Planning & Community Development
Scope of the Department
The Department of Planning and Community Development includes planning, economic development, the zoning department, building inspections and code compliance. This department reviews site plans and plat surveys, issues building permits through the Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC), works with businesses looking to establish themselves in Bedford, works with the community to develop and update the Comprehensive Plan (PDF), administers the Land Development Regulations and Zoning and enforces the Town Code.
The Town issues 4 types of zoning permits: Home Occupation, Sign Permits, Zoning Use, and Construction.
1. Home Occupation
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.
3. Zoning Use
A Zoning Use permit certifies that a business or residential activity conforms to the Town Code and the Land Development Regulations (LDR). 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 before a building permit is issued. 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. 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.
Building & Code Compliance - Building Permits
The Town Building Inspection Office handles construction permits, inspections, and final occupancy certifications. Additionally, the division enforces Town building ordinances on existing structures and lots.
We have 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.