Code Modification

Recognizing the need for codes to be flexible, the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code provides for Code Modifications and appeals.  The Guidelines for modifications are found in the 2012 USBC, section 106.3.

Parties desiring a code modification are to submit a written request to the Building Official.  The initial decision of whether or not to issue a code modification lies solely with the Building Official . The USBC requires that a code modification meet two tests: the request must meet the "sprit and intent" of the code, and public "health, safety and welfare" must be assured.

Code modification requests may be made by either the property owner, tenant, contractor, or some other party directly associated with a particular permit or project.  While the code does not dictate the use of a specific form, the City of Winchester, for the purposes of consistency, encourages applicants to use the Code Modification Request form provided. (To Download form, click here)

Applicants should provide complete background information about the circumstances associated with their request, a concise explanation of why exact compliance with the code is not possible, and how their alternative meets the two tests of the code.

A Code modification becomes part of the permanent record of a building or structure, and is recorded on the Certificate of Use and Occupancy issued for a particular structure.

Appeals Local Level

Appeals of code decisions, including plan reviews, Notices of Code Violations, and denial of code modification request, can be made to the Winchester Building Code Board of Appeals (LBCBA).

Parties wishing to file an appeal to the LBCBA, should contact the LBCBA secretary, indicating their desire to appeal . An appeal form will be provided or may be downloaded from this site.  Appellants should understand that the same criteria used in evaluating code modification requests will be applied during the appeal process.