Contact Us

900 E. Broad St., Room 511
Richmond, VA 23219

Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Code Refresh

Upcoming Events

Zoning 101 Webinar

Monday, June 24, 11:30am-12:30pm

Participate Online - Register HERE

Participate by Phone - Dial 305-224-1968 and enter Passcode: 83403787367#

Tuesday, June 25, 6pm-7pm

Participate Online - Register HERE

Participate by Phone - Dial 305-224-1968 and enter Passcode: 84959440301#

Learn the basics of zoning and its purpose, how zoning decisions are made and who is involved, goals and expected outcomes
of the Code Refresh initiative, and how you can be involved.

Looking Back and Moving Forward 
A panel discussion on Richmond’s zoning Code Refresh

Thursday, July 11, 6pm-8pm
Academic Learning Commons at VCU
1000 Floyd Avenue, Room 1201

Local and national leaders will join us to discuss the basics of zoning, the history of zoning in Richmond, and how this update will impact the lives of Richmonders. The Code Refresh is the City’s chance to write the playbook for how Richmond will grow over the next 20 years.  Stay tuned to meet our panelists and for information how to register.


Re-writing the zoning ordinance is identified in the Richmond 300 Master Plan as one of the Big Moves. A re-write process means developing new zoning categories and descriptions, and then mapping those categories to every parcel in the city. The zoning code is a legal document that describes what may be built on a piece of property. A re-write process can take up to three years. The last time the zoning ordinance was re-written was in the mid-1970s. Since then, the zoning code has had piece-meal updates to accommodate the city’s changing needs throughout the years. 

Click HERE to view the existing zoning ordinance

Click HERE to view the existing zoning map

As the city grows, the zoning ordinance is big tool in helping guide and direct that growth. Our current zoning ordinance separates uses into different districts with limited opportunity for mixed-uses. To align with the vision and equity and sustainability goals in the Richmond 300 Master Plan, the refresh of the zoning ordinance will move the city from distinct separation of uses, to allowing for more mixing of uses and incorporating more form-based elements.  This process gives the City the tools it needs to further key policy objectives that impact Richmonders, including the need for housing, schools, and other community resources. This process is also an opportunity to understand how Richmond's historic zoning has resulted in many of the divides and disparities our City sees today and, through the re-write, correct those policies so we can build a future Richmond with opportunities for ALL residents. 

The Advisory Council will include a diverse group of Richmonders who will help guide the city and the consultant on the direction of the zoning ordinance. This is not a decision-making body, but a volunteer group of citizens who will be the voice of Richmonders in the room. Council members will also assist at community engagement events and spread the word among the community about the zoning code refresh.




Chenice Brown (Bio coming soon)


Wayne Credle

Rev. Dr. Wayne E. Credle, Jr. is a husband, faith leader, professor, consultant, author, and podcast host whose interests lie at the intersections of faith, leadership, and well-being for his community. He obtained a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from Regent University, a Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School, and a Bachelor of Sociology and Religious Studies from Virginia Wesleyan University. He also earned a certificate in Transformational Leadership & Facilitation from the African Leadership Institute for Community Transformation in South Africa. He is the CEO of Credle LLC, an organizational development and business branding firm for small businesses and non-profit organizations that he leads alongside his wife and college sweetheart, Passion S. Credle, MBA. Dr. Credle is an Adjunct Professor at the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences at Regent University. Dr. Credle also serves as the Director of Operations and Strategic Planning for BlackMalePhds, an organization that encourages Black men to pursue doctoral degrees by providing a space for networking, collaboration, mentorship, and community. Dr. Credle has served in numerous ministerial capacities throughout his career, including the Bahamas Methodist Conference, the National Baptist Convention of Churches, the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, the Durham Veteran Affairs Hospital and Butner Federal Correctional Complex. Dr. Credle’s publications include Chapel Hill Press, Palgrave/MacMillian, the Journal of Biblical Perspectives in Leadership, and the 5th International Conference on Research in Business, Management, and Economics. Dr. Credle’s podcast (Ministr2Society: The Podcast), which shares stories around faith, leadership, and wellbeing is available on all podcasting platforms.


