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The Comprehensive Plan is the formal document that looks 20 to 25 years into the future and produced through the Comprehensive Planning process. The process of developing the Comprehensive Plan should be a community-wide effort, in which all interest groups should play a part in delineating their community’s vision. The City’s Comprehensive Plan ("Comp Plan") guides development and investment in the City. All Capital Improvements Program (CIP) projects and new land development projects are evaluated for consistency with the Comprehensive Plan.

City of Virginia Beach Comprehensive Plan 2040 - Shaping Today Tomorrow 


The Comprehensive Planning Process


Step I: The Virginia Beach City Council and Planning Commission approves on an approach to plan development as presented by City staff. This approach builds off of the City Council priorities and goals established during its yearly retreat.  ​Status: COMPLETE

Step II: The Commonwealth of Virginia requires the Planning Commission to conduct a thorough study of existing conditions and trends prior to developing the Comprehensive Plan.  In the Past, a techinical report document was prepared to detail the findings. However, this year, staff chose to innovate the process by creating an interactive Existing Conditions StoryMap that provides a richer understanding of the enivironment. Status: COMPLETE

Step III: Provide citizens various public input and outreach opportunities, including surveys, public meetings, civic league, and community group presentations. Feedback is then recorded and utilized to shape the vision of the Comprehensive Plan and other City strategic planning. ​Status: ON HOLD

    • Phase I of the public engagement (online survey) has been concluded. Due to statewide restrictions issued by Governor Northam, subsequent phases of the Comprehensive Plan update public engagement is on hold.  

Step IV: Develop a draft plan through extensive multi-departmental staff collaboration, Planning Commission workshops, City Council briefings, public meetings and focus groups.  

Step V:​ Hold public hearings.  The Planning Commission holds the first to review the updated Comprehensive Plan draft. The City Council holds the latter public hearing prior to the plan’s adoption.


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Public Engagement (TBD) 

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