Area
An unroofed area, or a roofed structure enclosed on not more than three sides, for the keeping of any goods, materials, or merchandise in the same place for more than twenty-four (24) hours. All outdoor storage shall be required to be enclosed by a fence, wall, landscaped berm, or other suitable and appropriate method.

Overlay District
A zoning district superimposed on another, both having validity in governing the use of the property.

Outdoor/Indoor Vehicle Auction
A public sale of vehicles one by one, each going to the last and highest of a series of competing bidders.



A contiguous lot or tract of land that is owned and recorded as property of the same person or controlled by a single entity.

Parking, Off-Site
Any space that is off-site and specifically allotted to the parking of motor vehicles. Such space shall not be in a public right-of-way.

Parking Lot
Surface facility used for parking automobiles, other passenger vehicles or trucks, but not for storage of such vehicles.

Parking Space, Off-Site
A space suitable for parking one automobile and including adequate driveways, if necessary, to connect such space with a public right-of-way. Space within a building or upon a roof, allocated for parking shall be included and considered a part of the required spaces.

Parking Structure, Public
A deck, building, or structure, or part thereof, owned and/or managed by a government or non-profit authority and used for the parking of vehicles, but not for the storage of such vehicles.

Parking Structure, Private
A deck building or structure or part thereof used for the parking of vehicles, but not for the storage of such vehicles, available to the public with or without compensation, or used to accommodate clients, customers or employees.

Party Wall
A common shared fire wall between two separate structures, buildings or dwelling units. Party walls may join attached dwelling units at a garage, but may not be construed to allow joining of such units by carports, sheds, stairwells or the like.

Performance Bond
A bond of surety, cashier's check, and/or cash deposit approved by the governing body equal to the full cost of improvements required by this Zoning Ordinance and providing for completion of said improvements within a definite term.

Permitted Use
Any use allowed in a zoning district by right.

An establishment offering medical appliances or prescription medicines to the public; does not include retail sales of non-medical goods.

Pharmacy, Retail
An establishment offering medical appliances or prescription medicines to the public; may include retail sales of non-medical goods.

Place of Worship
A structure or part thereof which is intended for organized religious services including but not limited to a church, synagogue, or temple.

Planned Development
An area of land to be developed as a single entity according to a plan, containing residential, commercial, industrial and/or public areas, under the provisions of this Zoning Ordinance.

Planning Commission or Commission
The Planning Commission of Leesburg, Virginia.

Any of the several vegetation types required by this ordinance, i.e., Large Canopy Tree, Understory Tree, Shrub, etc.

A diagram or map, prepared by a person licensed to prepare plats in the Commonwealth of Virginia, drawn to scale showing tracts, parcels, lots, subdivisions, land boundaries, legally recordable in the clerk's office; together with all data essential to the description and identification of the elements shown thereon, and including one or more certificates indicating approval. A plat differs from a plan in that it does not necessarily show additional cultural, drainage, and relief features.

Principal Use
The primary or predominant use of any lot.

Printing and/or Publication
Facility at which large volumes of printed material are produced on a regular basis, as with a newspaper or magazine.

Private Accessway
A parking court, common driveway or parking lot.

Problem Soils
Soils classified as Class IV soils by the office of the Loudoun County Soil Scientist.

A drawing of a side or structural elevation of a structure or grade.

Public Hearing
Meetings of the Town Council, Board of Zoning Appeals and Planning Commission held expressly for the purpose of soliciting comments from the general public in accordance with requirements of the State Code.

Public Utility, Major
Public utility, major shall include the following: electric substations and other distribution centers, electrical generating plants and facilities, sewerage treatment and disposal facilities, storage facilities for natural gas, oil and other petroleum products, supply yards for any public utility, dial centers, repeater stations, water purification facilities, microwave facilities, satellite earth stations, water storage facilities and maintenance facilities incidental to any use set forth above.

Public Utility, Minor
A minor public utility shall include the following: electric transformer, natural gas, water and sewer transmission, collection, distribution and metering devises; and water and sewerage pumping stations.



