Depending on the type of building project and the method you choose (online or in paper format) to submit your permit application, the County has different plan review requirements and processes.
Online Plan Review
Building and Land Disturbing Activity permits application submitted online through the ePlan Review portal will be reviewed and approved online. These projects include commercial new construction, additions and renovations, residential new construction, additions and renovations, and land disturbance. Learn more about the ePlan Review requirements and plan review process.
Commercial Permit Review
Commercial building permits are reviewed under a commercial express review or a commercial route-through review. Depending on the complexity of the project, commercial express review can be completed the same day. Commercial route-through reviews is for more complex projects and require more time, usually 2-3 weeks.
Commercial Energy Code Plan Review
The Commonwealth of Virginia requires new commercial buildings and additions to comply with minimum energy efficiency standards, known as the Virginia Energy Conservation Code (VECC). As part of the Commercial Energy Code plan review process, the County requires all new commercial plans submitted for permit not only demonstrate compliance with the VECC but also provide a complete Arlington County Energy Cover Sheet.
A review is required for the construction or demolition of a building or structure, installations or alterations involving residential building permit applications for:
- removal or addition of any wall, partition or portion thereof
- any structural component (certain exemptions apply – see below)
- repair or replacement of any required component of a fire- or smoke-rated assembly
- alteration of any required means of egress system
- water supply and distribution system, sanitary drainage system or vent system
- electric wiring
- fire protection system, mechanical systems or fuel supply systems or
- any equipment regulated by the Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC)
Site Plan Review
Site plans are private or public-private development in designated high-density zoning districts, typically near Metro station corridors and main streets. These projects are developed through a site plan process that ensures proper reviews, public processes and compliance with applicable policies and ordinances. Site plan review requires public hearings before the Planning Commission and the County Board.
Learn more about building permits.