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Industrial Waterfront Study
Historically, the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River (“Southern Branch”) has been a heavy industrial corridor with good access to the Chesapeake Bay and Port facilities. The Port of Virginia, which has facilities across Hampton Roads, is a nationally leading port. Because of the high demand for waterfront for both industrial and residential uses, it is important for the City of Chesapeake to protect areas that are currently or envisioned to be industrial, as those industrial companies are critical to the local economy and tax base.
In addition to land use competition, the City is experiencing the nation-wide phenomenon of sea level rise, stormwater flooding, and recurrent flooding events. Chesapeake is the only major city in Southside Hampton Roads that has not yet undertaken some type of comprehensive study on the risks, implications, and potential adaptation strategies to sea level rise and recurrent flooding.
The resilience and adaptation element of this project will have multiple benefits, including recommendations for strengthening and protecting the City's valued industrial waterfront businesses; better information for affected businesses and residents in making long-term plans; and guidance for the City's Operating and Capital Improvement Budgets. This study could also help inform and augment the Public Works Department's Master Drainage Plan and supporting drainage area studies.
The major goals of this study are:
To understand the current conditions of Chesapeake’s “industrial waterfront,” and what influences the use of the land and success of the land for economic development;
To determine preferred future land uses based on current and anticipated future conditions relative to coastal hazards associated with heavy rain events, recurrent flooding, and sea level rise, which may impact future preferred uses.
To identify the range of adaptation strategies that can increase the resilience of coastal and riverine areas and increase opportunities for economic development;
To understand the type and magnitude of costs and benefits associated with each strategy; and
To establish a framework by which other communities in the City can evaluate the effectiveness and appropriateness of different approaches for particular coastal or flood-prone areas.
The plan will address both current and future conditions and answer the following questions:
What is here now?
What should be here?
What are the current impacts from water-related and coastal hazards?
What are the anticipated future impacts from water-related and coastal hazards?
For more information about this study, please contact project manager Lucy Stoll by email at email@example.com.