Hampton Roads Planning District CommissionHRPDCVA

Water Resources

Policy Guidance

Regional Sea Level Rise Policy

On October 18, 2018, the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission approved and adopted a resolution encouraging local governments within the region to consider adopting policies that incorporate sea level rise into planning and engineering decisions. The approved Sea Level Rise Planning Policy and Approach recommends the following relative sea level rise scenarios:

  • 1.5 ft above current mean higher high water (MHHW) for near-term (2018-2050)
  • 3 ft above current mean higher high water (MHHW) for mid-term (2050-2080)
  • 4.5 ft above current mean higher high water (MHHW) for long-term (2080-2100)

The document also recommends selecting sea level rise curves and designs based on the risk tolerance and costs associated with individual projects. HRPDC staff is working to develop more specific implementation recommendations for categories of projects and policies.


Line graph depicting projected sea level change at Sewells Point 2000-2100

2023 HRPDC Resiliency Legislative Priorities

HRPDC staff support resilience planning efforts by providing policy guidance and recommendations at multiple scales. The HRPDC 2023 Regional Legislative Priorities include establishing dedicated funding sources for flood prevention projects and establishing a state structure for coordination. A dedicated funding source would assist with the high costs of these projects and protect State and locality bond ratings. It would also assist localities with meeting match requirements for federal funding. The creation of a state structure for coordination related to flood prevention efforts would support collaboration between State agencies, departments, and regions. This would ensure a collective and cohesive approach to addressing flooding across the Commonwealth.

The previous HRPDC 2021 and 2022 Legislative Agenda items related to resiliency are available here and here.

Resolution to Encourage Local Adoption of C-PACE Financing Programs

On October 15, 2020, the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission approved and adopted a resolution encouraging local governments in Hampton Roads to consider adopting Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) programs. C-PACE encourages private sector investment in energy use reductions, water efficiency, resiliency, and stormwater improvements for both existing properties and new construction. Localities can adopt C-PACE programs by ordinance to facilitate loans made by qualified lenders to non-residential property owners to finance the initial project acquisition and installation costs.

HRPDC Report:

Integrating Coastal Resilience Into Local Plans, Policies, and Ordinances (2017):
HRPDC Staff documented best practices for localities to incorporate coastal resilience into their planning documents. This report provides an assessment of coastal resilience in current local plans and policies and highlights case studies of coastal resilience policy initiatives in Virginia, Florida, and South Carolina.


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