Planning Department

Out of an abundance of caution due to novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), all City of Portsmouth Planning Department offices are currently physically closed to the public. However, our staff is still working and is here to assist you virtually. The public is encouraged to use the city’s online options for services.

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED IN PERSON. STAFF CANNOT RECEIVE OR ACCEPT ITEMS DROPPED OFF AT CITY HALL. APPLICANTS CAN SEND ITEMS BY EMAIL, US POSTAL SERVICE, FEDEX, OR UPS (as appropriate for the application type).

ITEMS SHOULD BE SENT TO 

CITY OF PORTSMOUTH
PLANNING DEPARTMENT ATTN: (STAFF MEMBER NAME)
801 CRAWFORD STREET
PORTSMOUTH, VA 23704

Virtual Planning Department - click here to get information about Planning Department services during the COVID-19 public closure.

Zoning Ordinance Amendments

D2 Rezoning and Innovation Overlay District

At the request of City Council, the City of Portsmouth is proposing to replace the 541 parcels of the D2 FBC district with traditional zoning districts based on recommendations from community engagement, public review, and the D2 Uptown Land Use Study. The Proposed New Zoning Map for the D2 area attempts to ensure new zoning regulations reflect the reality of existing and potential land uses, current and future development forms, appropriate densities, and other development standards. 

In addition, the new Innovation Overlay District is proposed to be superimposed on the proposed new zoning districts for the D2 Uptown area, which will clarify requirements for development and facilitate new growth and development.

Click here to access more information and maps for the proposed rezoning and Innovation Overlay District.

Zoning Ordinance Update

The City of Portsmouth is seeking input.

At the request of City Council, the Planning Department is updating the Zoning Ordinance. The ordinance is updated on a regular basis to keep it current and effective for our citizens and businesses.

The final draft of the update and related documents can be downloaded from the links below.

Zoning Ordinance Update Final Draft

Zoning Ordinance Update Briefing

Zoning Ordinance Update Presentation

Comments can be sent to Julie Chop at chopj@portsmouthva.gov

View presentations about the Zoning Ordinance update on the City's YouTube Channel.

feedback

Special Projects

Find out about and follow along with the Zoning Ordinance Update, the D2 District update, the Crawford Corridor Revitalization, and other special projects on the Special Projects Page.

Portsmouth Poverty Study

The Planning Department concluded research on the causes and effects of poverty on Portsmouth citizens. The research included extensive public outreach and interviews, reviews of recent case studies, and analysis of sociological and demographic data. The findings will be used to inform the goals and strategies of a future Poverty Task Force.

You can download the poverty study by clicking this link. Portsmouth Poverty Study

Comprehensive Plan Update - Build One Portsmouth


After numerous civic engagement events and opportunities for the public the provide input, the Comprehensive PlanBuild One Portsmouth, was adopted by City Council on November 27, 2018.

Please check out  http://www.buildoneportsmouth.org/101/Comprehensive-Plan to download the plan. You can also contact Brian Swets at swetsb@portsmouthva.gov or 393-8836 ext 4237 for more information.
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Review the Plan

Core Services


In support of achieving this mission, the Department consists of six core service areas:
  • Current Planning (including review of site plans, subdivisions, rezonings, use permits and certificates of appropriateness)
  • Environmental Planning (including Chesapeake Bay preservation and flood plain management)
  • Transportation Planning and Implementation
  • Historic Preservation
  • Community Planning and Development (CDBG and HOME programs)
  • Long Range, Comprehensive Planning and Implementation

Staff Support


The department also provides staff support to:
  • Planning Commission
  • Historic Preservation Commission (HPC)
  • Downtown Design Committee (DDC)
  • Wetlands Board
  • Urban Design Committee
  • Cradock Advisory Group
  • Truxton Advisory Group

Services


By local, State and Federal law, the Planning Department provides the following services:
  • Processing applications for Use Permits and Rezonings,
  • Processing applications for the subdivision of land,
  • Processing applications for Code Amendments,
  • Processing applications for construction projects in Historic Preservation areas,
  • Processing applications for construction projects in the Downtown Districts,
  • Site Plan and Landscape review,
  • Administering the VDOT required 527 TIS Program,
  • Enforcement of Chesapeake Bay Protection Area regulations,
  • Enforcement of Virginia Wetlands regulations,
  • Enforcement of Historic Preservation District regulations,
  • Enforcement of the Downtown Design District regulations, and
  • Maintaining and updating the City of Portsmouth Comprehensive Plan.