The AICUZ program was instituted by the Department of Defense to address the problem of land development surrounding military air installations. 

It provides for the development and implementation of a plan to determine land areas where development should be significantly influenced by the operation of the airfield. 

These land areas are then designated as the AICUZ for that installation.

To provide for compatible development, the U.S. Navy acquired easements and fee simple ownership on certain lands in the noise and accident potential zones around Naval Air Station Oceana. While the specific terms of each easement vary, they generally prohibit all residential and people-intensive commercial development. 

In addition, permitted industrial development cannot result in a high concentration of people.


Land within the AICUZ program has been classified according to its potential impact from noise and accident potential. The airport zoning program requires the following:

Noise attenuation:
Noise attenuation measures in accordance with the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC) are required for new residential construction, including additions, located within noise zones of 65 Ldn or greater. Zones less than 65 Ldn are exempt. (Ldn is a measure of the average noise level over a 24-hour period.)

The requirements apply to:

  • Single family dwellings
  • Duplex dwellings
  • Semi-detached dwellings
  • Townhouses
  • Multiple family dwellings
  • Condominiums
  • Hotels
  • Motels
  • Dormitories
  • Group homes

Non-residential uses requiring noise attenuation include assembly, business, business, education, institutional and mercantile uses.

Disclosure: Anyone selling or leasing residential property within any noise zone or Accident Potential Zone is required to provide written disclosure to all prospective purchasers or lessees. Written notification must also be placed in all sales contracts and leases. 

Additionally, the City requires disclosure notes on site plans and subdivision plats submitted after 1995.

Height regulations:
Per Section 202 of the City Zoning Ordinance, the height of any structure may not exceed that permitted by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations.

Land use:
The City worked with the Navy and surrounding localities to create the Hampton Roads Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) in 2005. This study explores opportunities to reduce noise impacts while balancing the communities' interest in economic growth and sustainability.

The City adopted the APZ-1/Clear Zone Master Plan in 2008, which provides land use policy guidance regarding the future use of property located in the APZ-1 and Clear Zones around Naval Air Station Oceana. Land use in the AICUZ and APZs is further regulated by Article 18 of the City Zoning Ordinance (AICUZ Overlay Ordinance).

Any office, business, or industrial use existing prior to Feb. 14, 2006, that is not compatible in the accident potential zone 1 (APZ-1) may continue and will be considered nonconforming and may be replaced by another use, provided the new use is of equal or lesser intensity. (See section 1804, table 2 of Virginia Beach City Code.)

Any nonconforming use may be changed or added onto provided the resulting operation is of equal or lesser intensity than the existing use.

Request an APZ-1 Determination

To obtain an intensity and compatibility determination in the Accident Potential Zone 1 (APZ-1), the owner should submit a letter to the zoning administrator describing both the existing use and the proposed change or new use. The letter should include:

  • Details on the previous use.
  • Details on the type of use, existing and proposed.
  • Details on any accessory uses, existing and proposed.
  • Square footage of any existing or proposed structures.
  • Details on any gases, petroleum products or chemicals that will be on the site, existing and proposed.
  • The maximum number of employees on any shift, existing and proposed.
  • The maximum number of employees within a 24 hour period, existing and proposed.
  • The maximum number of customers at any time, existing and proposed.
  • The maximum number of customers in a 24-hour period, existing and proposed.

The zoning administrator will respond with a letter of receipt and outline any additional information required.

The zoning administrator will consult with the AICUZ liaison at Naval Air Station Oceana and the resulting determination will be recorded. Copies will be sent to the applicant as well as kept on file with the City.

If the use is determined to be of equal or lesser intensity than the use as it existed prior to Dec. 20, 2005, the development process may begin, such as conditional use permit application, site plan review, building permit, business license, etc. The letter of determination should be included with any development submittal and business license request.

Intensity determination request letters can be mailed to: Arlethia Wilson, 2875 Sabre St., Suite 500, Virginia Beach, VA 23452, Call (757) 385-2058 or email for more information.