Department of Building & Development Services

Government Center Building
1 Government Center Place, Suite A
Abingdon VA, 24210

Email Questions or Comments to

The County Department of Building & Development Services is responsible for the issuing of permits and conducting inspections for new construction, modifications and other building related activities within Washington County and the Towns of Damascus and Glade Spring.  The Department reviews plans prior to construction and inspects projects at certain phases of the construction process to ensure compliance with local and state standards, and enforces the building, electrical and plumbing codes of Washington County and the Commonwealth of Virginia.  See Helpful Links below or click here for codes as adopted by Washington County.

The Washington County Board of Building Code Appeals (BCA) is responsible for hearing and deciding appeals from determinations of the Department of Building Inspection concerning application of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code or refusal to grant a modification to the provisions of the Uniform Statewide Building Code covering the manner of construction or materials to be used in the erection, alteration or repair of a building or structure within Washington County.  The BCA is composed of seven members appointed by the Washington County Board of Supervisors, one Commissioner from each of the County’s seven Election Districts for four year terms.


Brian Hilderbrand
Phone: (276) 525-1320 or (276) 525-1390
Fax: (276) 525-1309
Office Hours: Weekdays 8:00am – 5:00pm

Links and Important Documents

Erosion and Sediment

Important Documents

The County Department of Building Inspection is responsible for a number of important forms, permits, documents, manuals, reports, etc. available via the links listed below.

To be completed by unlicensed persons desiring to act as their own contractor for the purposes of obtaining a Building Permit. (Note: Consultation with County Building Official is strongly recommended before attempting construction-related work as permitted pursuant to Section 54.1-1111 of the 1950 Code of Virginia).

Helpful Links

Free Access to Virginia Codes

Washington County Service Authority (WCSA):
Verification of water and waste water service can be obtained by calling WCSA at (276) 628-7151.
Contact Information:
21522 Regal Dr
Abingdon, VA 24211

The Environmental Services Division of the Virginia Department of Health:
Evaluates applications for structures that will be served by septic tanks or drain fields and private water wells systems.
Contact Information:
15068 Lee Hwy
Bristol, VA
(276) 676-5474

Connection fees to public sanitary sewer services available in Washington County may be paid at the following locations, depending on the provider:

Town of Abingdon, Virginia
133 West Main Street
Abingdon, VA 24210
(276) 627-3167
Town of Damascus, Virginia
208 West Laurel Avenue
Damascus, VA
(276) 475-3831
Washington County Service Authority
21522 Regal Dr
Abingdon, VA 24211
(276) 628-7151
Bristol Virginia Utilities Board
15022 Lee Hwy
Bristol, VA 24202
(276) 645-8702

Department of Emergency Management:
After a passing footer inspection, GPS data is gathered for the structure and a 911 address is assigned. This can be obtained from the Emergency Services Department.
Washington County, Virginia
Department of Emergency Services
1 Government Center Place, Suite A
Abingdon, VA 24210
(276) 525-1330


Zoning Ordinances

The Zoning Ordinances documentation is on an external website.  Please note that the Zoning Ordinances section resides in Chapter 66 of the document.  To view the ordinances simply scroll down the index on the left side of the screen to find Chapter 66 in the municipal code.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is a building permit required?


The Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code Sec. 109.1 states written application for permit shall be made to the County Building Official before any of the following actions may be commenced: constructing, enlarging, altering or changing the use of a structure.  Please check with the County Department of Building Inspection prior to any construction within the County (including within the Towns of Damascus, Glade Spring, and portions of the Town of Saltville).

What documents do I need to obtain a Building Permit?

Before a Building Permit can be issued a completed zoning and building application must be submitted to the County Department of Building Inspection along with the following items (see Helpful Links above for additional information):

(1) Most recent Washington County Tax Ticket for parcel on which building/structure is to be built. Required for new construction only-not required for renovations or additions.
(2) Virginia Department of Health Septic System Approval where no public sanitary sewer service is available or receipt for payment of Public Sanitary Sewer Connection Fee where public sanitary sewer is available. Required for new construction and additions only.
(3) Virginia Department of Transportation Entrance Permit for new building/structure to be served by access drive connection to a Virginia secondary highway. Required for new construction only-not required for renovations or additions.
(4)Two copies of construction Plans and Site Plan drawing. Required for new construction, additions, and major renovations.
(5) County Application for Land-Disturbing Permit form and Soil Erosion & Sediment Control Plan where more than 10,000 sq. ft. of ground will be disturbed (graded) during construction. Required for new construction and additions. Agreement in lieu of plan is acceptable for Residential only.
(6) Virginia Contractor’s license Card or sign County Section 54.1-1111 Affidavit form at time Permit is obtained.
(7) Virginia Department of Health Well System Approval Permit number where no public water service is available or receipt for Payment of Public Water Connection Fee where public water is available. Required for new construction and additions only.

What constitutes a 'manufactured home'?

A manufactured home (also known as a mobile home or trailer) is a structure subject to Federal Regulations and must bear a label indicating such from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  In Washington County, a manufactured home can only be used for its intended use as a residential structure; manufactured housing units (MHUs) may not be used as storage buildings or accessory buildings such as workshops.

What constitutes a 'modular home'?

A modular home is subject to Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code regulations and must bear the Virginia Industrialized Building Certificate.  Components of these structures such as walls, floors and roofs are pre-assembled and shipped to the building site for final construction. These structures are generally treated like a site-built home.