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Tent Checklist
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Building Inspection Director
Richard C. Witt

(804) 748-1057
(804) 751-4713 Fax

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Email us with questions about
Permits and Fees 

Residential code requirements 

Commercial code requirements 

Residential inspection requirements 

Commercial inspection requirements 

Office - M-F, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Inspectors M-F, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Mailing Address
Chesterfield County Department of Building Inspection
P.O. Box 40
Chesterfield, VA 23832-0040

Street Address
9800 Government Center Parkway
Chesterfield, VA 23832
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Obtaining a Permit - Commercial
Tent Checklist

A building permit is required to install a tent if the tent area exceeds 900 square feet in area or the tent will accommodate more than 50 people.

We recommend that you check with the Planning Department at (804) 748-1050 prior to application for the tent permit to discuss any zoning issues that may prevent installation of the tent.

If a permit is required, please provide 5 sets of plans that include:

  • Site layout Plan that shows the proposed tent location on the property, with distances to property lines and other buildings noted
  • Seating Chart /Layout that shows tables, chairs, aisles and features that will be arranged within the tent and the estimated maximum number of occupants that may be within the tent at one time
  • Copy of the Flame Spread Certificate from the tent manufacturer

Note on the Plans:  

  • What the tent will be used for
  • Length of time that the tent will be set up
  • Names, occupation, address and phone number of the person that prepared the plans
  • If any cooking will take place within the tent - complete description of the cooking operation and appliances proposed for use
  • Whether the tent is open-sided or closed-sided and the locations of exits from the tent if closed-sided
  • If the tent is closed-sided and the occupant load exceeds 50, exit signs and egress lights are required. If the tent is open-sided and will be used after dark egress lights are required
  • Whether any electrical service that will be provided to the tent, and if so, what type (extension cord from a building, generator, etc.)
    • An extension cord from a building or a direct plug-in connection from a generator to the appliance does not require an electrical permit.
    • A panel board and distribution system installed between the power source and the tent does require a separate electrical permit.
    • Generators must be located at least 20 feet away from tent.
  • Provide fire extinguishers dispersed such that all areas within the tent are within 75 feet of a fire extinguisher. Fire extinguishers must be clearly visible or their locations identified with clearly visible signs.
  • OSHA requires tent stakes to be safety capped to prevent impalement or other injuries.

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