Special Projects

Zoning Ordinance Update

At the request of City Council, the City’s Zoning Ordinance was updated and subsequently adopted on December 8, 2020. The comprehensively rewritten Zoning Ordinance was designed to improve clarity and ease of use, streamline development regulations, ease nonconforming situations, protect existing neighborhood character, ensure compatibility with the Code of Virginia, and increase consistency with the City’s Build One Portsmouth Comprehensive Plan.

The final draft of the update and related documents can be downloaded from the links below.

Updated Zoning Ordinance Final Version

Zoning Ordinance Update Briefing

Zoning Ordinance Update Presentation

View presentations about the Zoning Ordinance update on the City's YouTube Channel.

Zoning Ordinance new cover

D2 Rezoning and Innovation Overlay District

At the request of City Council, the City of Portsmouth has replaced the 541 parcels of the D2 FBC district with traditional zoning districts based on recommendations from community engagement, public review, and the D2 Uptown Land Use Study. The New Zoning Map for the D2 area ensures the new zoning regulations reflect the reality of existing and potential land uses, current and future development forms, appropriate densities, and other development standards. 

In addition, the new Innovation Overlay District will be superimposed on the new zoning districts for the D2 Uptown area, which will clarify requirements for development and facilitate new growth and development.

Click here to access more information and maps for the rezoning and Innovation Overlay District.

D2 Proposed Zoning Map

Portsmouth Citywide Housing Plan

Housing that meets the needs of its residents and supports quality of life is crucial to successful resident retention and attraction. In Portsmouth in recent decades, declining regional competitiveness and aging housing and infrastructure have led to population loss, even as the regional population has grown. A historic downtown waterfront, community and civic pride of lifelong residents, and regional strengths provide opportunities for growth in Portsmouth. The City needs a strategic approach to deploy limited funding and staff capacity and build partnerships to address housing challenges, enhance equity and resilience citywide, and meet the needs of its residents.

Download the final version of the plan here.

Portsmouth Poverty Study

The Planning Department concluded research on the causes and effects of poverty on Portsmouth citizens. The research included extensive public outreach and interviews, reviews of recent case studies, and analysis of sociological and demographic data. The findings will be used to inform the goals and strategies of a future Poverty Task Force.

You can download the poverty study by clicking this link. Portsmouth Poverty Study

Crawford Corridor Revitalization

The purpose of this project is to provide a revitalization study for the Crawford Corridor from Bart Street to Effingham Street, a distance of approximately one mile. The study area is bounded on the west by Court Street and on the east by the Elizabeth River. The study includes a conceptual roadway extension of County Street from Crawford Street to Water Street. The study also includes conceptual designs and recommendations for Middle Street, County Street, King Street, and parts of Water Street.

You can access the final report here.

Crawford Corridor

Portsmouth Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan

The Portsmouth Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan outlines policies, programs, and a comprehensive bicycling and pedestrian network for the city.

Final Document (PDF)
Final Document with Appendix (PDF)
Recommended Bicycle Network Map (PDF)
Recommended Pedestrian Network Map (PDF)

More information can be found on the Pedal Portsmouth page.