Petersburg, VA

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How should property be boarded up?

Each opening is to be secured in the following manner: 

1. Using CD exterior grade plywood 3/8 inch thick cover the opening from inside frame to inside frame.  The plywood covering shall be affixed to the inside frame of the opening,10 inches apart, using #8 or #10 nails of not less than 2 1/2 inches in length.  The plywood shall be secured in such a manner that 250 pound force applied perpendicular to the plane of the opening will not remove the plywood cover from the opening.   


2. In the event that storm windows or other hindrances exist, a perimeter application of 2x4 lumber shall be fixed in place.  The exterior dimensions of the 2x4 lumber framing shall be fixed in place.  The exterior dimensions of the 2x4 lumber framing shall not exceed the exterior dimensions of the opening to be covered.  The 2x4 frame shall be affixed in such a manner that the framing will resist a  250-pound force applied perpendicular to the surface.  A 3/8 inch thick plywood covering of CD exterior grade plywood shall be applied to the framing.  The covering shall not overhang either the exterior dimensions of the opening or the lumber framing.   The plywood covering shall be affixed either to the 2x4 framing or to the inside frame of the opening using screws of not less than 2 1/2 inches in length.   


3. The exterior exposed facing of the plywood and the 2x4 framing shall be painted using a primer and two coats of a black exterior latex paint.

What building code has been adopted by Petersburg?

Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code 2015 Edition (Effective September 4, 2018) adopts the 2015 International Code Council’s volume of codes. 

The Frost Line depth is 18 inches. Wind Speed is 90 mpg (3sec.gust). The City uses a snow load of 20 PSF.

Where can I report overgrown grass/weeds?

Grass and weeds in excess of (12) inches may be in violation of Petersburg City Code 50-63, 98-22 or 98-126. 


If you believe there is a violation of this section, please use this link to report a concern.  Residents can also call the Grass Hotline at 804-324-5748. 

What permit applications are available online?

Permit Applications Below: 


Building Permit Fee Schedule

This information is to be used as a guide. Fees will be tabulated and must be paid when permits are issued.  DO NOT SEND PAYMENT WITH APPLICATIONS.

1 & 2 Family Residential - .63 (5/8) % of estimated cost + $25.00 base fee (this includes garages, gazebos, decks, swimming pools, residential, demolition and all other residential construction) 

Commercial - 1% of estimated cost + $75.00 base fee (this includes hospitals, hotel/motels, radio towers, apartments, commercial demolition and all other commercial construction)

Add 2% State tax to total permit cost

Beginning work without a permit - $50.00 

Re-inspection fee $50.00 (due to negligence on the part of permit holder) This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Scheduled inspection and work not ready for inspection
  • Site secured and inspected
  • Dangerous conditions


Electrical Permit Fee Schedule 

1 & 2 Family Residential - 1% + $25.00 of estimated cost (this includes garages, gazebos, decks, swimming pools, residential, demolition and all other residential construction) 

Commercial - 1% + $75.00 of estimated cost (this includes hospitals, hotel/motels, radio towers, apartments, commercial demolition and all other commercial construction) 

Add 2% State tax to total permit cost

Beginning work without a permit - $50.00 

Re-inspection fee $50.00 (due to negligence on the part of permit holder) This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Scheduled inspection and work not ready for inspection
  • Site secured and inspected
  • Dangerous conditions


Mechanical Permit Fee

Schedule 1 & 2 Family Residential - 1% + $25.00 of estimated cost (this includes garages, gazebos, decks, swimming pools, residential, demolition and all other residential construction)


Commercial - 1% + $75.00 of estimated cost (this includes hospitals, hotel/motels, radio towers, apartments, commercial demolition and all other commercial construction)


Add 2% State tax to total permit cost

Beginning work without a permit - $50.00

Re-inspection fee  $50.00 (due to negligence on the part of permit holder) This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Scheduled inspection and work not ready for inspection
  • Site secured and inspected
  • Dangerous conditions


Plumbing Permit Fee Schedule

1 & 2 Family Residential - 1% + $25.00 of estimated cost (this includes garages, gazebos, decks, swimming pools, residential, demolition and all other residential construction)


Commercial - 1% + $75.00 of estimated cost (this includes hospitals, hotel/motels, radio towers, apartments, commercial demolition and all other commercial construction)


Add 2% State tax to total permit cost

Beginning work without a permit - $50.00

Re-inspection fee $50.00 (due to negligence on the part of permit holder) This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Scheduled inspection and work not ready for inspection
  • Site secured and inspected
  • Dangerous conditions

Online Permits

Is a permit required for Pools, Hot Tubs, and Spas?

The Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (VUSBC) requires a permit for all swimming pools, hot tubs or spas that meet ANY of these condition: 

1.  Greater than 150 square feet (approximately 7’ in diameter). 

2.  With more than 5000 gallons of water. 

3.  Deeper than 24"   

The International Residential Code (IRC) does not distinguish between in-ground or aboveground, indoor or outdoor swimming pools.  The code required spas and hot tubs to conform to the same requirements as swimming pools.  Pools for (fish or flora) landscaping are exempt from this section regardless of the size.


SWIMMING POOL AND BARRIER PERMIT APPLICATION 

What is required of property maintenance?

The exterior of a building shall be maintained in good repair and structurally sound. 

Included, but not limited to: doors, windows, frames, porches, balconies, trim and decks, gutters, downspouts, flaking and peeling paint, structural members, roots, stairway, rails, rotting, and decaying wood.

What is a Site Plan?

A site plan is a drawing that shows an interested party what the development plans are for the land. 

Site plans are required for a property if the following situations apply: 

- New Structure on vacant lot 

- Addition to existing structure 

- Accessory Structure 

How the Review Process Works

After the application and construction documents have been submitted: 

  1. Plan reviewers from all applicable departments will review the submitted plans and documents to evaluate code and ordinance compliance:
    • Building Inspections – reviews application and plans for code compliance.
    • Planning - reviews plot plan for setbacks, easements and zoning compliance
    • Utilities – reviews plot plan and application for water and sewer availability, and encroachments into water and sewer easements
    • Environmental Engineering – reviews plot plan for erosion control, drainage, and Chesapeake Bay Act, as well as setbacks from all easements and environmental features.
    • Fire Marshal - for fire suppression systems/ site plan for fire code compliance.
    • Budget Management – reviews application for proffer payments (when applicable)
    • Health (when applicable) 
  2. If the construction documents are approved, the permit may be issued.
  3. If corrections are required:
    1. By Plan Review - the plans are placed on “hold” and the applicant is notified by telephone or email (based on the alternative selected at the time the application is submitted).
    2. By any of the other departments listed in #1 above - a letter will be mailed once the last department review has been completed.
  4. The applicant can meet with review staff to discuss outstanding issues.
  5. If necessary, the applicant takes the plans back to make the necessary changes.
  6. The applicant submits the corrected construction documents for re-review. Permits will not be issued until construction documents comply with the Codes.

Online Site Plan Form

How should Street Addresses be displayed in Petersburg?

Building and premises are to be identified with numbers visible from the street.  Numbers shall be affixed to the building/premises.  

Numbers shall be at least four inches high and half inch wide; their color shall contrast with the background.  

It shall be unlawful for any person to remove/destroy any such number, except to repair or replace.  Mail boxes do not count as property I.D.

How do I report Trash and Debris?

Lumber, trash, junk, and debris on private property may be a violation of Petersburg City Code 50-62.  

If you believe that there is a violation of this section, you may visit City Code section 50-62 for more information or contact Code Compliance at (804)733-2409.

You can also submit a concern HERE

How do I report an Unsafe Structure?

The City uses the following lines to deem an existing structure unsafe: 

- Determined by the code official to be dangerous to the health, safety and welfare of the occupants of the structure or the public.

- Contains unsafe equipment that is so damaged, decayed, dilapidated, structurally unsafe or such faulty construction of unstable foundation that partial or complete collapse is likely. 

- A vacant existing structure, unsecured or open 

Report an unsafe structure HERE

When is a Building Permit Required?

Within the City of Petersburg, permits are required for all work except ordinary repairs.  

The Building Official’s Office recommends that before any work is started that you review any permit requirements that may apply to the description of work contained in the documents below.

Residential (Single Family, Duplexes and Townhomes)

Requirements for Commercial and Residential Building Permits 

Permit Requirements