Commercial Construction Preparation
View commercial construction permit requirements, learn more about commercial inspections and certificates of occupancy, and review how to submit commercial amendments and revisions. Download and print forms and applications.
For commercial projects, property owners, licensed contractors, the tenant of a building or a unit, and the owner’s agent (with written permission from the owner) may apply for permits.
Chesterfield County is required to enforce the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC) and the Statewide Fire Prevention Code (SFPC). Both codes are administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and reference the 2018 International Codes as published by the International Code Council.
Chesterfield County is currently enforcing the 2018 code edition of the Virginia Library of Building Codes.
Local Design Load Criteria
- Ground Snow Load: 20 psf (0.94 KN/m2)
- Frost Depth: 18 in. (45.7 cm.)
Ultimate Wind Speed (Vult)
- Risk Category I: 105 MPH (47 m/s)
- Risk Category II and Residential: 115 MPH (51 m/s)
- Risk Category III: 120 MPH (54 m/s)
Registered Design Professional (RDP) Requirements
When a permit is necessary, building plans may be required to be submitted in accordance with the applicable project checklist. The drawings must be prepared by a Commonwealth of Virginia licensed design professional, also known as Registered Design Professional (RDP), if required by the Chesterfield County policy. In addition, the project must comply with the current building code and the local design criteria. The site plan approval process may be required based on the land disturbance activity.
Please refer to the architect or engineer sealed drawings requirement (PDF) for a quick reference to the Code of Virginia to determine if an A/E or RDP seal on drawings is required for the proposed construction.
Construction documents for mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems that are not required to be prepared by a registered design professional must be prepared by a licensed master electrician, plumber or mechanical worker, or a licensed Class A contractor with an associated electrical, plumbing or mechanical specialty designation.
Commercial Project Checklists
The pre-submission checklists below will be used to evaluate your construction documents prior to us accepting a permit application and plans for permit review. The building permit and/or trade permit may not be accepted for review if applicable items on these checklists are not included in your construction documents.
- 2018 Alterations and Renovations Checklist (PDF)
- 2018 Changing House to Business Checklist (PDF)
- 2018 Electrical Checklist (PDF)
- 2018 Footing and Foundation Checklist (PDF)
- 2018 Mechanical Checklist (PDF)
- 2018 New Construction Checklist (PDF)
- 2018 Plumbing and Gas Checklist (PDF)
- 2018 Structural Checklist (PDF)
- 2018 Tent Checklist (PDF)
- 2018 Wind Turbine Checklist (PDF)
- Passenger Elevator Checklist (PDF)
- Utilities Checklist (PDF)
Ways to Submit a Commercial Permit Application
Commercial permit applications can be submitted:
- Online: Chesterfield Community Development ELM Portal
- Deliver to our Office: Commercial permit applications, plans and associated forms are accepted from 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. at the offices of the Chesterfield County Department of Building Inspection, 9800 Government Center Parkway), Chesterfield, Virginia, except on scheduled holidays
- Mail residential and commercial permit applications, plans and associated forms, with a check, to Chesterfield County Department of Building Inspection, P.O. Box 40, Chesterfield, Virginia 23832-0040.
Commercial Permit Application Package
Commercial permit application package should include:
- Application - A customer-service representative reviews the permit application, processes the permit data, calculates and collects permit fees, and provides the applicant with a receipt.
- Plans - Five sets of construction plans, unless otherwise noted.
- Plot Plans - Plot plans must contain: Entire property, showing all property line dimensions, existing dwelling, any other existing structures and location of proposed structure. Clearly indicate all dimensions of proposed structure. Setbacks from the closest point of the proposed structure to property lines in each direction. Label the measurements from each property line to the closest point on the structure as exactly as possible. Clearly label the name of the road. All buffers, easements or floodplains located on the property (no structure may be located in these areas).
- Permit Fees - All fees are paid in Building Inspection and are payable at the time of application. Checks, cash, American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa are accepted. Checks are payable to “Treasurer, Chesterfield County.” Fees are subject to change. Please consult the commercial fee schedule (PDF) for the most current information.
Commercial Plan Review
Plan reviewers from all applicable departments review the submitted plans and documents for code and ordinance compliance.
- Building Inspection – Reviews the plans for building code compliance (804-748-1057)
- Environmental Engineering – Reviews the plot plan for setbacks from all easements and environmental features (804-748-1035)
- Planning – Reviews the plot plan for setbacks, easements and zoning compliance (804-748-1050)
- Utilities – Reviews the plot plan and permit application to verify there are no encroachments into water and sewer easement (804-748-1271)
Commercial Permit Issuance
Upon approval of all reviews, the Building Inspection Department issues the permit to the applicant, along with the plans. The approved building permit must be visible on the job site and construction plans must be available to the county inspectors on the job site. Any change from the plan or to the permit requires an amendment or revision.