Resolutions are formal statements by the mayor and council which have the effect of setting city policy. A resolution ordinarily denotes something less formal than an ordinance and is an expression of opinion or a policy action concerning some particular item of business. Resolutions are introduced and adopted with one (1) vote of the majority of all members elected to the council.


Ordinances are used to establish local laws and regulations enforceable within the limits of the city's boundaries. The ordinances prescribe general unit form and permanent rules relating to the corporate affairs of the city. Zoning ordinances have extraterritorial jurisdiction to the two-mile limit beyond the city boundaries.

Prior to the adoption of a zoning ordinance, the Council must hold a formal hearing for public discussion. In order for any ordinance to pass on first reading, it must be approved by the majority of all members elected to the Council (not just those Council members present). Ordinances must be read at three different City Council meetings unless the statutory rules are suspended by a three-fourth vote of the Council. After passage, ordinances are published legally according to statute and the majority are codified in the City Code.

City Code

Online version of the Municipal Code of the City of Norfolk.