Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Commonly Asked Questions
  2. Private Solar for Residential and Business
  3. Large Scale Utility Solar/Solar Farms

1) Is a building permit needed for a storage shed or carport?

A:  If the Shed is less than 256 square feet and is used for housing a lawn mower, yard tools, etc. then a permit is NOT needed. All zoning setbacks must be met for all sheds and carports.

2) Can a bedroom be added in a basement? 

A: This answer is determined by a number of factors. One of the most important factors is if the current septic system for the house in question can handle the number of bedrooms after the addition is finished. Each septic system is designed for a certain number of bedrooms. If the number of bedrooms exceed the system specifications, then it will increase the possibility of it malfunctioning. Another factor is If a bedroom is added in the basement while turning an existing upstairs bedroom into a craft room, office, etc. then then number of bedrooms have not changed. All bedrooms in the house must have an emergency egress opening. This can be a door or window that directly leads outside.  For more information, please call the Building Department.  

3) Is a permit needed for a swimming pool?

A: The Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code requires a permit for any pool that is larger than 150 square feet in surface area, holds over 5,00 gallons of water, or is 24 inches or more in depth. The code makes no distinction between in-ground, above- ground, or inflatable pools, hot tubes, or spas.

4) Is a permit needed to add a deck to a pool?

A: Generally, the answer is yes. Please call for more information

5) What is needed to obtain a building permit for a new Dwelling?

A:  The following applies for a new dwelling permit. There are other factors that need to be considered prior to a final.

  1. 911 Address obtained from zoning. Located within the Administrator's Office.

  2. Two sets of plans must be submitted. We do not require them to be drawn by an architect.

  3. All contractors must be licensed with the State.

  4. Must obtain A septic tank approval from the Health Department.

 6) What are the footing requirements in Amelia County?

A: Footing Depth is 18" minimum to good soil. Call or email Building Dept. for information regarding your project.

7) Can I perform my own work?

A:  Yes, if you are the property owner, lessee, or a contractor. There may be paperwork you will have to fill out to move forward.


8) When does a permit expire?

A: Permits are required to have some level of activity within 6 months of issuance or from the date of the last inspection. We understand that situation occur that could prevent completion of a project. If you received a letter or a phone call from us that states your 6month window has expired, please contact us so we can assist you.

9) What is the preferred method of contact?

A: Phone: 804-561-3039, or Email:

10) What methods can application and applicable documents be submitted? 

A: Email: or by mail: P.O. Box A ( if by Fedex or UPS use "Suite 101" instead of P.O. Box A), 16360 Dunn St, Amelia Court House, VA 23002


11) What is the process and typical timeline from start to finish to acquire a permit?

A: A few factors can influence this timeline.  Overall, the typical timeline is 7 working days. Once all items have been submitted, it will be reviewed by the Planning/Zoning, Environmental, and then the Inspector. We try to have a permit completely approved in a timely manner. However, should issues arise, it will be dependent upon swift response of the applicant to address any concerns.

12) When are permit fees due?

A: Fees are due at time of submission.

13) What method of payment is accepted?

A: Cash, Check, Credit card. (All credit cards are charged a convenience fee). Payments can be made online, but prior to making a payment please call for an accurate total.


14) Are refunds offered on cancellations? If so, what is the process to request a refund? Is the refund amount a full refund? After refund is sent, how long until it is approved, and money is refunded? 

  • Yes. Within six (6) Months of the application date or within twelve (12) months of the permit issue date. 

  • Written request is required through printed, handwritten, or emailed. 

  • Refund is calculated: subtotal minus 2% State Levy, minus 5% (or $50 minimum), admin fee= adjusted permit cost. Refund is then adjusted farther if any inspections have been performed already.

  • Refund approval timeline is approximately 7 business days for each part of process. (1. Written noticed received, 2) refund approved, 3) refund calculated, 4) Approval submitted to treasurer, 5) Treasurer will issue a refund)  

15) What method of payment is used to issue the refund?

Treasurer will issue a check for pick up or to be mailed.