PermitLink is Now Live
Applying for permits in James City County is now easier and more efficient.
PermitLink, a new online system, replaces traditional paperwork and will give you the opportunity to submit requests through a fully automated system. Users can upload plans, schedule inspections, check on plan reviews, receive real time inspection results and respond to comments from County staff. Permit and re-inspection fees can also be made with a credit card or e-check through the secure PermitLink system.
County staff have spent the last few months testing PermitLink and getting everything ready for this significantly improved experience, but as with all new processes there may be a few unexpected issues along the way. Thank you for your patience and understanding during the transition.
The County designates all land to one of the 15 zoning districts outlined in the Zoning Ordinance. Certain land uses are allowed in each district, and the rules governing each zoning district vary.
Sometimes, a parcel of land must have its zoning district designation changed in order to develop or use that land in a certain fashion. The process of changing a parcel's zoning district is called a rezoning. The rezoning procedure helps the Planning Division, Planning Commission, and Board of Supervisors take a closer look at a zoning change. This includes the proposed zone's compatibility with existing zones, surrounding development, and the County Comprehensive Plan.
Applications must be submitted at least six weeks prior to a scheduled meeting in order to be placed on the Planning Commission agenda. An application will take a minimum of 12 weeks to review, depending on the time of your submittal and the Planning Commission meeting schedule. Processing will take additional time if the Planning Commission and/or the Board of Supervisors defer action on your case.
Staff strongly recommends that you either submit a conceptual plan or set up a pre-application meeting to review the rezoning process and answer questions.
- A properly completed and signed application form. Please note that an incomplete or unsigned application will delay processing and may result in your case being placed later on the Planning Commission calendar.
- A rezoning review fee. Contact the Planning Division at 757-253-6685 for a current fee schedule.
- An explanation of why you are requesting the rezoning, and what use you propose for the property.
- A rezoning submittal checklist. This is used as a guide to facilitate the application.
- Adequate Public Facilities Report
- Archaeological Assessment
- Environmental Inventory
- Fiscal Impact Study
- Master Plan
- Stormwater Management Plan
- Traffic Study
- Water and Sewer Impact Study
Voluntary proffers are also a common part of a rezoning application. Proffers are a written document listing conditions that the property owner voluntarily places on the rezoning. These conditions are in addition to the normal zoning district regulations of the desired zone. If there zoning is approved, the proffers are recorded at the Courthouse and become legally binding. Signed original proffer statements must be submitted 21 days before the date of the Planning Commission meeting.
Planning Commission Review
At the Planning Commission meeting, staff will present your request to the Commission and give their recommendation. After staff's presentation, you or your representative will have an opportunity to speak for 15 minutes. Then the Planning Commission will hold a public hearing where any citizen can speak about the application. Representatives of groups may speak for 15 minutes and individuals may speak for 5 minutes.
After the public hearing is closed, the Commission will discuss the application and make their determination. The Planning Commission will recommend approval, denial, or defer your request, and identify issues you should address before going to the Board of Supervisors. After the Planning Commission meeting, Planning staff will notify you in writing of the Planning Commission's decision.
Board of Supervisors Review
Finally, your request will then be scheduled for a Board of Supervisors meeting. The staff report may be changed to address any questions raised by the Planning Commission. The Board of Supervisors will hold a meeting very similar to the Planning Commission meeting. After the public hearing closes, the Board will discuss the application and vote to approve, deny, or defer your request. If your application is approved, staff will notify you in writing of the Board of Supervisors' decision and send you a copy of the resolution. The County Attorney will record your proffers with the Clerk of the Circuit Court. If your application is denied, you will receive a letter, but there will not be a resolution.