Bedford County Department of Planning, Zoning
The Bedford County Office of Planning & Zoning is the point of contact for the Bedford County Planning Commission and the Bedford County Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA). Plans for all subdivision developments and the requests for any division of property which encompasses a tract or parcel of land 5 Acres in size or less, are required to be submitted to this office for review and ultimate approval by the planning commission. These plans are reviewed for their adherence to or non-compliance with our existing subdivision regulations. The Director, in consultations with project developers, seeks to promote compliance with those existing regulations and design standards while encouraging the preservation of natural resources and cultural landscapes important to area residents and maintaining an overall vision for intelligent growth of population and expansion of public services.
All persons wishing to open businesses or home occupations in the rural areas or in need of a change of zoning or special exceptions to their existing zoning status must submit an application through this office for review and recommendation to the BZA before doing so. A zoning permit must be obtained before the placement or alteration to any structure.
Zoning Regulations and Department Services
The Bedford County Building Codes Department issues permits for the County Jurisdiction only – (area located outside of any city jurisdictions).
Zoning Compliance is required prior to the issuance of permits in the Bedford County jurisdiction.
NOTE: Exempt buildings (such as Agricultural), in some instances can also be subject to zoning approval.
Prior to permit issuance, a site plan review or other approvals may also be required, such as evidence of water availability or a proper sewage disposal method. Construction Activities by Contractors must show proof of an active State Contractors License as well as a current insurance certificate.
Permits are issued from 8 am to 3 pm – except legal holidays – Monday through Friday.
Permits must be issued to the property owner or licensed contractor. Permits must be paid in full by check or cash at the time of issuance.
At the time of permit issuance each applicant is provided a checklist indicating the required inspections, with the information on how to make the request. You must have your Permit Number to request an inspection.
Plans Review is required for any basement house or commercial use in the county jurisdiction. A minimum of three (3) working days should be allowed for this review.
NOTE: Prior to permit issuance, other approvals may also include: approvals from State Fire Marshal’s Office, Planning Department, and State Environmental Department.
The adopted codes required that all work must be inspected at specific intervals during the construction process by certified building inspectors. It is the Building Permit Holder’s responsibility to request inspections and receive proper approvals from the Codes Department prior to moving to the next phase of construction. At the completion of the project, after all final inspections have been made and approved, the electrical service will be released to the power company. The permit holder will receive a Certificate of Occupancy or notice of final inspection to authorize Use and Occupancy of the improvements. Bedford County has adopted the 2015 International Builing Codes as a building standard for all construction activities.
Adequate Facilities (Bedford County School Tax) Tax Collection
An Adequate Facilities Tax is collected in The Bedford County Building Codes Department for all jurisdictions (including city jurisdictions). Development Tax receipts or exemptions are required to be submitted to the City Code Departments prior to the issuance of any building permits in any jurisdiction. This is a one-time fee due prior to obtaining residential building permits. This tax is equal to $1.00 per heated square feet of living space and 100% of those funds are used to pay debt on Bedford County schools or build new schools.
The Zoning Officer is responsible for investigating and making determinations on possible zoning violations, exemptions, and compliance. The Zoning Officer reports to the Director and the Board of Zoning Appeals. The Zoning Officer routinely observes and reports violations relating to or including the following: Open Storage; New Construction Setbacks and permitting; The storage of inoperable vehicles; Business and Sign violations; Non-conforming or grandfathered expansions; Fence construction; rubbish/litter; and, setback encroachments.
For all Building Code issues not satisfactorily resolved within the Building Codes Department, an independant Building Code Board of Appeals has been established
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