CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

NEW BUILDINGS

EXISTING BUILDINGS

FEE SCHEDULE

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GENERAL INFORMATION

 • A Certificate Of Occupancy will be issued upon completion of any new building or structure; and anytime there is a change in use of a building or structure. Such buildings or structures shall not be occupied until the Certificate Of Occupancy has been issued. When in doubt about zoning, engineering or building code allowances and requirements, contact us first. We require 48 hours minimum to process and print CO after zoning, building, engineering and public utility inspections have been completed and approved.
• New streets and surfaces needed for Fire Department access are required to support 85,000 pounds in all weather conditions.
• When CO’s are issued for new buildings, a copy is kept on file in our office. Copy available for owner if requested. No fee.
• We do not issue a CO for additions. Your approved final building inspection receipt is your CO.
• If improvements or changes have been made to city infrastructure, a city engineer needs to inspect during process and at completion.
• Erosion and Sediment 95% completion inspection must be completed prior to issuance of CO for all sites where an E&S plan was required. Please Contact Neighborhood Development Services Erosion and Sediment Control Administrator/Inspector for scheduling. Contractor should coordinate this with any subcontractors.
• Temporary CO: If approval is given, the following fee schedule will apply:

1. Commercial projects: Residential (i.e. R-2 Occupancies) - $50/unit per month; Non-Residential (i.e. B Occupancy) - $1/square foot per month

2. Single Family Residences (i.e. R-5 Occupancy) - $250 per unit.

3. If the TCO is being issued due to unfinished landscape only, a $500/month fee will apply to both Residential and/or Commercial projects.  (back to top) 


NEW BUILDINGS 

• 1 & 2 Family Dwellings: (includes attached townhouses) An As-Built survey is required before the CO is printed. A printed (8 /12” x 11”) or digital copy of the as-built survey is required. A digital survey in PDF and CAD format is to be sent as an attachment to feedbacksurvey@charlottesville.org.
• The Building Inspector will produce the hard copy of the CO after the approval of final inspections and distribute it to zoning/planning and engineering. The Building Inspector also contacts the City Public Works Department to ensure utility requirements are met. Plan properly for these inspections. We prioritize CO requests but three final inspections and signatures are required.
• 1 & 2 Family Dwellings require hard surfaced off street parking and sidewalk along street exposure of lot. (Normally installed along front only except with odd shaped or corner lots)
• Commercial buildings: (anything other than 1 & 2 family dwellings and attached townhouses) An As-Built Plan is required before the CO is printed. A digital survey in PDF and CAD format is to be sent as an attachment to feedbacksurvey@charlottesville.org and the Planner for the project. The Building Inspector will produce the hard copy of the CO after the approval of final inspections and submission of the required As-Built Plan and distribute it to Zoning/Planning and Engineering. The Building Inspector also contacts the City Public Works Department to ensure utility requirements are met. Plan properly for these inspections. We prioritize CO requests but three final inspections and signatures are required. 
• If a site plan was reviewed and approved, a planner needs to inspect at completion to ensure site plan conditions have been met. Prior to requesting this inspection, ensure that you have completed all items on the inspection list obtained at the pre-construction meeting. Construction that does not comply with the approved Site Plan must be documented on the As-Built Plan.  (back to top) 

 EXISTING BUILDINGS

Existing buildings without a change of use: (Example: retail store moves out and new retail store moves in) Do not assume that zoning or building inspection approval was obtained for the current use.
• If a tenant upfit to a commercial building with building permits, your approved final building inspection receipt is your CO. No zoning/planning final inspection required unless there was a site plan submitted. 
• Your approved final building inspection receipt is your CO for an addition to a 1 & 2 Family dwelling. No zoning/planning final req’d.
• If an older building without a CO and where no construction activity is planned, Building Inspections Department will normally have to make an on site inspection. You will have to schedule this inspection with our office. This inspection can be time consuming and complicated if there is fire rated construction and/or a large multi use building. Ladder might have to be provided and holes made in walls/ceilings to ensure fire rating is in place. We could req. a professional engineer to certify that the building components meet minimum standards. Verification and approval of use with Zoning Department is often required before CO is issued.
• When requested by owner, a completed CO is issued and kept on file in our office and made available to owner. See fee schedule.
Existing buildings with a change of use but no footprint change to building: (Example: single family dwelling converted to a restaurant with no additions)
• Zoning approval must be obtained first to ensure that use meets zoning ordinance.
• A building permit with 3 sets of drawings minimum is required for a change of use. Part 1 of the current Va. Uniform Statewide Building Code Section 103.3 has specific building code requirements for a change in occupancy (change of use). See building plan pre-application checklist for commercial buildings for drawing requirements. Clearly describe old use and proposed new use. Some uses require licensed architect or engineer to prepare drawings. There can be no current violations of the VA Maintenance Code or VA Statewide Fire Prevention Code.
• If an older building without a CO and where no construction activity is planned, Building Inspections will have to make an onsite visit and perform a final inspection to complete the building permit process. You will have to schedule this inspection with our office. This inspection can be time consuming and complicated if there is fire rated construction and/or a large multi-use building. A ladder might have to be provided and holes made in walls/ceilings to ensure fire rating is in place. We could req. a professional engineer to certify that the building components meet minimum standards.
• When requested by owner or owner’s agent, a completed CO is issued and kept on file in our office and made available to owner. See fee schedule below (back to top) 

FEE SCHEDULE

Existing buildings without a CO on file:

a. Single Family Dwelling: $60.00

b. All other buildings:      $125.00

New buildings: there is no fee associated with CO's issued for new buildings

 

 

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