Culpeper County Government Banner
Form of Government

Culpeper County is a political subdivision that executes the policies of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Virginia General Assembly grants certain powers to County government. There are two restrictions of power: (1) a County cannot take action that is contrary to State Law and to the State Constitution; (2) The authority for any County action must be specifically authorized by the General Assembly. The latter is called the Dillon Rule which dates from Iowa Judge John F. Dillon in 1865.

Culpeper County has a traditional form of government with a Board of Supervisors and a County Administrator. The Board of Supervisors, elected by the people, serves as the governing body, and represents the seven magisterial districts within County.


The first settlers came into area that would become Culpeper County in the early 1700's. Spotsylvania County, created in 1721, encompassed all lands west to the Blue Ridge Mountains and was eventually divided into what is now called Orange, Culpeper, Madison and Rappahannock Counties. Culpeper County was established in 1749.

The Constitution of 1869 created the establishment of Virginia’s first statewide system of public schools, and for the division of each county into magisterial districts. Before this, Culpeper was divided into tax-enumeration districts, but the boundaries of each district are not known. There were also only five county employees, none of which were full time, whose annual salaries totaled $600.00.

The first elected County Board of Supervisors first met on August 1, 1870 representing five districts, and addressed two items of business: to order the sheriff to collect taxes and to order the commonwealth attorney to protect and preserve the records of the County.

Today Culpeper County supports a thriving community of both agricultural and commercial interests. According to a 2002 estimate from the U.S. census, about 35,000 people live in Culpeper County, 9900 of them within the town of Culpeper.

County Facts

The first railroad came to the county in 1852.

The first telephone came to the County 1894.

In 1871, the first public school (one room) in the county was organized. School enrollment for the 1972-73 year was 4,765.

In 1971, the U.S. Department of the Interior designated the Culpeper-Warrenton area as one of the seven most desirable places in the nation to live.

The 1970 census set the county's population at 18,218; in 2006 the county’s population was 44,622.

The median household income in 2004 was $52,707

In 2008 the County employs approximately 500 employees that are housed in 16 locations

Vision and Mission


Culpeper County will strive to achieve the highest quality of life possible for our community through comprehensive, innovative, responsive, and meaningful services effectively delivered by motivated and skilled employees guided by visionary leadership.


Culpeper County Government will strive to provide an environment which promotes a prosperous community dedicated to the health and safety of its citizens while providing educational opportunities and data driven, citizen centered, performance based management.

Strategic Goals

Administration of Government
1. Responsible management of County resources
2. Provide effective programs, efficiently managed and professionally delivered
3. Carry out the vision & mission of the Board of Supervisors.

Inclusive Community
1. Encourage a community that welcomes diversity and inclusion
2. Develop a culture that promotes innovation
3. Keep citizens informed about County operations, policies, and programs

1. Provide the necessary infrastructure to support business development consistent with the Comprehensive Plan
2. Attract a wide spectrum of businesses
3. Recruit businesses that will raise our standard of living
4. Seek businesses that have a strong tradition of corporate stewardship

Public Safety
1. Protect people and property through effective enforcement of laws and delivery of services

Natural resources
1. Maintain and improve our natural environment
2. Increase collaboration with our regional partners to recognize each others needs to share our natural resources

Quality of life
1. Promote and encourage a safe, prosperous, and healthy environment
2. Create opportunities for a comprehensive education emphasizing efficient use of resources that nurtures and stimulates the maximum potential of our residents.
3. Enhance and protect the rural integrity and atmosphere of our County
4. Promote our history to the fullest extent so as to understand our past and guide us into the future

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