If you’re wondering if you need a permit for your outdoor project, then you’re already on the right track. Before starting any project you should check into all aspects of the project to see whether or not any permits are required. Typically, smaller projects will require either a few permits or none at all, while larger projects will require several that cover all areas of the project. However, no matter what your project is, if it’s beyond simple gardening or decorating, then you’re going to need to have a project plan approved before any fill dirt delivery can take place.
There are several permits you have to be aware of when it comes to using fill dirt for your project. Depending on what you plan to use the fill dirt for you need to determine if you require a building permit. A building permit will control your land development plans and how they will affect erosion and sediment control, the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance, stormwater management, and tidal wetlands and shorelines. While it may seem like your project won’t affect anything beyond your property, you are highly mistaken. The grade of the landscape has a huge impact in runoff water and efforts need to be taken to make sure that chemicals and contaminants aren’t getting into the local water sources.
Navigating the world of permits, plans, and regulations can be confusing. Take your time to make sure that everything follows the proper ordinances so your project can be completed without any legal problems. For more information and assistance on obtaining a permit reach out to a professional dirt delivery company.
When You Need a Permit
Every state, county, and city can have different regulations when it comes to obtaining permits, so you need to make sure that your building plans comply with all regulations at each level. For example, in Fairfax County, if you’re disturbing more than 2,500 square feet of land than you need a permit. If the soil is to be cut or filled more than 18 inches then you also need a permit. If your project is under these requirements than you don’t require one. However, if you live in the City of Fairfax you may find that there are other restrictions in place as many of the buildings and the land tend to be much older.
Just because your project doesn’t require a permit, doesn’t mean that you’re allowed to do whatever you want. You are required to develop an infill lot grading plan to submit to the county that details the topography of the landscape, tree cover calculations, whether or not the site contains problem soil, location of foundation drain and outfall, outfall analysis, and pre-development conditions narrative. This plan must be approved before you are allowed to begin your project. This is a very in-depth plan that outlines minute details that have to be followed and it goes beyond just your plans with your fill dirt.
How to Obtain a Permit
It used to be that you always had to go to your local building permit location to obtain permits, but now you are able to fill out the required forms online. However, there are still some applications that must be filled out in person. It’s also a good idea to fill out the forms in person if you need any assistance or additional information that you could not find on your own. In Fairfax County, the building permits office is located in the Fairfax County Government Center. There you will find the application(s) you need to fill out and any other information that is necessary for your project’s plan to be approved. In most cases, will have to obtain your permits through the appropriate county office.
How Many Truckloads of Dirt Without a Permit?
Unfortunately, there is no cut and dry answer for this as every county or city has different regulations. Typically speaking, if your project is requiring a truckload of dirt (10 to 14 cubic yards of dirt), then it’s likely your project requires a permit. At the very least you’re dealing with a project that is going to need to have an approved plan. Check with your city, county, and state permit offices to make sure that you’re following all of their regulations as it can be costly and potentially dangerous if these regulations are not followed.
You don’t want to jump the gun and order your dirt before you acquire any necessary permits because it could lead to potential fees. It’s also important to note that it’s your responsibility to obtain these permits and not your dirt delivery company, however, they can certainly assist you in the process.
Choose a Certified Dirt Delivery Service
When it comes to deciding where to get your dirt from, you need to make sure you’re getting it from a licensed and certified dirt provider. Not only does a permit require you to have one, but it ensures that you are getting quality dirt. Fill dirt actually has to be tested and screened to make sure it doesn’t contain any large debris, organic matter, or harmful chemical and toxins. Getting dirt from a dirt delivery company that is not certified could lead to potential problems. To make sure you’re using a trustworthy dirt delivery company ask to see their licenses, read reviews online, and be wary of gimmicky offers that seem too good to be true (although some dirt delivery companies offer legitimate free fill dirt if your order above a certain amount). To have a successful project, you need to (literally) have a great foundation to build off of, so don’t cut corners when it comes to choosing your fill dirt.
Help Obtaining a Permit
It can be challenging and overwhelming going through the process of determining if you need a permit on your own, so don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you need it. You have two options for more information and assistance: your local permit office and your professional dirt delivery company. Each will be extremely valuable in helping to ensure that your project plans follow all regulations regarding your fill dirt.