June 17, 2021

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

Property owners and community members are invited to attend the second virtual public meeting to discuss the progress made on establishing design guidelines for the City's Historic and Cultural Districts. The virtual meeting will be hosted by the Virginia Beach Department of Planning on Wednesday, June 23 at 6:30 p.m. The Commonwealth Preservation Group will present the first draft of the guidelines and potential updates for the historic preservation ordinance to include the value of extending archaeological protections to these districts. Anyone wishing to attend or provide input is asked to register at the following link.

The City of Virginia Beach currently has 16 unique historic and cultural districts. 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.

"Establishing guidelines will improve and simplify the review process for acquiring a Certificate of Appropriateness, which is the review board's approval for projects in historic districts," said Mark Reed, Historic Preservation Planner. "Plus, Virginia Beach is one of 36 Certified Local Governments (CLG) in Virginia, a respected designation that acknowledges an enhanced commitment to historic preservation. Having clear and comprehensive design guidelines is an expectation of all CLGs."

Commonwealth Preservation Group, based in Norfolk, Virginia, is the historic preservation and cultural resource management firm developing the guidelines. The agency conducted interviews with stakeholders and property owners in the districts to gather input on the content and is developing the guide to meet the Secretary of the Interior's standards. A draft of the design guidelines is available for review ahead of the meeting under Related Information at www.vbgov.com/historicalreview.

The Virginia Beach Design Guidelines project is funded through a partnership between the City and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources' Certified Local Government grant program. For more information, please contact Mark Reed at 757-385-8573 or mreed@vbgov.com.

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