- N/A -



Real Property
Land and generally whatever is erected or growing upon or affixed to land. Also rights issuing out of, annexed to, and exercise within or about land.

Recreation Facility
A facility offering or providing recreational activities. A recreational facility may include, but not be limited to a tennis court, racquetball court, basketball court, swimming pool, gymnasium, exercise and weight room facilities.

Research and Development
Basic and applied investigations in the natural, physical, or social sciences directed toward the discovery, invention, design, or establishment of new products and services.

Retail Center
A group of commercial establishments planned as one entity.

Retail Use
Any use wherein the primary occupation is the sale of merchandise in small quantities, in broken lots or parcels, not in bulk, for use or consumption by the immediate purchaser. For the purpose of this Zoning Ordinance, retail uses shall not be deemed to include automobile-oriented uses, vehicle sale, rental and/or service or convenience retail.

A change in zoning district designation for a parcel or group of parcels adopted by the Town Council.

A strip of land acquired by reservation, dedication, prescription or condemnation which is occupied by or is to be occupied by a road, pedestrian crosswalk, railroad, electric transmission lines, oil or gas pipeline, water line, sanitary storm sewer and other similar uses.



School, General Education
A parochial or private school giving regular instruction during a normal school year.

School, Public
An educational institution operated by a duly constituted governmental entity.

School, Special Instruction
A school primarily devoted to giving instruction in professional, musical, dramatic, artistic, scientific or other special subjects, exclusive of a conventional primary or secondary curriculum.

School, Technical
A school which primarily provides instruction to adults in vocational skills.

Whenever this term is used, it shall refer to any landscaping, screening, buffering, fencing or other barrier as required by this Ordinance. See “Buffering.”

Shopping Center
Any group of three (3) or more commercial uses which:

  • Are designed as a single commercial group, whether or not located on the same lot or in the same building;
  • Are under common ownership or management;
  • Are connected by party walls, partitions, canopies, or other structural members to form one continuous structure or, if located in separate buildings, are interconnected by walkways and accessways designed to facilitate customer interchange between the uses;
  • Share a common parking area; and
  • Present the appearance of one (1) continuous commercial area.

Services, Personal
Any service wherein the primary occupation is the repair, care of, maintenance or customizing of personal properties that are worn or carried about the person or are a physical component of the person. For the purpose of this Zoning Ordinance, personal service establishments shall include, but need not be limited to, barber shops, beauty parlors, pet grooming establishments, laundering, cleaning and other garment servicing establishments, tailors, dressmaking shops, shoe cleaning or repair shops, and other similar places of business: services, personal do not include dry cleaning plants or laundries solely devoted to cleaning, processing, etc., or linen or diaper service establishments. Uses accessory to office use also include, but are not limited to,

  1. Bank without drive-in facility;
  2. Office supply store;
  3. Newspaper stand; and
  4. Eating establishment without drive-in facility.

Service Station
Buildings and premises in which the primary use is the supply and dispensing at retail sales of one or more of the following: motor fuels, lubricants, batteries, tires, motor vehicle accessories; and wherein additional mechanical services may be rendered and sales made, but only as accessory and incidental to the primary occupation. Uses permissible at a service station shall not include body work, straightening of body parts, painting, welding, or other work involving noise, glare, fumes, smoke, or other characteristics to an extent greater than normally found in service stations. Snack foods, tobacco, hot and cold drinks, newspapers and similar convenience goods may be sold as accessory to the principal use. Prepared foods such as sandwiches and cooked foods limited to off-premises consumption are permitted as an accessory use to the extent permitted by the special exception approved for the service station.

The minimum distance by which any building or structure must be separated from the lot lines.

Single-Family Detached Dwelling
The use of a single lot for a dwelling that is not attached to any other dwelling by any means.

Single-Family Attached (Townhouse) Dwelling
A single-family dwelling in a row of at least three such units in which each unit has its own front and rear access to the outside, no unit is located over another unit, and each unit is separated from any other unit by a common party wall.

Site Plan Waiver
The proposal for a development of an in-ground swimming pool or land disturbance of 1,000 to 3,000 square feet of land, including topography, drainage, building locations and such other information as required by the Subdivision and Land Development Regulations. The words “No Adverse Impact Certification”, when used in this Zoning Ordinance, shall mean “Site Plan Waiver”.

