Special Use Permit
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 Zoning Ordinance allows certain land uses in each zoning district. Some uses are generally permitted and do not require any permits regulating the use of the land. However, some land uses require the issuance of a special use permit from the Board of Supervisors.
The process of issuing a special use permit helps the Planning Division, Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors take a closer look at a use. This includes the proposed use's compatibility with existing uses and surrounding development. A use may or may not be suitable at a specific location due to its intensity, disturbance, or appearance, among other factors.
Staff strongly recommends that you either submit a conceptual plan or set up a pre-application meeting to review the special use permit process and answer questions.
Apply with PermitLink
- 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 special use permit review fee. Contact the Planning Division for a current fee schedule.
- An explanation of why you are requesting the permit, and what use you propose for the property.
- A special use permit submittal checklist. This is used as a guide to facilitate the application.
- Traffic Study
- Adequate Public Facilities Report
- Archaeological Assessment
- Master Plan
- Stormwater Management Plan
- Fiscal Impact Study
- Water & Sewer Impact Study
- Environmental Inventory
The Planning Division will post a sign on the property indicating that a special use permit application has been filed for the property. This sign will be posted 2 weeks before the Planning Commission public hearing. We will also advertise the public hearing in a local newspaper both 2 weeks and 1 week before the Planning Commission public hearing. Written notices will then be sent to all adjacent property owners at least 1 week prior to the Planning Commission public hearing.
At the Planning Commission meeting, staff will present your request to the Commission and give their recommendation, including any conditions. 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. 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, including any conditions on the permit, and send a copy of the resolution. If your application is denied, you will receive a letter, but there will not be a resolution.