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Building Safety/Permits


101-E Mounts Bay Rd.

Williamsburg, VA 23185

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P: 757-253-6626


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8 a.m. - 5 p.m.



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7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.






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Building Permit Procedure for Multifamily
Residential / Commercial / Industrial


What is a building permit? A building permit is the authorization to begin construction, alteration or demolition of any multifamily residential, commercial, or industrial structure as required by the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code.

Where can I obtain a building permit? You may apply for a permit at either the Building Safety and Permits Division or the Satellite (Citizens' Assistance) Office. If the plans require review, the Citizens' Assistance Office will send the application to the Building Safety and Permits Division for review. Building Safety and Permits Division will issue the permit and return the approved permit to the Satellite (Citizens' Assistance) Office.

What do I need to obtain a building permit? You should provide the following information to complete the building permit application:

  • Address of the property
  • Contractor information
  • Owner information
  • Scope of work

In addition to completing a building permit application you will need to provide the following:

  • Two sets of construction documents which have met the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code. Drawings may be required to be prepared and sealed by a professional engineer or licensed architect as required by the Uniform Statewide Building Code.
  • A copy of the site plan that has been approved by the James City County Planning Division (prepared by a land surveyor, architect or engineer licensed as such in the Commonwealth of Virginia) is required noting all structure(s). The site plan shall meet the specifications of Article 2 of the County Zoning Ordinance.
  • A geotechnical report identifying soil conditions and bearing capacities.
  • A tap fee receipt for structures on public water and sewer; or
  • A permit to install a sewage system or modify an existing sewage system from the State Health Department.
  • A land disturbing permit. This may be obtained after receiving preliminary site plan approval. Refer to section on Land Disturbing Permits.

Is there a permit fee? Yes. The fee is based on a schedule adopted by the Board of Supervisors. This fee schedule is available from the Building Safety and Permits Division, the Citizens' Assistance Office, or at this website.

How long will it take to process an application? If you have all the information required including final site plan approval, it may take approximately 30 business days to review the plans and issue the permit (this time may vary depending on workload).

How long are the permits valid? Permits may become void if no work is accomplished during any six month period.

What about inspections? Please consult the Building Safety and Permits Division for the minimum inspections on your job.

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