Community Development & Planning
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Smithfield Community Development & Planning Department

The Community Development & Planning Department (hereinafter referred to as “the Department”) was formed in June of 2019 following the separation of its staff and duties from the Department of Planning, Engineering & Public Works. The Department’s role in the administration of the Town can be summarized through its responsibility for updating, interpreting, and enforcing the Smithfield Zoning Ordinance, the Smithfield Subdivision Ordinance, the 2022 Smithfield Comprehensive Plan, the Town’s official zoning maps, and certain land-based sections of the Smithfield Town Code.  As a part of the fulfillment of this responsibility, the Department reviews and decides on all administrative zoning permit applications and waivers, and reviews, processes, and produces recommendations to pertinent Boards and Commissions on certain applications that cannot be decided administratively.

As implied above, some permit applications entail review and/or a decision from the Board of Historic & Architectural Review (BHAR), the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA), the Planning Commission, and/or the Town Council.  Consequently, the Department serves as the staff representative or secretary to most of these bodies, and advises them on planning, zoning, subdivision, land use, code enforcement, and development-related matters.

As a Tidewater, Virginia locality that administers its own zoning and subdivision ordinances, the Department is required by the Code of Virginia to feature certain environmental programs intended to reduce nonpoint source pollution in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Namely, these are the Town’s localized version of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act of 1988, and an erosion and sediment control program for all single-family residential projects.

It is imperative to note that the Department’s “jurisdiction” lies solely within the Town’s corporate limits, and is applicable only to matters pertaining to planning, subdivisions, code enforcement, single-family residential erosion and sediment control measures, and zoning. Isle of Wight County is the appropriate contact for all building permits and inspections, erosion and sediment control measures for all projects of a greater level of intensity than single-family residential development, wetlands permitting, stormwater management, building code property maintenance, and land conservation efforts. They can be reached at 1-(757)-365-6211.

The Department is directly responsible for development applications intended for projects as simple as a new fence, and as complex as conditional rezoning amendments. As such, we inherently serve as both educators and reviewers when working with all applicants. Since laws, rules, and regulations pertaining to land use have only compounded over the course of the last century, our Department understands the importance of offering explanations and reassurance to all applicants and members of the public. Such an understanding and commitment to these stakeholders bolsters the central tenants of the Department, where in Smithfield you can always count on quality Service, unwavering Sincerity, and Satisfaction in the planning process.

The Department is comprised of three employees:

Tammie Clary, Community Development & Planning Director

Joseph Reish, Code Compliance Inspector

Mark Kluck, Planner