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Frequently Asked Questions
Is the proposed USE a PERMITTED use, CONDITIONAL use, or... not permitted at all?
Contact the Zoning Office for determination.
If not a permitted use, then either a Rezoning and/or Use Permit Application is to be filed with the Planning Department for approval consideration at a public hearing which includes Planning Commission and/or City Council.
Rezoning – A rezoning is required when the proposed use of the land is not permitted by the current zoning classification. Contact the Zoning Office to determine. (PUDS included)
Conditional Use Permit – A Conditional Use Permit is required for land uses listed in the Chesapeake Zoning Ordinance as a “conditional use”. Certain land uses in the Ordinance require intensive review to determine whether appropriate.
Street Closures – A Street Closure Application – The Zoning Office will determine if the property lies within one of the Overlay Districts that have additional development standards.
Overlay Districts – The Zoning Office will determine if the property lies within one of the Overlay Districts that have additional development standards.
- Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area (CBPA) - map
The Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area (CBPA) District (Article X, Chapter 26 of the Chesapeake City Code; effective date: December 31, 2003) is composed of all lands identified on the map entitled “Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Map (CBPA map),” the “Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Specifications Manual” (CBPA Specifications Manual) and the “Intensely Developed Area Map” (IDA map) available in the Department of Planning.
The CBPA District is delineated on the CBPA map and/or the IDA map as one of the following: (1) Resource Protection Area (RPA), (2) Resource Management Area (RMA), or (3) Intensely Developed Area (IDA).
The Resource Protection Area (RPA) includes all tidal wetlands; tidal waters; non-tidal wetlands connected by surface flow and contiguous to tidal wetlands or water bodies with perennial flow; shorelines; and a one hundred (100) foot vegetated buffer around each such feature and around all water bodies with perennial flow.
The buffer area is designed to retard runoff, prevent erosion, and filter non-point source pollutants from runoff. The buffer area is also designed to achieve a level of 75% reduction in sediments and 40% reduction in nutrients. Resource Management Areas (RMA’s) include those lands contiguous to the inland boundary of the RPA which have a potential for degrading water quality or diminishing the functional value of the RPA, if not properly managed. The RMA is shown on the CBPA map and includes, but is not limited to, the following land use categories: floodplains, highly erodible soils, including steep slopes, highly permeable soils; and non-tidal wetlands not included in the RPA.
The Intensely Developed Area (IDA) is a designated redevelopment area of the city which incorporates portions of the RPA and RMA. The IDA as displayed on the IDA Map includes areas in which development was concentrated as of January 21, 1992, so that little of the natural environment remains, and where at least one of the three conditions as described in Section 26-516.E of the Chesapeake City Code existed as of that date.
- Fentress Airfield - map
In the early 1970's the Department of Defense (DOD) established the Air Installations Compatible Use Zones (AICUZ) Program to balance the need for aircraft operations and community concerns. The goal of the AICUZ Program is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of those living near a military airport while preserving its defense-flying mission.
The AICUZ guidelines define zones of high noise and accident potential and recommend land uses that are compatible within these zones. Local land use guidelines are encouraged to adopt these guidelines.
The Fentress Airfield Overlay District shall include all lots within the city located partially or wholly within the AICUZ noise contours for greater than 75 dB Ldn (noise zone 3) on that certain map entitled "NAS Oceana/NALF Fentress 1999 Noise Contours and APZ's," including all future amendments thereto.
- Historic and Cultural Preservation - map
The South Norfolk Historic District, Chesapeake’s first local historic district ordinance was approved by City Council in November of 2000 and went into effect on February 28, 2001. The Chesapeake Board of Historic and Architectural Review was established in accordance with the new ordinance. The primary function of the Chesapeake Board of Historic and Architectural Review (“Review Board”) is to provide for the review of all significant exterior modifications visible from a public street within the Chesapeake Historic and Cultural Preservation District, and to determine whether or not these proposed changes will be compatible with the surrounding area. The primary function of the Review Board is to ensure that Chesapeake does not needlessly lose its historic and architectural past. Within a Historic and Cultural Preservation District (“Historic District”), no building or structure visible from a public street, including signs, can be erected, reconstructed, restored, demolished, or altered in any way that affects the external appearance of the structure without a "certificate of appropriateness." Certificates of appropriateness may be needed for work on additions, roofs, chimneys, doors, windows, siding, fences, walls and color changes, and must be approved by the Review Board as being architecturally compatible with the historic area, landmark, building, or structure itself.
The City is the recipient of a cost share grant from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Monies from the grant will allow the preparation of National Register nominations for three historic districts, Oaklette, Fentress, and Sunray and one individual property, the Chesapeake Arboretum.
