Commercial Area Pattern Book & Bow Creek Neighborhood Resiliency Toolkit

Our consultant, Work Programs Architects (WPA), has provided drafts of the Bow Creek Neighborhood Resiliency Toolkit and Commercial Area Pattern Book. The drafts have been refined through input from City staff, as well as public meetings, focus groups, and meetings with Civic Leagues from neighborhoods in Princess Anne and Thalia. WPA and staff also briefed the City Planning Commission, Bayfront Advisory Commission, Housing Advisory Committee, the Active Transportation Advisory Committee, and the Virginia Beach Vision group. Below are links to view the final drafts of the Flood Resiliency Toolkit and Pattern Book. 

The general public is invited to share any additional input via email to Hank Morrison at The next step in this process will be a presentation of the documents at a Planning Commission Public Hearing on May 10, 2023.

Click here for Flood Resiliency Toolkit

Click here for Commercial Area Pattern Book 

What are these documents and why do we need them? 

Along with many other major cities, Virginia Beach is experiencing changing demographics, shifting residential and retail market preferences, environmental changes, and technological advances. These changes are impacting the form and function of our major commercial shopping centers and corridors. Neighboring residential communities are present along these major commercial areas and are also impacted by these changes. These impacts warrants strategic plan and action by us to keep our major commercial shopping areas beautiful and functional, while maintaining the stability of our neighborhoods.

The focus of this project is on Virginia Beach's major commercial shopping areas and neighboring communities. Particularly, we want to explore beautification and revitalization strategies, redevelopment strategies, flood mitigation strategies, and neighborhood protection strategies for the major commercial areas. We will also explore flood resiliency strategies for the neighboring communities' existing homes and lots. Non-pedestrian connectivity and accessibility between these commercial areas and residential neighborhoods will also be explored. 

The Bow Creek Area has been set as the primary study area to guide the development of this project, as many attributes of the commercial and residential development patterns within this area are common in many communities in the city. 

In addition to the primary study area (Bow Creek Area), we will also utilize additional commercial study areas, across our urban and suburban areas, to understand the typical characteristics (built and natural conditions) of our diverse commercial areas. Understanding their characteristics and diverse market conditions can help us develop adaptable community improvement guidelines that many similar communities across the city can utilize. 

Why Participate?
As members of the community, you can provide invaluable information about your community’s history and existing conditions and your experiences, needs, and wants. Share your voice and ideas to enhance our overall efforts to thinking and planning on community topics that concerns you. The knowledge you can provide us helps ensure that future City actions and efforts are optimal for the community and best fit current conditions and needs.

These documents will be components of the City's Comprehensive Plan. They will help guide future City actions in supporting new investments and community efforts that will improve the overall health, safety, and welfare of the community.