Does Your Plan Match the Code?
Each type of rural business has different zoning requirements, and some may require an additional legislative process in order to meet approval. Click on each type to learn more detailed definitions and information:
Limited Brewery (Farm Brewery)
Loudoun County is home to more than 20 breweries, at least seven of which are located in the rural policy area.
Virginia Farm Winery
There are more wineries and wine grapes in Loudoun than any other county in Virginia, helping to support a vibrant tourism industry.
More than 40 wineries call Loudoun home, winning awards in regional, national and international competitions.
A cidery is not a listed or defined use in the Zoning Ordinance. A cidery is an establishment where cider is made, and must comply with the Zoning
Ordinances definition of Commercial Winery or Virginia Farm Winery and Section 4.1-213 of the Code of Virginia.
A distillery is not a listed or defined use in the Zoning Ordinance. A distillery is an establishment where liquor is manufactured. Distilleries are permitted as “craft beverage manufacturing” in the RC zoning district subject to standards in Zoning Ordinance Section 5-668. Section 5-668 standards may be modified by Minor Special Exception.
A meadery is not a listed or defined use in the Zoning Ordinance. A meadery is an establishment where mead is made and sold. Current administrative practices permit a meadery as a brewery or winery, depending upon how the meadery is licensed by the state.
Loudoun is home to some of the region’s top-rated restaurants, attracting nationally-recognized chefs to the county. Restaurants are subject to regulations for health and safety, fire prevention and parking.
With more than 1,000 farms in Loudoun County, there is ample opportunity for farm-to-table eateries.
Coffeehouse or Teahouse
Because coffeehouses and teahouses are not restaurants, they have less emphasis on food and more emphasis on non-alcoholic beverage production and communal space for customers.
Mobile Food Unit (Food Truck)
A mobile food unit is not a listed or defined use in the Zoning Ordinance. Generally, a mobile food unit is an establishment mounted on wheels, moving from place to place at all times during operation and shall include, but not be limited to, pushcarts, trailers, trucks or vans.
Farm Market (On-Site Production)
Selling directly to consumers, farm markets feature a wide variety of grown and produced goods.
Farm Market (Off-Site Production)
Farm markets attract farmers, artisans and producers from around the region to sell their products directly to customers. While markets frequently feature food and beverage vendors, regulations could affect each vendor differently.
Wayside stands are generally smaller than markets, located alongside the road and featuring products directly from that farm.
Loudoun’s rural event spaces are heavily utilized as wedding venues, with some locations booked years in advance. Banquet and event facilities are subject to regulations for health and safety, sanitation, fire prevention, frequency of use and parking.
Rural Corporate Retreat
More than just a gathering space, rural corporate retreats must have a mission of education or training, and blend into the fabric of the rural community.
Overnight accommodations are the focus of rural resorts, with additional flexibility for food, recreation and meeting space.
Bed and Breakfast Homestay
Interested in hosting paying guests for overnight stays on your private property? This designation covers the most limited use.
Bed and Breakfast Inn
Unlike homestays, a bed and breakfast inn is primarily an overnight accommodations business, and does not require the owner to live on site.
This includes all of the usages of a bed and breakfast inn, but also allows for an on-site restaurant for guests, as well as meeting space as a primary use.
Loudoun County has a rich equestrian history, and today is home to more horses than any other county in Virginia. Private stables limit the number of horses allowed on a property that do not belong to the lot owner or resident.
This is any facility that houses 10 or more horses that do not belong to the property owner or residents.
Equestrian Event Facility
Loudoun’s equestrian industry is worth more than $180 million, with 15,000 horses, 3,000 jobs and attracting more than 70,000 spectators each year.
Outdoor Rural Recreational Establishment
This covers any outdoor recreational use except motor vehicle racing. The sale of limited refreshments is allowed.
This gives business owners another tool to attract customers to the farm, to interact with animals and agriculture.