UPDATE MARCH 30, 2020:  The following City of Williamsburg buildings and facilities are closed to the public through April 23:  Municipal Building, Stryker Center, Quarterpath Recreation Center, Waller Mill Park, Police Department and Fire Station (only required staff will be at work, others will be teleworking). Governor Northam issued a "stay at home" executive order through June 10, 2020. Business assistance information can be found here. The City's telephone hotline (for city service questions):  (757) 259-7200 and the Virginia Health Dept. call center (for COVID-19 questions/concerns):  (757) 594-7069.

Program Summary

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Neighborhood Improvement Program

Dear Williamsburg Citizen;

The City of Williamsburg's Neighborhood Improvement Program periodically conducts inspections of all neighborhoods within the city. These inspections are undertaken to enforce City Ordinances, Statewide Building and Property Maintenance code laws dealing with the exterior maintenance of homes, buildings and other structures. In addition, we look for items that violate city codes dealing with high weeds and grass, trash, improper storage of material, and inoperable motor vehicles. In general, we are looking for items that impact your neighborhood and the city as a whole.

You can evaluate your home and property before our inspection to eliminate items that may not be in compliance. Should an area of concern be identified during our routine inspections, we will notify the owner and occupant of the property by letter and provide a reasonable amount of time to remedy any problem areas.

Some examples of items that violate the Williamsburg City Code or Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code are as follows

  • Exterior storage: Lumber, scrap metal, construction materials, machinery components, inoperable equipment and appliances. Properly stacked and covered building material is acceptable as long as it is not continually stored.
  • Interior furniture: Interior home furniture cannot be used or stored outside. This type of furniture holds moisture and becomes a home to rodents and insects.
  • Trash and debris: Property must be maintained free of discarded material, refuse, rubbish, large collections of recyclables (cans and bottles), auto parts, and appliances. Trash cans or recycling bins cannot be left at a curb side after collection.
  • Weeds/tall grass: Grass, weeds and underbrush must be maintained below twelve (12) inches on improved property.
  • Exterior home maintenance: Damaged and exposed wood must be maintained painted and free from holes and rot. Roof, trim, and walls must be tight and keep out water and animals. Screens, doors, porches, steps, handrails, and windows must be kept in good repair and free of damaged material and glazing.
  • Maintenance of outbuildings and fences: Accessory buildings, fences and other outbuildings must be maintained structurally sound and painted when required to prevent deterioration.
  • Parking on lawns: City Code requires that vehicles be parked in approved parking spaces and driveways. Parking on areas without a gravel or hard surface, such as front lawns, is not allowed. Limitations are placed on the amount of parking area allowed at single family residences.
  • Inoperative vehicle: An inoperative motor vehicle is defined as one which is not in operating condition, or if a vehicle, for a period of thirty (30) days or longer, has been partially or totally disassembled. This includes the removal of tires (flat) or wheels, the engine, or other essential parts required for the operation of the vehicle. Vehicles without a valid license plates and/or inspection sticker are considered in violation.

Citizen Resources

The City of Williamsburg offers many programs to assist you in complying with city and state regulations. Listed below are some of these programs and the appropriate city staff contact for more information.

  • Vehicle Removal: The city participates in a program designed to assist owners in removing inoperable motor vehicles for disposal. There is no expense to the owner in having it removed from the property as long as a clear title can be provided for the vehicle. Contact the Codes Compliance Division at 220-6128 for the details of this program.
  • Bulk Refuse pick-up: The Public Works Department offers bulk refuse pickup three times per year by special arraignment. There are some limitations. Contact their office at 220-6140 for details.
  • Yard Waste pick-up: The Public Works Department will pick-up yard waste at curb side if properly bagged or bundled. Contact their office at 220-6140 for details.

The Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code requires permits and inspections for the following types of activity:

  1. Adding new outlets or lights, replacing damaged or old electrical wiring and panel boxes.
  2. Adding new water, sewer and waste, and vent lines
  3. Adding a new heating/cooling system, gas lines, and water heaters.
  4. Adding or making structural repairs to additions, porches, decks, storage buildings (depending on size), roofing and siding replacement.

Items that do not require permits and inspection:

  1. Replacing existing outlets and light fixtures does not require permits.
  2. Replacing existing plumbing fixtures does not require a permit.
  3. Replacing existing heating systems and water heaters in a home does not require a permit as long as the fuel line, appliance vent, or electrical supply does not require change.
  4. Interior floor and wall finishes, and cabinets do not require permits.
  5. Replacement doors and windows as long as they are the same type and size.

In the interest of public safety, the Codes Compliance Division will offer an amnesty program for work performed without required permits and inspections. No penalties or fines will be assessed on applications received for work performed before this notice. To take advantage of the amnesty period, a permit application for the work must be received before the start of our neighborhood inspections, or within the next thirty days. Approved permits will then be inspected for code compliance. Contact the Codes Compliance Office at 220-6136 should you have any questions regarding permits or this program.

We look forward to meeting our neighbors when we are out on the streets in your neighborhood. We hope you find this information helpful and we thank you for your help in making our city a great place to live, work and visit. Feel free to call our office at (757) 220-6128 should you have any questions or concerns regarding the Neighborhood Improvement Program.