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State & Local Government Updates

 

Updated DEQ Quality Regulations, Handbooks, Manuals, Design Specifications, and Other Materials

  • Updated Stormwater Page: The updated page includes links to MS4, construction, and the new Industrial webpage.
  • Updated Construction Stormwater Page:  The updated page includes an introduction that makes the format more similar to the MS4 webpage. The introduction includes links to Virginia's construction-stormwater laws and regulations. It also includes a link to the most recently passed and signed bill from the 2022 GA session. Finally, it links to the website's Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act and Nutrient Trading webpages, which affect stormwater construction.
  • New Stormwater Handbooks webpage: This is a new webpage that includes downloadable files of combined and individual chapters of the 1992 E&S, 1999 SWM, and 2013 DRAFT SWM handbooks. Notably, it includes the Technical Bulletins for the 1999 SWM, which have not been publicly available for a decade (I think).
  • New Stormwater Manuals webpage: This is a new webpage that provides downloadable files of the Chesapeake Bay Local Assistance Manual and its Information Bulletins. I believe this is the first time that these files have been available electronically. In addition, it links to VDOT's Drainage Manual and BMP Maintenance Manual.
  • New Guidance & VRRM webpage: This is a new webpage that includes links to guidance memoranda and documents issued by DEQ and other agencies that affect construction SW compliance. The DEQ Guidance links to documents on Town Hall. The VRRM accordion box includes the VRRM guidance and both compliance spreadsheets. The VDH guidance links to VDH's rainwater harvesting guidelines.
  • New BMP Design Specifications webpage: This is a new webpage that includes links to all post-development BMP specifications. It also includes the approval letters for proprietary BMPs. It also includes downloadable copies of the Annual Standards & Specifications documents.
  • New Industrial Stormwater webpage: This is a new webpage that consolidates various webpages' industrial permit content. It also includes links to each of the SWPPP requirements.
  • Updated Stormwater - MS4 webpage: The updated webpage includes links to laws and regulations providing DEQ with authority to regulate municipal stormwater.
  • Updated Water Laws & Regulations webpage:  The updated page provides new accordion boxes with links to updated stormwater webpages including a new Stormwater - Industrial permits webpage.

Message from VDOT Regarding Rolltop Curb for Multifamily Units

VDOT is experiencing difficulty with design, construction and maintenance where multi-family units have multiple driveways within 2ft of each other accessing standard CG-6 curb. VDOT is reviewing CG-9D driveway ramps that are two, three, and four times the standard length, combining driveways, without any radii, nor transitions.

VDOT Richmond District is requesting/encouraging the use of rolltop curb for multi-family units. The use of rolltop curb with driveways touching each other won't present any of the issues VDOT is experiencing and hopefully it will present some construction economy to developers.

If developers would be willing to switch their plans from standard CG-6 curb to rolltop curb, at any point of plan review, approved or not, graded or not, VDOT will expedite the review to accept the switch.

Update on new Virginia Building Code

The Virginia Board of Housing and Community Development recently approved the final regulations for the 2018 building code development cycle.

Click here for an overview of the significant changes to the Virginia Construction Code, Virginia Existing Building Code, Virginia Maintenance Code, Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code, Manufactured Housing Safety Regulations, and Virginia Certification Standards.

When do these codes become effective?

The new 2018 codes will go into effect July 1, 2021. However, 13VAC5-63-30 Section 103 of the final regulation states that upon the effective date of the 2018 code (7/1/2021), an applicant for a permit shall have one year to choose whether to comply with the provisions of the 2018 code or the provisions of the 2015 code. In short, the 2018 code does not become mandatory until July 1, 2022.

The effective date and information regarding the recently-completed 2018 code change cycle have now been published in the Virginia Register (click here to view). More information regarding the 2021 code change cycle is forthcoming.

If you have questions about the new building codes, please contact HBAV’s Vice President of Government Affairs at AClark@HBAV.com.  You may also contact the State Building Codes Office at sbco@dhcd.virginia.gov or (804) 371-7150.

 

Chesterfield County

(Last update June 28, 2022)

Building Inspection

Chesterfield County's Building Inspection team developed a document outlining the significant code changes effective July 1.  The 2018 edition of the Virginia Construction Code will apply to all permit applications submitted on or after July 1, 2022. This is a summary of important changes adopted in the 2018 edition of the code. This is not a comprehensive list of every change.  Click here to view the document.

