Historic Preservation Commission

In accordance with Virginia Code § 2.2-3708.2, Virginia Code § 15.2-1413 and the City’s Continuity of Government Ordinance adopted on September 15, 2020, and Chapter 1289 of the 2020 Acts of Assembly as amended, the Virginia Beach Historic Preservation Commission will hold general monthly meetings, committee meetings and special public meetings by electronic communication means on the dates and times listed below to discuss and transact business necessary to continue operations of the public body. The meetings will be hosted by the Department of Planning and Community Development via Webex.

Members of the public wishing to speak on any agenda item may do so by registering in advance.  They may register by calling Mark Reed, Historic Preservation Planner at 757-385-8573 up to 30 minutes prior to the start of the meeting. They should also register for the meeting at the link listed below that is associated with the meeting of interest.

Executive Committee – Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. – Members of the public wishing to attend the meeting may do so via Webex and may use this link to access the meeting: https://vbgov.webex.com/vbgov/onstage/g.php?MTID=e43e84b0ea0f77122e5295d3b76984386

Strategic Plan Steering Committee – Friday, January 22, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. – Members of the public wishing to attend the meeting may do so via Webex and may use this link to access the meeting:


The Virginia Beach Historic Preservation Commission was established by City Council in 2008 as an advisory body on issues related to the preservation of historic buildings, structures and sites located in the City of Virginia Beach.  Members of the Council-appointed Commission work to preserve, protect and maintain the historic identity of Virginia Beach and the former Princess Anne County.  They pursue this through a program of advocacy, public awareness and increased public involvement. ​

​​​The Historic Preservation Commission is made up of between 9 and 15 citizens who have a passion for the preservation of Virginia Beach’s historic buildings and sites.  Many of the members bring with them expertise in the fields of architecture, archaeology and history.  Many of the members own historic buildings and their hands on experience with preservation is an invaluable tool for the Commission. The Commission also has two appointed student members from local high schools.

The Historic Preservation Commission is supported by the Department of Planning. The Commission meets on the first Wednesday of the month at 5:00 p.m. at the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, 2101 Parks​ Avenue, Suite 500. The Commission typically holds an annual public meeting to discuss the state of historic preservation in Virginia Beach and to collect ideas and concerns from the citizens.​

For businesses looking for assistance through the COVID-19 Pandemic please visit the City of Virginia Beach Economic Development page at www.yesvirginiabeach.com. Resources are available to assist in these uncertain times.  

  Commission Members/Committees





MemberTermCommittee Chair
James B. Wood, Chair1/1/2019 - 12/31/2021Executive; Princess Anne County Confederate Statue Roundtable (co-chair)
Sharon Prescott, 1st Vice Chair1/1/2019 - 12/31/2021Historic Preservation Month; Policies for City-owned Buildings and Sites;
C. Mac Rawls, 2nd Vice Chair1/1/2018 - 12/31/2020Cape Henry Historic Site; Public Meeting
Bobbie Gribble, Secretary1/1/2020 - 12/31/2022Sea Level Rise
William Gambrell, Immediate Past Chair1/1/2019 - 12/31/2021Comprehensive Plan
Jennifer Brown Estes2/21/2017 - 12/31/2020Threatened Buildings and Sites
Sharon Felton1/1/2018 - 12/31/2020Historic Districts; Princess Anne County Confederate Statue Roundtable (co-chair)
Harriet Frenzel1/1/2020 - 12/31/2022
Michael Hucles7/2/2019 – 12/31/2020
Ian Lichacz1/1/2020 – 12/31/2022
Chief Lee Lockamy1/1/2018 - 12/31/2020
Christi Lyons1/1/2020 – 12/31/2022
​Richard Klobuchar​2/18/2020- 12/31/2023​
​Timothy Oksman​7/07/2020-12/31/2021
Katherine Paulson1/1/2019 - 12/31/2021Recognition of Historic Buildings
Finnely Brakke (Student)8/18/2020 - 7/31/2021Student Leaders (co-chair)
Hannah Levi (Student)7/2072021 - 6/30/2021Student Leaders (co-chair)



 Confederate Statue


Several local organizations raised funds to erect a Confederate monument/statue near the old Princess Anne County Courthouse in 1905. The monument stood there until July 25, 2020 when it was removed to storage at the request of the Virginia Beach City Council.


Recently, such statues have come under increased scrutiny in Virginia and other states as some citizens have protested the public display of objects that they feel represent the enslavement of and institutionalized discrimination against African American citizens.  In 2017 the Virginia Beach City Council requested the Historic Preservation Commission to look at the issue and provide recommendations.


The Commission convened a committee of Virginia Beach citizens, the Princess Anne County Confederate Statue Roundtable (PACCSR), to review public input and discuss the related issues. Recommendations developed by the PACCSR were approved by the Commission in November 2019 and presented to City Council on January 28, 2020.  The recommendations were to provide historical context for the statue and the Courthouse, as well as to design and develop a park near that location with elements that explore a broader history of Virginia Beach.


