- What permits will I need in order to build?
It depends on what you are building. If you are building one single-family house, you will need a building permit and an agreement in lieu of plan. If you are building on Lake Anna you will need a special agreement in lieu for shoreline residential development. If you are not sure whether you need a permit or not, contact the Community Development Center and let them know about your development plans and we will assist you through the process. If you are disturbing more that 10,000 square feet, then you will likely need a land disturbing permit. This requires erosion and sediment control plans that will be reviewed by the Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District. A land disturbing permit is required by both Louisa County and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). The permit allows landowners to lawfully clear, contour, or stockpile areas of dirt, construction, or roadway over 10,000 square foot in size. The penalties for not having, or following, a land disturbing plan can be stiff. County staff will work with you to achieve compliance of these important environmental regulations.
- Do I need a permit for a fence?
Fencing is not currently regulated by Louisa County, unless it is also a retaining wall.
- My permit indicates I need a foundation survey and/or setback certification, what does this mean?
Please review the Setback Compliance Policy (2009).
- Do I need an inspection?
If you have a building permit you will need one or more inspections depending on the exact nature of the activity. The applicant is the responsible party for scheduling the appropriate inspections. The County inspects land disturbing permits both proactively and in response to complaints. Inspections must be scheduled through the Community Development Center. In addition to calling to schedule an inspection, the County has a software program that allows contractors and owners to request inspections on-line as well as view inspection results. This service helps get inspections scheduled more quickly and without needing to reach us over the busy phones. For more information log into the
- Do I need a building permit for a shed?
Yes if it is over 256 sqft in size. If under 256 sqft, only a zoning permit is required for the shed to meet setbacks. See https://www.louisacounty.gov/DocumentCenter/View/5463/New-Non-Residential-Building-Application-Packet.
- How long will the permitting process take?
It depends on exactly what you are doing. A building permit for a home will typically take a few weeks for the County to process. Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) or Health Department approvals are also usually needed. Due to the growth in the region, Health Department permits can take 60 days or more. Commercial or other non-residential permits follow the same process. The County's response time depends largely on the quality of the plans when they are first submitted and the responsiveness of the applicant in getting any corrections required prior to further review. If the applicant's plans are well done and any needed corrections are made quickly, then the building permit is usually ready to be issued as soon as Health Department approval is received. A site plan may also be needed particularly if your proposed use is commercial, civic, or is expanding the need for parking. Site plans are reviewed simultaneously with other required reviews and, like building plans, can be done quickly if the site plan regulations are met and any needed corrections are completed quickly. Development that requires a land disturbing permit requires erosion and sediment control plans that are reviewed by the Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District. This can take a few weeks, but the process runs simultaneously with all of the other required reviews in order to minimize any delays. Conditional Use Permits or Rezoning's will take 90 to 120 days on average. Any subsequent development associated with these applications are contingent on their approval by the Board of Supervisors.
- How can I obtain copies of my plat and deed?
The clerk of the circuit court (540-967-5312) is a constitutional officer elected to an eight-year term by the voters of the locality. The clerk handles administrative matters for the court and also has authority to probate wills, grant administration of estates, and appoint guardians. The clerk is the custodian of the court’s records, and the clerk’s office is where deeds are recorded and marriage licenses issued. You may also obtain a plat of your property at the clerk’s office. The circuit court also has jurisdiction over divorce cases, disputes concerning wills and estates, and controversies involving real property.
- How do I get a business license? Can I run a business from my home?
The County of Louisa does not issue business licenses. If you are a contractor, click here for a Louisa County Contractors License application form.
New businesses need to complete the New Business Registration form. If you plan to operate the business from your home, you will need to contact the Community Development Department to see if a Home Occupation permit is required and that the business in question is allowed by right based on the zoning of your property.
- I have septic system questions.
Please direct well and septic / drainfield questions to the Louisa office of the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).
Louisa County Health DepartmentLouisa Virginia 23093
- I have retaining wall questions.
Please see our Retaining Wall Handout.
- What are setbacks?
A setback is the minimum distance which a building or other structure must be set back from a road or other place which is deemed to need protection.
- Where can I find additional definitions related to Community Development?
See definitions in the Louisa County Code of Ordinance: https://library.municode.com/va/louisa_county/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=CO_CH86LADERE_ARTIGEPR_DIV2DE_S86-13DE