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Land Disturbing Permits (LDP)

Land Disturbing Permits (LDP)

Chapter 11 of the Fauquier County Code, as codified in Section 2-208 of the Design Standards Manual (DSM), requires that a land disturbing permit be secured in advance of disturbing more than 10,000 square feet on a property. For the purposes of this requirement, activities that are considered land disturbing include but are not limited to:

  • Grading (excavating and filling)
  • Clearing
  • Removing vegetation
  • Grubbing
  • Stockpiling
  • Removing earth or topsoil
  • Dredging


Section 208.4 (p. 25) of the DSM establishes certain exemptions to the requirements for a land disturbing permit. The most common exemption is agricultural or forestal activity. This exception does not include land disturbing that occurs for agricultural buildings. For more information on the agricultural exemption, read here.

Which type of Land Disturbing Permit do I need?
Read below; applications and detailed instructions for each type are available by clicking on the provided links.

LDP with Agreement in Lieu of a Plan for Single Family Dwelling Unit
Construction of a single family dwelling unit does require approval of a land disturbing permit prior to issuance of a zoning/building permit for the home if more than 10,000 square feet is being disturbed. The 10,000 square feet of disturbance includes areas being utilized for a septic system and for any entrance and driveway. While typically a Land Disturbing Permit requires approval of a specific plan for controlling erosion and sediment on the property being disturbed, for some Single Family Dwellings the law allows an agreement in lieu of a plan, wherein the property owner agrees as part of the permit application to meet the minimum standards for erosion and sediment control as set forth in the Virginia Code. In some circumstances, such as construction on steep slopes or near a live watercourse, the agreement in lieu of a plan option may not be available. Application.

LDP with Erosion & Sediment Control Plan Approved as Part of Site Plan or Construction Plan
All other Land Disturbing Permits require approval of specific Erosion and Sediment Control Plan. In cases where the LDP is being sought for a project that is being approved by the County as a Major Site Plan or Construction Plan, a specific Erosion and Sediment Control Plan should have been required and approved as part of that Plan process. In such cases, the application for the LDP does not require preparation of a separate plan, and the application for a LDP should be submitted in conjunction with the bonding documents for the Site Plan or Construction Plan. Application.

LDP with Submission of Erosion & Sediment Control Plan
In all other cases, an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan must be submitted for approval as part of the LDP Permit application. Application.

Questions about Land Disturbing Permits?
Give Environmental Division staff a call at 540-422-8240

Date Last Modified: 08/16/2010


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