Planning Services2017-07-25T18:01:57+00:00

Planning Services

We work to ensure that communities have what they need to grow and prosper. This includes planning places where people live, work, shop, and play by improving community development and transportation systems. WPL also has a focus of preserving the environment through land planning and conceptual design founded on a strong grasp of a site’s context.

Core Capabilities

Conditional Use Permit applications

WPL’s highly qualified team works with clients to assure that proper permits are acquired prior to beginning construction. Wetland laws & regulations, tree preservation guidelines, and new single family & duplex residential development requirements can be problematic for clients interested in new landscapes.

With awareness to these guidelines, WPL creates site designs that avoid such violations, allowing plans to be approved in a timely manner. Furthermore, while meeting these requirements, WPL will assure that site designs fit the client’s vision and appeal to the client’s requests.

Feasibility Studies

Feasibility studies involve the investigation of the potential of a proposed project. With a successful resume, WPL has consistently and effectively worked to assure that site designs are legally, operationally, technically, economically, and culturally feasible. Our team analyzes all factors of a proposed project and evaluates the benefits and drawbacks of designs. WPL will review strategies and considerations with clients, assuring that a desirable product is created. WPL’s research will range from the site’s historical background to tax obligations, providing an objective and credible study.

Master Planning

A master plan provides an appropriate framework to guide the future development of an area. Our services include broad-based participation with the client, stakeholders, city review staff, and the general public in interactive design charrettes, staff interviews, and interim design workshops. These efforts explore opportunities and constraints of a study area, and they create a series of solutions and strategies to meet the community’s goals for future development. Master Plans often result in a booklet or large document format that describes the overall view of the future character and growth of a community or groups of communities.


The zoning and rezoning processes can be challenging. WPL has worked with all neighboring municipalities to zone and rezone countless properties. Zoning protects the rights of property owners while promoting the general welfare of the community. It is imperative that landowners consult with an experienced design firm when subjecting a project to zoning changes. We will help to navigate this process and coordinate exhibits with a land use attorney or other counseling representation.

Site Analysis

Commonly referred to as a preliminary feasibility study, we deliver a complete inventory and analysis for a site, consisting of zoning, physical features, natural and manmade features, circulation, utilities, sensory features, and microclimate. Much of this information can be derived from a topographic survey, field analysis, local GIS, and our over 50-years of archived survey data. We use our site analysis to inform every site plan, often proving an invaluable savings to our clients in both time and money.

Additional Capabilities

Extensive planning sessions which include citizens, designers, and others who collaborate on a vision for a future development.
The WPL team designs, plans, and prepares presentations to City Councils of various municipalities in Tidewater for an array of land development activities such as Rezoning, Conditional Use Permits, and Ordinance changes.
Have an idea? Convey it to us and let our team conceptualize it through color renderings to assist you with communicating your idea and gaining support from others.
Do you have a parcel of property and need assistance with conceptual layout? The WPL team offers planning services to help determine what type of facility can best fit your site and provide information with regard to orientation, layout, and development as a starting point.
WPL writes Design Guidelines for many different development types, including retail, residential subdivisions, and planned developments. These guidelines set the tone and character for all future development within a project area.
WPL represents clients at various Design Review Boards to communicate project designs to municipality reviewers for their approval.
WPL staff welcomes historic preservation projects because like good planners, the team strives to protect, preserve, and restore places for future generations to enjoy. We love communicating ideas on how to do this.
The idea of land use programming is to preserve the land and encourage its proper use. WPL researches layout options for clients, and we advise and educate on the impacts of each.
The WPL staff presents to various municipal planning commissions on projects for review of land use and zoning matters in order to get projects approved within a municipality’s policies, plans, and ordinances.
Our aim to provide a variety of approaches and tools to help our clients understand development potential, character, and culture of a site. This can be for a small parcel of land, a broad community, or a large city. We have added interests in flood plains, wetlands, and other environmental concerns regarding geography and future growth.
The lot layout and extension to public infrastructure is crucial to subdivision plans. WPL staff work with municipalities to get plans reviewed and approved according to each specific code and/or requirement.
Our recommendation is to always include the public with project plans. The WPL team orchestrates meetings for the general public and project stakeholders taking a thorough and thoughtful approach to each project.
Our process of site inventory includes identifying all site elements by size, material, and condition to determine the ultimate use and design of the space as well as how it may improve the environment.
Measuring the needs of a new project against the availability of potential locations is vital to the rest of the design process, and our team excels at evaluating, measuring, and selecting sites.
Some projects require street closures in order to vacate a paper street or to resubdivide a large property. Our staff is fluent in these types of street closure processes.
Much like brainstorming, we serve our customers by helping them derive project goals derived from their interests, and we help them to implement those ideas.