The average land gradient expressed as a percentage. Slope average shall be determined on the basis of mapping units two (2) acres or more using the Loudoun County base planimetric and topographic maps or other topographic maps, elevations, etc., prepared by such persons licensed to perform surveys to determine such information. Slope mapping units are defined by average slope ranges of 0-2%, 2-7%, 7-15%, 15-25%, and greater than 25%.

Special Exception
A use permitted in a zoning district, if listed in the district's regulations, only upon showing that such use in a specified location will comply with all the conditions and standards specified in the Zoning Ordinance and/or imposed by the Town Council as authorized by the State Code.

A facility for the keeping of horses for the private use of the residents of the lot. Such facility may include the commercial boarding of ten (10) or fewer horses and no more than one (1) instructor engaged for the purpose of educating and training students in horsemanship.

The Commonwealth of Virginia.

Steep Slopes
Land having a slope exceeding twenty-five percent (25%), pursuant to the Loudoun County Steep Slope Map.

Stream Corridors
Stream buffer areas at lest 100 feet wide for streams that drain greater than 100 acres but less than 640 acres, and at least 150 feet wide for streams that drain greater than 640 acres, consistent with Natural Resource Objective 1 of the Town Plan.

A strip of land subject to vehicular or pedestrian traffic and providing direct or indirect means of access to property, including but not limited to road, lane, drive, trail, court, place, terrace, alley, avenue, highway, boulevard and any other thoroughfare. For functional classification of streets refer to the “Transportation” section of the Town Plan.

Anything constructed or built for use, occupancy, or ornamentation whether installed on, above, or below the surface of land or water including, among others, buildings, stadiums, gospel and circus tents, platforms, stagings, observation towers, telecommunications towers, radio and TV broadcasting towers, water tanks, trestles, piers, open sheds, coal bins, shelters, walls, power line towers, pipelines, and railroad tracks.

Structure, Accessory
A building or structure subordinate and incidental to, and located on the same lot with, a principal building, the use of which is customarily found in association with and is clearly incidental to that of the main building or to the use of the land, and which is not attached by any part of a common wall or roof to the principal building.

Structural Alteration
Changes to or removal of supporting member or materials, including the roof members, which comprise the original method of construction of the building or structure.

Subdivision and Land Development Regulations (SLDR)
The Subdivision and Land Development Regulations of the Town of Leesburg, adopted by the Town Council to establish subdivision and site plan standards and procedures for development within the Town.



Telecommunications Use and/or Structure
A use provided by or a structure utilized by a public service utility or commercial public telecommunications service under the jurisdiction of the Virginia State Corporation Commission and/or licensed by the Federal Communications Commission to provide commercial public telecommunications services. A telecommunications structure may include a tower, monopole, and other antenna support structure or equipment buildings. Telecommunications use and/or structure does not include non-commercial applications, such as amateur radio operations. Telecommunications use and/or structure does not include those uses or structures that are accessory to and solely used by an individual business. Telecommunications facilities shall not be considered as a Public Utility for the purpose of use designation and identifying authorized zoning districts.

Temporary Commuter Parking Lot
A Commuter Parking Lot used for two years of less. The use requires a Special Exception. The initial two-year period may be extended for up to two additional years through an additional Special Exception.

Temporary Mobile/Land-Based Telecommunication Testing
Whip antennas, panels antennas, microwave dishes, and receive-only satellite dishes and related equipment for wireless audio transmission with low wattage not to exceed 500 watts, from a sender to one or more receivers, such as for mobile cellular telephones and mobile radio system facilities.

Temporary Use
A use established for a fixed period of time with the intent that such use will terminate automatically upon the expiration of the fixed time period, unless permission to conduct the use is renewed pursuant to this Zoning Ordinance.

Theater, Indoor
A structure designed for the enactment of dramatic performance and/or showing of motion pictures. For the purpose of this Zoning Ordinance, a drive-in motion picture theater and an adult mini-motion picture theater shall be deemed prohibited uses.

