South Norfolk Design Guidelines Update

Community Open House

At the Open House event, we introduced a public survey to collect input on the Historic District and the design review process. We received more than 100 responses before the survey closed on November 15, and the project team is now beginning to analyze the feedback to help shape the revised Guidelines document. We will begin development of the new Design Guidelines in early 2024 and expect to complete the process next summer. There will be additional opportunities for public input during this period.

Progress Report

As we start 2024, the South Norfolk Design Guidelines project is halfway complete. The first half of the project in 2023 involved an intensive public outreach effort and we appreciate the hundreds of people who participated through public meetings, surveys, or other outreach. Based on all the information we've collected, the consultant team is beginning to draft the new Design Guidelines document, which will be presented in a public meeting this spring. Please continue to check this website as we work to schedule this meeting and, if you have questions or comments at any time, please do not hesitate to contact the Planning Department.

South Norfolk Historic District Boundary (JPEG)
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photo of South Norfolk House

Project Background

The community of South Norfolk is the City of Chesapeake’s oldest urban area and, in 1989, the original core of the community was designated a Historic District. In 2001, the City adopted Design Guidelines to help ensure that renovations and construction within the district were appropriate to the character and qualities of the neighborhood. While the Guidelines have been updated several times over the years, this project will provide a comprehensive review and rewrite so this tool can continue to function as a resource for property owners and the Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB), which is responsible for review and approval of proposed projects within the District.

In April of 2023, the Planning Department hired an experienced consultant to manage the review and rewrite process and, over the course of the next year, they will be working together with City staff, the HARB and the City’s Historic Preservation Committee on this effort. The project will involve coordination with community stakeholders and the public, who will have opportunities to share their thoughts and input.

For more information, please contact Project Manager Nat McCormick at 757-382-6176 or