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Great Bridge Historic Gateway Overlay District
Approved by City Council on June 16, 2020, the zoning overlay district is an amendment to the Chesapeake Zoning Ordinance and is intended to protect Great Bridge's historical significance and to leverage its water-related potential. This narrated presentation provides a complete overview of the overlay district and the signed ordinance details what was adopted. The Great Bridge Historic Gateway Overlay District story map was created to visually explain the districts and the significant development standards each district includes. The Great Bridge Façade Improvement Grant was designed to provide financial support to non-residential property owners in the GBHGOD to enhance aesthetic and material elements to the exterior of the property.
The following map illustrates the boundaries of the Great Bridge Historic Gateway Overlay District, with the district divided into four smaller character districts. The four character districts are the Causeway Character District, Historic Battlefield Character District, Great Bridge Business Character District, and South Gateway Character District.
Additional supporting maps include the Causeway Character District Front-Facing Streets Exhibit, Great Bridge Business Character District Front-Facing Streets Exhibit, and Great Bridge School Architectural Compatibility Zone Map).
City Council adopted the Great Bridge Village Design Guidelines in December 2008 as an amendment to the 2026 Comprehensive Plan. The purpose of the Guidelines is to guide future development and redevelopment in a unified fashion that preserves the area’s historic significance and identity.
On November 19, 2019, City Council passed a resolution requesting the Planning Commission/Planning Department to study and consider the designation of the Great Bridge Historic Gateway District as an Overlay District within the Chesapeake Zoning Ordinance. Creation of the Great Bridge Historic Gateway Overlay District would facilitate implementation of the Guidelines by establishing appropriate boundaries, regulations, and procedural and architectural guidelines. A draft report, PLN-TXT-2019-011 Great Bridge Historic Gateway Overlay District, was issued on January 15, 2020 by the Planning Department for public comment and included a summary of past studies and planning efforts, existing conditions, a description of the proposed study area, demographics of the area, environmental constraints, transportation plans, recommendations, and specific development standards for the four character districts.
Public workshops to explain existing conditions and what is proposed in the Great Bridge Historic Gateway Overlay District were held in January 2020. Exhibits and public comments from both the morning and evening public workshops are available for review.
The Planning Commission considered public comments on the proposed zoning overlay district at the March 11, 2020 meeting and recommended approval at the May 13, 2020 meeting.