Bennie Gates, III (Bio coming soon)



Elizabeth Greenfield

Elizabeth Hancock Greenfield serves as the Vice President of Government Affairs for the Home Building Association of Richmond (HBAR), representing the land development and residential construction industry in front of local governments and the Virginia General Assembly. Prior to joining HBAR, Elizabeth led Government Affairs for the Richmond Association of REALTORS® (RAR) for fifteen years. She also served as the Executive Director of the Partnership for Housing Affordability (PHA), RAR’s non-profit.

Elizabeth has a strong background in legislative affairs and works closely with state and local elected officials on issues such as protecting private property rights, land use and zoning matters and affordable housing initiatives.

Elizabeth serves on the Board of Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) and HOME’s Policy Advisory Committee.  She is also Vice Chair of the Richmond City Planning Commission.

Elizabeth graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelors degree in Political Science and Master’s degrees in Public Administration and Urban and Regional Planning.


Philip Hart

Philip Hart is a lifelong Richmonder and long-time resident of the west end of the city.  He is a real estate lawyer and works for Genworth Financial, where, among other things, he handles the legal aspects of Genworth’s facilities real estate matters.  In that capacity, he engaged with Henrico County and its zoning consultant during the recent recodification of the county’s zoning code.  Philip is active in civic affairs, most recently with the Westhampton Citizens Association (WCA), where he is immediate past president and continues to serve on the WCA’s zoning committee.  Philip and other WCA members were actively engaged in the Richmond 300 process.  



Yanina James

Yanina James currently serves as the Outreach Director at The Life Church RVA in Southside Richmond. Yanina specializes in community engagement and is responsible for coordinating outreach initiatives and volunteers to help meet needs within the City of Richmond and surrounding communities by partnering with Richmond Public Schools, local businesses and nonprofit organizations. With a background in organizational development, human resources and higher education, she encourages others to seek to understand and build relationships before results. In her free time, she enjoys live concerts, DIY projects, traveling and adding to her record collection. 



Dave Johannas, AIA, NCARB has over 45 years of experience in architecture, interior projects and planning throughout North America. His work encompasses a variety of innovations in urban design involving mixed-use, residential and retail, with a particular interest in historic preservation, adaptive reuse and urban infill.

After graduating from the University of Oregon in 1974, Dave received a wide range of experience working with different scale architectural offices in Edmonton, Alberta, New York City, Denver, Colorado and Richmond, Virginia. He established his own practice in 2000. At UC Berkeley, Dave studied under the auspices of Christopher Alexander. He apprenticed with Richard and Dion Neutra of Los Angeles.

Architecture, planning and design, have been a life pursuit for Dave. He has maintained fervor toward the design of buildings, responding to the ideals of the modern urban environment, while maintaining his own design philosophy. He and his wife reside in Richmond’s historic Byrd Park Neighborhood.


Lloyd Preston

Preston Lloyd counsels national, regional and local property owners and developers in connection with commercial real estate transactions, especially matters related to land use and zoning, economic development, historic preservation, public finance and local government law in jurisdictions in Virginia. He assists in aspects of the entire development cycle, from negotiating the purchase/sale of land, to site development, financing and leasing. He is the chair of Williams Mullen’s Land Use Practice.

In connection with his diverse land use practice, Preston maintains relationships with local government decision-makers and community leaders. His experience includes obtaining rezonings, special use permits, proffer amendments and other approvals for mixed-use/planned unit developments, retail centers, multi-family and student housing projects, hotels, residential communities, regional mixed-use town centers, data centers, farm wineries and wireless telecommunications facilities. He has assisted regional and national developers in connection with joint ventures and various complex equity and conventional financing structures and has experience with the acquisition, financing and development of multi-family housing intended to qualify for federal low-income housing tax credits. He has represented rural landowners in the drafting and negotiation of conservation easements.

Preston is a leader in promoting the responsible use of land and creating/sustaining thriving communities. He was named the 2014 Young Leader of the Year by the Richmond District Council of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and formerly served as young leaders group chair of ULI Virginia. He regularly is invited to speak on land use topics, including as a guest lecturer at the University of Richmond School of Law and the Mason School of Business at William & Mary, and in connection with continuing legal education programs.

