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Posted on: October 16, 2023

South Norfolk Design Guidelines

South Norfolk Design Guidelines Graphic

South Norfolk, Chesapeake’s oldest urban area, is home to many historic buildings with unique charm and rich history. To preserve South Norfolk's character, the original core of the community was designated a Historic District in 1989. This historic designation provides protection for the historical integrity of this special community when it comes to design requirements.

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. The Guidelines have been updated several times throughout the years, but now the Planning Department is focusing special attention on Guideline updates.

An experienced consultant was hired by the City to engage with stakeholders, review ordinances to ensure compatibility with Design Guidelines, and develop updated Historic District Design Guidelines. These Guidelines will clarify expectations, establish a process for managing change, and help staff and Historic and Architectural Review Board members consistently review applications. The overall goals of this project are to retain the historic character of the neighborhood, meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, and respond to stakeholder and public engagement.

The Planning Department wants to hear your thoughts about the project. You can help determine the community's preservation philosophy and inform the development of the design guidelines update, including content and design. To make your voice heard, fill out Planning’s survey by November 15. To learn more about the project, watch the South Norfolk Design Guidelines video on YouTube.

For more information, please contact Project Manager Nat McCormick at 757-382-6176, email him at, or visit the South Norfolk Design Guidelines Update page.

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