Last Updated: 2018-07-31

Richmond VA > Planning and Development Review > Mission

Last Updated: 2020-10-21

City-wide Master Plan

 Interactive Geographic Information
 Land Use Project, Parcel, Zoning

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GIS Mapping Tools

 Boards, Commissions, Committees
 Meeting Dates, Agendas, Minutes

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Legistar Calendar

 Permit Status, Request Inspection,
 Download Permit Form Applications

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Permits Web Inquiry

Department Programs
Façade Improvement
 Business Store Front Revitalization
 Arts & Cultural District

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Sidewalk Cafés
 Sidewalk Cafés, ABC Licensing,
 Outdoor Restaurant Operations

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Sidewalk Cafés
Parklet Program
 Street Platforms, Recreational,
 Neighborhood Space Expanders

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Parklet Program

Major Departmental Initiatives
Riverfront Plan
 Riverfront Plan, Brown's Island,
 Chapel Island, Downriver Terraces

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Riverfront Plan
Pulse Corridor Plan
 Bus Rapid Transit,
 Transit Oriented Development

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Pulse Corridor Plan
Master Plan Update
 Community Vision Draft Process,
 City Wide Development by 2037

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Richmond 300

Other Initiatives
Civic Associations
 Civic Associations, Community
 Gardens, Parks Groups

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Civic Groups
Community Public Safety
 Community Assisted Public Safety
 Property Improvement Rehab

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Arts & Cultural District
 Downtown Revitalization, Galleries,
 Entertainment, Restaurants

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Arts District


Our Mission: We act on the genuine belief that we care about creating and
maintaining the best quality of life for Richmond's citizens, businesses, and
visitors.  To that end, we provide excellent planning and enforcement
services to enhance our city's built and natural environments.

Planning and Development Review guides building and development in the
City of Richmond.  The department oversees building and trades Permitting
and Inspections
, compliance with the Property Maintenance Code, current and
long-range Planning, enforcement of the Zoning Ordinance, and
Historic Preservation.

In the facilitation of these duties, the department supports a number of
boards and commissions.

The Planning Commission is responsible for the conduct of planning relating
to the orderly growth development of the City, including adequate and
appropriate resources for the housing, business, industry, transportation,
distribution, recreation, culture, comfort, convenience, health and welfare
of its population.

The Richmond Commission of Architectural Review (CAR) was established by
City Council in 1957. The CAR is the city's official historic preservation body
and is charged with reviewing all exterior changes to structures within the
City's Old and Historic Districts and issuing Certificates of Appropriateness
for those projects that it deems to be appropriate.

The Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) provides a means through which a
property owner may seek relief from provisions of the zoning ordinance.
The BZA hears and makes decisions regarding requests for variances and
special exceptions, such as waivers involving setbacks, height, parking,
etc.  The BZA also makes decisions regarding appeals to any decision made
by the City Zoning Administrator. The BZA is NOT empowered to change the
use of a property.

In 1991, the Planning Commission, on the recommendation of City Council,
appointed a Public Art Commission (PAC) to administer a Public Art Program.
In January of 1997, City Council passed an ordinance formalizing the
Percent-for-Art program and mandating its funding through the Capital
Improvements Budget

The Urban Design Committee (UDC) is an advisory board to the Planning
Commission that reviews development on public property or in the public
right-of-way.  In their work, the UDC encourages high standards of urban
design and an improved community appearance. Additionally, the UDC
evaluates and recommends design overlay districts proposed by
neighborhood groups.

In 2010, the Urban Forestry Commission (UFC) was authorized and
established by City Council to help improve the City's urban forestry
resources through policy, development, advice, education and fundraising.
The Urban Forestry Commission serves as an advisory body to the
Department of Public Works and City Council to achieve these goals.

The Planning and Development Review Department consists of five Divisions,
Land Use Administration, Permits & Inspections, Planning & Preservation,
Property Maintenance, and Zoning Administration.

The Land Use Administration Division processes required applications for
by-right development.  Land Use Administration staff is the point of contact
for these applications and coordinates their review with other city agencies
that may be impacted by the development proposals.

The Bureau of Permits and Inspections reviews applications and construction
documents for the construction, alterations and improvements to all new and
existing structures in the city of Richmond.  After permits are issued, the
bureau inspects the work at specific stages through the completion of the job.
This process is to ensure the life safety and code compliance of buildings.  The
process provides safe buildings for citizens, whether they live in, work or are
visiting the City of Richmond.

The Planning and Preservation Division (P & P) is responsible for a multitude
of long range planning initiatives, including developing and updating the
city-wide Master Plan and the Downtown Plan.  Our staff also leads all
City-initiated rezoning studies.

The Property Maintenance and Code Enforcement Division's goal is to
protect all citizens and visitor's health and safety and to enrich and assist in
the support of vibrant, economically strong neighborhoods and communities
through education and enforcement of property maintenance Regulations.
A Vacant Building Registry is also maintained.

The Zoning Administration Division provides a variety of functions related to
permitting and planning services.  Every parcel within the city has a zoning
designation that governs its use.  These uses are defined in the official
zoning ordinance supported by the official Zoning Map.  Zoning staff review
permits to promote the orderly development of every parcel within the city as
it relates to the individual use of the property.

Contact Information:

900 E. Broad St., Room 511
Richmond, VA
23219 USA
Map It
Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Ask Planning and
             Development Review
Phone: (804)  646-4169
    Fax: (804)  646-5789

    Permits / Inspections
(804)  646-1569

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If you have any questions, please call the City's Customer Care Center at 3-1-1 or (804) 646-7000

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