Oceanfront District Form-Based Code

​​​​General Description

 

​The Oceanfront Resort District Form-Based Code is a new type of zoning adopted by City Council July 10, 2012 for the oceanfront resort area of Virginia Beach. This new approach to regulating development focuses more on the form of buildings and their relationship to the street and less on a strict separation of land uses. The result is a more integrated development pattern with a mixture of uses, pedestrian-friendly streets, and active street fronts.

 

Printed, bound copies of the Oceanfront Form-Based Code are available for $45 at the Virginia Beach Planning Department.  See contact information at the bottom of this page.
 
 
Boundary Map ​Frontage Map ​Setback Map ​Height Map

(Small Format - 11"x17" - Not to Scale)

(Small Format - 11"x17" - Not to Scale)

(Small Format - 11"x17" - Not to Scale)

(Small Format - 11"x17" - Not to Scale)
Large Format 18"x24" Large Format 18"x24" Large Format 18"x24" Large Format 18"x24"
 

Background

​ On December 2, 2008, the City adopted the Resort Area Strategic Action Plan (RASAP), which provides a vision for the Oceanfront Resort Area and an implementation strategy to achieve this vision. The plan revealed that, like many other "Euclidian" zoning codes throughout the nation, the City's existing zoning code does not support the urban resort vision identified for this area. The plan concluded that the best way to provide clear, concise, and responsive regulations to enable the vision of RASAP is known as Form-Based Code (FBC).

What is a Form-Based Code?

Form-Based Codes provide a different approach to zoning as a means to regulate land development.  Rather than focusing on the separation of land uses, form-based codes focus on the physical form of development.  They address the relationship between buildings and public space and strive to create an integrated development pattern.  Unlike design guidelines, form-based codes are regulatory, not advisory.  For a more detailed explanation, see Introduction to Form-Based Codes.

Benefits of a Form-Based Code

  • Focus on streetscape, public realm, pedestrian features = less driving, more walking, less traffic congestion
  • Density controlled by building form, not by land area = more development options = more incentive for redevelopment/revitalization
  • More flexible parking requirements = more space for highest and best use
  • More efficient use of real estate = more tax revenue

Creating a Form-Based Code

Our Form-Based Code is the result of dozens of meetings, workshops and presentations with all stakeholder groups who have collaborated to create this new zoning code for the Virginia Beach resort area.  This process took place over the course of close to three years.  Major workshops and public meetings are listed in the timeline below:
 
December 10, 2009 - Public Work Session - Consultants  Urban Design Associates (UDA) and CodeStudio presented their initial findings in a public work session  (download presentation, "FBC for the Oceanfront Resort Area.").
 
2010 - March 2011 - City Staff and consultants gathered field data and met with various stakeholders, including property owners, business owners, residents, and the Navy to develop a draft Form-Based Code for the Oceanfront.  
 
March 14, 2011 - 1st Draft Released - Download March 14, 2011 Draft
  
April 25, 2011- Public Meeting and Workshop at the Virginia Beach Convention Center - The meeting began with a presentation on the March draft of the Oceanfront Form-Based Code.  The presentation was  followed by a workshop in which property owners worked directly with staff to find out how the draft code applies to their property.
 
October 24, 2011 - 2nd Draft Released - Download October 24, 2011 Draft
 
November 17, 2011 - Public Meeting and Workshop at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, Room 2BCD - The meeting began with a brief presentation on the October draft of the Oceanfront Form-Based Code followed by a presentation on the Resort Parking Strategy.  After the presentations, a workshop was held to allow citizens to find out how the Form-Based Code would affect specific properties and voice their concerns one-on-one with City staff.   
 
December 7, 2011 - 3rd Draft Released - Download December 7, 2011 Draft
 
December 14, 2011 - Planning Commission Hearing - Oceanfront Form-Based Code deferred for 90 days  (see Planning Commission Agenda).
 
February 13, 2012 - Planning Commission Workshop - Staff presented an update on revisions in process to address concerns brought forth at the December 14, 2011 Planning Commission hearing. See February 13, 2012 Planning Commission Workshop Presentation
 
Marh 14, 2012 - Planning Commission Hearing - Oceanfront Form-Based Code deferred indefinitely due to the extent of the revisions necessary. 
 
May 1, 2012 - 4th Draft Released - Download May 1, 2012 Draft
 
May 21, 2012 - Planning Commission Workshop - Staff presented updates and revisions made to the Code in the May 1, 2012 draft. See May 21, 2012 Planning Commission Workshop Presentation
 
June 8, 2012 - 5th Draft Released
Download/View Full June 8, 2012 Draft
 
View Summary of Revisions in June 8, 2012 Draft
 
Download/View Redlined Sheets identifying substantive revisions to May 1, 2012 Draft
 
June 13, 2012 - Planning Commission Public Hearing

The Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the proposed Oceanfront Resort District Form-Based Code on June 13, 2012 (see staff report) and endorse the Resolution for a Compre​hensive Parking Strategy for the Oceanfront Resort Area. The role of the Planning Commission is to consider the details of the proposal and hear staff and public comments in order to make a recommendation to City Council; City Council, in turn, hears additional comments during additional public hearings and considers all factors before voting to approve or deny the proposal. 

Download/View Planning Commission Presentation

June 19, 2012 - City Council Briefing
Download/View City Council Briefing Presentation
  
June 26, 2012 - City Council Hearing
Councilman Uhrin specified changes to the Form-Based Code and the Residential Parking Permit Program (RPPP) to address some of the concerns brought forward at the June 13 Planning Commission hearing. 
Download/View City Council Hearing Presentation showing Uhrin's Changes
  
July 3, 2012 - City Council Workshop
At the June 26 hearing, City Council requested a workshop briefing on resort parking issues, which staff presented on July 3. 
Download/View City Council Workshop Presentation
 
July 10, 2012 - City Council Public Hearing for Vote
The City Council adopted the Oceanfront Resort District Form-Based Code by a vote of 9 to 2 and the Resolution for a Comprehensive Parking Strategy for the Oceanfront Resort Area by a vote of 10 to 1.
Download/View Final July 10, 2012 Oceanfront Resort District Form-Based Code

Contact Information