Attorney Martin Thomas, Jr. was recently named planning commissioner of Norfolk’s Architectural Review Board (ARB).
As part of a redraft of Chapter 9 of the zoning ordinance, the ARB replaces the Historic and Architectural Preservation Committee (HAPC) and the Norfolk Design Review Committee.
The ARB will vet and approve or disapprove proposed changes to properties in historic districts and it will have the authority to issue COAs directly to the applicant.
Previously, requests for COAs had to be submitted first to the planning department’s Design Review Committee, and then to the City Planning Commission, which would issue or withhold the COA. If an applicant was unhappy with the results, he or she could appeal the decision to the City Council and then further appeal to the circuit court.
The ARB will streamline this process.
For more information, read Lia Russell’s article on HamptonRoads.com: http://hamptonroads.com/2014/03/new-board-watch-norfolks-historic-districts