The area surrounding the Princess Anne Road, Kempsville Road, South Witchduck Road intersection was the heart of the large portion of the City now called Kempsville. Many of the early happenings in the City were located in this area.
Located at the head of navigation on the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River, the area served first as a port to move cargo to and from the western and central portions of then Princess Anne County. Rivers formed the backbone of the local transportation system, and the pattern of development was primarily agrarian in nature, consisting of widely dispersed farms.
Kempsville remained the center of a thriving local farming community until the Civil War, when the area was largely under federal rule. In addition, numerous structures built in Kempsville from the colonial era through the mid 1800's existed in Kempsville through the 1960's. It was recorded that the area had more concentration of historic structures as an intact village that any area in Hampton Roads with the exception of Williamsburg. Unfortunately, rapid suburbanization, followed by road construction, obliterated much of this setting.
Historic Kempsville Master Plan
The Historic Kempsville Area Master Plan
is intended to address and coordinate a number of related issues and opportunities in the area generally surrounding the Princess Anne Road, Kempsville Road, and South Witchduck Road intersection.
The opportunity afforded by the transportation improvements underway in the area can be channeled into ways that help to provide open space, enhance and promote neighborhood preservation efforts, retrofit stormwater quality management, and help preserve valuable historic resources in the immediate and surrounding area.
The issues addressed in the Plan include: land use, environmental constraints and opportunities, open space, historic resources, creating a sense of place, accommodating redevelopment, code revisions and so forth. The Historic Kempsville Area Master Plan is part of the City's Comprehensive Plan. Moreover, the plan is fully integrated with other city plans, such as Virginia Beach Outdoors Plan, the Bikeways and Trails Plan, the Newtown Strategic Growth Area Master Plan, and the Pembroke Strategic Growth Area Implementation Plan.