For more information on Comprehensive Plan basics, scheduling, and contact information, please select “Comprehensive Plan” from the menu on the left, or contact Max Dillon.
Building Salem's Future
The Department of Community Development is a multidisciplinary team of professionals dedicated to ensuring that the residents of Salem have the kind of future they deserve.
Our office houses the Building Inspections, Engineering, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Planning, and Zoning functions for Salem. It is your one-stop-shop for building permits, plan review, rezoning requests, community outreach planning activities, zoning questions, and more.
Our mission is to protect the life, safety and welfare of our citizens, visitors and businesses by contributing to the preservation of our historic resources and present and future economic viability of the City of Salem.
The City of Salem has adopted several ordinances to promote clean, safe, and attractive neighborhoods.
The Engineering Department is responsible for management of engineering and construction projects throughout the City.
GIS is a division of the City of Salem Community Development Department. The GIS division is responsible for identifying geographic mapping and geospatial analysis needs for the City.
See and download a variety of maps and other documents pertaining to community development.
The Planning and Zoning Division is responsible for all planning efforts within the City of Salem, such as the Downtown Plan and the Comprehensive Plan. The division is also responsible for ensuring public input and participation in the planning process.
Any time a property owner intends to divide land, move a property line, or combine multiple lots into one, a licensed surveyor in the Commonwealth of Virginia must prepare a subdivision plat.
- How do I get a building permit?
Go to the Permits page for information on obtaining a building permit.
- When will my road be paved?
Access the 2022 to 2023 Paving Maintenance List on the Engineering page.
- Is my property in the flood zone?
Review the Flood Zone map and other resources on the Flood Zones page to find if your property is in the flood zone.
- How do I get a sign permit?
Complete a Sign Application (PDF).
Provide the following:
- Site plan showing the location of the sign on the property
- Building elevations if sign is located on building
- Renderings showing sign(s) and dimensions of proposed sign(s)
- Renderings showing sign(s) and dimensions of any existing signage located on the same parcel
- We will only be accepting plans and applications in PDF format. All pdf plans and applications need to be legible for acceptance. Illegible PDFs and other electronic formats (such as jpg, tiff, etc.) will be not be accepted.
- Please submit electronic copies via email.
After the review and approval, the sign permit can be issued.
Please note: Any electrical work associated with a sign will require a separate electrical permit. All electrical work must be performed by a licensed electrician and all signs must be listed and labeled as per the National Electric Code Article 110.3B and 600.3.
Go to the Planning and Zoning - Signs page for more information on obtaining a sign permit.
- How do I apply for rezoning?
- When do I need a land disturbing permit?
A land disturbing permit is required for any land disturbing activity equal to or greater than 5,000 square feet in the City of Salem. For land disturbing activities equal to or greater than 5,000 square feet but less than 10,000 square feet, an agreement in lieu of plan shall be required, and the cost is $50.
An erosion and sediment control (ESC) plan will be required for land disturbance equal to or greater than 10,000 square feet.The cost for a land disturbance permit with an ESC plan is $30.
Any land disturbance equal to or greater than 1 acre requires a General VPDES Permit (CGP) from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) along with obtaining a land disturbing permit with the City of Salem.The cost for a land disturbance permit from the City of Salem is $30.Additional cost for the CGP will range from $2,700 to $4,500 as determined by disturbed area and DEQ.
- I have a question about the greenway. Who do I contact?
Email Community Development with any questions about the greenway.