• Kelly Davis

Land Use Tools Diagnostics

The Berkley Group Helps Communities Pave the Way to Ordinance and Plan Updates

Is your community in need of an update to its land use policies, plans, and regulations? Our diagnostic services are a great place to start!


The Berkley Group’s Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Ordinance, and Subdivision Ordinance diagnostics help identify issues, opportunities, and next steps to improve these critical land use tools. Berkley Group diagnostics are based on legal requirements contained in state code, input from staff, and our professional expertise.


Our team recently completed diagnostics for the City of Emporia and City of Petersburg to help these communities understand the scope and priorities for future updates. The City of Emporia’s Zoning and Subdivision Ordinance diagnostic identifies specific structural and content changes to reflect current best practices in zoning and land use; implement the Comprehensive Plan; and improve clarity and ease of use. The City of Petersburg’s Comprehensive Plan diagnostic evaluates the City’s recent progress in updating its Plan and provides a path forward that will ensure compliance with Virginia Code and incorporate suggested best practices from American Planning Association. As a Tidewater Locality, Petersburg’s Comprehensive Plan diagnostic also considers compliance with Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act regulations.


For each diagnostic, the Berkley Group reviews the tool for compliance with applicable state code provisions; interviews staff to identify known strengths and weaknesses of each tool; and recommends best practices to modernize and align each tool with local policies and priorities. The diagnostic process can be combined with preliminary public outreach and worksessions with public officials to develop an understanding of community-identified needs and convey the importance of the suggested changes to policymakers. The result is a comprehensive assessment that helps public officials, staff, and citizens understand the extent of changes necessary to achieve modern, legally-defensible land use tools.


Is your community considering an update to the Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Ordinance, or Subdivision Ordinance? A Berkley Group diagnostic could be just what you need. What doors can we open for you?