Arlington County Building Permit Issues

Arlington County Building Permit Issues


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Arlington County allows residents to submit land disturbance and building permits through the ePlan review portal. The applications cover a wide variety of projects, including renovations, demolition, new construction and additions to both residential and commercial properties.

Applicants are expected to follow specific submission requirements applicable to the ePlan review portal. Any alterations or construction involving certain structures requires a Building Permit – Arlington. These include

– Any alteration to an egress system
– Repairs or replacement of a fire- or smoke-rated assembly
– Work carried out on equipment regulated by the Uniform – Statewide Building Code (USBC)
– Sanitary drainage system or vent system, water supply and distribution system,
– The addition or removal of any wall or partition

Depending on the nature of the project, applicants may be required to lodge additional permits. Some of the examples of construction activities that require additional permits include disturbing or removal of asbestos-containing materials.

The same applies to movement of a lot line that either compromises the level of safety of an existing building or structure or elevates the level of hazard. The impact of the change is compared to the building code that the structure was constructed. These conditions are stipulated in various parts of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code.

Permit exemptions

In some cases, residents are not required to apply for a building permit — Arlington. However, the exemption may require the approval of Zoning Administration and Department of Environmental Services (DES).

According the Virginia Residential Code, permit exemptions may apply to the following activities or structures (list not exhaustive)

– Swimming pools with a surface area of less than 150 square feet (13.95 square meters),
– Detached prefabricated buildings used to store equipment of a publicly regulated utility service (floor limitations apply)
– Installation of equipment and wiring operating at below 50 volts (additional conditions apply)
– One story detached structures used for various purposes, including as playhouses, tool and storage sheds or similar uses. – The structures cannot exceed 256 square feet or 23.78 square meters and must not fall under Group F-1 or H occupancy.
– Air-supported structures and tents covering an 900 square feet (84 square meters) or less
– Retaining walls supporting not more than 3 feet (914 millimeters) of unbalanced fill

Department of Environmental Services (DES) permits

In accordance with chapter 48 61, section 57-4 of the Arlington County Code, the DES requires property owners or contractor to confirm that their construction projects will not take place within or too close to protected areas. These include a County required Flood Buffer Zone, a Resource Protection Area (RPA) or flood plain

On the other hand, levels of land disturbance must comply with limits demonstrated on a certified plat, to scale. The limits are set at less than 2,500 square feet. As such, the Department of Environmental Services (DES) may require additional permits.

Application submission requirements for building permits – Arlington, VA

Applicants for all land disturbance and building permits are required to submit applications in paper or electronically via the ePlan review portal. Property owners and contractor can request assistance from the Permits help desk.

If you are in a difficult building permit situation, give us a call. We may be able to help. One Legacy prides itself in finding the best solution for your situation. We would be glad to discuss options with you. You may even end up with cash. No obligation. Please give us a call/text at 202-556-4128.

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