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- Certificate of Occupancy
Certificate of Occupancy
What is a Certificate of Occupancy
A certificate of occupancy is a document issued by the City of Roanoke's Department of Planning, Building, & Development certifying a building's compliance with applicable building codes and other laws, and indicating it to be in a condition suitable for occupancy. The purpose of obtaining a certificate of occupancy is to prove that, according to the law, the house or building is in an occupiable condition. Generally, such a certificate is necessary to be able to occupy the structure for everyday use, as well as to be able to sign a contract to sell the space and close on a mortgage for the space.
Certificates of Occupancy are governed in the Virginia Uniformed Statewide Building Code under Section 116.
The zoning ordinance also requires Certificates of Occupancy. Sec. 36.2-523 of the City Code requires a Certificate of Occupancy to use or occupy any structure or land in which or on which a new use is created or an existing use is changed, converted, enlarged, or moved.
When is a Certificate of Occupancy needed
A new certificate of occupancy may be required by the Zoning Administrator and/or the Building Official. The following are some example cases but is not limited to:
· New Construction
· Increase of the building square footage (commercial)
· Change of primary usage of the building
· Change of usage in tenant spaces
· Requested by the owner or tenant of building
When is a Certificate of Occupancy Not Needed
A certificate of occupancy is not required to start training your staff on daily operations, stocking shelves, staging the building, or anything else not related to operating as an open business.
· Completed Certificate of Occupancy Application
· Certificate of Occupancy Information Page
· Floor Plan
· Copy of Existing Certificate of Occupancy, if Available
If you are performing work along with getting a new certificate of occupancy the following may also be needed:
· Asbestos Survey/Certificate, if needed
· Flood Elevation Certificate, if needed
· Certificate of Appropriateness, if needed
Floor Plan Requirements
The following is the minimum of what is required to be on the floor plan:
· A Virginia Registered Design Professional (Architect or Engineer) seal is not required, but the drawings must list the name, occupation and address of the designer. Some changes of use may still require a Virginia Registered Design Professional
· Provide room layouts (square footage of rooms, and use of rooms)
· Show the exit doors and the direction they open and what type of surface is on the outside of the door (such as step(s) down, ramp, sidewalk and/or a landing)
· Label any restrooms and designate any that are handicap accessible
· Show any water fountains
· Show any service sink (mop sink)
· Show any emergency and exit lights
· Note if the building is sprinklered or has a fire alarm. (This does not mean smoke detectors)
· Note any accessible entrances
· Show any fire extinguishers
· Uses of other spaces in the building
There are several steps that your application/permit will need to go through before the certificate of occupancy can be issued to you. First you will need to submit a completed application with the relevant accompanying documents. Your application will then be entered into the system, issued a permit number, and given to the reviewers for their approvals. After the reviews have all been approved you will then be able to pay for your permit and pick it up. Once you have your building or certificate of occupancy permit you may then schedule an inspection. Upon passing all of your final inspections your certificate of occupancy will start to be routed around for signatures. Once all signatures have been received you will be contacted that your certificate of occupancy is ready to be picked up.
If you are apply for a new certificate of occupancy due to a change of use for a new business, you will need to apply for a Zoning Verification for Business License once you have received your certificate of occupancy. You will need to provide your Zoning Verification for Business License to the Commissioner of the Revenue in order to receive your new business license.
The cost of a new Certificate of Occupancy is $30.