The Building Safety Division enforces codes and regulations established by the Commonwealth of Virginia and the City of Falls Church governing the construction, alteration, and maintenance of buildings and structures within the City for the protection of residents and property.
The Division's staff reviews applications and issues building permits for the construction of new buildings and structures and for the alteration of existing ones. The staff performs inspections as construction progresses to verify compliance with the applicable construction codes and regulations. The Division also investigates complaints, enforces the correction of building code violations, and enforces local regulations related to unsafe structures.
The primary customers of the Building Safety Division are homeowners, small-business owners, developers, other City departments and the building construction industry at large.
The Zoning Division reviews almost all permits. They review for, and address questions about:
Types of businesses allowed at a certain address
The best way to contact Zoning is to email them at Zoning@fallschurchva.gov. Email works better than a phone call, as many answers will require research into the specific situation prior to answering the question. When emailing about a residential property, include a plat if you have one.
Public Works Engineering Division
The Engineering Division of the Department of Public Works will review any permit where there is work outside of the building. They will also review all permits for work in the floodplain. They review for, and answer questions about:
Area of land disturbance
Floodplain compliance. Building Safety reviews plans for compliance with floodplain requirements covered by the building code. Engineering reviews work in the floodplain to determine compliance with City floodplain code.
Interaction of the proposed construction with sanitary-sewer and storm-sewer easements
The Engineering Division can be contacted by email at DPW@fallschurchva.gov or by phone at 703-248-5030 (TTY 711).
The Arborist is part of the Department of Public Works. The Arborist reviews for, and answers:
Tree and landscaping effect of projects with grading plans.
Potential conflict between proposed construction and City-owned or specimen trees.
The Arborist can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone via the main line for Public Works, 703-248-5030 (TTY 711).
The Fire Marshal does not review plans for construction or perform inspections in connection with construction work. The Fire Marshal does issue permits for hot work, which may be required in connection with certain building projects, such as commercial roofing. The Fire Marshal performs annual inspections on businesses with sprinkler systems and fire alarms, and on assembly spaces such as churches and restaurants. The Fire Marshal can be contacted be email at email@example.com or by phone at 703-248-5058 (TTY 711).
The City contracts with the Fairfax County Health Department for services. All plans for construction in a restaurant must be approved by Fairfax Health. A Certificate of Occupancy for a restaurant will only be issued after the City received proof of satisfactory inspection by Fairfax Health. It is the applicant's responsibility to take plans to Fairfax Health and bring the approved plans to the City.