The Planning and Zoning Office and the Building Inspections Office work hard to make sure our city is safe, smart, and well-built. We are here and happy to help with the first step in all your building projects; no matter how big or small! 

Building Permits

For downloadable building permit PDF forms, see the Forms and Permits page.

For questions about building permits and building regulations, please contact Alan McMahan, Building Official, at or (540) 261-8635.

New buildings and additions to existing buildings require a Zoning Construction Permit before obtaining a Building Permit. Commercial buildings and large developments may require a Site Plan and/or and Erosion and Sediment Control Plan.

Department of Housing and Community Development Division of Building and Fire Regulations

Effective Sept. 4, 2018, Virginia adopted the 2015 I-Codes as referenced in the Virginia Construction Code Part 1 and the 2014 National Electric Code.  

Zoning Questions

All signs, both permanent and temporary, that are visible from the public right-of-way require permits from the Zoning Administrator.

Land use regulations including zoning can be found in the City of Buena Vista Code.

A copy of the zoning map can be found here: Zoning Map

Always confirm with the Department of Planning & Community Development regarding zoning determinations at or (540) 261-8607.

Residential Rental

Residential rental, including apartments and detached houses, is an important part of the City’s housing. In addition to land use regulations that apply to all buildings, the City has established a Rental Inspection Program to ensure minimum health and safety conditions in residential rental units in some parts of the city.

For more information, see the Residential Rental Land Use Regulation Guide and the Rental Inspection Program Guide.

Department Announcements

With summer upon us, Buena Vista’s Building Inspections Office wants you to be aware that the Va. Statewide Building Code requires a building permit for the construction or installation of an above-ground or in-ground swimming pool which has a surface area greater than 150 square feet, has more than 5,000 gallons of water, and is greater than 24” deep.

In other words, you would not have to get building permit for a swimming pool if the pool was less than 150 square feet of surface area, required less than 5,000 gallons of water, and was less than 24” deep.

You can go to: for all applicable code requirements related to the construction of above-ground and in-ground swimming pools. Also, Chapter 42 of the 2015 Virginia Residential Code has the electrical requirements for swimming pools (

Please contact the Buena Vista Building Inspections Office at (540) 261-8635 or with any questions.