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Planning Commission & Board of Zoning Appeals


Purpose of the Planning Commission

The Planning Commission's primary role is an advisory one, as they inform the governing body on citizens' recommendations regarding land use planning, community growth, and development. They serve to initiate new ideas and serve to call attention to current and potential problems associated with positive or negative growth. The Planning Commission is also in a position to shape the physical growth and land uses.

The Code of Virginia states that all Virginia counties, cities, and towns must have a Planning Commission and must have acomprehensive plan. The commission must have regular meetings at least every two months, but the planning commission of any locality with a population of less than 7,500 is required to meet at least once a year.

The South Boston Planning Commission is comprised of 7 members and was originally created in 1945. It meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers, 502 Yancey Street. 

Members:  George Leonard, Chair; Fields Thomas, Vice Chair;  Harriett Claiborne; Beverly Crowder; Sharon Harris, Ronnie Pate, and Bob Hughes.  Their contact information can be found under Government>Board and Commissions. 

Planning Commission By-laws

Purpose of the Board of Zoning Appeals

The Code of Virginia states that if a locality adopts zoning, then a Board of Zoning Appeals must also be established. According to the Code of Virginia, the powers of the BZA include:

  1. To hear and decide appeals from any order, requirement, decision or determination made by an administrative officer in the administration or enforcement of this article or of any ordinance adopted pursuant thereto.
  2. To authorize upon appeal or original application in specific cases such variance from the terms of the ordinance as will not be contrary to the public interest, when, owing to special conditions a literal enforcement of the provisions will result in unnecessary hardship; provided that the spirit of the ordinance shall be observed and substantial justice done.
  3. To hear and decide appeals from the decision of the zoning administrator
  4. To hear and decide applications for interpretation of the district map where there is any uncertainty as to the location of a district boundary.
  5. To hear and decide applications for special exceptions as may be authorized in the ordinance.
  6. To revoke a special exception previously granted by the board of zoning appeals if the board determines that there has not been compliance with the terms or conditions of the permit.

The South Boston Board of Zoning Appeals is comprised of 5 members. It meets on the second Thursday of every month as needed. 


BZA By-laws

 For the latest on Virginia enabling state law regarding land use, click here.

If you have any questions, please call the Planning Office at 575-4241.