Items That Do Not Require A Permit

Permit Requirement Exceptions

Note: Properties located in the Historical Overlay District will require approval from the Architectural Review Board (ARB) prior to approval of any building and/or zoning permit requiring exterior modifications.

The following items do not require a building permit: 

  • Installation of wiring and equipment that operates at less than 50 volts, is for network powered broadband communications systems or a publicly traded utility, except when any such installations are located in a plenum, penetrate fire rated or smoke protected construction, or are a component of any of the following:
    • Fire alarm system
    • Fire detection system
    • Fire suppression system
    • Smoke control system
    • Fire protection supervisory system
    • Elevator fire safety control system
    • Access or egress control system or delayed egress locking or latching system
    • Fire damper
    • Door control system
  • Detached pre-fabricated buildings housing the equipment of a publicly regulated utility service, provided the floor area does not exceed 150 square feet.
  • Concrete or masonry walls, provided such walls do not exceed 6 feet in height above the finished grade. Ornamental column caps shall not be considered to contribute to the height of the wall and shall be permitted to extend above the 6 feet height measurement.
  • Retaining walls supporting less than three feet of unbalanced fill. This exemption shall not apply to any wall impounding hazardous liquids (Class I, II or III-A) or supporting a surcharge other than ordinary unbalanced fill.
  • Replacement of above-ground existing LP-gas containers of the same capacity in the same location and associated regulators when installed by the serving gas supplier.
  • Flagpoles 30 feet or less in height.
  • Temporary ramps serving dwelling units in Group R-3 and R-5 occupancies where the height of the entrance served by the ramp is no more than 30 inches above grade.
  • Construction work deemed by the building official to be minor an ordinary and which does not adversely affect public health or general safety.
  • Crypts, mausoleums and columbaria structures not exceeding 1,500 square feet in area if the building or structure is not for occupancy and used solely for the interment of human or animal remains and is not subject to special inspections.
  • Ordinary repairs that include the following:
    • Replacement of windows and doors with windows and doors of similar operation and opening dimensions that do not require changes to the existing framed opening and that are not required to be fire rated in Group R-2 where serving a single dwelling unit and in Groups R-3, R-4 and R-5.
    • Replacement of plumbing fixtures and well pumps in all groups without alteration of the water supply and distribution systems, sanitary drainage systems or vent systems.
    • Replacement of general use snap switches, dimmer and control switches, 125 volt-15 or 20 ampere receptacles, luminaries (lighting fixtures) and ceiling (paddle) fans in Group R-2 where serving a single dwelling unit and in Groups R-3, R-4 and R-5.
    • Replacement of mechanical appliances provided such equipment is not fueled by gas or oil in Group R-2 where serving a single family dwelling and in Groups R-3, R-4 and R-5.
    • Replacement of an unlimited amount of roof covering or siding in Groups R-3, R-4 or R-5 provided the building or structure is not in an area where the design (3-second gust) wind speed is greater than 100 miles per hour (160 km/hr) and replacement of 100 square feet (9.29 m2) or less of roof covering in all groups and all wind zones.
    • Replacement of 100 square feet (9.29 m2) or less of roof decking in Groups R-3, R-4 or R-5 unless the decking to be replaced was required at the time or original construction to be fire retardant- treated or protected in some other way to form a fire-rated wall termination.
    • Installation or replacement of floor finishes in all occupancies.
    • Replacement of Class C interior wall or ceiling finishes installed in Groups A, E and I and replacement of all classes of interior wall or ceiling finishes in other groups.
    • Installation of replacement cabinetry or trim.
    • Application of paint or wallpaper.
    • Other repair work deemed by the building official to be minor and ordinary which does not adversely affect public health or general safety.
Exception: Application for a permit may be required by the building official for the installation of replacement siding, roofing and windows in buildings within a historic district designated by a locality pursuant to Section 15.2-2306 of the Code of Virginia.