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Virginia Single Use Utility Installations Permit (3-VA-e)

In Virginia, a utility (developer) may need a Single Use Utility Installations Permit (Permit) from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to install and maintain a new utility facility within a state highway right-of-way. tit. 24 Va. Admin Code 30-151-30(C)(1)(b). A “utility” is defined as “privately, publically or cooperatively owned line, facility, or system for producing, transmitting, or distributing…electricity.” tit. 24 Va. Admin Code 30-151-10. If a project requires installing new utilities on state-maintained highways, then a developer may need a Permit from VDOT. The VDOT regulates utility installations pursuant to Virginia – tit. 24 Va. Admin Code et seq., Transportation and Motor Vehicles; Virginia – Virginia Department of Transportation Memorandum on Land Use Permit Process.


Single Use Utility Installations Permit Process

3-VA-e.1 – Application for Single Use Utility Installations Permit

The developer must submit a complete Application for Utility Installations (Permit Application) to VDOT. A complete Permit Application includes, at minimum:

  • Developer and/or agent contact information including address and diver’s license or tax ID number;
  • Permit term requested;
  • Fee amount enclosed (exceptions under tit. 67 Va. Admin Code 11-67-11-03 (A) may apply);
  • Estimated cost of work proposed;
  • Surety bond information;
  • Location of the proposed project;
  • Developer and/or agent signature;
  • Land Use Permit Resolution, only if it is related to a local government project;
  • Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification; and
  • Plans and sketches showing:
    • Distances from the edge of pavement;
    • Existing and proposed right-of-way line;
    • Traffic control/work zone plan;
    • Depths below existing and proposed grades;
    • Depths below ditch line or underground drainage structures;
    • The location of existing utilities within close proximity to the proposed work;
    • The location of poles, guys, pedestals, relief valves, vent pipes; and
    • The height of wire or cables above the crown of the roadway.

Application for Utility Installations. Note: Work under a Permit may not be consolidated into a single Permit Application. tit. 24 Va. Admin Code 30-151-30. If multiple utility installations are required, then the developer must apply for and obtain a separate Permit for each installation. Note: The public rights-of-way use fee is imposed on all “renewable generators that occupy and use public rights-of way in order to (i) supply electricity generated at its renewable energy facility to the electric distribution grid, (ii) distribute steam generated at its renewable energy facility to customers, or (iii) supply landfill gas to customers or to a natural gas distribution or transmission pipeline.” tit. 67 Va. Admin Code 11-67-11-03(A). Further, this fee is charged in lieu of “any and all fees of general application with the exception for zoning, subdivision, site plan, and comprehensive plan fees of general application, otherwise chargeable to a renewable generator by the Department of Transportation or a locality in connection with a permit for such occupation and use.” tit. 67 Va. Admin Code 11-67-11-03 (A).

3-VA-e.2 to 3-VA-e.5 – Review Application Materials for Completeness

Upon receipt of a Permit Application, the appropriate VDOT Residency Permit Office reviews the Application for technical and administrative completeness. tit. 24 Va. Admin Code 30-151-300(1); Virginia – Virginia Department of Transportation Memorandum on Land Use Permit Process. Following a completeness review, the appropriate VDOT Residency Permit Office logs the Permit Application information into the VDOT Land Use Permit System. Virginia – Virginia Department of Transportation Memorandum on Land Use Permit Process. After logging the Permit Application package, the VDOT Residency Permit Office reviews, and comments on the proposed work, including the location, timing, and length of permitted activity. Virginia – Virginia Department of Transportation Memorandum on Land Use Permit Process;

3-VA-e.6 – Coordinate with Other VDOT Offices and Impacted Municipalities

The VDOT Residency Permit Office coordinates with other VDOT offices and impacted municipalities to secure any additional VDOT approvals. Virginia – Virginia Department of Transportation Memorandum on Land Use Permit Process.

3-VA-e.7 to 3-VA-e.8 – Calculate Appropriate Fees

The VDOT Residency Permit Office calculates the appropriate fees and communicate said fees to the developer. Virginia – Virginia Department of Transportation Memorandum on Land Use Permit Process.

3-VA-e.9 – Pay Required Fees

The developer must submit required application fees to the VDOT Residency Permit Office cover the cost of Permit Application processing, plan review and inspection, and to provide surety to guarantee the satisfactory performance of the work under the permit. tit. 24 Va. Admin Code 30-151-700. Single Use Utility Installations Permits require a fee of $100, with additional costs based on the activities associated with the proposed project. tit. 24 Va. Admin Code 30-151-710; Application for Utility Installations.

