You may formally request a code modification if any of the following criteria apply:
- Your building design plan has been denied by a plan reviewer.
- Your building construction plan has been denied by an inspector.
- A construction code violation has been identified by the County.
- You’d like to request alternative methods and materials that would provide an equivalent level of safety and protection prior to submitting a permit application.
The code modification process should be your last resort. You should always attempt to work with the code official and other professional consultants in order to find code-conforming alternatives.
Note: In-person applications are currently suspended due to the COVID-19 health crisis and Permit Office closure.
- You must complete a Code Modification Request Form.
- Include with your application:
- The specific standards (including the relevant chapter/section numbers of the Building Code) for which you seek the modification.
- The nature of the code violation, the difficulty in complying with the requirements and the modification requested. If providing additional documentation, include a brief synopsis (do not state “see attached”).
- The proposed alternative methods and materials that would provide an equivalent level of safety and protection and/or what compensatory protection or equivalent safety you would provide to offset deficiencies. If providing additional documentation, include a brief synopsis (do not state “see attached”). A self-imposed hardship or financial limitation will generally not be accepted as a basis for a modification.
- Any details, photographs, diagrams, plans, technical data, etc. to illustrate the nature and extent of the code deficiency. At least one supporting documentation item must be provided along with the application.
- To apply online:
- Submit the application via email: ISDTradePermits@arlingtonva.us
- Include one permit application per email.
- If applicable, include plans and supporting documents for each application. The maximum attachment(s) size is 25MB.
- If multiple emails are required due to file size limitations, please use the same Subject line and indicate there are multiple emails (i.e., 1 of 3)
- To apply on paper:
- Submit the application in person at the Arlington County Permit Office.
Upon receiving the code modification request form and payment, staff will begin their review. A member of the Inspection Services Division (ISD) will contact the applicant within two (2) weeks of receiving the application. Additional documentation or an inspection may be requested before making a decision. Once a decision is made, a written copy of the decision will be provided within five (5) business days of the decision (depending on caseloads and request completion). If your request is denied, you may submit a separate Building Code Appeal.
- View Fee Schedules and Payment Methods
- This permit can be paid for online. Access the online payment portal.
Fee Schedules provide the range of fees charged for each type of application or activity related to land development in Arlington. Fees cover permitting, plan review, enforcement, inspection, service delivery, performance agreements and conditions. There are separate fee schedules for Inspection Services Division (ISD), Zoning and the Department of Environmental Services (DES). Some permits involve fees from more than one schedule.