Preston has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America© for Real Estate Law and Land Use and Zoning Law (2018-present), named among Virginia’s “Legal Elite” by Virginia Business magazine (2016-present) and listed by Virginia Super Lawyers Rising Stars for Land Use/Zoning Law (2017-2021). In 2018, he was named to the 2018 class of Up & Coming Lawyers by Virginia Lawyers Weekly. In 2015, he was named to Style Weekly’s Top 40 Under 40 list.

Preston is active in the RVA community. He serves on the board of directors for CARITAS and the Partnership for Housing Affordability. He was selected by Leadership Metro Richmond, a community leadership development organization, as a member of their 2016 Leadership Quest Class, and was appointed to the advisory council for Richmond 300, the City of Richmond’s APA award-winning master plan update. He was the founding chair of the Young Leaders Society of the United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg. Preston also served on Governor-elect Ralph Northam’s Policy Council on Commerce & Trade.

Prior to joining the firm, he served as a summer law clerk in the Norfolk Circuit Court and as a governor’s fellow in the Office of Governor Mark R. Warner. Preston received both his law degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree in politics and history from the University of Virginia.





Eric Mai

Eric Mai is a Vice President with HDAdvisors (HDA), an affordable housing and community development consulting firm based in Richmond, Virginia. HDA provides staffing for nonprofit organizations, HousingForward Virginia and Maggie Walker Community Land Trust. HousingForward Virginia (HFV) is a non-partisan affordable housing think tank, where Eric serves as the Executive Director for Strategy & Sustainability. At HFV, Eric leads the Virginia Zoning Atlas, an effort to create an interactive web map of all the zoning districts within the Commonwealth to determine zoning's impact on housing supply and affordability. With Maggie Walker Community Land Trust (MWCLT), a permanently affordable housing developer, Eric serves as Director of Acquisitions. At MWCLT, Eric oversees real estate transactions and predevelopment activities. 


Eric received his Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he focused his research on affordable housing development in diverse, inner-ring suburban communities. Previously, Eric worked in the field of archaeology for six years in Virginia, while earning his Masters of Archaeology and Heritage Management from the University of Leicester. 


Jennifer Mullen

Jennifer D. Mullen is a member at Roth Jackson focusing in commercial real estate and land use law. Ms. Mullen represents developers and landowners in the acquisition, disposition, development and financing of residential subdivisions and planned unit developments, office and residential condominiums, office buildings, multi-family housing projects and shopping centers. She routinely represents clients in obtaining zoning, permitting and development approvals, as well as negotiating economic development agreements. Ms. Mullen has also represented a variety of owners in the acquisition, development and construction of multi-family housing intended to qualify for federal low-income housing tax credits. 

Ms. Mullen has been named a “Legal Elite” by Virginia Business magazine and a “Rising Star” by Virginia Superlawyers magazine and is in The Best Lawyers in America- Women in the Law. In 2021, she was selected as a member of the VCU Real Estate Circle of Excellence. 


Kendra Norrell (Bio coming soon)


Casey Overton (Bio coming soon)



Michelle Parish

Michelle Parrish is the owner and operator of Soul N’ Vinegar in the East End. Born and raised in Massachusetts by a father with southern roots and a mother who emigrated from Korea – Soul N’ Vinegar came from a love of combining cultures, combining cuisines, and finding ways to provide high quality delicious meals to everyone in the neighborhood. The first Soul n’ Vinegar brick and mortar location opened in June 2018 due to the help of a SEED grant and Michelle and her team focused on connecting with the local community by offering satisfying meals, affordable prices, and supporting equitable food access.  




Maritza Pechin

Maritza Mercado Pechin leads Innovative Finance and Delivery Technical Assistance for the Build America Bureau at the U.S. Department of Transportation. She focuses on educating and expanding the capacity of public entities to develop transportation projects with an innovative financing approach. She oversees three technical assistance grant programs, strategic partnerships, project workshops, and emerging projects agreements. Maritza was previously a Deputy Planning Director with the City of Richmond, Virginia where she worked across City departments to lead planning and redevelopment efforts, such as the Diamond District redevelopment, the City Center redevelopment, the US DOT-funded Reconnect Jackson Ward project, the HUD-funded Jackson Ward Community Plan, and the Mellon Foundation-funded Shockoe Heritage Campus. Maritza was the lead author of Richmond 300: A Guide for Growth, the city’s national award-winning master plan. She has also served as an adjunct professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, a consultant at AECOM, and the development manager at Fulton Hill Properties, a Richmond-based infill developer. Maritza graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Harvard and a Master’s in City and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. 



Burt Pinnock

Burt Pinnock’s passion for design has created award-winning work time and time again, from historic sites and cultural institutions to forward-thinking companies and foundations. He previously served as Chair of the Commonwealth of Virginia Art & Architectural Review Board and Vice Chair of the Richmond 300 Advisory Board, and is a co-founder of Storefront for Community Design, amongst many other notable board and committee engagements. For Burt, architecture isn’t a job; it’s his personal contribution to the wellbeing and vitality of our communities.




Damian Pitt

Damian Pitt is an Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Studies and Planning, in the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at VCU. He teaches a variety of courses on urban planning and energy and environmental policy. His primary research focuses are on climate action planning and clean energy policy at the state and local level. His numerous academic articles and professional reports include recent studies for The Nature Conservancy and RVA Green.

Pitt is also the Associate Director of Policy and Community Engagement for the VCU Institute for Sustainable Energy and Environment. He has served on the Richmond 300 Master Plan Advisory Commission, and the board of the American Planning Association - Virginia chapter, among other positions. Prior to academia he worked for Cogan Owens Greene in Portland, Oregon.




Ellen Robertson

As the 6th District Councilwoman, Ellen Robertson dedicates her service full time to represent the citizens. The 6th District is the most diverse in the City of Richmond. She represents the interest of the highest number of very low-income families living in public housing, the highest level of poverty, the largest share of the first historic neighborhoods, corporate, entertainment, and government downtown district, all bridged by the James River connecting to the restored post-industrial to the new millennial urban core surrounded by post-WWII annexed rural family communities. 

Before being elected, after earning a BS Degree in Urban Studies and Planning, Councilwoman Robertson started a community and housing development corporation that provided the down-payment grants to assist first-time home-buyers.  More than 300 low to moderate-income families became first time owners. She was the first African American female to serve as Chair of the City's Planning Commission. This background experience prepared her to pass legislation to create the Office of Community Wealth Building - committed to drastically reducing poverty.  She also started an Affordable Housing Trust Fund which creates new housing for the working poor and moderate-income.   

She has served on countless boards, commissions, and organizations including the Land Use and Transportation Committee, Finance, and Economic Development Standing Committee, Richmond Tourism and Visitors Board, Chair of the Affordable Housing Advisory Board, Chair of the Office of Community Wealth Building Maggie L. Walker Citizens Advisory Board and Chair of the Alternatives to Incarceration Board.  



Charlie Wilson

Charlie Wilson is the Director of Permitting at Baker Development Resources—a local consulting firm that mediates permitting and development processes for landowners, contractors, and developers in the region.  He is deeply engrained in not just planning and zoning, but also the processes pertaining to environmental, roadway, utility, construction, and trade permitting.  This holistic exposure to development and prior employment in the construction industry allows him to view zoning as a vital piece to a bigger puzzle.   Charlie Wilson has both a Bachelor’s (Cornell University) and a Master’s (VCU) degree in Urban Planning.  At VCU, his capstone project engaged citizens of Highland County to gauge community preferences for new zoning standards to better preserve its historic towns.  Professionally, Charlie has lived in the Highland Park neighborhood since 2017, when he and his partner bought a neglected split-level and brought it back to life.   Over the past seven years he has been able to witness both the resiliency of our urban neighborhoods as well as the housing market’s intense response to spiking demand, scarce supply, and inefficient development standards for new construction. 



Roger York

Roger York attended the University of Virginia and earned his Professional degree in City Planning. He then went on to work for the City of Charlottesville Planning Development (1968-1974) and the City of Richmond Planning Department (1974-2004). During this time, Roger served as staff to the Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals, a Secretary to the Board of Zoning Appeals from 1990 – 2004 and has been a Member of the Board of Zoning Appeals since 2007. He currently serves as the Board’s Vice Chairman.

Roger was involved in the total zoning ordinance rewrite adopted in 1976 and the remapping occurring in 1979. The project began in the '60's in anticipation of a major annexation which was approved in 1970. Another major revision occurred in the mid 80's, and subsequent amendments were written.

Since the Board of Zoning Appeals is the arbiter of interpretation disputes, Roger is especially concerned about the importance of wordsmithing.

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