Permitting Process

Obtain a Joint Permit Application (JPA). The application can be downloaded at the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) U.S. - Norfolk District website or a copy can be mailed to you calling 757-201-7500. JPAs are also available at the Virginia Marine Resource Commission (VMRC) office 757-247-2200 or the Suffolk Planning Department. The permit application requires project drawings to be submitted as part of the application. It is important to include all requested information in the application and on these drawings, as they will become be used to determine the which agency's jurisdiction the project falls within, whether the project requires a permit, whether the request will be approved, modified, or denied. The application and drawing will also be used to determine project compliance.
Shoreline Permit Process
  1. Submit the applicable portions of the Joint Permit Application to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC). Submission of the Joint Permit Application initiates the permit process. The VMRC is responsible for managing and regulating the use of Virginia's tidal wetlands in conjunction with Virginia's local wetlands boards. VMRC acts as a clearinghouse for the applicant by receiving the application. The application is assigned a permit number and copies are routed to participating federal, state, and local agencies. Each agency processes the application independently and decides whether a permit for the proposal is required. Each agency will respond separately to the applicant.
    Applications are mailed to or dropped off at the following address:

    Virginia Marine Resources Commission
    Habitat Management Division
    2600 Washington Avenue, 3rd Floor
    Newport News, VA 23607
  2. The JPA will be reviewed by the staff of the Suffolk Wetlands Board for completeness and to determine whether a permit is required from the Wetlands Board.
  3. If a permit is not required from the Wetlands Board a letter will be issued notifying the applicant or their designated agent. If the proposed activities are within the Suffolk Wetlands Board's jurisdiction (tidal wetlands) a public hearing will be required to obtain Wetlands Board approval prior to commencing with the project (in addition to all other required permits from federal and state agencies). City of Suffolk Wetlands Board staff will visit the project site. Additional visits will be preformed by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC), Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), and any other interested agency. The project will then be scheduled for public hearing. The public hearing provides an opportunity for public review and comment. During the hearing, the Wetlands Board may approval, deny, make modifications to a permit request, or may require that certain conditions apply.
    • Wetland Permit fees for projects requiring a public hearing before the Wetlands Board are $250. Permit fees for after-the-fact projects are $300 (additional civil penalties may be imposed by the Wetlands Board for the violation). This amount includes the cost of advertising the proposed project in the public notice section of the local newspaper. Suffolk Wetland Board permits are typically valid for 1 year from the date of approval. Permit expiration dates may be extended by the Wetlands Board upon written request. All extension requests must be received prior to the expiration date. It is the landowner's responsibility to obtain all necessary permits.
In addition, your project may require authorization or a permit from one or more of the following: