Building Permit and Zoning Permit application forms are now online! Visit the portal below to apply.
The City of Buena Vista, along with all other localities in the State of Virginia, utilizes the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC). This is a document produced by the Virginia Board of Housing and Community Development. It is based upon the model codes published by The International Code Council (ICC) and the National Fire Prevention Association. It is updated on a three-year cycle along with each of the model codes. The current edition of the USBC is 2018, with an effective date of July 1, 2022. The referenced model codes are as follows:
Building Inspections Office Hours: Monday - Thursday 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Office Phone Number: (540) 261-8635
* Office Staff is available only by phone or text on Fridays by phone or text at (540) 784-8878, or by email*
Click here for Building Permit Exemptions (Sect. 108.2)
Helpful Links and Resources
When is a Building Permit Required?
Application for a permit shall be made to the building official and a permit shall be obtained prior to the commencement of any of the following activities, except that applications for emergency construction, alterations or equipment replacement shall be submitted by the end of the first working day that follows the day such work commences. In addition, the building official may authorize work to commence pending the receipt of an application or the issuance of a permit.
1. Construction or demolition of a building or structure. Installations or alterations involving (i) the removal or addition of any wall, partition or portion thereof, (ii) any structural component, (iii) the repair or replacement of any required component of a fire or smoke rated assembly, (iv) the alteration of any required means of egress system, including the addition of emergency supplemental hardware, (v) water supply and distribution system, sanitary drainage system or vent system, (vi) electric wiring, (vii) fire protection system, mechanical systems, or fuel supply systems, or (viii) any equipment regulated by the USBC.
2. For change of occupancy, application for a permit shall be made when a new certificate of occupancy is required by the VEBC.
3. Movement of a lot line that increases the hazard to or decreases the level of safety of an existing building or structure in comparison to the building code under which such building or structure was constructed.
4. Removal or disturbing of any asbestos containing materials during the construction or demolition of a building or structure, including additions.
* See VUSBC Section 108.2 for a list of exemptions (i.e. construction activities) that do not require a building permit.
Residential Rental Inspection Program
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.