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Community Planning and Building
The City Council's vision for Fredericksburg as it approaches its 300th Anniversary in 2028 is:
To be a city animated by a sense of its unmatched, irreplaceable history;
To be a city characterized by the beauty of its riverfront, the vibrancy of its downtown, and its safe and attractive neighborhoods;
To be a city inspired by active arts, cultural, and education communities;
To be a city shaped by civic involvement and economic vitality; and
To be the city of choice for people of many income levels, cultures, ethnicities, and physical abilities to live, work, and play.

The City's Comprehensive Plan contains the Goals, Policies, and Initiatives to achieve this vision for the future. The City's development standards are one of the tools used to implement the Comprehensive Plan. These development standards include land use regulations, expressed through zoning and subdivision regulations, and a building code addressing the construction and maintenance of structures.

The Community Planning and Building Department is organized into two divisions, Planning Services and Building Services, to administer, enforce, interpret, and update these tools based on the Code and Regulations of the Commonwealth of Virginia and evolving good practice.

Planning Services

The Planning Services Division is responsible for overseeing and implementing the City's Comprehensive Plan. In 2015, the Goals, Policies, Initiatives, and Future Land Use Map of the Comprehensive Plan was updated. In the second quarter of 2016, work began on Areas Plans for two of the City's neighborhoods.  The first two Area Plans will be the Route 1 / Fall Hill / Princess Anne Street corridors and adjacent neighborhoods between the Rappahannock Canal and River (Area 3) and the Route 3 corridor between I-95 and Westwood Drive including the neighborhoods of Idlewild, Altoona, and Great Oaks (Area 6).  AREA PLAN MAP  The Plans are intended to effectively implement the Comprehensive Plan.

Market Analysis was developed as part of the small area planning process for areas 3 and 6. The intent is to understand how specific parts of Fredericksburg are viewed as places for commercial and residential investment.  We know how we see ourselves.  This study helps us to understand how others see us, which is important for developing realistic land use plans that will enhance what we like about our City and our neighborhoods and guide us in overcoming those things we do not like.  Questions and comments may be forwarded to Senior Planner Erik Nelson, 372-1179 or

The Planning Services Division is also responsible for applying the City's zoning and subdivision regulations in a fair and equitable manner. This must be done in accordance with the wishes of the community, respecting the rights of property owners, and as prescribed by the Code of Virginia. These regulations have been recently revised and updated and are found in the City’s Unified Development Ordinance.

A City is as strong as its weakest links. This Division also assists its low- and moderate-income City residents to improve the quality of their housing and promotes Fair Housing, works to prevent homelessness, and promote and maintains affordable housing opportunities.

Building Services

The Building Services Division is responsible for administering the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code, Property Maintenance Code, and Erosion and Sediment Control regulations to ensure that the health, welfare, and safety of the City’s residents and visitors are protected.

To carry out these responsibilities, staff works with the members of the City Council, Planning Commission, Architectural Review Board, Board of Zoning Appeals, and Building Code Board of Appeals

Alphabetical Listing of all City Boards and Commissions:

Contact Us
Charles Johnston
Director of Community Planning &
Building Department


715 Princess Anne St.
Room 209
Fredericksburg, VA 22401

P.O. Box 7447
Fredericksburg, VA 22404

Ph: 540-372-1179 
Fx: 540-372-6412

8:15 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Monday - Friday