Code Enforcement

The Division of Code Enforcement is charged with protecting the health, safety and welfare of the citizens and visitors by assuring that all buildings, structures and related equipment are constructed, installed and maintained in compliance with the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code and the Code of the City of Hopewell. The Division reviews building plans for proposed construction, issues permits, and conducts inspections for all new construction, alterations, repairs, removal, demolition, or other building operations.

The Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code is a minimum standard that is adopted and enforced by each local government. For more information also see Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

Download Permit Applications

Building Permit Process

This is an overview of the building permit review process.

  1. Prepare the necessary construction documents;
  2. Submit the construction documents, forms and fees;
  3. The following City Departments will review the construction documents and note any deficiencies:
    • Code Enforcement – plan review for code compliance,
    • Planning – property and zoning issues,
    • Utilities – water and sewer availability, and
    • City Engineer – erosion control and drainage.
  4. Correct, modify and resubmit plans if any of the City Departments require clarification or changes to the original plan submittal;
  5. Pick up/receive the Building Permit;
  6. Start construction;
  7. Apply for an amendment or revision if the plans change during the course of construction;
  8. Request required inspections;
  9. Complete the building and get final inspection;
  10. Obtain Certificate of Occupancy; and
  11. Occupy/Move in.
  12. Our goal is to give thorough and efficient service. Contact the Code Enforcement Division for more information regarding the permit submittal and review process. Your permit will be mailed to you once it is issued, or you may pick it up at the Department of Development.

Residential Building Permit Checklist

Commercial Building Permit Checklist

About Property Maintenance

The enforcement of the Virginia Maintenance Code and provisions of the Code of the City of Hopewell are the responsibility of the Division of Code Enforcement as part of the City’s effort to prevent the onset of blight and crime, and promote safer housing, enhance the quality of life, and prevent unsafe and unhealthy conditions.

Principal Responsibilities

  1. Investigate complaints regarding both the interior and exterior condition of existing structures.
  2. Investigate complaints regarding unsafe structures and dwellings that are unfit for human habitation due to unsanitary conditions or the lack of water service.
  3. Demolition.

Maintenance requirement examples of the State building code include

  • prohibiting the accumulation of trash and garbage within buildings;
  • repairing damaged electrical wiring;
  • replacing broken windows;
  • repairing damaged structural elements such as joists, beams and columns;
  • painting unprotected wood that is exposed to the weather; and
  • repairing leaking plumbing and roofs.
  • repairing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.

Related Property Concerns

Properties with Building Code violations frequently have violations of other City ordinances. If you call to report a building code violation please advise if any of the following concerns exist on the property:

  • Is there any tall grass or weeds on the property?
  • Have you seen any evidence of rodents/vermin on the property?
  • Does the property have any trash, garbage or litter that is not covered or stored in covered, watertight containers?
  • Is the property vacant or occupied?
  • Providing this information will better prepare the inspector to properly resolve all concerns on the property.

Violations of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code are Class 1 misdemeanors that are punishable by a fine, upon conviction, of up to $2500. Property owners that are convicted of violations are also required by law to abate the cited violation.

Commonly Reported Complaints

Many commonly reported concerns are not code violations. Below are commonly reported complaints that are not violations:

  • Color of paint
  • Swimming pool that is fenced
  • Secured structure regardless of condition or appearance

Below are the most commonly reported complaints that are code violations:

  • Unsecured/collapsing buildings.
  • Damaged windows or doors.
  • Damaged light fixtures.
  • Damaged steps, porches or handrails.
  • Rotting siding or other wood.
  • Damaged or rotting framing or structural members.
  • Roof leaks.
  • Mechanical equipment damaged or not working properly.
  • Plumbing equipment damaged or not working properly.
  • Electrical equipment damaged or not working properly.
  • Report a Potential Violation

To report a potential violation, please contact us at (804) 541-2226 or To file a complaint you must know the address of the property in question.