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Last Updated: 2021-01-14

City Of Richmond
** COVID-19 UPDATE - Please Read **

City Hall, including Land Use Administration in Rooms 510/511, is closed to the public until further notice, but communication with Land Use Administration staff is possible via e-mail at or by telephone at 804-646-6304.

New Land Use Administration applications can be submitted via email or via Microsoft OneDrive. The Online Permit Portal will continue to be available for submitting Plan of Development (POD) applications:

Limited plan review will continue by staff.

Commission meetings for the month of March have been cancelled and future meetings are subject to cancellation due to COVID-19. Please refer to the city’s legislative calendar for information on meeting cancellations:

The City of Richmond Online Permit Portal (OPP)

  • Customers can register, apply for plans, and search permits using the Online Permit Portal link.
  • More information on registering and utilizing the Online Portal can be found on the OPP web page.

The Planning Commission is responsible for the conduct of planning relating to the orderly growth and development of the City, including adequate and appropriate resources for the housing, business, industry, transportation, distribution, recreation, culture, comfort, convenience, health and welfare of its population.

To view the agendas and minutes for the City Planning Committee meetings, please click here to view the Legistar calendar. Within the 'Legistar Calendar' feature under the 'List View' feature click on the 'Search Calendar' feature using preset values you select from the 'drop down lists' for fields 'current year' and department 'Planning Commission' to identify specific meeting dates, meeting times, and meeting documents.

Master Plan

It is the duty of the Commission to make and adopt a Master Plan with accompanying maps and descriptive matter showing the Commission's recommendations for the development of the area covered by the Plan. In the preparation of such Plan, the Commission makes careful and comprehensive surveys and studies of existing conditions and future growth. The general purpose of the Plan is to guide and accomplish a coordinated and harmonious development of the City.

When the Planning Commission adopts the Master Plan, it must be approved by City Council in order to be in effect. The Commission may undertake activities to promote the Master Plan and planning in the City.


It is the duty of the Commission to prepare and submit to City Council a comprehensive zoning ordinance and zoning district maps. The Commission also makes a recommendation to City Council on Special Use Permits, Rezonings, Conditional Rezonings, and Conditional Use Permits at the request of property owners or developers. The Commission approves Community Unit Plan preliminary plans prior to introduction to Council. The Commission has the power to grant approval of Community Unit Plan final plans and tentative subdivisions.

Historical Landmarks, Works of Art, and Public Facilities

It is the duty and function of the Commission to preserve historical landmarks and to control the design and location of statuary and other works of art that may become the property of the City. Public projects such as bridges, streets and public buildings and facilities must receive "Location, Character and Extent" approval by the Commission. The closing or change in use of streets, the acquisition of land and the sale of any City owned land must also receive Commission approval.

Should the Commission disapprove any such item, the Council may overrule the Commission action by a vote of not less than two-thirds of its entire membership.

Capital Budget

The Capital Budget and Capital Improvement Program are presented to the Commission each year. The Commission may recommend to City Council such changes it deems appropriate based on the Budgets conformance with the City's Master Plan.

Commission Composition

The Planning Commission is a nine member commission consisting of:

  • Five citizen members appointed by City Council
  • One citizen member appointed by the Mayor
  • One member of City Council
  • One member of the Board of Zoning Appeals
  • The Chief Administrative Officer or appointee

The current membership consist of the following people:

  • Mr. Rodney M. Poole, Esquire, Chair
  • Mr. Melvin Law, Vice Chair
  • Mr. John "Jack" Thompson
  • Mr. J.E. Lincoln Saunders, Acting Chief Administrative Officer
  • Mr. Andreas D. Addison, City Council Representative
  • Ms. Elizabeth Greenfield
  • Mr. Max Hepp-Buchanan
  • Mr. David Johannas
  • Mr. Vik Murthy

Meeting Information

The Planning Commission generally meets every first and third Monday of the month, unless the Monday falls on a holiday. In the event of a holiday Monday, the Planning Commission generally meets on the following Tuesday. In the event City Hall is closed (for emergencies, inclement weather, etc.) on a day a meeting is scheduled, the Planning Commission would generally meet the next day City Hall is open. Please use the link above to view the Planning Commission’s meeting schedule on the Legistar calendar.

Additional Information

Additional information about specific meeting dates, agendas, minutes, and membership is available by emailing Land Use Administration. You can also visit the Land Use Administration Division in room 511 of City Hall between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, or call (804)646-6304.

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