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Historic Districts
Historic Zoning Ordinance
The Petersburg Historic Zoning Ordinance was adopted in 1973 as Article 35 of the city's Zoning Ordinance. The purpose of the ordinance is to preserve, protect, and enhance the city's cultural resources. The Architectural Review Board (ARB), whose seven members must have a demonstrated interest and knowledge in historic preservation, administers the Historic Zoning Ordinance.

ARB Approval
Board members serve as volunteers and are appointed by the City Council. The ARB must approve the erection, construction, alteration, or restoration of the exterior of any building or structures, including signs within a locally designated historic area, as well as any demolition of a structure.

Historic Area Defined
A historic area is defined as an area with one or several structures or places which are deemed historically, architecturally, or culturally significant to the heritage of the community, and therefore warrant conservation and preservation.

Considering Historical Significance
For any property located within the boundaries of a historic area, the ARB must approve plans to erect, construct, restore, or alter the exterior of any structure, including the change of paint colors, or the removal of any architectural feature, or for the demolition of any structure.

General Factors
The ARB's approval is based upon the appropriateness of the proposed work, taking into consideration the following general factors:
  • Arrangement
  • Character and appropriateness of design
  • Color
  • Configuration
  • General design
  • Form
  • Mass
  • Material
  • Prevention of developments which are inharmonious with prevailing characteristics, or are obviously incongruous with the character of the historic area
  • Proportion and scale
  • Relationship of such elements to similar features of structures in the immediate surroundings
  • Texture 

Design Review Guidelines
The ARB uses the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings, as well as their own Design Review Guidelines. These guidelines were drafted as a planning tool to help property owners develop plans for the maintenance, preservation, and rehabilitation of their properties in a manner which is appropriate to the character of the historic district.

Additional Information
It is not the intent of these guidelines to dictate particular architectural features or styles, but to point out a range of solutions and design possibilities. These guidelines are in addition to all prevailing laws and are in no way to be construed to diminish the force of existing requirements and standards, building codes, or zoning ordinances.

It is the property owner's responsibility to contact all the appropriate city agencies and to comply with all existing laws and codes.

Contact Us
Michelle Peters
Planning and Community Development

135 N. Union St.
Petersburg, VA 23803

Ph: 804-733-2308
Fx: 804-863-2772

Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Staff Directory
City of Petersburg - Virginia