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Virginia CZM Program: 2015 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task Number:CZM logo



Hampton Roads Planning District Commission

Project Title:

Integrating Coastal Resilience into Local Plans, Policies and Ordinances

Project Description:

Rising sea levels and land subsidence make Hampton Roads one of the most vulnerable regions in the United States to flooding and storm surge. While many localities have incorporated efforts to mitigate these hazards into their local policies, considerable room for improvement exists, particularly in better integrating local hazard mitigation plans and policies, including Community Rating System programs, with local comprehensive and other land use plans. In this project, the HRPDC staff will research examples of best practices from communities outside Hampton Roads and work with local government staff to develop a set of recommendations and best practices to better integrate hazard mitigation and land use planning. This project will consist of four main parts. The first part will be a review of the current status of locality plans, policies, and ordinances in Virginia that relate to coastal hazards, such as comprehensive plans and hazard mitigation plans. The second part will be a case study review of localities outside Hampton Roads to identify examples and best practices. The third part will consist of developing recommendations for Hampton Roads communities using these examples. The fourth part will consist of developing informational materials and training local government staff on these recommendations, including implementation strategies.
Although the focus of this project will be on the Hampton Roads region, sea level rise and other coastal hazards affect a significant part of Virginia’s coastal zone. The HRPDC staff regularly coordinates with other planning district commissions in the coastal zone and will work with those other PDCs as part of this project to share findings that are relevant to those communities.

Federal Funding:


Project Contact:

Benjamin McFarlane, 757.420.8300,

Project Status:

10/1/15 - 9/30/16; Project Completed

Final Product:

Integrating Coastal Resilience into Local Plans, Policies and Ordinances (PDF)  

Project Summary:

This report documents the results of work by the staff of the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission on identifying and developing recommendations for local governments to promote coastal resilience. This report consists of four major sections. The first part consists of a review of local plans, policies, and regulations in Virginia’s coastal zone that address coastal resilience or hazards. The second part documents several case studies from other coastal communities and regions. The third part synthesizes the lessons of the assessment and case studies to identify some best practices that localities in Hampton Roads and coastal Virginia can implement on their own. The fourth section describes how the findings from this project were conveyed to local staff through presentations and a workshop. In addition to these sections, there are four (4) appendices with supporting information, including a detailed assessment of local resilience planning in coastal Virginia, recommendations from two of the case studies for Hampton Roads localities to consider, and slides from a training workshop given by HRPDC staff.
The report will be made available online at the HRPDC’s website: .

Disclaimer: This project summary provides the federal dollars initially awarded to the grantee. Due to underexpenditure or reprogramming of grant funds, this figure may change. For more information on the allocation of coastal grant funds, please contact Laura McKay, Virginia Coastal Program Manager, at 804.698.4323 or

A more detailed Scope of Work for this project is available. Please direct your request for a copy to


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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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