Revitalization and the Building Permit Process


The information herein provides guidelines for building owners, designers and developers on the resources available when altering or rehabilitating buildings in revitalization districts.

Building Plan Review

After an applicant has completed the rezoning and special exception application process and submitted a site plan, building plans may be filed for permit and submitted for review to Building Plan Review. Individuals making alterations to existing buildings in a commercial revitalization district may utilize the expanded commercial walk-thru program which allows projects to be reviewed by county staff on an expedited basis. The program is available on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of every week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The commercial walk-thru program limits a project size to 4,500 square feet. However, the expanded qualifying area for projects in commercial revitalization districts is:

  • Up to 10,000 square feet for assembly, educational or institutional uses.
  • Up to 15,000 square feet for business, mercantile or storage uses.

 

Team Inspections

Individuals who have an existing building and are proposing to change the use of the space may apply for a team inspection. For a fee of $325, a team of code officials will inspect an existing facility and provide a written report listing major code and permit requirements prior to submittal of building plans.

 

Annual Permit Program

The Annual Permit Program allows building owners or tenants to apply for an annual permit to perform minor renovations to existing multi-tenant commercial buildings. This program authorizes a limited scope of construction work at a specific location prior to applying for the associated permits. The annual permit program facilitates the issuance of permits by eliminating waiting time associated with obtaining individual permits.

 

Modified Processing

Modified Processing allows for the issuance of partial building permits (footing and foundation permit) prior to full approval of site and building plans for new commercial building and additions to existing commercial buildings.  In revitalization areas, projects are eligible for modified processing if the plans are submitted under the Expedited Building Plan Review Program. The advantage of the modified plan processing status is the ability to begin construction quickly and continue in phases without awaiting full design approvals.

 

Helpful Hints

Helpful time saving hints for individuals constructing projects in revitalization districts:

  • Take advantage of the revitalization resource center in the Permit Application Center. Inform staff that your project is located in a revitalization district.
  • Request a preliminary meeting prior to submitting plans for a permit. A multi-disciplined team of reviewers will pre-review plans for code issues so that corrections can be made prior to plan submission. This service is provided at no charge.
  • Request a pre-construction meeting. A multi-disciplined team of inspectors will discuss the construction of your project and provide advice on the scheduling of inspections and other issues.

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Building Plan Review at 703-222-0114, TTY 711.


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