Hampton Roads Land Use

Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Virginia Beach tourism, and agriculture comprise some of the land uses of the region. Photos by Carl Hershner

The following is a list of land use sites for the Hampton Roads area.

Virginia Beach Comprehensive Plans

A comprehensive plan for the city of Virginia Beach was adopted December 3, 2003 and revised February 8, 2005. The principles address a strategic approach relating to land use, transportation, public facilities, natural resources, housing and community appearance.


The Cities of Chesapeake and Virginia Beach are confronting important land use and transportation planning decisions that may affect local and regional development patterns for years to come. See the following for a link to a land use study for the City of Chesapeake.



Hampton Roads Best Management Practices for Stormwater

Best Management Practices or BMPs are devices used to reduce pollution in stormwater runoff, thereby protecting area waterways.  For additional resources see:



Urban Growth Issues

Photo by Carl Hershner

The USGS has identified that, "Most major metropolitan areas face the growing problems of urban sprawl, loss of natural vegetation and open space, and a general decline in the extent and connectivity of wetlands and wildlife habitat." See the following link for a paper related to landcover and urban growth issues.


Virginia State Departmental Land Use Links

The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation has developed the Commonwealth's first comprehensive, continually maintained GIS data layer for Virginia's protected conservation lands. This database includes mapped boundaries and attributes for public and certain private lands in Virginia that have potential significance for serving a variety of conservation, recreation, and open-space roles. DCR's Natural Heritage Division has developed the database under a charge from the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation and the Department of Technology Planning.


Virginia, as well as other states, have been tasked with developing a statewide Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy by October 2005. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has been developing this strategy. See the following Powerpoint presentation from an Organization of Fish and Wildlife Information Manager's Meeting, September 2003 of landuse analysis for the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy in Virginia.


"Many land use decisions allowing for development in the coastal zone are made without the benefit of complete information on the suitability of the shorelands for development or of the coastal resources that will be affected." states the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality Coastal Needs Assessment and Strategy special area management plan for the southern watershed of Chesapeake and Virginia Beach April 2004


The water quality and restoration section of the Chesapeake Bay 2000 agreement states that it will “complete a public process to develop and begin implementation of revised Tributary Strategies to achieve and maintain the assigned loading goals" See the .pdf document Lower James River Tributary Strategies Department of Conservation and Recreation August 2003

See link for James River Tributary Strategies