3-VA-e.10 – Secure Insurance

The developer must secure and maintain insurance prior to initiating construction to protect against liability for personal injury and property damage that arise from construction activities. Application for Utility Installations.

3-VA-e.11 to 3-VA-e.12 – Does the VDOT Require Insurance Verification?

VDOT may require a developer to establish proof of required insurance to protect against liability for personal injury and property damage that may arise from the work performed under the authority of a land use permit. tit. 24 Va. Admin Code 30-151-40(F). Upon request, the insurance agent or agency must submit a valid certificate or letter of insurance to VDOT prior to VDOT issuing the developer a Permit. tit. 24 Va. Admin Code 30-151-40(F).

3-VA-e.13 to 3-VA-e.15 – Does the Project Require Construction within a Limited Access Right-of-Way?

If the project requires utility installation within a limited access-right-of-way then, then the VDOT Residency Permit Office staff must forward the Permit Application to the VDOT Office of Land Use with a district office endorsement. Virginia – Virginia Department of Transportation Memorandum on Land Use Permit Process; Virginia – Virginia Department of Transportation Land Use Permits Guidance Information Appendices. If the project does not require construction within a limited access right-of-way, proceed to 3-VA-e.21. If the VDOT Office of Land Use does not endorse the permit, proceed to 3-VA-e.24.

3-VA-e.16 to 3-VA-e.18 – Review Application Materials

The VDOT Office of Land Use reviews the Permit Application materials and drafts a recommendation on the application. The VDOT Office of Land Use forwards the application materials along with the recommendation to the VDOT Chief Engineer.

3-VA-e.19 to 3-VA-e.20 – Review Application Materials for Endorsement

Upon review of the Permit Application materials, the VDOT Chief Engineer either endorses or rejects the permit. If the VDOT Chief Engineer rejects the permit proceed to 3-VA-e.24.

3-VA-e.21 to 3-VA-e.23 – Review Application for Approval

In determining whether to grant a Permit, VDOT considers whether granting a Permit adequately ensures the safety, use, or maintenance of a highway right-of-way. ‘’’New Utility Installations within a Limited Access Highway’’’ In reviewing a Permit Application for a new utility installation within a limited access highway, the VDOT Chief Engineer considers whether the developer has shown the following:

  • That the installation with not adversely affect the safety, design, construction, operations, maintenance or stability of the highway;
  • That the accommodation will not interfere with or impair the present use or future expansion of the highway;
  • That any alternative location would be contrary to the public interest supported by an evaluation of the direct and indirect environmental and economic effects that would result from the disapproval of the use of such right-of-way for the accommodation of such utility; and
  • That the proposed installations do not involve tree removal or severe tree trimming. tit. 24 Va. Admin Code 30-151-310(2).

3-VA-e.24 – Appeal Decision to VDOT District Administrator (Optional)

If the VDOT Residency Permit Office denies the Permit Application, the developer may file a request for appeal stating the grounds for the appeal and any unresolved issues with the VDOT District Administrator within 30 days of the appropriate VDOT office issuing a decision on the Permit Application. tit. 24 Va. Admin Code 30-151-100.

3-VA-e.25 to 3-VA-e.26 – Review Application Materials on Appeal

Upon receipt of the appeal, the VDOT District Administrator must review the information on appeal and issue a decision to the developer within 60 calendar days. tit. 24 Va. Admin Code 30-151-100.

3-VA-e.27 to 3-VA-e.29 – Submit Copy of Decision to VDOT Residency Permit Office

The VDOT District Administrator must submit a copy of its decision to the appropriate VDOT Residency Permit Office tit. 24 Va. Admin Code 30-151-100.

3-VA-e.30 – Appeal Decision to VDOT Commissioner of Highways (Optional)

The developer may further appeal the VDOT District Administrator’s decision to the VDOT Commissioner of Highways. tit. 24 Va. Admin Code 30-151-100. If the developer appeals to the VDOT Commissioner of Highways, the developer should include in the petition to appeal all prior correspondence with VDOT regarding the issues on appeal. tit. 24 Va. Admin Code 30-151-100.


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Director Office of Land Use 804-786-0780 Visit Website