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.

Permit Procedure

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What is a building permit?

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

Where can I obtain a building permit?

You may apply for a permit at the Building Inspections Office in the Williamsburg Municipal Building.

What do I need to obtain a building permit?

You should provide the following information to complete the building permit application:

  1. Address of the property.
  2. Contractor and State and Local Contractor License information.
  3. Owner information.

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

  1. Plans for the structure (2 Sets) which will have to meet specifications required by Building Inspections and the Uniform Statewide Building Code. Plans may need to be prepared by an engineer or architect licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia. If not, the plans must include preparers name, address and telephone number.
  2. An approved site plan (prepared by a land surveyor, architect or engineer licensed as such in the Commonwealth of Virginia) for the structure(s) which will have to meet specifications of the City Zoning Ordinance.
  3. A geotechnical report outlining the soils found at the proposed site, when required.
  4. An application for Land Disturbance permit and Right of Way Permit, when applicable.
Is there a permit fee?

Yes, The fee is based on a schedule adopted by the City Council. These permit fees, as well as sewer, water and fire protection service fees are to be paid at time of permit issuance.

How long will it take to process an application?

If you have all the information required, it will take approximately ten business days to review the plans and issue plan review comments or issue a permit if plans are in compliance.

How long are the permits valid?

Permits are valid as long as work proceeds, but become void if no work is accomplished during any six month period.

What if the permit expires?

You may request an extension prior to expiration. If not, you will have to reapply and pay the applicable fees.

What should I do when the work is completed?

Upon completion of the work, request a final inspection from the Building Inspections Office. When the work passes the final inspection, you should request a certificate of occupancy.

The certificate of use and occupancy is an important step in the process as there may be considerations unrelated to the building construction, such as sewer, water and roads, which prevent issuance of a certificate of use and occupancy even though the "building" is complete.

It is illegal to use or occupy any structure without a certificate of use and occupancy.