UPDATED July 7, 2020:

Preserving Property and Buildings

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Zoning Ordinance Administration (City Code Chapter 21, Sections 21-26 through 21-29, 21-41 through 21-47, 21-61 through 21-64, 21-76 through 21-81, and 21-96 through 21-99) enforces the City’s zoning regulations. Program includes: regulating land use and responding to questions and complaints concerning such issues as number of people in dwelling units, signs, and tree removal in Chesapeake Bay protection areas. Contact: Zoning Administrator Rodney Rhodes at 220-6131 or

Architectural Review (City Code Chapter 21, Sections 21-851 through 21-863) helps to maintain and enhance the appearance of the City’s entrance corridors and older neighborhoods. Program includes: notifying new property owners in the Architectural Preservation and Corridor Protection Districts about the City’s design standards and regulations; review of new buildings, additions, accessory buildings and signs by the Architectural Review Board; and preparation of design review guidelines. Contact: Deputy Planning Director Carolyn Murphy at 220-6132 or

Beautification Awards Program recognizes individuals and groups who have demonstrated a commitment to the improvement of our community environment and the beautification of our surroundings. Program includes: nomination of candidates in five categories (Neighborhoods, Businesses, Service Clubs and Organizations, Individuals, and Institutions). Nominations are due annually in July. Contact: Karen Kelly, Planning Department at 220-6130 or

Complaint Inspections ensure the quality and appearance of buildings in the City. Program includes inspections when complaints are received regarding conditions that may violate the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code or City ordinances. Complaints regarding exterior conditions that can be seen from a public right of way can be anonymous. Complaints regarding interior conditions must be in writing so that inspectors can legally enter the building. Contact: Codes Compliance Division at 220-6136 or

Rental Inspection Program (City Code Chapter 5, Sections 5-221 through 5-222, 5-231 through 5-233, 5-241 through 5-244, and 5-266 through 5-268) prevents property deterioration and protects public health and safety by ensuring proper building maintenance in rental dwellings units in four housing conservation districts. Program includes: initial registration and inspection of rental dwelling units in the Housing Conservation Districts; if the inspection reveals no disqualifying violations a 48-month certificate of compliance will be issued and no additional inspections will be needed until the certificate’s expiration. An inspection is also required when a house or apartment is first offered for rent in a housing conservation district. Contact: Codes Compliance Division at 220-6136 or