Residential Occupancy Ordinances and Standards for Residential Units
Determination of Number of Occupants Per Dwelling
The County has adopted a Zoning
Ordinance and the Virginia
Uniform Statewide Building Code/International Property
Maintenance Code, each of which regulates who and how
many people may occupy a dwelling. Limitations
are based on:
Non-compliance with any portion of these
requirements constitutes a violation of legal occupancy
- The size of the dwelling
- The size and number of
- The relationship of residents
- Fire safety
Occupancy Limitations Relative
to the Size of the Dwelling
Minimum Area Requirements
| MINIMUM AREA IN SQUARE FEET
| 1 - 2 Occupants
|| 3 - 5 Occupants
| 6 or more Occupants
|| No Requirements
|| No Requirements
Applied to Bedrooms
| Bedroom Size
Occupants per Room*
* Number of Occupants includes adults and children
- Must contain at least 70 square feet of floor area plus an
additional 50 square feet per individual if occupied by more
than one person.
- Must not be the only access to other bedrooms
or habitable space and must not constitute the only exit
from other habitable space.
- Every bedroom must have access to a bathroom without
having to pass through another bedroom.
- Kitchens and other non-habitable space must not be used
for sleeping purposes.
- Bedrooms must provide light, ventilation, room area, ceiling
height and room width in conformity with the code, and
must be in conformity with fire safety requirements.
Fire Safety Requirements Applied to Bedrooms:
- Two means of exit must be available from a bedroom, with one being a door or window leading directly to the exterior.
- The window sill must be at a maximum height of 44 inches from the floor.
- An exit must not lead through another sleeping area or a bathroom.
- Family- a group of people living together 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
- No more than 4 unrelated persons
- Assisted living facilities and group homes of eight or fewer as defined in Section 15.2-2291 of the Code of Virginia.
*Persons who are related includes husbands, wives, parents, children,
grandparents, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins,
nephews, nieces (including step or half relationships) as demonstrated by
official public records such as government-issued identification, birth or
marriage certificates; or by affidavits.
The County receives a number of complaints regarding overcrowding in single-family dwellings. Overcrowding is a threat to public safety and the welfare of the occupants of the homes, as well as the neighborhoods. If you have a complaint about an overcrowding situation:
Other Important Information
Alterations to a residence such as converting rooms to other
uses or building decks and sheds require the owner to obtain a
zoning permit in addition to a building permit. Please consult with the Department of Planning and Zoning
, 703-777-0246, before starting