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City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA
Permit Center
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Page updated Feb 3, 2014 3:38 PM
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Permit and Certificate of Occupancy Requirements

When Do I Need a Permit?

SF Development 

Permits are required for most construction and maintenance work of buildings and structures, including:

  • New buildings and structures
  • Alterations, demolitions, renovations, additions and change of occupancy in existing buildings and structures
  • Maintenance of existing buildings and structures 

What Type of Permit Do I Need?

  Online Permit Center 

There are two general permit categories, Residential  and Commercial:

  • Residential- Detached single, two-family, and multiple single-family dwellings (townhouses only) not more than three stories above the grade plane in height with a separate means of egress and their accessory structures, including but not limited to: 

     

Duplexes
Townhomes, Rowhouses, Townhouses
Private Garages and Fixed Carports
Accessory Structures (Sheds, Garages, Playhouses, etc.) greater then 200 ft2
Private Pools
Decks, Porches, Stoops
Fences (greater than 6ft in height)
Retaining Walls (holding 2ft or greater of soil)

  • Commercial - any residential or commercial occupancy not defined as a "residential occupancy" as stated above, including but not limited to: 

     

Restaurants, Cafes, Night-clubs, Taverns, Bars
Retail - Markets, Stores
Professional Offices - Doctor, Dental, Attorney, Banks, Dry-cleaning/laundry pick-up/drop-off
Storage
Schools (kindergarten - 12th grade)
Daycare, Childcare
Multi-family Dwelling Units, 3 or more dwelling units (Apartments, Condominiums)
Hotels, Motels
Dormitories
Theaters
Public Pools
Factories
Bakeries
High-hazardous Material Storage/Fabrication
Hospitals, Assisted Living, Congregate/Convalescent Facilities

 

Required Documentation to Submit for Plan Review

         Other Permits                

Commercial Projects

      Commercial Project Data Form 

      Checklist- Commercial and Multi- Family Building Plan Submission 

      Checklist- Demolition Permit 

      Checklist- Fire Protection Systems (FPS) 

      Checklist- Generators 

      Checklist- Industrialized Buildings 

      Checklist- Restaurant Smoking Inspections 

      Property Owner's Affidavit    

 Residential Projects 

        Checklist- Kitchen Renovations 

        Checklist- Deck Construction 

        Checklist- Demolition Permit 

        Checklist- Finishing a Basement 

        Checklist- Generators 

        Checklist- Residential New/ Additions/ Accessory Structures 

        Checklist- Residential One and Two Family Trade Permits 

        Checklist- Retaining Walls 

        Soil Evaluation 1&2 Family Dwelling Construction 

        Property Owner's Affidavit 

Points to Remember When Submitting Plans and Documents for Review:

Plan Approve Stamps 

Provide Contractor’s information (as applicable - state license number, City of Alexandria business license number and contact information).  If no contractor will be conducting the work, then a Property Owner's Affidavit must be submitted.

  • Provide five copies of construction documents (plans and reports), including all proposed trade work. Six copies should be submitted if the project requires Health Department review and approval.
  • Maximum Plan Size is 24”x36” (unless waived by the Director) and minimum dimensions for plans are 1/8” = 1’-0” for plan view sheets and ¼” = 1’-0” for section details
  • Residential permits subject to the requirements of the International Residential Code (1 &2 Family Dwellings) shall provide complete building and trade drawings.  Note: To reduce the amount of time it takes an applicant to obtain a building permit for small residential projects, Code Administration no longer requires trade plans for residential 1 & 2 family dwelling additions up to 3 stories and a maximum area of 1,200 sq.ft.  per floor. New Construction inspectors will review mechanical, electrical and plumbing work for code compliance on site during construction. To take advantage of this exception, applicants shall complete the following checklist available in the Permit Center:
    • 1 & 2 Family Residential Dwellings – No Trade Review Document Submission Checklist
    • 1 & 2 Family Residential Dwellings – No Trade Review Plan Submission Checklist
     
  • Plans must be signed and sealed by a registered design professional (RDP) licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia (1 original plan set) if they are responsible for the construction documents (regardless of whether Virginia law requires the plans to be prepared by an RDP)  or if it is required by the Code of Virginia Section 54.1-400 administered by the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation 
  • Plans not prepared by an RDP, and not required to be by the Code of Virginia, shall contain:
    • The name of the person who prepared the plans
    • Occupation
    • Contact information 
     
  • The Site Plan or Grading Plan must accompany each Building Permit set upon building permit plan submittal when required.
  • 35% Deposit is required for plan review – based on estimated permit fee (Refer to Department of Code Administration Fee Schedule ). The deposit is non-refundable and is deducted from the total permit fee when the permit is issued.
  • Additional building and trade plan submission requirements 

Certificates of Occupancy

 

301 King St., Suite 4200
Alexandria, VA 22314
703.746.4200
Fax: 703.838.3880

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.