- Northwest River Watershed Area Overlay District - map
The Northwest River Watershed Protection District was adopted to prevent the pollution of public water supplies in accordance with City and Commonwealth codes and statutes. The Northwest River is one of the major drinking water supplies for the City. The drainage area for the river is about 161 square miles and includes all, or a majority of, the land and water areas that drain or flow toward the river, including portions located in the State of North Carolina. About 103 square miles are located in Chesapeake. Protection of this important public value is accomplished in part by establishing boundaries, setting policies, continuing study of natural systems and cooperating with other agencies and neighbors to effectively manage the regional impacts on the Northwest River.
- South Norfolk Business Overlay - map
The purpose and intent of creating the South Norfolk business overlay district are to establish special zoning standards for the area which accomplish the following: (1) enhance those physical and architectural aspects of the area which make it attractive and consistent with the historic character of the community it serves; (2) limit uses in the area to those that are consistent with promoting commercial revitalization; (3) provide development flexibility that allows and encourages the improvement and upgrading of the area. The South Norfolk business overlay district encompasses all those properties now or hereafter zoned B-1, B-2, B-5, and O&I and located within the area identified in the map entitled “South Norfolk Business Overlay District Map”.
- Transportation Corridor Overlay District (TCOD) - map
The Transportation Corridor Overlay District is derived from a policy designed to manage emerging development along significant transportation corridors within the City. It is an amendment to the City's Comprehensive Plan. The Transportation Corridor Overlay District recognizes that transportation improvements often act as a catalyst for new development. It recognizes that there is a need to preserve future opportunities for economic development. It also recognizes that without clear policy it will be likely that these opportunities will be foregone to other land uses which will establish their own tone and direction for the future of these corridors.
The Route 104 / Dominion Boulevard Corridor and the Route 168 / Chesapeake Expressway Corridor are under consideration at this time. Both are significant north- south thoroughfares with planned improvements that will significantly increase accessibility to lands along the corridors. The majority of land in both of these corridors is currently zoned for agriculture (A-1) which means the majority of new proposals within these corridors will require a zoning reclassification. Other corridors may be considered in the future.
City Code Zones - Zoning Office to determine what standards of other City Code zones may apply.
What are the development standards for the Zoning Districts and from City Code?
- Residential Development Standards (setbacks) - Zoning Districts
- Commercial Development Standards (setbacks) - Zoning Districts
- 2026 Comprehensive Plan
If any deviation is desired, then the following exception procedures may apply:
- Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA)
- Special Exceptions
- CBPA Exception Appeal
- Subdivision Variance
- PUD Deviations
- Wetlands Board/Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Board
Is a Preliminary Subdivision, Preliminary Site Plan or other administrative action for development required?
Although a development may not require a public hearing at Planning Commission and/or City Council other applications may be required and reviewed by each department with comments presented to the applicant through the Administrative Plan Process.
What areas should the developer address prior to (or concurrent with) submission of any application to the City?
- Public Utilities availability
- Chesapeake Health Department requirements
(if Public Utilities not available)
- Flood Plain
- Business License
- Proffers and stipulations approved with previous applications may be binding to property.
When can the Development Plan be submitted?
Development Plan Approval - After the Preliminary Phase is complete or it has been determined that the development requires no action from the Planning Department, a Development Plan prepared by a professional engineer may be submitted to the Development Engineering, Department of Development and Permits.
When can the building plans be submitted?
At any time during the process. The Building Permit will not be issued until the Final Site Plan is approved.
When do I obtain my site permits?
Once the Development Plan is approved, then the developer may obtain permits issued by the Permit Engineer, Development Construction, Department of Development & Permits.
Prior to plat recordation, the subdivider may execute a Subdivision Agreement with a Performance Bond assuring completion of proposed improvements. Contact the Development Construction Administrator for the bond amount and plat processing fees at least two (2) week prior to plat recordation.
When can the building permits for structures be obtained?
The Building Permit Application may be obtained at any time from Zoning allowing the Building Plans to be reviewed concurrently with the Construction Plan. Once the Construction Plans are approved and the building plans are approved then building permits may be issued.
Building Permit – The Building Permit process ensures compliance with building, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, landscaping and zoning requirements.
When can public utilities be activated?
Public Utilities can be activated once all utility improvements have been installed and inspected in accordance with the Activation Procedure.
How do I obtain the Certificate of Occupancy?
A Certificate of Occupancy indicating completion of the work shall be obtained prior to occupancy.
The following must be satisfied:
- All work associated with the structure is complete.
- Final Inspection for the Building Permit and all associated permits: electrical, mechanical, gas, plumbing, or fire protection systems.
- FEMA Flood Elevation Certificate submitted and approved (if property lies within flood hazard area).
- Chesapeake Health Department approval for structures served by private sewage disposal and/or water systems.
- Any requirements specified on the permit by other city departments or agencies including Development Construction and Environmental Coordinator in Development & Permits Department, Public Utilities, Planning, Zoning.