In 2010, as the culmination of more than five years of work and lots of community input, Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors adopted a major overhaul of its rural zoning and subdivision ordinance to address the goals of the vision statement of the county's comprehensive plan. The Forum will continue to work with local residents and elected officials to implement the components of the rural areas plan.
Shenandoah County Approves Rural Areas Plan
In the fall of 2010, Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors voted to approve rural zoning and subdivision ordinances updates as recommended by the Steering Committee of the Community Planning Project

The rural areas plan supports the farm sector, provides flexibility for rural landowners, secures long-term savings for tax-payers and enhances the quality of life for all residents -- all goals of the Shenandoah County Comprehensive Plan.

Highlights from the new plan include:
  • Decrease in density of rural areas with most new growth directed to the county's six historic towns;
  • Coordination of town and county planning for growth areas to reflect traditional neighborhod design;
  • Support for a local purchase of development rights (PDR) program;
  • Recommendation for a farm economic development director.
Shenandoah County Sentinel
In September 2010, Shenandoah Forum published and sent a copy of The Shenandoah County Sentinel to every household in Shenandoah County.  We felt it was important that all residents have the opportunity to understand the proposed changes to the county's rural zoning and subdivision ordinances, as outlined in the rural areas plan.

Please read the September 2010 publication of The Shenandoah County Sentinel for more information on the proposed rural areas plan.
Community Planning Project
In Fall 2008, Shenandoah County hired a land use planning consultant to work with county residents to bring its zoning and subdivision ordinance in line with the goals of the county's comprehensive plan.
 A Community Planning Project Steering Committee was appointed by the Board of Supervisors and charged with developing a set of amendments to the rural zoning and subdivision ordinances to implement the vision statement of the county's comprehensive plan.
Shenandoah Community Dialogue Project
The Community Dialogue Project was initiated by the Forum in February 2007 to develop a set of consensus recommendations for steps the county might take to bring the vision of the comprehensive plan to a reality. Use link below to see:

What is the Shenandoah County Comprehensive Plan?

A comprehensive plan is the adopted land use plan for a locality. It contains information on the existing conditions and growth trends and makes policy recommendations to guide future growth and development.

The first version of the Shenandoah County Comprehensive Plan was approved in 1978. 
Since 1978, the comprehensive plan has been revised several times. A constant in each revisions remains the emphasis on the preservation of agriculture and the rural character as key elements of the county's vision as stated in the plan.

The most recent revision of the comprehensive plan approved in June 2005 attempted to address how the preservation of agriculture and rural character could be achieved. Since the approval of the 2005 revision, there have been continuing conversations about how to best implement the agricultural and rural elements of the county's vision.

It is the intent of the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors that the comprehensive plan will remain a "living" document to be regularly and frequently updated in order to keep abreast of what's going on in the county. 
To make this happen, a committee was appointed to work on a continuing basis with the county's Director of Planning. The Citizen's Advisory Committee provides updates and revisions to the comprehensive plan.Currently, the committee is working on the 2025 plan update. 
Please see the Shenandoah County website for more information on the Citizens' Advisory Committee or the 2025 plan update.

Vision Statement of the
Shenandoah County Comprehensive Plan

In the year 2025, Shenandoah County will still be a primarily rural community that:

  • Protects its natural resources.
  • Directs its growth to the towns ensuring its open, agricultural character.
  • Provides a variety of jobs in business, light industry, tourism and sustainable agriculture.
  • Maintains moderate growth of a demographically varied population.
  • Supports safe and efficient interstate transportation and maintains the rural character of its primary and secondary roads.
  • Affords its students excellent and appropriate education.
  • Serves its citizens with public facilities and services that enhance their quality of life.
  • Ensures preservation of its natural beauty and unique, historical character by strictly adhering to the goals and objectives of the Comprehensive Plan.

Adopted June 2005, Shenandoah County Board of Supervisor