Planning & Community Development
Scope of the Department
The Department of Planning and Community Development includes planning, economic development, the zoning department, and code compliance. This department reviews site plans and plat surveys, works with businesses looking to relocate or 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 as well as working with the County to enforce the Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC).
Building & Code Compliance
Building and Code Compliance is tasked with reviewing site plans, issuing zoning permits, and working with Bedford County to enforce stormwater management, review building plans, issue building permits, and inspect ongoing and final work. Additionally, the division enforces Town building ordinances on existing structures and lots.
The Town issues 4 types of zoning permits: Home Occupation, Sign Permits, Zoning Use, and Construction.
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.
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. Bedford County handles actual construction permits, inspections, and final certifications, but a Zoning Construction permit is required first. 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. After obtaining one, you will need to go to the Bedford County office of Building and Code Compliance to get permits and schedule inspections. 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.
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.
- Bedford Connections (PDF)
- Civic Sign Policy (PDF)
- 2017 Business License Application
- Civic Sign Special Event Application (PDF)
- Civic Sign Subscription Application (PDF)
- Department of Agriculture - Historical Maps (For Purchase) (PDF)
- Prepared Food and Beverage Tax Return (PDF)
- Transient Lodging Tax Return (PDF)