It depends on exactly what you are doing. A building permit for a home will typically take a few weeks for the County to process. Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) or Health Department approvals are also usually needed. Due to the growth in the region, Health Department permits can take 60 days or more.
Commercial or other non-residential permits follow the same process. The County's response time depends largely on the quality of the plans when they are first submitted and the responsiveness of the applicant in getting any corrections required prior to further review. If the applicant's plans are well done and any needed corrections are made quickly, then the building permit is usually ready to be issued as soon as Health Department approval is received. A site plan may also be needed particularly if your proposed use is commercial, civic, or is expanding the need for parking. Site plans are reviewed simultaneously with other required reviews and, like building plans, can be done quickly if the site plan regulations are met and any needed corrections are completed quickly.
Development that requires a land disturbing permit requires erosion and sediment control plans that are reviewed by the Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District. This can take a few weeks, but the process runs simultaneously with all of the other required reviews in order to minimize any delays. Conditional Use Permits or Rezoning's will take 90 to 120 days on average. Any subsequent development associated with these applications are contingent on their approval by the Board of Supervisors.