StratIS Program - Demand Indicators Report

Chesterfield County has developed a robust data program title StratIS - Strategic Information Sharing. StratIS leverages cloud-based technology which delivers dynamic tools for trending, predictive analysis and modeling.  The StratIS platform connects directly to the systems of record, ensuring accuracy of reporting. The project has established productive relationships among various departments throughout the county, including Chesterfield County Public Schools, Building Inspection, Planning, and Utilities.  The system provides reporting on housing sales and the housing pipeline. Click here to view the StratIS system.

The Community Development Customer Service Center is open.

Six-foot social distancing will be maintained, and all customers must wear a mask while in the buildings in accordance with state and county requirements. Due to limited availability of masks, they are not able to provide masks so please bring your own.

Permit applications sent via mail or commercial courier will be accepted and processed.

Customer deliveries are being handled using an exterior pickup/drop off cart located in the breezeway directly outside of the Community Development Building (9800 Government Center Parkway). Instructions are provided on the door and/or cart.

The walk-thru permit process is suspended until further notice.

Utilities Customer Service Center is Open
The Chesterfield County Department of Utilities’ first-floor customer service center is open with regular business hours. Learn more about available services and health and safety guidelines.

 

Henrico County

(Last updated on February 10, 2022)

Build Henrico

Henrico County has moved all permitting and inspection processes online to Build Henrico for all permits submitted after August 30, 2021.  Additional information can be found at https://henrico.us/build/help/.

To schedule an inspection, amend or cancel a building permit submitted or issued prior to August 30, 2021 go to Henrico's Legacy Permitting System.

Henrico Floodplain Manual/Design Manual

Henrico's new design manual, floodplain ordinance, and floodplain manual are available online now. You can access the Design Division’s new home page by clicking here.

The design manual can be found on the Roadway and Drainage Design page, and the floodplain ordinance/manual is available on the Floodplain Management > Build Responsibly page.

New Build Henrico Permitting System Now Live

Effective August 30, 2021, all permit applications for the construction, alteration, addition, repair or demolition of single family dwellings shall be submitted using the Build Henrico Permitting Instructions.

To amend or cancel a single family dwelling permit submitted or issued prior to August 30, 2021, see the instructions for Henrico’s former permitting and inspections system, now referred to as the Legacy Permitting System.

To access the Build Henrico Permitting Instructions and Legacy Permitting System go to https://henrico.us/services/building-permit-residential/.

For help using the new system, or to access training videos, go to https://henrico.us/build/help/.

Henrico County: New Public Works Design Manual
Henrico County’s Department of Public Works has issued a new Design Manual, which will be effective on September 1, 2021. The new manual can be accessed on the Design Division’s Manual webpage here: https://henrico.us/works/design/manual/.

New Floodplain Ordinance

On August 10, 2021, the Board of Supervisors adopted a new Floodplain Ordinance. The new ordinance will be effective September 1, 2021 and is located in Chapter 10: Environment of the Henrico County Code (previously in Chapter 24: Zoning). To download the new ordinance go to   https://henrico.us/assets/Approved-Board Paper_Ordinance_08.10.2021.pdf.

Subdivision and Zoning Ordinance Updates

The Henrico Board of Supervisors adopted the new Subdivision and Zoning Ordinances. Both new ordinances will be effective September 1. The new ordinances are available on the Planning Department website:

Building Construction and Inspections

Beginning May 24, 2021 the Department of Building Construction and Inspections office on the 2nd Floor of the County Administration Building at 4301 E. Parham Rd. has re-opened to the public.  All permitting, plan review and inspection services are being delivered daily from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  No appointment is needed to visit the office location.

Please call 804-501-4360 if you have any questions about our services.

 

Hanover County

(Last updated on June 28, 2022)

Community Development Web Portal

Hanover County's Community Development Web Portal provides access to community development services, allowing individuals to search for information and complete many common tasks online. You can use the portal to:

  •  Apply for permits, request inspections, access permit history or pay permit fees.
  • Search for information about active Planning projects. You may also submit applications for Site Plan, Construction Plan, and Subdivision Plat online.
  • Schedule or cancel Building Inspections

Click here to access the portal.