During the 2020 Virginia General Assembly session section § 15.2-1812 of the Code of Virginia was amended to allow localities to remove, relocate, contextualize or cover war memorials, such as Confederate statues. The amended law went into effect July 1, 2020. A new wave of protests about Confederate monuments surfaced in the wake of the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minnesota in May 2020. The Virginia Beach City Council held a public hearing on July 23 and following the hearing voted 11 – 0 to remove the monument from its location on public property.  The City is currently accepting proposals from museums. historical societies, governments and military battlefields to potentially relocate the monument.


 Research Grant Program

The Virginia Beach Historic Preservation Commission established a Research Grant Program in 2016 to encourage scholarship about persons, places and events significant to the history of the City of Virginia Beach, Princess Anne County and the related earlier historic and prehistoric eras in this area of southeastern Virginia.  The grant program supports research on local history that provides a final report or other stated product, such as a historic marker or interpretive sign. 

​​​The Research Grant Program has successfully helped to fund seven state historical highway markers, important research about the diverse history of our community, interpretive sign panels and oral history interviews. In 2016 the Commission approved five grants totaling $8,650; four grants in 2017 totaling $8,460; 9 grants in 2018 totaling $13,000, and one grant in 2019 for $2,425. Read more information on many of the completed research projects. 

The Commission recently announced its 2020 research grant awards, which total $9,400. Read about the 2020 grant awards https://www.vbgov.com/news/pages/selected.aspx?release=4675&title=historic+preservation+commission+announces+five+2020+research+grant+awards

Please contact Mark Reed, Historic Preservation Planner, for additional information about the Research Grant Program – mreed@vbgov.com; 757-385-8573.



​Hearing Date​Agenda​Minutes
​January 6, 2021


​Hearing Date​Agenda​Minutes
​January 8, 2020
​February 12, 2020
​March 4, 2020
​August 5, 2020
​September 2, 2020
​October 7, 2020
​November 4, 2020
​December 2, 2020


​Hearing Date​Agenda​Minutes
​January 9, 2019
​February 6, 2019
​March 6, 2019
​April 3, 2019
​May 1, 2019
​June 5, 2019 - CANCELLED
​September 4, 2019
​October 2, 2019
​November 6, 2019
​December 4, 2019


​Hearing Date​Agenda​Minutes
​January 10, 2018
​February 7, 2018
​March 7, 2018
​April 4, 2018
​May 2, 2018
​June 6, 2018
​September 5, 2018
​October 3, 2018
​November 7, 2018
​December 5, 2018


Hearing Date​Agenda​Minutes
​January 4, 2017
​​February 1, 2017
​March 1, 2017
​​April 5, 2017
​​May 3, 2017
​June 7, 2017
​September 6, 2017
​​October 4, 2017
​November 1, 2017
​December 6, 2017

 Virginia Beach Historical Register

The Virginia Beach Historical Register was established by the Virginia Beach City Council in 1999. The register recognizes buildings, structures and sites that are important to and/or illustrative of the historical development of the city and its predecessor jurisdictions. Nomination/application to the register is voluntary and must have the consent of the property owner. A property’s standing on the register is honorary and carries no restrictions or regulatory oversight.

Properties placed on the register are recognized by the issuance of a certificate that notes their status as a local historic landmark and their contribution to the character of Virginia Beach. Property owners also receive a bronze plaque to identify the building’s placement on the register.

Applications are accepted by the Department of Planning and Community Development on an ongoing basis. Once the application package has been determined to be complete it is forwarded to the Historic Preservation Commission’s Historical Register Committee for review and evaluation.  The Committee will schedule a site visit to the applicant property as part of their review process. A link to an Application Form  may be found at the bottom of this page.

Please contact Mark Reed, Historic Preservation Planner, for additional information about the Virginia Beach Historical Register – mreed@vbgov.com; 757-385-8573.

Virginia Beach Historical Register List

Virginia Beach Historical Register and Nomination/Application Form

 Certified Local Government

The City of Virginia Beach was designated as a Certified Local Government by the National Park Service on August 25, 2016. The Certified Local Government (CLG) program establishes a partnership between the local government, the federal historic preservation program and the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), which in Virginia is the Department of Historic Resources (DHR). Designation as a CLG gives Virginia Beach a way to participate more formally in the state and national historic preservation programs.

The Goals of the Virginia CLG Program are:

  • Promote viable communities through preservation
  • Recognize and reward communities with sound local preservation programs
  • Establish credentials of quality for local preservation programs

Virginia Beach meets the requirements for its CLG designation by:

  • Having a historic district ordinance that – defines district boundaries, establishes a review board, identifies actions for review, and provides for the protection of local historic resources
  • Having a review board that administers the ordinance and a preservation commission that works as an advocate for preservation in the City
  • Continuing to survey local heritage resources
  • Promoting public participation in the local heritage stewardship program
  • Reporting annually on the performance of its CLG responsibilities

Surveys of Virginia Beach's Heritage Resources: