Northampton County, Virginia

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Long Range Planning

What is Planning?

Planning is the study and analysis of the conditions and opportunities within a community in order to anticipate future growth needs and trends, and to guide growth and changes in a manner harmonious with community values and priorities. Though most often associated with land-use policy making, local government planning efforts can also include such activities as planning for public facilities and service needs, historic preservation, natural resource preservation and economic development.

Why Plan?

The main reason for long range planning is to create a road map to guide community changes in a manner that is compatible with community values and character. Planning gives local government the means and opportunity to establish its own community development goals and objectives, and to enact ordinances necessary to attain them. The planning process also gives each citizen an opportunity to participate in the development of local plans, thus increasing the likelihood that the plan reflects the ideas of the community.

What is a Comprehensive Plan?

The Northampton County Comprehensive Plan states the long-range land-use policies for the county. Its purpose is to provide direction, rationale and overall context for the preparation of detailed plans that guide day to day community development decisions. Virginia law requires that all local governments have an adopted comprehensive plan.

What is the relationship between the Comprehensive Plan and the Zoning Ordinance?

The Comprehensive Plan lays out the County's Vision for guiding growth and land-use changes. The Zoning Ordinance is the power granted to the local authority by the Commonwealth to enact land use statues and regulations that accomplish the objectives and goals of the Comprehensive Plan.

What is the Citizen's Role?

In order for local government to serve its citizens effectively and to be accountable and responsive to its citizens; the public must participate. Some of the most valuable information that goes into the county's plans comes directly from citizen suggestions and ideas. Participation usually starts at the front-end of each planning process when citizens are asked to attend public meetings or sit on advisory groups. Public hearings are also held on the proposed plan before the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors take an official action.

More information about the county's Comprehensive Planning process can be obtained from the Northampton County Planning and Zoning Department by calling 757-678-0443.

Current Projects

Report of Custom Norms Northampton County FINAL PDF (285KB)

Report of Geographic Crosstabs Northampton County FINAL PDF (214KB)

Summary Report Northampton County PDF (220KB)

Report of Demographic Crosstabs Northampton County FINAL PDF (214KB)

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