What do I need to do before applying for a permit?

Covenants and Deed Restrictions are regulations set forth by many Homeowner and Civic Associations. These regulations are private contracts between the homeowner and the Association. Some of these regulations may restrict certain aspects of construction and are not enforced by the City of Chesapeake. Please check with your Association before applying for a permit.

Process Overview

All additions and most alterations to residential structures require a building permit. The building inspector will normally review the plans and issue the permit at the time of submission. The following steps are required for residential additions and alterations:

Step One: Zoning Review

Zoning Review is required for residential room additions, decks, porches, attached garages, detached garages, swimming pools, sheds, second-story additions and in-law suites. Provided the use of the principal structure does not change, the following alterations do not require zoning review: remodeling rooms, converting a carport to a garage or habitable space (same size and same location).

Applicant must submit a Survey Site Plan (PDF) of the property. The site plan will show existing structures, property lines, and proposed additions.

Building Permit Application (PDF)

Upon zoning approval from the Code Compliance Inspector, an application will be generated.

Step Two: Building Plan Review

Submit two complete sets of construction plans for review along with two copies of your latest site or plot plan. The site plans must indicate grading, elevations and drainage requirements. Each set of drawings needs to show enough detail to describe the project and to indicate the proposed work is in compliance with building codes. Click here for Residential Plan Requirements. If you are in a flood zone, provide a copy of your latest FEMA flood elevation certificate. The Building Inspector will review the application and construction plans. Projects that involve new floor area, alter existing walls, doors, or windows, or change the configuration of a structure will require detailed drawings describing the proposed work.

Note: Plan reviews under 500 square feet are typically considered walk-through plan reviews and permit processes. However, projects over 500 square feet must be dropped off at the front counter accompanied by the required plan review fee. Your plans will be reviewed within five business days. A Permit Technician will notify you once the plan review has been completed.

Step Three: Permit Issuance

Upon approval of the plan review, the inspector will issue a building permit. Permit fees are based on the scope of work. If you would like to apply for electrical, mechanical, gas or plumbing permits, you may do so by signing in at the Express Permit workstation at the front counter. You may also go to eBUILD to apply and pay for permits online from the convenience of your home or office. The building permit will be issued when all the required approvals have been obtained and the fees have been paid. You will receive a red permit card that must be posted on the job site until the project has received final approval. A copy of the approved plans, engineered plans, and site plan (as applicable) must be provided on-site (Min 18x24 size for additions and 8.5X11 for all other projects as long as they are sufficiently legible).

Step Four: Inspections

It is the responsibility of the permit holder to schedule an inspection when the stages of construction are reached that require an inspection, usually before concealment. Ladders, scaffolds and testing equipment required to complete an inspection must be provided.

You may call the City Call Center at 757-382-2489 to request an inspection or request an Inspection Online. Your request must be received before 11:59 p.m. the business day before the inspection is needed. Inspections scheduled on a holiday or Saturday and Sunday will be scheduled for the next business day.

An approved copy of the building plans, specifications and site or plot plan must be available at the job site during inspection for the inspector to review the proposed construction. The permit will expire unless you obtain at least one approved inspection every six months on at least one of the project's permits. Requests for permit extensions from the building official must be made in writing before the permit expires.

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1. Where do I submit residential alterations plans and obtain permits?
2. Who can apply for a permit?
3. What do I need to do before applying for a permit?