A Rezoning, also known as a Zoning Map Amendment, is the process of amending the Zoning Map to change the zoning district in which a parcel (or parcels) of land is situated.

Rezonings are reviewed in accordance with Section 40.2-532 of the City’s Zoning Ordinance. Approval of Rezonings are determined by majority vote of City Council following a recommendation of Planning Commission.

D2 Proposed Zoning Map

Types of Rezonings

Standard and Conditional

Standard Rezonings (also known as Zoning Map Amendments) do not involve any proffered conditions and consist of a straight request to amend the zoning district of one or more parcels of land.

Conditional Rezonings (also known as a Zoning Map Amendment with Proffers) involve voluntary proffered conditions made by the applicant as part of the request to amend the zoning district of one or more parcels of land. .

  • As part of a Rezoning application, an applicant may voluntarily proffer reasonable conditions to the subject property
  • Proffers must be in a written statement signed by the property owner.
  • Proffers must be made prior to any public hearing before City Council and are typically submitted with an application. 
  • City Council may accept amended proffers once the hearing has begun if the amended proffers do not materially affect the overall proposal
  • All proffers must comply with all applicable limitations in the Code of Virginia, including:
  • Must not include payment for, or construction of, off-site improvements except as provided in Code of Virginia;
  • Must be related to the physical development or physical operation of the property; and
  • Must be in accordance with the Comprehensive Plan. 
  • Conditions approved with a Conditional Rezoning can only be amended by City Council action.

Rezoning Process

  • A Rezoning may be granted by City Council to amend the Zoning Map in accordance with procedures and standards outlined in Section 40.2-532 of the City’s Zoning Ordinance.
  • An applicant for a Rezoning may voluntarily proffer reasonable conditions, which shall apply to the subject property, by submitting a written statement by the owner. If proffers are being offered, the proffers may not be less restrictive than the requested zoning district standards and may not be amended after the public notification of the public hearing for the application has been sent.
  • City Council may not apply conditions of approval to a Zoning Map amendment application.
  • Applicants are encouraged to consult the City’s Zoning Ordinance prior to submitting their application. Chapter 40.2 Article III contains site design requirements.
  • The Rezoning application process typically takes at least four (4) months.
  • Applications are due at 5:00pm on the date listed in the Planning Commission schedule which is typically 45 days prior to the meeting date.
  • A staff coordinator will be assigned to each application and ensure the application is complete. The completed application will be routed to other City departments for comment. Meeting notices will be mailed to adjacent property owners to allow public comment. Staff will write a staff report that includes a recommendation for the application.
  • Applications will not be advertised and will not be included on the Planning Commission agenda if they are incomplete.
  • No application, permit, or approval shall be considered on property where there is a known outstanding violation of the Zoning Ordinance, unless the application, permit, and/or approval would remedy the violation.
  • If the City Treasurer identifies that there are any delinquent or outstanding real estate taxes, nuisance charges, stormwater management utility fees, or other charges that constitute a lien on the subject property, no application shall be processed unless the applicant produces satisfactory evidence that these delinquent charges have been paid, unless otherwise authorized by the City Treasurer.
  • Applicants are encouraged to speak with adjoining property owners and/or nearby civic leagues concerning proposed plans.
  • Rezoning applications are first heard at a Planning Commission Public Hearing. Planning Commission meets the first Tuesday of each month at 1:30 PM. Click here to download the Planning Commission meeting schedule with the the meeting schedule and application deadlines.
  • Applications will then be heard at one or two City Council meetings, typically the following month, which are held the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month.
  • If City Council approves an application on first reading, then no additional reading shall be required and the application shall be deemed finally approved. If City Council denies an application on first reading, then at the discretion of City Council there may be a second reading of the application at a subsequent meeting of the City Council. If the application is approved on a second reading, then the application shall be deemed finally approved. If the application is denied on a second reading, or if City Council declines to hold a second reading, then the application shall be deemed finally denied.
  • The Rezoning (Zoning Map Amendment) Application Fee is $880 or fee as established in City Code Appendix A Portsmouth Fee Schedule.
  • Fees are typically non-refundable once the application has been advertised.

Rezoning Application

The Rezoning Application can be downloaded here. Zoning Map Amendment (Rezoning) Application

Click here to download the Planning Commission meeting schedule with the application submission deadlines.   

A Pre-Application Conference with Planning Department Staff is strongly recommended prior to submission of a Rezoning application. 

  • Pre-Application Conferences are not binding on the City. Comments made during a Pre-Application Conference do not constitute official assurances or representations by the City or its officials regarding any aspect of the plan or submittal.
  • Staff cannot guarantee that all relevant issues will be discussed or that initial staff reactions will reflect the ultimate staff recommendations. Requirements of other City departments will not typically be discussed.

There is no fee for a Pre-Application Conference. Fees may be required for subsequent applications.

The Pre-Application Conference Request Form can be downloaded here. Pre-Application Conference Request Form

Applicants should be sure to consult the checklist on the application to ensure that all the required information and materials are included with the application when it is submitted. The Planning staff can be consulted if additional information is needed prior to submitting an application.

Rezoning Application Submission

Completed applications should be submitted by email whenever possible. Email applications for Rezonings to Julie Chop ( and Amy Mervine (

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

For items that cannot be emailed, applicants can send items by US Postal Service, FedEx, or UPS (as appropriate for the application type).



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.