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Community Planning and Building

Adopted in 2017, the City Council 20-year vision statement says:
The people of Fredericksburg are building a 21st century urban center on the foundation of this historic city at the fall line of the Rappahannock River. Fredericksburg is the hub of regional economic activity, a city with a multicultural population and thriving cultural scene, a place that works for everyone, and a community where the people are writing the next chapters of Fredericksburg's history.

In addition, this vision statement highlights the Councils goals for Fredericksburg to:
 - be an employment epicenter,
 - have effective public services,
 - have distinct and linked neighborhoods, 
 - be a place where learning is a way of life, 
 - be a leader in historic preservation, 
 - build a community through cultural vibrancy, 
 - have a green and clean environment, and
 - implement cutting edge transportation solutions 

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.

Status of Land Use Annual Report (Planning, Building, and Public Infrastructure)
The Status of Land Use, Annual Report is prepared by Community Planning and Building Department staff with contributions from the City Manager’s Office, Economic Development and Tourism, and Transportation Administration.  It outlines City-wide efforts to implement the adopted Comprehensive Plan and provides statistics on initiatives and activities performed during each fiscal year.
2016-2017 (FY2017)
2015-2016 (FY2016)

Planning Services

The Planning Services Division is responsible for overseeing and implementing the City's Comprehensive Plan goals and policies as well as applying the City's zoning and subdivision regulations in a fair and equitable manner.  Application of these goals and regulations 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. The land use regulations were significantly revised and updated in 2013 and are found in the City's Unified Development Ordinance. Please review the Annual Report  of planning activities for Fiscal Year 2017 (from July 1 of  2016 to June 30 of 2017). This report shows the range of land use decisions by City Council, Planning Commission, and staff.

In 2015, the Goals, Policies, Initiatives, and Future Land Use Map of the Comprehensive Plan were updated and readopted.  In the third quarter of 2016, work began on Small Area Plans for two of the City's neighborhoods. The Plans are intended to effectively implement the Comprehensive Plan. The first two Small Area Plans are the Route 1 / Fall Hill / Princess Anne  corridors and adjacent neighborhoods between the Rappahannock Canal and River (Area 6) and the Route 3 corridor between I-95 and Westwood Drive including the neighborhoods of Idlewild, Altoona, and Great Oaks (Area 3). AREA PLAN MAP  The City hired the consulting firm Streetsense to develop these concept plans.  The consultant’s work is to be completed by the end of March 2017.  Planning staff will then develop specific amendments to the Comprehensive Plan and land use regulations for consideration by the Planning Commission and City Council after public hearings.

Finally, 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

8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Monday - Friday