Single Family Development


What is a new single family development?

New single family development is the construction of a new a single house, multi-family house or townhouse in the City of Portsmouth.  It can also refer to the construction of a house which was previously taken down to the slab as rebuilds are considered new construction.


What about the demolition of a house?

Demolitions of single family houses do not require going thru the Single Family Development Process; however, a survey of the property, an Agreement-in-Lieu of Plan and a Land Disturber Notification Form must be submitted to the Engineering Department with a Zoning approval.  We cannot accept a demolition request without Zoning’s approval.  A Land Disturbance Permit must be obtained from the Department for a demo.


What is the process for the construction of new single family development?

The process for the construction of new single family development involves the review by various departments of documents submitted by the applicant.  The documents which are reviewed are listed below.  Upon approval by each department the required “sign-offs” are made and the required permits can be issued.  Right of Way Permits and Land disturbance Permits are issued by the Department of Engineering and Technical Services  (Engineering Department); however, other permits will be required prior to the construction of the house.  Please contact the Department of Permits and Inspections to see what is required of them.


How do I submit the Application and other paperwork?

Applicants will be required to complete the top portions (I, II and III) of the front page of the Single-Family Development Application form with the relevant information that applies to their project.  This completed form along with all other applicable materials will be delivered to the Zoning Department as it is a requirement to visit the Zoning Department before submitting the Application with all necessary documents to the Engineering Department.    The team in the Engineering Department will enter the required information and route the materials for processing among the required departments.  If there are no issues, the contractor/applicant will be contacted within 5-7 days to apply for and obtain the Engineering and Building Permits related to the project.


What documents are required?

All of the following materials** will need to be completed and provided to the Engineering Department to begin the process:


A.     Completed Forms which can be obtained in person or online at the City’s website:

1.      Single Family Development Application Form, completed and signed by the applicant

2.      Agreement in Lieu of OR Agreement in Lieu of Stormwater Management Plan***

3.      Responsible Land Disturber Notification

4.      Building Permit Application

5.      Zoning Compliance Permit Application Form – approved by Zoning

6.      Zoning and Planning Single Family Residential – New Construction Checklist – approved by Zoning


B.     Original Material:

1.      2 sets of Construction Drawings

2.      2 Soil Reports

3.      Survey of the property


**Other materials may be required if deemed necessary.


***Agreement in Lieu of Stormwater Management Plan is necessary only if  construction is part of common plan of development.


Someone from our department will call you if there are any issues and/or when the documents are completed for you to come in and obtain the Land Disturbance Permit and the Right-of-Way Permit.




What do I need to know about a Right-of-Way Bond?

In addition to the above, please note that a Right-of-Way Bond will be required prior to the issuance of any Right-of-Way Permits. The value of the Bond will be determined by an engineer and will be conveyed to you prior to you coming in to pay for and obtain the required Permits from the Engineering Department.  Per City Code, the minimum Right-of-Way Bond will be in the amount of $5,000; however, the final amount  of the Bond will be determined by one of the engineers.  At a minimum the Right-of-Way Bond should include a brief description of the work and the location of the work, i.e., Right-of-Way Improvements at project address.  Your Right-of-Way Bond needs to be an original.  We do not accept faxed or emailed copies.  You must use our Right-of-Way Bond form when obtaining the