Nelson County has a rich and varied history and offers a diverse variety of natural and man-made features for its 14,445 current residents. Formally established on December 25, 1807, Nelson County is named for General Thomas Nelson, Jr., Virginia’s third governor. Nelson County has grown from an agricultural community to an industrial one and currently is growing in the service sector of its economy. Yet, Nelson County retains its rural character. Most of the land in the county is mountainous or hilly, with relatively little level land. Most development has followed stream valleys and roadways. New growth is most apparent in the Rockfish Valley to the west and in the Schuyler and Lovingston areas
The Nelson County Comprehensive Plan is a blueprint for how Nelson County will deal with change, and how it will grow. It assists citizens in understanding the county and guides the Planning Commission, the Board of Supervisors, state agencies, and private developers in providing for the County’s future needs. The Comprehensive Plan may be implemented through an official map, a capital improvements program, the zoning ordinance and zoning map, and the subdivision ordinance. The Plan states specific goals in eight key areas and establishes five development models and identifies where these development models are desired in the future. The Plan identifies implementation strategies and offers an abundance of information on the county in the appendices.