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Posted on: December 13, 2018

Planning a Special Event in Loudoun? Make Sure Your Application is On Time

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Effective January 1, 2019, organizers of special events in Loudoun County who are seeking a temporary special event permit must apply for the permit at least 30 days in advance of the date of the event. The 30-day requirement, which is designed to give the county sufficient time to review the permit application, is specified in Section 5-500 of the Revised 1993 Loudoun County Zoning Ordinance. Permit applications sent in by mail must also be received by the Department of Building and Development at least 30 days before the event to be considered for review. 

A zoning permit is required for most special events unless they are listed in the Zoning Ordinance as exempt activities. A building permit may also be required depending on the type of activities and structures planned for the event, such as inflatables, tents, and similar structures. 

“We encourage anyone who is planning a special event in Loudoun to begin the planning process as early as possible. Receipt of a permit application within the 30-day time frame does not guarantee that the application will be approved,” said Loudoun County Permits Division Manager Evan Harlow. “The earlier an application is received, the earlier we can identify any issues that might slow down the review process.” 

Depending on the type of event that is being planned, organizers may need to work with multiple agencies, such as the Fire Marshal’s Office, the Loudoun County Health Department and the Virginia Department of Transportation to secure the necessary permits. Anyone planning a special event in Loudoun County is encouraged to begin the process as early as possible by filling out the Online Event Planning Form or contacting the county’s Special Events Coordinator in the Office of Emergency Management by email or 703-737-8919. The Special Events Coordinator can provide guidance regarding special event planning, including identifying the necessary permit applications, licenses, and site safety plans and procedures.

More information about the special event planning process, including links to the required permit applications, is online at  

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