April 7, 2021

Virginia Beach Seeks Community Input on Design Guidelines for Historic and Cultural Districts at April 15 Virtual Public Meeting

The Virginia Beach Department of Planning and Community Development invites property owners and interested members of the community to learn about the initiative to establish Design Guidelines for the City's Historic and Cultural Districts. Consultants from Commonwealth Preservation Group will be present to discuss the process for developing design guidelines, the approach for evaluating Virginia Beach's unique historical characteristics, and the value of establishing and adopting design guidelines for property owners and the City. Members of the community will have an opportunity to provide input during a virtual public meeting that will be held on Thursday, April 15 at 6:30 p.m. Persons wishing to attend the virtual meeting may register here.

The City of Virginia Beach currently has 16 Historic and Cultural Districts, each with distinct features and characteristics. The purpose of the Design Guidelines is to provide property owners, staff, and Historical Review Board members with a guide for interpreting proposed building alterations, additions, and new construction in the districts. This will improve the review process for acquiring a Certificate of Appropriateness, which is the review board's approval for projects in historic districts. Virginia Beach is one of 36 Certified Local Governments (CLG) in Virginia, and establishing clear and comprehensive Design Guidelines is an expectation for all CLGs.

In addition to several public meetings, which will be held throughout the development process, Commonwealth Preservation Group will be conducting interviews with stakeholders and property owners in the districts to gather input that will inform the development of the Design Guidelines. Information on how to schedule an interview will be shared during the public meeting and mailed to property owners in the Historic and Cultural Districts.

The Virginia Beach Design Guidelines project is being funded through a partnership between the City and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources Certified Local Government grant program. The Design Guidelines will be developed to meet the benchmarks of the Secretary of Interior's Standards. Commonwealth Preservation Group, based in Norfolk, VA, is the historic preservation and cultural resource management firm that will be leading the public discussion and preparing the Design Guidelines. For more information about the Design Guidelines project and the April 15 public meeting, please visit www.vbgov.com/historicalreview or contact Mark Reed, Historic Preservation Planner at 757-385-8573 or mreed@vbgov.com.

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