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Building Inspections

Effective September 1, 2007, building and zoning permits will not be issued the same day. Applicants should allow two working days for their permit to be processed and approved.   Click here for new building permit procedures.

Building inspections and the issuance of permits for Alleghany County and the Town of Iron Gate is the responsibility of the Alleghany County Building Inspections Department.

Questions regarding building permits, regulations or inspections can be directed to the Building Department at (540) 863-6650, 9212 Winterberry Avenue, Suite A, Covington, VA 24426, or by e-mail at  or .

Permits:  All permits are issued in accordance with the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code. All permits will be checked for compliance with zoning regulations, erosion and sedimentation, and local health department regulations.  A completed application with the appropriate attachments, are to be submitted to the Building Department.  Allow two working days for the application to be reviewed.  Work or construction for which the permit is issued cannot begin until the Building Official has reviewed and approved the permit.

Procedures for Issuance of a Building Permit

Requesting a Building Permit – When a Permit is Required

Permit Exemptions (USBC)

Building and Zoning Permit Application Form


Fees:  Fees for permits are based on the estimated cost of construction or work being performed.  Fees are to be paid at the time the permit application is filed.  Checks should be made payable to Alleghany County Treasurer.

Fee Schedule


Inspections:  Inspections are scheduled Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.   To schedule an inspection contact the Inspection Department at (540) 863-6650. Inspection requests should be made at least 24 hours in advance of date inspection is needed.  Typically, no “same day” inspections will be performed.  After the inspection request is made, it could be at least as two working days before the Building Inspector makes the inspection. Inspections are conducted in accordance with the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code.

Minimum Inspections Required


Current Effective Codes:  The current code in effect in Alleghany County is the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code, Volume I.  Information can be viewed by going to and click “codes”.


Erosion and Sedimentation Control:  The Building Inspections Department and the County Engineer are responsible for the administration of Alleghany County’s Erosion and Sedimentation Control program.  E&S regulations can be found in Chapter 30-Erosion Control of the Code of the County of Alleghany, Virginia.  There are two types of land disturbance permits – (1) a regular “Land Disturbance Permit” may be required for an industrial, commercial, large residential or other large project while (2) an “Agreement in Lieu of an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan for a Single Family Residence in a Subdivision” may be required for a single family dwelling or other small project. Questions regarding erosion control should be directed to the E&S Administrator in the Public Works Department at (540) 863-6650, at 9212 Winterberry Avenue, Suite A, Covington, VA  24426, or email  or .

Agreement in Lieu Of

Land Disturbance Permit



Stormwater Management: 

What is Stormwater Management?

Stormwater Management is the process of controlling the runoff from precipitation (i.e., rain or snow) that primarily flows off of impervious surfaces like parking lots, driveways, sidewalks, and roof tops.  Unchecked stormwater flows from these hard surfaces to streets and gutters, which carry the untreated runoff to nearby receiving waters.

Because stormwater runoff does not go to a treatment plant before discharging into the area’s receiving waters, it transports pollutants that collect on the above-mentioned hard surfaces, like motor oil, litter, trash, debris, and sediment; it also picks up other materials that come from vegetated areas like lawn fertilizers, pesticides, grass clippings, and leaves; all of these items can negatively impact the water quality of the area’s receiving waters, including the Jackson River.

Techniques to manage stormwater runoff include the use of Best Management Practices (BMP’s) that are designed to slow velocity, reduce volume, and limit the rate of runoff in an effort to reduce the quantity and improve the quality of stormwater runoff before it reaches the receiving waters.

Land-disturbing activities that will disturb one acre or more or are part of a larger common plan of development or sale that will disturb one acre or more, must obtain coverage under the General VPDES Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Activities (Construction GP), which authorizes stormwater discharges from large and small construction activities.

Pursuant to Virginia Code §62.1-44.15:27, Chapter 52 – Stormwater Management (see below) is adopted as part of an initiative to integrate Alleghany County’s stormwater management requirements with its erosion and sediment control, flood insurance, and flood plain management requirements into a unified stormwater program.  This unified stormwater program is intended to facilitate the submission and approval of plans, issuance of permits, payment of fees, and coordination of inspection and enforcement activities in a more convenient and efficient manner.

Questions regarding stormwater should be directed to the Stormwater Administrator in the Public Works Department at (540) 863-6650, at 9212 Winterberry Avenue, Suite A, Covington, VA 24426, or by emailing  or .

Ch. 52 – Stormwater Management of the County Code


Local Criteria:  The established local criteria referenced in the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code include the following:

Frost Depth – 18 inches

Wind Speed Design Load – 90 mph

Snow Design Load – 30 pounds psf


Contractor’s License:  Contractors must be licensed by the State of Virginia as either a Class A, B, or C Contractor and have a local business license to be listed as a “contractor” on a permit.  A copy of the contractor’s current state license must be provided to the Building Department.  Homeowners can be listed as their own contractor on a building permit and they do not need to have a contractor’s license.  However, if a property owner has made arrangements with a contractor to perform work, it is strongly suggested that the contractor be the applicant and the party securing the permit.  This will indicate their responsibility for the work.  Section 54.1-1111 of the Code of Virginia prohibits the issuance of a permit unless satisfactory proof is given that the applicant is not subject to licensures.  The applicant securing the permit and signing the application will be the responsible party for compliance with building codes and requesting the necessary inspections.

Questions on obtaining a State Contractor License should be directed to the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulations in Richmond at 1-804-367-8504, 3600 W Broad Street, Richmond, VA  23230-4917 or at  Questions regarding obtaining a local business license can be directed to the Alleghany County Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office at 540-863-6640.


Mechanic’s Lien:  Both the Code of Virginia and the Uniform Statewide Building Code allows for the applicant to designate a mechanics’ lien holder on a permit.  This allows any person entitled to claim a lien to notify the mechanics’ lien agent that they seek payment for labor performed or materials furnished.

Mechanics’ Lien Information


Complaints:  To issue a complaint regarding the condition of a building, a complaint form needs to be filed with the building department.



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