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Planning Department

215 E. Main St.
(p) 540.587.6021
(f) 540.587.6143


Bart Warner, AICP


Administrative Assistant

Cathy D. Johnson

Department of Planning &
Community Development

Scope of the Department:
The Department of Planning and Community Development includes planning, economic development, the zoning department, and code compliance. This department reviews site plans and plat surveys, works with businesses looking to relocate or establish themselves in Bedford, works with the community to develop and update the Comprehensive Plan, administers the Land Development Regulations and Zoning and enforces the Town Code as well as working with the County to enforce the Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC).

Building & Code Compliance

Building and Code Compliance is tasked with reviewing site plans, issuing zoning permits, and working with Bedford County to enforce stormwater management, review building plans, issue building permits, and inspect ongoing and final work. Additionally, the division enforces Town building ordinances on existing structures and lots.
The Town issues four types of zoning permits: Home Occupation, Sign Permits, Zoning Use, and Construction.

A Home Occupation permit is designed for out-of-the-home service-oriented small occupations that do not involve commercial traffic or signs. Examples would be writer, computer repair, or a painter who garages a commercial vehicle but does all of his/her work off-site. The permit ensures that a home occupation conforms to the zoning for the property. The fee is $25, you must have a business license from the Town, and except in rare cases you must own the property. When applying for this permit, bring a copy of your deed, your business license, and a brief description of your business.

A Sign permit is required when putting up any commercial sign. When applying for this permit, please bring a picture or drawing of the sign, as well as information about its dimensions, location, how it's to be mounted, and roughly what type of sign it is. The fee for a Sign permit is $50.

A Zoning Use permit certifies that a business or residential activity conforms to the Town Code and the Land Development Regulations. See the appendix in the LDR for the appropriate fee, or call the Planning Office. This type of permit is issued when there is no construction involved, only a change of use. The only requirements when applying are a brief description of the activity or business.

A Construction permit is required for any kind of building or renovation, residential or commercial. Getting a Zoning Construction permit is the first step in the permitting process. Bedford County handles actual construction permits, inspections, and final certifications, but a Zoning Construction permit is required first. When applying for a Zoning Construction permit, please bring a site plan/sketch, the names and license numbers of all contractors, the cost estimate for the project, and a detailed description of the project. Zoning Construction permits are also required for land disturbance, demolition, and any interior or exterior renovation. After obtaining one, you will need to go to the Bedford County office of Building & Code Compliance to get permits and schedule inspections. The fee is $40 for construction or land disturbance and $25 for renovation or demolition. See below for some useful guidelines for the kinds of information you will need.

Below you will find some useful checklists for several types of projects. When working with the Town or Bedford County, please check to ensure that your plans meet the actual building code. These checklists are simply useful tools for organizing your information and preparing for a building project.

Stormwater Design & Plan Review Checklist

Useful Specifications for Plan Layout

Surveying & Plat Requirements Checklist

Guidelines for Traffic Impact Study

Other Forms & Links

Bedford Connections

Business License Application

Prepared Food and Beverage Tax Return

Transient Lodging Tax Return

Town GIS / Town Property Tax Site

USDA Historical Maps (for purchase)

Civic Sign Special Event Application

Civic Sign Subscription Application

Civic Sign Policy


Thinking of starting a business in Bedford?
Check out our handy Guide:
Starting a Business in Bedford

Bedford County Economic Development:
County of Bedford Economic Development Website

Community Information - Area & Location - Community Profile - Quality of Life:
Community Profile (pdf)
County Profile (pdf)

List of available business sites in the Town of Bedford:
Business Sites in Bedford Town

Bedford is a Virginia Main Street Town!
BMS has lists of centertown buildings available!
Bedford Main Street

Need to estimate Utility bills for your business? Try this link:
Utility Bill Estimator

Get tourist and area information:
Bedford Area Visitors Center

Bedford Chamber of Commerce:
Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce

Region 2000 has lots of information on area-wide projects and can help!
Region 2000

Need help or information from the Commonwealth of Virginia? Try the Virginia Economic Development Partnership:
Virginia Economic Development Partnership