 

Town of Ashland Ordinance Change 

The Town of Ashland has incorporated an ordinance change that requires stormwater management for building permits on new construction that results in increased impervious area. The Town of Ashland requires stormwater fee payments for new construction of Single-family homes (not part of larger subdivision or plan of development with an approved BMP and stormwater management plan) and additions, decks, pools, patios, walkways (excluding ADA ramps) and accessory buildings, etc. of 50 square feet or more of new impervious area. All fees collected by the Town of Ashland will help pay for larger stormwater management projects that will compensate for the new construction plus mitigate older developed areas that were built before stormwater management was a consideration.

To read the new Ordinances in their entirety, check out Water Quality Fee For Small Projects and Water Quality Fee Calculations.

If you have any questions, please call the Town of Ashland Public Works Department at 804-752-6875.

 

City of Richmond 

(Last Updated June 28, 2022)

Permits & Inspections Staff Directory

A P&I staff directory has been added to the City's website provide another level of customer service for the community to utilize. Please use this Directory to easily locate specific staff members associated with your project.  Click here to access the directory.  You can also view the P&I organizational chart by clicking here.

New Early Start Authorization Form

The City has developed an Early Start Authorization Form which will provide customers with the ability to start work prior to a permit being issued.

Conditions of Early Start Authorization

The Contractor listed must agree to the following:

  1. Early start Authorization is for interior work only, unless special consideration is granted by the Commissioner of Buildings.
  2. A Building Permit must be in plan review status at the time of the request for Early Start Authorization.
  3. Work shall not be concealed and must remain open for all necessary inspections. At the time of inspections any work shall be exposed.
  4. The Early Start Authorization does not guarantee that the construction plans will be approved as submitted. All work started with this authorization, prior to the issuance of the required permits, shall be at the applicant’s, property owner’s and contractor’s risk.
  5. Compliance with Asbestos Neshap, DEQ and other regulatory agencies must occur for any demolition work.
  6. The contractor acknowledges that all subcontractors are properly licensed and have current workers compensation coverage.
  7. The contractor acknowledges that City inspections of work for any construction trade will not occur until after the City permit has been issued for the building and all applicable trades.
  8. The contractor agrees to indemnify and hold the City of Richmond or its officers, agents and employees, free and harmless from any and all claims, causes of action, damages, losses, penalties or costs, including, but limited to, all attorney fees (whether from litigation or administration proceedings, including cost and fees on appeal), with respect to any person or government authority arising out of, either directly or indirectly, the construction or operation at the premises covered by this Early Start Authorization, whether the liability, loss or damage is caused by, or arises out of, the negligence of the City of Richmond or its officers, agents, employees, or otherwise.
  9. If the City of Richmond or its officers, agents, and employees, shall be subject to any claim, demand or penalty or become a party to any suit or other judicial or administrative proceeding by reason of any claimed act or omission by any party, or by reason of any act occurring on the subject premises, or by reason of any omission with respect to the construction or operation on the subject premises, the contractor shall indemnify and hold the City of Richmond or its officers, agents and employees, harmless against all judgements  settlements, penalties, and expenses, including attorney fees, court cost and other expenses of litigation or an administrative proceeding, incurred by or imposed on the City of Richmond or its officers, agents and employees, in connection with the investigation of defense relating to such claim or litigation or administrative proceeding, and at the election of the City of Richmond or its officers, agents and employees, the contractor shall also defend the City of Richmond.
  10. It is understood and hereby acknowledged between the parties hereto that the City of Richmond or its officers, agents and employees, shall not be liable for any act or other obligation to the contractor.
  11. The approved Early Start Authorization Form must be posted on site for review.  Contact the Commissioner of Buildings at david.alley@rva.gov for more information, procedures and the official form.

 

Powhatan County

(Last Updated February 10, 2022)

Third Party Plan Review Options

Powhatan is currently experiencing lengthy review times and does not have a plan reviewer as of right now.  The County has approved three agencies for third party plan review.  To have your permit expedited please visit the County office and obtain the forms and list of approved agencies.  There will be a credit towards the application fee on new single family dwelling when this option is utilized.  For more information contact 804-598-5622.