Virginia Beach Design Guidelines

Community Engagement
Flood Retrofit Negotiation & Design
Historic Building Renovation
Local Design Review Consulting
Preparation of Design Guidelines Documents
Preservation Planning
Resilience Planning
Retrofit Recommendations Development

Virginia Beach Cultural and Historic Districts Design Guidelines


Virginia Beach, VA


City of Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach Historic Preservation Commission

Virginia Department of Historic Resources

Project Goals

CPG's work on the City of Virginia Beach's Historic Preservation Plan recommended the creation of a formalized set of design guidelines for the City's cultural and historic districts.

There are 16 distinct Cultural and Historic Districts in Virginia Beach comprised of one to over sixty buildings each. CPG’s main objective was to develop a document tailored to each district’s unique features that also provided guidelines with a level of standardization applicable to all districts.

Project Design

The Design Guidelines that were ultimately approved set clear expectations and a consistent means for managing change in the City’s Historic and Cultural Districts.

The guidelines highlighted each district’s contributing characteristics that would be necessary to retain and preserve, while providing design approaches that could be considered when updating resources. This set of guidelines also helped the City to maintain its Certified Local Government (CLG) status.

Challenges & Accomplishments

Working with 16 cultural and historic districts meant that the CPG team had to conduct robust community engagement to ensure residents could voice concerns, ask questions, and generally feel a part of the process.

CPG produced a final design guidelines document that applied to each individual district, followed by general information for all districts. The guidelines were developed in accordance with the Secretary of Interior’s Standards and were approved by the Certified Local Government Coordinator at the VDHR before being adopted by the City of Virginia Beach.