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Updating the TND ordinance to the best standards.

In order to execute on our master plan vision, we have requested a series of text changes and additions to the Botetourt County TND Ordinance. We believe each change is necessary for the success of Harvest at Blue Ridge, but will also help guide the ordinance toward the vision for Traditional Neighborhoods outlined in the County’s comprehensive plan. The changes also bring the ordinance up to date and in line with other localities containing successful TNDs. Having a Traditional Neighborhood Development ordinance in our county allows for the county to experiment with unconventional and emerging neighborhood standards, while limiting the impact from affecting ordinary residential areas county-wide.



Housing options increase the potential of home ownership and strengthen neighborhoods.

We hope for Harvest at Blue Ridge to feel like an organically grown neighborhood with wide variety of housing options. Unfortunately, the current zoning ordinance restricts variety within TNDs by limiting all single-family detached dwellings to one categorization. The achievable single-family detached housing, as a result, tends to materialize as something closer to suburban tract housing, rather than a natural feeling neighborhood. Our new classification will allow us to expand our type of housing options within the core area of the neighborhood - including new cottage, pocket court cottage, and cottage loft configurations (seen below). Concerns about smaller lots county-wide about smaller lots will be mitigated, as this designation would only be limited to use in a TND, concerns from neighbors about small lots next door are mitigated by limiting the use only to a core area, and concerns that TND core areas will only be small lots are mitigated by the percentage limitation and by current TND density regulations.


  • Smaller single family detached dwellings

  • Cottages increase affordability of single-family dwellings, encouraging ownership

  • Maximizes use of space within the Core area, helping to eliminate residual, unused spaces.

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Sec 25-601



Addition of “Dwelling, Cottage” definition

  • Dwelling, cottage: a dwelling which otherwise meets the definition of a single-family detached dwelling but is of a more appropriate scale for empty-nesters and workforce housing, the specifications of which being defined in Section 25-206. To be located within the core area of a Traditional Neighborhood Development for the purpose of promoting variety within the neighborhood.

Sec 25 - 206 (b)

Residential lot and building requirements. Minimum lot area

Addition of minimum lot area for “Dwelling, cottage” in a TND

  • Dwelling, cottage

    • One thousand (1,000) square feet

Sec 25 - 206 (e)

Residential lot and building requirements. Required yards for residential uses.

Addition of setback requirements for “Dwelling, cottage” in a TND

  • 1. Front

  • Dwelling, cottage

    • Minimum: Zero (0) feet

    • Maximum: Fifteen (15) feet ​​

  • 2. Side

  • Dwelling, cottage

    • Minimum: Five (5) feet

    • Maximum: None

  • 3. Rear

  • Dwelling, cottage

    • Minimum: Six (6) feet

    • Maximum: None 

Sec 25 - 204 (a)

Permitted uses. Core area

Addition of Dwelling, Cottage as a permitted use within a TND’s Core area, with percentage limitation

  • Dwelling, cottage (maximum of ten (10) percent of total parcels)

Sec 25 206 (c)

Residential lot and building requirements. Minimum lot width

Addition of minimum lot width for “Dwelling, cottage” in a TND

  • Dwelling, cottage

    • Twenty-four (24) feet



An alternative to the typical suburban streetscape.

This is a clarification of code to allow houses to be accessed vehicularly by a rear alley alone. This will allow for certain homes in the neighborhood to front on amenities, like shared yards and courts. Homes fronted on pocket courts and parks give buyers a pleasant front porch experience while limiting the amount of yard work the homeowner needs to do. Thus, these types of homes are extremely popular with seniors. The change also allows for appealing streetscapes and pedestrian walkways - rather than sidewalks being the only means for pedestrian travel.


Any home for which this applies, as well as the neighborhood generally, will be applicable to county employee review before rezoning – as required by the TND ordinance. This means Harvest at Blue Ridge, and any potential TND in the future, must work with emergency services to ensure proper access to all lots.


  • Parcels fronted on shared spaces rather than streets

  • Accessed vehicularly by rear alley

  • Creates a vastly more appealing front-porch experience than traditional street fronted parcels

  • Increased socialization amongst neighbors

  • Creates a more interesting and beautiful walking experience than roadside sidewalks