Portsmouth, VA Uptown D2 District

Portsmouth, Virginia

Project: Public charrette for visioning master plan and Form-Based Code

Client: City of Portsmouth, Virginia

Contact: Paul Holt, Director Planning Department 757.377.7993 

Status: Public charrette February 2009 and code writing completed August 2009, adopted January 2010

Portsmouth is a historic community surrounded by water and other municipalities. Recognizing that it is unable to expand, the City began looking internally for opportunities to grow physically and economically in the coming decades, and identified the area defined by the High Street and London Boulevard corridors, immediately west of Old Town as the area of the city with the largest amount underutilized land. The City engaged an interdisciplinary team, lead by Ferrell Madden, of Washington, DC, to work with the community to define a vision, craft an implementation plan, and draft Form-Based development regulations for the area in order to encourage it’s redevelopment and revitalization.

In the fall of 2008, the team traveled to Portsmouth several times to gather information and gain greater understanding of the D2 district. This review and analysis laid the foundation for the work to follow. In February 2009, a week-long urban design charrette, involving residents, business owners, and staff began looking in greater detail at the district—the urban design, the traffic and transportation considerations, and the underlying economic and market conditions.

The design master plan focused on transforming the district and its corridors into mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly, urban neighborhoods, including the incorporation of light rail in the future. For more information, please visit http://www.portsmouthva.gov/planning/images/destinationptown/FBC%20Book%20Final%20Draft.pdf