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Building Development Division
Building a Pole Barn

The term 'pole barn' has varying significance. Some people will focus on the word 'barn' and assume a farm building is being constructed for agricultural use. Other people focus on the word 'pole' indicating a Post & Beam construction method. However, it is the intended use of the structure that determines the approval process.

Any accessory structure, including a pole barn, will require approval by the Zoning Administration Division before submission for review by the Building Development Division for a building permit. A new grading plan may be required in some cases. Contact the Zoning Administration Division at 703-792-6830 for requirements.
Regardless of the proposed method of construction, if the property in question is zoned A-1 Agricultural and has been approved by the Zoning Administrator for agricultural uses as defined in Part 100 of the Zoning Ordinance, and the proposed structure is intended for agricultural use, the proposed structure may be exempt from Building Code Compliance as provided by the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code. However, if the property zoned A-1, but the principal use of the property is residential, or it is zoned Residential with a principal residential use, or if the proposed use of the building is not strictly and solely for Agricultural purpose as defined by the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code, a building permit may be required. Please contact the Zoning Administration Division at 703-792-6830 for questions regarding the zoning of the property or the Building Development Division at 703-792-4040 for questions regarding the use of the building.
Approval Process for Code Compliance:
  1. Certificate of Zoning Approval: The Zoning Department will approve the size and location of the proposed structure. A boundary plat or house location survey prepared to scale and sealed by a licensed professional surveyor or engineer will be required.
  2. Building Permit Application and the application fee as per the approved Building Development Fee Schedule.
  3. Two sets of Building Plans as follows:

    • Minimum Size 11” X 17”
    • Foundation Plan (Plan View & Sectional Detail)
    • Elevations for all sides (“side view”)
    • Plan Views (overhead for each floor and roof)
    • Sectional Detail (from footing to roof)
    • The plan does not have to be prepared by a professional designer, but it does have to be legible drawn with a straight edge on 11” X 17” paper (or larger), and not in pencil.
      Submit application packages to the Building Development Division, 5 County Complex Court, Prince William, VA 22192, or call 703-792-6930 for more information.





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