FAQs

Comments/Concerns

What do I do If I have a complaint (related to a violation)?
Complete the Violation Complaint Form submit it to the Community Development Department located at Town Hall (17755 Main Street)

 

Inspections

What are the required inspections (relating to building/construction)?
All footings are inspected after excavation and before pouring concrete.
All slabs are inspected prior to pouring concrete with all steel in place.
Concrete walls are inspected prior to pouring concrete with all steel in place.
Backfill / foundation drainage inspection prior to burying habitable basements.
All plumbing & gas piping and electrical conduit or wiring prior to covering ditch.
All gas lines, fuel lines, water & sewer lines must be pressure tested.
Rough-in inspections of plumbing, electrical, HVACs & gas prior to concealment.
Framing inspection of floors, walls and roofs prior to insulating.
Insulation inspection prior to hanging drywall.
Fireplace hearth inspection prior to pouring concrete with all steel in place.
Inspection required on all electrical services prior to connection by Power Company.
Final inspection.
Electrical bonding & steel placement inspection for all pools.
Special inspections as required

Can 3rd party inspectors be used?
The use of third party inspection services is a privilege and not a right and is at the discretion of the Town’s Building Official.


Permits

Building Permits

What building code is used?
The Town of Dumfries, like all jurisdictions in the Commonwealth of Virginia use the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (VUSBC).

Do I need a permit?
See “Building Permit” for activities that require a permit, or call the Community Development Department at 703-221-3400.

What is the penalty for doing work without a permit?
$500 fine

Where do I get a permit?
Applications for permits are available online in the Document Center or they can be picked up from Town Hall located at 17755 Main Street.

How long does the building permit process take?
The length of the review depends on the size and complexity of the project.  Contact the Community Development Dept. at 703-221-3400.

How can I make the building permit process move faster?
There are two primary ways to make the review process move more quickly. First, the Director of Community and Economic Development may identify the project as a “Fast Track/Priority” project.  Second, make sure the application information you submit is complete and has the necessary number of plans required for the review process and is submitted on time.

How long is the building permit valid?
Work authorized by a permit must begin within six months of the date of the permit and be completed within one year of permit issuance. Permits may be extended beyond the deadline at the Building Officials discretion.

What is a “Stop Work” order?
A “Stop Work” order is issued for construction work that is not being completed in accordance with the approved plans or for work that was started without a permit.

What do I do if I want to make changes to my plans during construction?
Prior to making any changes to your approved permit plans, consult with the Building Official.

What do I do with the building permit placard I was given?
The permit placard should be displayed in a window of the business or property so it is clearly visible from the street.

Conditional Use Permits

Do I need a CUP?
For additional information on which uses may require a Conditional Use permit, please consult the Town Code or contact the Town Planner/Zoning Administrator at 703-221-3400.

Who approves a Conditional Use Permit?
The Planning staff makes a recommendation to the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission makes a recommendation to approve, conditionally approve, or deny the permit and the Town Council makes the final determination. All applicants can appeal the Town Council’s decision to the Board of Zoning Appeals.

What is their decision based on?
There are numerous factors that are considered when the Planning Commission makes a recommendation on a Conditional Use Permit request. The proposed use must meet the Zoning and General Plan requirements for the site and the use must be compatible with the existing uses in the area. Other items that may be considered:

Parking
Building size
Building placement
Access to streets and utilities
Hours of Operation
Noise level
Landscaping
Traffic generation

How long does it take?
In most cases, the process takes between 45 to 90 days. You can help expedite the review process by making sure your application is correctly filled out and your proposal is clearly stated or if your project is identified as a priority Economic Development project, determined by the Director of Community and Economic Development and the Town Manager.


Property Maintenance

What is the criteria for House Numbers?
Near building entrance and visible from street
Additional numbers for alley entrances
Color contrasts with background
Arabic numeral size at least THREE (3) inches in height

What is covered under the Property Maintenance Code?
Smoke detectors
Structural soundness and safety
Fixtures and facilities
Cleanliness, safety and sanitation
Rodents and insect infestation
Condition of exterior and interior
Security measures such as locks
Lighting, heating and ventilation
Number of persons living in a house or apartment

What is the height that grass/weeds CANNOT exceed?
Grass/weeds cannot exceed 10 inches

 

Rental Inspection

What is the purpose of the Rental Inspection Program?
To protect the public health, safety and welfare of the occupants of dwelling units inside the designated inspection districts.

What is a Rental Certificate?
A rental certificate is a certificate a rental property receives once it has passed inspection based on the Rental Inspection Program guidelines.

What properties in the Town need to have a Rental Certificate?
Any residential rental property within the Rental Districts needs to be certified.

Do Section 8 homes still have to be certified?
Yes, although Section 8 properties are inspected annually, if your home is located in a rental district, you are NOT exempt and would need to be inspected by the town and issued a rental certificate.

What areas are in the rental district?
Please see Rental District Map

What is the cost of the rental inspection?
$50 for a 12 month certificate. Once you are issued your first 12 month certificate, if at the next inspection there are no violations, you may request a 48 month certificate and pay the $200. If during those 48 months a violation has been found, the code official has the right to revoke the certificate until the violation is fixed.

What happens if an owner DOES NOT comply with the Rental Ordinance?
The owner can be prosecuted in court.

Who has to be present for the inspection?
The property owner or the tenant can be present for the inspection, but either must be over 18 years of age.

What areas are covered under Zoning?Permitted uses of land
Home occupations
Certificates of occupancy
Minimum lot size
Height and location of structures and density
Auto, trailer, and commercial vehicle parking
Obstruction of sidewalks and streets by foliage
Fences
Non-conformity and variances
Signs
Corner vision obstructions