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Planning and Zoning

About the Department

The Planning and Zoning Department's mission is to help guide citizens and developers through the processes of development established by the Mayor and Town Council. The functions of the Planning and Zoning Department include administration of zoning and site development regulations and long-range community planning, in an effort to promote economic prosperity and neighborhood stability.

We help our community attain its long-term vision through comprehensive planning that takes into account the future needs of our citizens and businesses, as well as our natural and built environments. The short-term goals of our community will be achieved through fair and equitable ordinance enforcement and by offering planning assistance to citizens, businesses, and the Town’s elected and appointed officials. We value the quality of life of our citizens, our growing economy, our Town’s rich heritage, and our natural and built environments.

Serving the Community

The Planning and Zoning Department is primarily responsible for current and long-range planning, rezonings, variances, zoning map amendments, and creating, amending, and ensuring compliance with the Zoning Ordinance and the Comprehensive Plan. Staff works with residents and the development community in enhancing the quality of life within the Town. The routine functions of staff include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Taking public inquiries regarding zoning, variances, historic preservation, permits, master plans, and land use

  • Reviewing plans for compliance with zoning and other requirements

  • Issuing zoning verification letters

  • Preparing staff analysis for public hearing applications

  • Preparing legal ads and mailing notices for public hearings

Serving the Mayor, Town Council, Boards and Commissions

The Planning and Zoning Department also serve the Mayor and Town Council, the Planning Commission, the Historic District Review Board, the Board of Zoning Appeals, the Wetlands Board, and the Harbor Area Review Board for the Town of Cape Charles. Information about the Town Council can be found on the Town Council page, and information about the Boards and Commissions can be found on the Boards and Commissions page. 

Planning and Zoning Announcements


Applications and Forms


Online Planning Files


Cape Charles Community Multi-Use Trail Project

Cape Charles is in the process of creating a multi-use trail with the goal of providing better multi modal transportation facilities and to connect different areas of Town, including the Historic District, the harbor area and the Bay Creek development.

 Flood Insurance Rate Maps


The Flood Insurance Rate Maps were adopted in March 2015.  The new maps have greatly reduced the amount of property within Cape Charles that are located within the flood zone.  Z significant amount of l and will still be located within the "X Zone," which has a 0.2% annual chance of flooding (500 year flood).  In the X zone, flood insurance is recommended but not required by FEMA, however, lenders may still require mortgage holders to obtain or retain flood insurance.  Development within flood zones is regulated by the Floodplain Regulations in the Cape Charles Zoning Ordinance. Below are the two maps covering the Town of Cape Charles:


Mason Avenue Street Improvements 


As part of the Mason Avenue Street Improvement Program, the Town obtained a VDOT land use permit to change the parking plan from parallel to reverse-angle.  Reverse-angle parking is sometimes referred to as "back in, pull out" parking.  The purpose of this plan is to provide enhanced safety through increased visibility for motorists, pedestrians, golf  cart drivers, and bicyclists.  An added benefit is the increase in parking spaces available in the central business district.  The project runs from Harbor Avenue east to Peach Street on the north side of Mason Avenue.  The south side of Mason Avenue will retain parallel parking.


Please submit any comments using the Mason Avenue Parking Comments Form.


If you have any questions, please contact Town Planner Zach Ponds at 757-331-2036 or by email at


What is The RAFT?
he Resilience Adaptation Feasibility Tool 

Local governments in Virginia’s coastal region are facing the most daunting challenges related to climate change, as the southern Virginia coastal region faces the greatest risk from sea level rise on the East Coast. Historical and projected sea level rise are presenting all Virginia coastal localities with a challenge that affects residents, businesses, and key national security facilities, as well as plans for future development and infrastructure.

One important gap in the toolbox of Virginia's localities is an easy and accessible scorecard to define a locality's resilience. The RAFT attempts to fill this gap. The RAFT features three key components, creating a "full service" tool for localities:

1) The Resilience Scorecard provides a comprehensive assessment of community resilience to flooding while remaining economically and socially relevant.

2) A workshop for community thought leaders to use the assessment to develop a Resilience Action Checklist for increasing community resilience.

3) Ongoing assistance during implementation of the Resilience Action Checklist, both in the form of technical assistance and assistance in finding funding.

RAFT Memos:




Planning & Zoning

Zach Ponds

Town Planner


Municipal Building
Second Floor
2 Plum Street
Cape Charles, VA 23310

Phone: 757-331-2036

Fax: 757-331-4820



Town of Cape Charles - Official Seal  
Town of Cape Charles | 2 Plum Street Cape Charles, VA 23310
Phone: (757) 331-3259  |  Fax: (757) 331-4820
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