Portsmouth, Virginia

Zoning Ordinance Update

Clarion, in association with WRT, prepared a new zoning ordinance for this mature, built-out community of over 100,000 in the Hampton Roads area. The code, which primarily focuses on redevelopment issues and form over use, includes: new regulations for the downtown, primary corridors, and regional activity centers; new infill development regulations; provisions that reduce current nonconformities (from over 50% of development to less than five percent)

in ways that maintain desired form and character;  a move away from single-use to mixed-use districts, standards that encourage more pedestrian-friendly development forms, and integration of sustainable development concepts through new green building incentives. The zoning ordinance was adopted in February of 2010. It received a VAPA Innovation Award in 2010 and the EPA Smart Growth Award for Policies and Programs in 2012.