Town of Leesburg, Virginia.

Town Plan
The official document, commonly referred to as the Comprehensive Plan, or elements thereof, adopted by the Town Council, intended to guide the physical development of the Town or a portion thereof. Such plan, including maps, plats, charts, policy statements and/or descriptive material, shall be that adopted in accordance with Section 15.2 2226 of the Code of Virginia.

Transmission Tower
A lattice-type structure, guyed or self-supporting, used to support antennas. Also called a communication tower or radio tower.

A woody, tall-growing perennial plant generally with one main stem, but may form a multi-stem habit, which typically develops branches at a greater height above the ground than shrubs.



United States Postal Service
The public department responsible for the transportation and delivery of the mail: where mail is received, sorted and delivered and where postal materials are sold.

Urban Forester (Arborist)
A person trained in arboriculture, forestry, landscape architecture, horticulture, or related fields and experienced in the conservation and preservation of native and ornamental trees within the municipality.



Vacant Land
A lot or parcel of land on which no improvements have been constructed.

Vehicle Sales and/or Rental Facility
The use of any structure or land area for the display and sale and/or rental of new or used automobiles, trucks, vans, trailers, recreation vehicles or other vehicles and including any warranty repair work and other vehicle services conducted as an accessory use.

Vehicle and/or Equipment Service Facility
An establishment where the maintenance, servicing, repair or painting of vehicles, heavy equipment or large commercial appliances is conducted.

Veterinary Hospital
A facility where animals or pets are given medical or surgical treatment and the boarding of animals is limited to short-term care incidental to the hospital use.



A structure used for the storage of goods and materials which may also include ancillary wholesale sales not to exceed 25% of the site.

Wayside Bus Station
A small, roofed structure having from one to three walls, located near a street, and designed primarily for the protection and convenience of bus passengers.

Wayside Stand
A temporary structure designed for the display and sale of local agricultural products.

An area as identified on the National Inventory of Wetlands and/or regulated by the Army Corps of Engineers.



- N/A -



The area on a lot situated between the front, rear or side wall of a structure and the nearest lot line, unobstructed from the ground upward and unoccupied except by specific uses and structures allowed in such area by the provisions of this Zoning Ordinance.

Yard, Front
A yard extending across the full width of the lot, measured perpendicular to the front lot line and extending to the principal building or structure. On corner lots all yards which abut a street shall be deemed front yards.

Yard, Rear
A yard extending across the full width of the lot, lying between the rear lot line of the lot, and extending to the principal building or structure. On corner lots which abut two streets with front lot lines of unequal length, the rear yard shall be opposite and parallel to the shortest front lot line. On a corner lot which abuts three streets, the remaining yard shall be a rear yard if it abuts a rear yard, and shall be a side yard if it abuts a side yard.

Yard, Required
A yard, as defined above, located along the perimeter of a lot, the dimensions of which are set by the District Regulations of this Ordinance.

Yard, Side
A yard between the side lot line and the principal building and extending from the front yard to the rear yard.



Zero Lot Line Development
A development in which houses (dwelling units) on are shifted to one side of their lot, thereby providing for greater usable yard space on each lot.

Zero Lot Line Dwelling
A single-family detached dwelling in a zero lot line development that is located on or within 18 inches of an interior side lot line.

Zoning Administrator
An appointed Town official who serves as the Zoning Administrator, charged with the interpretation, administration and enforcement of this Ordinance for Leesburg, Virginia, or his/her designee.

Zoning Permit
A document signed by the Zoning Administrator as a condition precedent to the commencement of a use or the erection, construction, reconstruction, restoration, alteration, conversion, or installation of a structure or building, which acknowledges that such use, structure or building complies with the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance, or authorized variance there from.

Zoning District
The various classifications of agricultural, residential, commercial and industrial zoning categories provided for in this Ordinance and the areas on the zoning map in which such different districts are mapped. As used in this Ordinance, the term “zoning district” can refer either to the zoning category, i.e. “the B-1 Zoning District”, or the areas mapped in such uses on the zoning map.


Last updated: 12/16/2013 12:01:04 PM