The Planning and Zoning Office and the Building Inspector work hard to make sure our city is safe, smart, and well-built. If you are planning on building something big or small, talk to us first and we will walk you through the process.

For downloadable PDF forms, see the Forms and Permits page.

Building Permits

New buildings and additions to existing buildings require a Zoning Construction Permit before obtaining a Building Permit. Commercial buildings and large developments may require a Site Plan and/or and Erosion and Sediment Control Plan.

Interior construction requires a Building Permit in many cases. See the table below:

Needs a Building Permit Does NOT Need a Building Permit
All plumbing that ties into City taps now requires a permit and must be inspected prior to covering any lines. Painting, plastering, wallpapering
Anything you construct or alter to a structure (New home, garage, accessory building or remodeling) Any replacement of mechanical or plumbing equipment and appliances (except those fueled by gas or oil) within a dwelling unit in occupancies of Use Group R-2, which are 4 stories or less in height and in occupancies of Use Groups R-3 and R-4.
Electrical, plumbing, or mechanical (HVAC) Storage building under 150 square feet
Commercial signage Replacement of roof covering, carpet, cabinets, or floor coverings.
Pools or tanks Electrical less than 50 volts
Industrial or commercial remodeling or construction
Vinyl siding, replacement windows, or remodeling in excess of 50% of property value
Demolish a structure


All signs, both permanent and temporary, that are visible from the public right-of-way require permits from the Zoning Administrator.

Zoning Questions

Land use regulations including zoning can be found in the City of Buena Vista Code.

A copy of the zoning map can be found here: Zoning Map

Always confirm with the Department of Planning & Community Development regarding zoning determinations by calling (540) 261-8607.

Residential Rental

Residential rental, including apartments and detached houses, is an important part of the City’s housing. In addition to land use regulations that apply to all buildings, the City has established a Rental Inspection Program to ensure minimum health and safety conditions in residential rental units in some parts of the city.

For more information, see the Residential Rental Land Use Regulation Guide and the Rental Inspection Program Guide.