The Planning Commission has re-classified the 1996 Town Preservation plan as purely historical reference document. The Town will no longer use it for policy-making or community planning. The Preservation Plan came about to help the Town deal with what it perceived as rapidly declining structures (building stock). The Plan was used to help Cape Charles achieve and maintain its historic character through community revitalization and economic development.
Over time, the Preservation Plan was used to address the adoption of the property maintenance codes and code enforcement activities. Since 1996, the Town has adopted a Historic District Overlay Ordinance, and the Historic District Design and Construction Guidelines. According to Planner Larry DiRe, the combination of ordinances and guidelines “provide the necessary assurance that both renovations and new construction will conform to both national standards and community norms.”