Last Updated: 2017-07-31

Richmond VA > Planning and Development Review > Planning and Preservation Division

Last Updated: 2020-05-15

City Of Richmond
COVID-19 UPDATE - May 15, 2020

Update Regarding Permitting and Inspection Services

Permits and Inspections (P&I)
We have established common sense precautions based on CDC and VDH guidelines while delivering permitting and inspection services. This will include refusal to inspect buildings occupied by individuals that have either tested positive, been exposed to, or are symptomatic of the COVID-19 virus.

City Hall Room 108/Lobby:
The Permits and Inspections lobby will remain closed to the public until further notice. Customer service inquiries may be directed to pdrpermitsandinspections@richmondgov.com. We encourage all customers to continue applying for services and making payments electronically through the Online Permitting Portal (OPP) and Microsoft OneDrive. Applications and payments received by mail are still being accepted and processed, however, we will be phasing in a fully electronic application and payment process in the near future. When fully implemented this process will no longer utilize paper applications, faxed-in applications or walk-in/drop-off submissions. Meetings with staff regarding development, plan review or for other reasons will be conducted virtually or by appointment.


Permitting and Plan Review:
Plans are being reviewed in the order in which they are received. Plan review services are continuing at remote telework locations. Communications with customers are being handled via e-mail and telephone.

Mail and Fax Services:

Mail-in services are available, however, we are not currently conducting business by fax.

Residential Trade Applications:

The On-Line Permit Portal (OPP) should be used for Residential Trade Permits (Electrical, Gas Piping, Mechanical, Plumbing), Certificates of Zoning Compliance (CZC’s) and Plan of Developments (POD’s), click here.

Permits Requiring Plan Review:

Microsoft OneDrive should be used to submit commercial applications and plans electronically. Other services accepted through OneDrive are permit extensions, cancellations, modifications, contractor changes, amendments to the scope of work, responses to plan review comments and post permit revisions. For information on how to register and use Microsoft OneDrive, click here.

Inspections:
Field inspections are continuing for all project types. Inspections within occupied buildings are being conducted virtually or by a third party inspector per our 48-hour third party inspection policy. Please limit the number of contractors or site representatives meeting an inspector on a jobsite to only one. Please remember to practice safe social distancing and to wear personal protective equipment when meeting an inspector.

Virtual Inspections:

We are putting a greater emphasis on virtual inspections across all disciplines. Use this service option to complete an inspection remotely with a City inspector using Facetime or Microsoft Teams. For more information, click here.

Third Party Inspections:

Limited: Customers may use our limited 48-hour third party inspection policy for individual inspections when the building official is unable to perform a scheduled inspection within two working days of a request or an agreed upon date or if authorized for other circumstances in the building official’s written policy. Third party inspections shall be requested, and the inspection reports submitted, in accordance with the City’s official policy. For more information contact david.alley@richmondgov.com and/or visit: thirdpartyinspections@richmondgov.com

Full: Customers may use our third party program in part or in full to obtain third party inspection and plan review services. Please click here for more information.

Property Maintenance/Code Enforcement (PMCE):
The Property Maintenance lobby will remain closed to the public until further notice, however, services are ongoing. Citizens may continue to report code enforcement issues within their community by using RVA311 or calling the main number at (804) 646-6398. If a physical meeting is needed, it will be scheduled through an appointment and appropriate “social distancing” measures will be followed.

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We will continue to monitor and respond to the ongoing status of the COVID-19 outbreak. Customers are asked to please follow the guidelines and precautions recommended by the CDC as outlined in this link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html


The City of Richmond Online Permit Portal (OPP)

  • Customers can register, apply for plans, and search permits using the Online Permit Portal link.
     
  • More information on registering and utilizing the Online Portal can be found on the OPP web page.


The Planning and Preservation Division (P & P) is responsible for a multitude of long range planning initiatives, including developing and updating the city-wide Master Plan and the Downtown Plan. Our staff also leads all city-initiated rezoning studies.

Master Plans

P & P staff develops specific long-range plans for consideration by the City Planning Commission and adoption by City Council. This includes updating and amending the Richmond's Master Plan, the Downtown Plan, Environmental Plan and various neighborhood plans and studies.

Rezoning Studies

P & P staff conducts fieldwork and studies existing land uses for compatibility with the underlying zoning and master plan vision for specific neighborhoods. These studies can result in a city-initiated rezoning of the area, which includes community input and public meetings. Currently, the staff is working on the Church Hill Area rezoning and the Manchester rezoning.

Plan Implementation / Ongoing Studies

P & P staff engages in long range planning studies and projects to support implementation of the city's Master Plans and other community priorities. These studies can pertain to a variety of civic concerns, such as parking requirements, street trees, and environmental issues.

Historic Preservation

P & P staff is responsible for enforcing the Old and Historic District Ordinance and provides support to the Commission of Architectural Review. Our staff also reviews projects associated with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

Urban Design Committee

The Urban Design Committee (UDC) reviews work taking place on public property or within the public right-of-way. The UDC meets once a month to consider these applications.

Public Art Commission

The Public Art Commission (PAC) considers proposals for art installations on public property. The PAC meets bi-monthly and administers the Percent-for-Art program.

Census and Demographic Data

P & P staff collects, analyzes and disseminates U.S. Census data about the city of Richmond to the general public and other city agencies.

Environmental Permit Review

Staff coordinates and reviews all applications to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality within the city of Richmond.

Environmental Impact Reports

P & P staff coordinates and reviews all applications to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality within the city, that involve air pollution, water pollution and solid waste discharge permits to ensure compliance with local ordinances. Where applicable, staff may coordinate the citizen review process.

Contact Information:

Planning and Preservation
  - Planning and
    Development Review
City of Richmond
900 E. Broad St., Room 510
Richmond, VA
23219 USA
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Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Phone: (804)  646-6335
Fax: (804)  646-5789

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If you have any questions, please call the City's Customer Care Center at 3-1-1 or (804) 646-7000

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