Wetlands Board

The Wetland​s Board​​ is composed of seven members​​​​​​​​, ap​pointed by the City Council, who are responsible for reviewing requests for permits for the use, alteration, or development of Tidal-Wetlands, Coastal Primary Sand Dunes, and beaches.

The Board's wetlands jurisdiction for non-vegetated wetlands (sand flat, mud flat, etc.) lies between mean low water and mean high water. Vegetated wetlands jurisdiction is from mean low water to an elevation one and one-half times the mean tide range. ​The mean tide range is approximately two feet for rivers and bay areas and three and one-half feet for ocean areas.  Upland of that elevation, the Board does not have jurisdiction. However, a waterfront construction permit from the Waterfront Operations Bureau may still be required. If you have questions, contact a Waterfront Inspector at (757) 385-8246.

The Board also reviews violations of the regulations and has the option to assess civil charges and/or order restoration of the site. 

Current Schedule for Customer Service Counter

Monday & Thursday — Customer Service counter is open for drop offs and by appointment only.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday — Customer Service Counter is open from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM (no longer closing for lunch).

Staff continues to encourage applicants to continue to complete their Joint Permit Applications (JPA) online, and submit their JPA to the Virginia Marine Resource Commission (VMRC) at jpa.permits@mrc.virginia.gov.  

Those without access to the internet may drop off Joint Permit Applications at 2875 Sabre Street, Suite 500, and our staff will forward your application to the Marine Resource Commission for you.  The entire submittal package including application, plans, disclosure statement and processing fees (fees in a sealed envelope, checks payable to Treasurer, City of  Virginia Beach) may be dropped off in the reception area Monday thru Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm or anytime in the City Treasurer’s Drop Box located outside of the building in front of the lobby.  Please address the envelope to Ms. Shannon Heederik, Department of Planning & Community Development. 

Links to the Joint Permit Applications and a schedule of processing fees are noted on this webpage below.  

Applicants will be notified by phone or email if additional information is necessary to continue processing of all applications, regardless of submittal method. 

For more information, please contact the Waterfront Operations Staff at (757) 385-8246, or waterfront@vbgov.com.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Application Information

Applications for Wetlands and Coastal Primary Sand Dune projects can be obtained from the Army Corps of Engineers. 

Both Wetlands and Coastal Primary Sand Dune applications require a legal advertisement​ posted in a local newspaper, notification of adjacent property owners, and signs advertising the public hearing. The Planning & Community Development Department prepares the legal advertisements.

To view Wetlands or Coastal Primary Sand Dune and Beach regulations, please visit Article 14 (Wetlands Zoning Ordinance) or Article 16 (Coastal Primary Sand Dune Zoning Ordinance) of Appendix A (Zoning Ordinance) of the Virginia Beach City Code.

Application Filing Deadline

The Deadline for filing an application to be heard by the Wetlands Board is the 1st day of each month for the following month’s hearing.

Review Fees

Waterfront Construction and Dredging Projects $230​
Wetlands Permits - Projects that impact wetlands $450
Wetland Deferrals - $230
Coastal Primary Sand Dune projects​ $450
Coastal Primary Sand Dune Deferrals - $230
Sand Management Applications - $230​
Sandbridge General Permit Applications - $100

Please transmit your payment by using a cover letter that references the applicant's name, address, and phone number. All checks and money orders are to be made payable to: Treasurer, City of Virginia Beach and sent directly to the Planning & Community Development Department, Attention: Wetlands/Waterfront, 2875 Sabre Street, Suite 500 Virginia Beach, VA 23452. 

Wetlands Board Meeting Times​​ & Location

The City of Virginia Beach Wetlands Board will hold Public Hearings in person, the third Monday of every month, in the New Council Chamber - 2401 Courthouse Drive, Building 1, at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center. For a list of additional meeting dates, please refer to the Agendas & Minutes tab below.  

An informal session will be held at 9:00 a.m. in the City Manager's Conference Room 2034. During the informal session, Staff briefs the Board on agenda items. All interested persons are invited to attend. There is no opportunity for citizenry to speak at the briefing session; however, the public is invited to speak at the 10:00 a.m. formal Wetlands Board Public Hearing that follows. 

