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.
ELECTRONIC/DIGITAL SUBMISSION OF APPLICATIONS AND OTHER MATERIALS IS ENCOURAGED WHENEVER FEASIBLE.
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
Credit card payments can now be accepted over the phone. Please call the Planning Department at 757-393-8836 for more information.
D2 Rezoning and Innovation Overlay District
At the request of City Council, the City of Portsmouth has replaced 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 ensures the 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 will be superimposed on the new zoning districts for the D2 Uptown area, which will clarify requirements for development and facilitate new growth and development.
Click here Version OptionsPlanning DepartmentHeadlineThe City of Portsmouth is seeking input. to access more information and maps for the proposed rezoning and Innovation Overlay District.
Zoning Ordinance Update
At the request of City Council, the City’s Zoning Ordinance was updated and subsequently adopted on December 8, 2020. The comprehensively rewritten Zoning Ordinance was designed to improve clarity and ease of use, streamline development regulations, ease nonconforming situations, protect existing neighborhood character, ensure compatibility with the Code of Virginia, and increase consistency with the City’s Build One Portsmouth Comprehensive Plan.
Linked below is the newly adopted Portsmouth Zoning Ordinance.
The Zoning Ordinance Update Briefing and the Zoning Ordinance Update Presentation linked highlight the major changes to the Zoning Ordinance.
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 PlanOpens a New Window., Opens a New Window.Build One PortsmouthOpens a New Window., was adopted by City Council on November 27, 2018.
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
- Planning Commission
- Historic Preservation Commission (HPC)
- Downtown Design Committee (DDC)
- Wetlands Board
- Board of Zoning Appeals
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.