The Development Department protocol during COVID-19 (March 17- March 29, 2020) is as follows:
- Permits and Applications Intake: There is no public access to the Municipal Building at this time. However, the City will continue to process the following permits: Building, Mechanical, Plumbing, and Electrical, Zoning Approval for Business and Home Occupations, and all Planning and Zoning Applications. A drop box will be placed in the former police office dispatch area. All applications with a check for the exact amount can be placed in the drop box. You can call the City at (804) 541-2226 or (804) 541-2220 for questions or to speak to the Development employee located in the dispatch area. This limited office will be available Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. beginning Friday, March 20, 2020 – March 29, 2020.
- Building Inspections: Building Inspections associated with an active building permit will be conducted as scheduled by the applicant. Call (804) 541-2226 to schedule an inspection.
- Building Code Violations/Complaints: In efforts to protect our citizens and City Staff from the spread of COVID -19 and to practice social distancing as requested by the State government, inspectors will only enter a building to inspect a building code violation for a life/safety issue. All other complaints will be inspected after COVID-19 is no longer a threat. Non-Life/Safety violations, will be entered into the MUNIS system and follow-up at a later date.
- Board & Commissions: All meetings of the Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, Downtown Design Review Committee, Architectural Review Board, and Keep Hopewell Beautiful for the month of March and April have been cancelled. We hope to reconvene in May 2020. If you have a case pending with either of these Boards, Development Staff will reach out to regarding next steps in an email.
- Inoperable Vehicles: The Department of Development enforces the Inoperable Vehicle Code for vehicles on private property. During this time, the Department will not tag or tow inoperable vehicles. If an inoperable vehicle is observed the property owner will be sent a letter informing them of the rules. After the threat of COVID-19 ceases, and the inoperable vehicle is still in place, it will be tagged and the 10 day window to have the violation corrected will begin.
- Trash/Recycling Totters: During this time, citizens should continue to follow the regulations for placing totters in front of their home 24 hours prior to pick-up and placing the totter in the side or backyard within 12 hours after pick up. Violators of the City’s trash totter regulations will be mailed a letter regarding their violation. To practice social distancing, a violation notice will not be placed at the property.
- Tall Grass/Trash and Debris: Tall Grass and Trash and Debris violations will be processed based on staff availability and priority.
- Zoning Violations: The City will continue to enforce the Zoning Code. If a violation is found the property owner and /or resident will be notified using U.S. Mail.