For information or to examine copies of the proposed plans, ordinances, amendments and/or resolutions are on file and may be examined by appointment in the Planning Department at 2875 Sabre St, Suite 500, Virginia Beach, VA 23452 or online at www.vbgov.com/wetlands. For information call 757-385-4621. Staff Reports will be available on the webpage 5 days prior to the meeting.

If you require a reasonable accommodation for this meeting due to a disability, please call the Department of Planning & Community Development at (757) 385-4621. If you are hearing impaired, you can contact Virginia Relay at 711 for TDD service.

  • The formal hearing is held the third Monday of every month at 10:00 a.m..
  • Citizens are invited to observe the informal briefing at 9:00 a.m., in the City Manager's Conference Room 2034, immediately before the formal hearing.

 Agendas and Minutes


​Hearing Date
​January 17, 2023

​February 20, 2023

​March 20, 2023

​April 17, 2023

​May 15, 2023
​June 21, 2023

​July 17, 2023

​August 21, 2023

​September 18, 2023
​October 16, 2023
​November 20, 2023
​December 18, 2023


​Hearing Date
​January 20, 2022

​February 21, 2022

​March 21, 2022

​April 18, 2022

​May 16, 2022

​June 22, 2022

​July 18, 2022

​August 15, 2022

​September 19, 2022

​October 17, 2022

​November 21, 2022

​December 19, 2022


​Hearing Date
​January 19, 2021

​February 15, 2021

​March 15, 2021

​April 19, 2021

​May 17, 2021

​June 21, 2021

​July 19, 2021

​August 16, 2021
​September 20, 2021

​October 18, 2021

​November 15, 2021

​December 20, 2021


Hearing Date
​January 21, 2020​​     
​February 17​, 2020     ​
​March 16, 2020 (items moved to May)
​April 20, 2020
​May 28,  2020​     

​June 15, 2020     ​

​July 20, 2020     ​​​​

​August 17, 2020​     

​September 21, 2020​     

​October 19, 2020​     

​November 16, 2020​     

​December 21, 2020     ​


Hearing Date​Agenda
​January 22, 2019​     
​February 18​, 2019
​March 18, 2019     ​​​​​
​April 15, 2019​     
​May 20, 2019​​​​     
​June 17, 2019
​July 15, 2019     ​​​​
​August 19, 2019​     
​September 16, 2019​     
​October 21, 2019
​November 18, 2019​     ​​
​December 16, 2019     ​

 Waterfront Construction and Dredging

​A waterfront construction permit approval is required to construct, alter, or repair, landings, docks, bulkheads, and similar structures. The Planning Administration, Waterfront Operations Office is one of the three primary agencies responsible for review of applications for waterfront construction and dredging in Virginia Beach. Access​ the Specific Guidelines for Waterfront Construction Submittals.

All waterfront construction and dredging requests must be submitted on a Joint Permit Application​ (JPA) to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC). VMRC then distributes the application to other agencies for review, including the Planning Administration, Waterfront Operations Office the Army Corps of Engineers, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.  Please complete the Tidewater JPA​ unless your project involves dredging. The Standard JPA is required to review projects involving dredging. 

In addition, applicants for dredging permits are required to provide a surety bond or other form of surety prior to the issuance of the permit. The amount of the bond is determined by the Planning Administration, Waterfront Operations Office .

​​Waterfront Construction and Dredging Fee

A $230 non-refundable processing fee is required for all waterfront construction and dredging permit applications.​​​

 Beach Vitex​

The plant, native to Korea, was introduced into the United States in the 1980s as a beach stabilization plant. There is still some debate as to how effectively it stabilizes and accomplishes that goal. Eradicating beach vitex is a critical effort. Therefore, the City of Virginia Beach will be working with homeowners to supply them with a list of acceptable replacement beach and dune plants and their growing seasons as well.  Also, we have developed a program to assist homeowners with proper eradication and disposal of beach vitex. For more information and to report your sighting, contact the Department of Planning and Community Development, Waterfront Operations at (757) 385-4621 or waterfront@vbgov.com.


Help Stop Beach Vitex

If you see beach vitex anywhere in your beach community, particularly on the dunes, please do not try to remove it! Please take a picture, get GPS coordinates, if possible, or find the nearest street address, and report your sighting to the Department of Planning and Community Development, Waterfront Operations at (757) 385-4621 or waterfront@vbgov.com.

Learn more about beach vitex.

 VIMS Shoreline Permit Application Records