How Creative Thinking Placed the Community First
The original recommendation to meet the requirements of the BRAC Commission was to condemn and acquire $15 million worth of property annually. This was proposed in order to roll back incompatible development in Accident Potential Zone 1 (APZ-1) adjacent to NAS Oceana.
But the process of condemnation is costly, slow, and can appear unfair. Virginia Beach officials were determined to find a better way, a way to meet the BRAC order without forcibly taking homes and businesses. By brainstorming with citizens, business owners, and community leaders, a better way was truly created.
The result is the Oceana Land Use Conformity Program, also known as YesOceana.com. This innovative program comprises zoning ordinances and economic incentives to foster the conversion of nonconforming businesses in APZ-1 into conforming ones. Or if businesses cannot be converted, the program will help them relocate to another part of Virginia Beach.
Not only does this approach accomplish the necessary rollback, it ensures that subsequent redevelopment follows sound planning and land use principles, and that any new development is of a higher quality than currently exists.
Why a Great Community is Everyone’s Business
Virginia Beach has a rich heritage as home to tens of thousands of Navy families. The people who work at Oceana and their families are part of the fabric of this City, as are the businesses that currently operate in APZ-1. As dedicated partners in fashioning this community for a lifetime, we’ve all joined forces to safeguard our city and preserve our high quality of life.
Through this win-win scenario, Virginia Beach has found a way to both keep Oceana and protect our residents and business owners.
This program of business incentives was created to:
- Encourage the development of compatible uses in APZ-1
- Provide financial encouragement to relocate nonconforming businesses out of APZ-1
- Promote the highest and best use of property in the City