Chesapeake Board of Historic & Architectural Review


  • 5:30 p.m.
  • 1st Thursday of every month
  • Public Safety Operations Center
    2130 S Military Highway

These meetings are open to the public and any one or several members of the Chesapeake City Council may choose to attend.

September 2023

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Agendas & Minutes

Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval.

View Most Recent Agendas and Minutes


View the Board of Historic and Architectural Review Members (PDF).

The Planning Department has recently kicked off an update to the South Norfolk Historic District and Procedural Guidelines. Further information can be found on the South Norfolk Design Guidelines Update webpage.


The Historic and Architectural Review Board is primarily tasked with the administration of Certificate of Appropriateness applications. Other duties and obligations of the Board are assigned to it under Article 12 of the Chesapeake Zoning Ordinance, including, review of petitions to include additional lands in a historic and cultural preservation overlay district, review of and action upon requests for certificates of appropriateness, administration of architectural guidelines and procedural guidelines for the Historic Preservation Overlay District, and hearing of appeals from notices issued for violation of the requirements of the Historic and Cultural Preservation Overlay District or for violation of the terms and conditions of a certificate of appropriateness and from the revocation of a certificate of appropriateness. (City Code Sec 2-620.13)

Historic District

Certificate of Appropriateness

The purpose of the Historic Preservation Overlay District and the Historic and Architectural Review Board is to protect the character of historically significant neighborhoods. If an exterior modification is planned and your property is located within the local historic district, a Certificate of Appropriateness (PDF) may be issued if the proposed change will be compatible with the surrounding area. The procedures vary depending on what is being proposed, ranging from repairs, regular maintenance, alterations and material changes. In all cases a Certificate of Appropriateness is required. 

Application / Instructions for Certificate of Appropriateness and brochure explaining the Certificate of Appropriateness (PDF)

Contributing Structure 

A "contributing structure" is a building or home that is built between 1890 and 1937. These years are what is referred to as a "period of significance" which is acknowledged by the South Norfolk Historic District Nomination Report (1989) for the architectural styles associated with that time period.  The period of significance in this case, 1890-1937,  follows the establishment and growth of the South Norfolk Historic District as a primarily residential community. All structures built prior to 1938 are considered contributing structures. 

The Architectural Review Board recognizes that many properties in the district were built after the period of significance and are therefore "non-contributing." However, these non-contributing buildings and structures are still subject to the Overlay District Ordinance. Non-contributing structures may often fall under administrative certificates of appropriateness and may not require Board review, provided appropriate colors resembling the Benjamin Moore Historical Collection, materials, and style for surfaces, roofs, and fences are used (see Appendix B) with the exception of new construction, driveways, hardened surfaces, porches, decks, and new additions, or as otherwise noted, which are approved by the Board. In cases where the date of the structure is unknown, it will be considered contributing unless the applicant can provide documentation to the Planning Director or designated representative confirming the structure is non-contributing.

Residential Historic Material Roofing

Roofs are key architectural elements of the South Norfolk Historic District and should be maintained if at all possible. However, there is no material substitute for some historic material roofs, and the cost of a new historic material roof is typically higher than that of an asphalt shingle roof, which may put an undue financial burden on some homeowners. A homeowner occupying a housing unit within the district may apply for a financial hardship determination to replace an existing historic material roof with an architectural asphalt shingle roof if certain criteria are met. Because historic material roofs are distinguishing features of the historic district, every attempt should be made to repair and replace them with the same material.

View the Residential Historic Material Roofing page.

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