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.
Code modification applications must be submitted in person at the Arlington County Permit Office. This application and review process is anticipated to move online in a future phase of Permit Arlington.
- You must complete a Code Modification Request Form.
- You must cite the specific standards (including the relevant chapter/section numbers of the Building Code) for which you seek the modification.
- Explain 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”).
- Include 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.
- Include 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.
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.
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.