Framework for the Future 2030


PREFACE to the Framework for the Future 2030

The comprehensive plan is the single most important document for managing a community's physical growth.  It consolidates and coordinates physical planning needs, goals and policies, as well as separate studies and plans that address various aspects of a City's physical development. It is a process by which a community assesses what it has, what vision it wants for the future,  and how to implement that vision.

For comprehensive planning to be effective, comprehensive planning must be an on-going process, involving periodic evaluation and updating.  The Code of Virginia requires the City to review its comprehensive plan every five years. The Framework for the Future comprehensive plan initially was adopted by the City Council on November 23, 1993 as the City's new comprehensive plan.  In 1997 the first update of the Framework for the Future was started.  It was adopted by City Council in June, 2001.  In October 2005, the second update of the Plan began.  City Council asked that the Framework Update proceed using the citizen based process and citizens task forces that were instrumental in preparing the initial Framework for the Future and update.

The Framework for the Future 2030 was prepared by five citizen task forces that were coordinated and led by an oversight committee.  This process of deliberation represents much of the three years that the citizen task forces and City representatives invested in the Framework update process. It is a community derived, consensus document which reflects our citizens' coordinated visions concerning the economic, physical, and social development of Newport News. Its preparation was assisted by the professional staff of the City, and coordinated by the Department of Planning.

As the City's comprehensive plan, the Framework for the Future serves as a general guide for the future development of the City in accord with Section 15.2-2223 of the Virginia Code. It is the City Council's intent that proposed land uses within the City and the policies for allowing changes to land uses be viewed in the context of the Framework for the Future. It is also the intent of the City Council that the Framework for the Future will provide a context for the development and implementation of specific City policies in the Zoning Ordinance and Zoning District Map, the Capital Improvements Program, the City's Strategic Action Plan, as well as other formal methods of implementing City policy.  But this document is broader in scope. It sets forth policies and coordinated actions to achieve stated goals concerning both the physical development and the community services of the City. As such, it contains a vision of the City as desired by its citizens.


The process of community planning is by its very nature a process of growth management. The Framework allows a moderate rate of growth to continue and does not express a no growth position. The City now faces build out of its vacant land. Approximately nine percent of the City's land is vacant. Therefore, redevelopment plays a prominent role in the City's future; and, the Framework for the Future's focus is on improving the City and its residential neighborhoods, achieving high quality and attractive redevelopment, and creating mixed use, pedestrian oriented, centers served by transit.


The reader of this document will notice that goals and objectives are stated in an organized form at the end of each chapter. These statements represent the Framework's participation in the strategic planning process. The strategic plan of our City also includes the multi-year Capital Improvements Program, and the Strategic Action Plan adopted by City Council.

The Framework will be implemented over time using the normal resources available to the City, e.g. the general fund, the capital improvements program, state and federal grants, etc. Just as our City reviews the Capital Improvements Plan and its Strategic Action Plan on an annual basis, the Planning Commission should monitor progress being made on the goals and objectives in the Framework for the Future.


Many people and organizations contributed to the development of the Framework for the Future.  The accumulated wisdom and work that is represented in this document will be a strong influence on the future of our City.  However, to realize the vision set forth in this document, active participation by the citizens is necessary to implement the Framework's recommendations.

It is difficult to mention the contributions of a few individuals, because so many individuals took an active role in the process. Their roles are attributed in the Acknowledgments Chapter of this Update.

We thank the many citizens and employees of the City, the Oversight Committee, the Planning District Task Forces and Youth Task Force members who, over the years, have invested in the future of the City by steadfastly participating in Newport News' comprehensive planning process, Framework for the Future.

William C. Cowardin, Jr., Chairman, Oversight Committee and Planning Commission Chairman

Randy W. Hildebrandt, City Manager

Al Riutort, AICP, Director, City Planning Department