Wetlands Board

"Wetlands" means those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface water or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas.

Wetland disturbance and development is reviewed and regulated in accordance with City Code Chapter 39 – Wetlands. 

Click here to access the current Portsmouth Wetlands Ordinance

wetlands

The Virginia Shorezone Jurisdictions shown below depict the legal authorities of the local, state, and federal agencies in regulating the RPA, wetlands, and subaqueous areas. (Click on image for full size)

shoreline-management-diagram-for-wetlands-guidelines_revised

Application Process

All applicants for wetland disturbance should first submit a Joint Permit Application (JPA) to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) Habitat Management Division. The application is then routed to Federal, State, and local agencies for review. 

The JPA form is used and by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC), the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), and the City’s Wetlands Board for permitting purposes involving water, wetlands, and dune/beach resources.

Contacts

Virginia Marine Resources Commission Main Office
Building 96, 380 Fenwick Road
Ft. Monroe, VA 23651
Phone: (757)-247-2200
Website: https://mrc.virginia.gov/hmac/hmoverview.shtm

United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
Norfolk District
803 Front St.
Norfolk, VA 23508
Phone: (757)-201-7652
Website: https://www.nao.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory.aspx

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ)
Tidewater Regional Office
5636 Southern Blvd.
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462
Phone: (757)-518-2000
Website: https://www.deq.virginia.gov/home

Mission Statement

The Wetlands Board (also referred to as the “Board”) endeavors to preserve and prevent the despoliation of Portsmouth’s wetland areas while accommodating necessary economic development and shoreline stabilization in a manner consistent with wetland preservation. The Board is comprised of citizen members to review any wetlands-disturbing activity.

Board Meetings

2022 Wetlands Board Meeting Schedule

  • 1st Wednesday of each month at 3:30 p.m.
  • Meetings are held in the 6th Floor Conference Room in the Portsmouth City Hall Building at 801 Crawford Street, Portsmouth, Virginia.
  • Parties wishing to provide comments on specific agenda items may send comments via fax to 757-393-5223, or by mail to the Planning Department, 801 Crawford Street, Portsmouth, Virginia 23704, or by email to mervinea@portsmouthva.gov. Please submit correspondence prior to the public hearing day.

Electronic/digital submission of applications and other materials is encouraged whenever feasible. 

Mailed items can be sent to:

CITY OF PORTSMOUTH
PLANNING DEPARTMENT ATTN: (STAFF MEMBER NAME)
801 CRAWFORD STREET
PORTSMOUTH, VA 23704

Credit card payments can now be accepted over the phone. Please call the Planning Department at 757-393-8836 for more information. Please note that a signed credit card authorization form is required to be submitted before a credit card payment can be processed.

Credit Card Authorization Form (PDF)

Note: Applications and all supporting materials must be received six (6) weeks prior to the meeting.

Fees as established in City Code Appendix A Portsmouth Fee Schedule

Fees are typically non-refundable.

Agendas & Minutes

View Most Recent Agendas and Minutes

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