What Type Of Permits May Be Needed?

When are permits required?   |   What type of permits may be needed?  |  How do I apply for a wetlands permit?  
Sources for additional information about permitting  |  Glossary of terms

Wetlands The type of activity you plan will determine the type of permit you need

  • The Fairfax County Wetlands Board must issue a permit for shoreline disturbances along the water’s edge which may impact vegetated or non-vegetated wetlands, such as the construction of bulkheads, the placement of rip rap or dredging.

    The Policy Plan of the County’s Comprehensive Plan provides an analysis of the County’s tidal shoreline. That document is available at:

    Wetlands permit applications require that you submit very detailed drawings which demonstrate important information about your plan. A professional engineer can assist in the preparation of your plan.

    In addition to the wetlands permit, your project may also require permits from other Fairfax County agencies.

  • Activities in the floodplain are regulated by the County’s Zoning Ordinance, Article 2-900, and may require written approval from the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) or a Special Exception approval by the Board of Supervisors. If you have question about floodplain regulations, call the Engineer of the Day at 703-324-1575.

    Information regarding applications for Special Exception approval for uses in the floodplain is available from the Zoning Evaluation Division, Department of Planning and Zoning, 12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 801, Fairfax, VA 22035-5504, or by calling 703-324-1290.

    The regulations regarding activities in the floodplain, can be found in the County’s Zoning Ordinance, Article 2-900 at:

  • Your shoreline project may also require permitting related to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance. The Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance, Chapter 118 of the County Code, is administered by the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES). If you have questions about the ordinance, call the Engineer of the Day at 703-324-1575. If you want to read the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance, go to: www.fairfaxcounty.gov/government; choose the County Code, Chapter 118, to view the ordinance.  


Regulatory programs involved in living shoreline design.

Source: Rivers & Coast, Newsletter for the Center for Coastal Resources Management, Winter 2006



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