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Ask your contractor/tradesman to see his license before contracting work with anyone. Also, the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) is a source to verify licenses in Virginia.
Wise County Commissioner of the Revenue’s website contains your parcel information.
Example Permit Costs:
The 4 pm Law is a ban (or restriction) on open air burning before 4 pm if your fire is within 300 feet of the woods or dry grass which can carry the fire to the woods. You are allowed to burn between 4 pm and midnight as long as you take proper care and precaution and attend your fire at all times.
The law goes into effect on February 15th each year and runs through April 30th.
The 4 pm Law was adopted during the 1940s to reduce the number of wildfires which occurred each spring. During this time of the year, Virginia traditionally has an increased number of fires. During the winter months, winds are usually elevated, the relative humidity is lower and the fuels on the forest floor are extremely dry, having "cured" without having the tree leaves to shade them.
After 4 pm, winds usually calm down and the relative humidity levels are on the increase, both of which reduce the potential for a debris fire or any outdoor open air fire to escape your control.
Debris burning is the number one cause of wildfires, closely followed by intentionally set or "arson" fires.
Virginia has records which date back to 1925, and our 30 year average is 1,449 fires for 8,338 acres per year. 1941 saw the most fires with 3,697, and 1930 had the most acreage burned at 333,023 acres.
No. Campfires are considered an open air fire. A recreational fire such as a campfire may be approved if it meets all the following: the fire is completely contained within a ring of rocks, cinderblocks, metal ring or similar device and also covered by a ¼ inch or smaller metal screen. A fire built in a pit with a similar metal screen may also be approved.
In all cases the fire must be attended at all times and an extra precaution should be taken by clearing a 20 foot area around the "fire" from all flammable material. Ready access to water, rake and shovel should also be provided for. Fires built in commercially available chimineas or fire pits are not considered to be open air fires and therefore legal if they are complete and in good condition to prevent the spread of fire to surrounding areas.
You should check with local authorities and/or the VA Department of Forestry if you have any concerns or questions.
Yes. Although you may have taken all proper precautions and obtained any locally required permits, whoever started the fire is responsible should the fire escape.
Violation of the 4 pm Law is a Class 3 misdemeanor with a fine of not more than $500.
Yes. However, you must take proper care and precaution by clearing all flammable material from around it and you must stay with it until it is completely extinguished or turned off.
No. However, if the burning operations are greater than 300 feet from the woods or flammable grass/vegetation which would allow the fire to spread to the woods the 4 pm Law does not apply.
The 4 pm Law provides for some exceptions to the regulations. Vineyards and orchard owners are allowed to set fires in an attempt to protect their crops from damaging frost. Virginia Certified Prescribed Burn Managers who have applied for and were granted an exemption are allowed to use a prescribed fire under specific and pre-approved conditions for very specific resource management objectives. These management objectives are:
Yes, if certain precautions are taken to cover and contain the fire. The 4 pm. Law applies to open-air burning, which means any outdoor fire that is not covered and/or contained within non-flammable barriers.
For example, a typical campfire is considered an open-air fire. However, an open-air fire may be acceptable if it meets all the following criteria: it is completely contained within a ring of rocks, cinderblocks, metal ring, or a similar device and is covered by a ¼ inch or smaller metal screen. If these criteria are met, the fire still must be attended at all times, and all flammable material should be cleared from a 20 foot area around the fire. Campers must also have ready access to water, rake and shovel.
Fires built in commercially available chimineas or fire pits are not considered open-air fires and are therefore legal, if they are in good condition to prevent the spread of fire to surrounding areas. Check with local authorities and/or the VA Department of Forestry for any concerns or questions.
A general reassessment is mandated by state law every four years in counties (Code of Virginia § 58.1-3252). The last reassessment went into effect on January 1, 2018. Values for this reassessment will be effective January 1, 2022.
We are required by Virginia State Law to assess property at 100% of fair market value. (Code of Virginia: § 58.1-3201) Fair market value is considered to be the most likely price that someone would pay for a given piece of property on the open market, when there are no special circumstances to be considered.
The cost of building a home and the prices citizens are paying to buy property in Wise County will impact the value of all local real estate. Our office has no control over whether values go up or down, but we are required by State Law to reflect all market fluctuations in our assessed values. This can happen even when there has been no change to a subject property.
Our staff is made up of local assessors who have almost 50 years of combined experience assessing property in Wise County. Our chief property assessor is certified by the Virginia Department of Taxation to oversee and complete this general reassessment. All three of our assessors are certified with Master designations through the Weldon Cooper Center of the University of Virginia. Our assessors have completed training courses in all accepted methods of appraisal and ethical practices.
The purpose of a general reassessment is not to raise taxes. The fundamental purpose of a reassessment is to make sure values are accurate and that they have been assessed uniformly and equitably. The Wise County Assessment Office never takes any deficit or surplus in the county's finances into consideration when determining fair market value. Our office has no control over the county tax rate, collection policies, or the local sales ratio. All questions or concerns about the tax rate should be addressed to your representative on the Board of Supervisors
If you are permanently & totally disabled or if you are over the age of 65, you may qualify to have a portion of your tax bill reduced. In order to receive an exemption, you must own the home as of January 1st of the calendar year and it must be your primary residence. In addition, your total household income cannot exceed $42,000 and your assets cannot exceed $85,000 (the value of your home is not included in this total).
If you are a veteran (or surviving spouse of a veteran) who has a 100% service-connected disability through the Veterans Administration, you may also qualify for an exemption. Applications can be found on our webpage: www.wisecounty.org/227/Forms-Applications
Market trends dictate that properties in a certain section of Wise County may increase at a different rate than properties in another area of the county. The county increase or decrease is an average that reflects the difference in total value over the last reassessment cycle, but does not necessarily reflect each individual and unique property. One property value changing at a different rate than the county-wide average is not unusual, nor is it grounds for an appeal by itself.
No response is necessary if you do not appeal the value.
An appeal process is in place to guarantee that your assessment is accurate. We recommend the following steps:
If you disagree with the assessment, you may contact the Assessment Office to schedule an appeal. You will need to be prepared to provide substantial proof of an error to proceed with your appeal.
The Wise County Sheriff's Office is located at 5605 Patriot Drive, Wise, VA. 24293
Directions to the Wise County, VA. Sheriff's Office
If this is an emergency call 911. You can also call 276-328-3756 or come to the Wise County Sheriff's Office to file a report in person.
If you're seeking a report or information from the Wise County Sheriff's Office please complete the "FOIA - Request For Information (PDF)" and deliver it to the Wise County Sheriff's Office during normal business hours. For more information please see Making a Request for Records from Wise County, VA.
You must be 21 by the time of academy graduation.
The only way to identify the zoning district that an individual piece of property lies within is by locating the property on the Official Zoning District Map of Wise County, Virginia. A representative of the Building and Zoning Department will be able to assist you in locating your property.
If the use planned is prohibited in the zone which applies to the site, it is possible to apply for rezoning. The likelihood of successfully changing the zoning designation for a site varies greatly. The primary consideration is the compatibility of the proposed change with surrounding uses. Zoning changes require a public hearing and the approval of the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors (PDF).
The purpose of the Special Use Permit procedure is to provide a means for the Board of Supervisors to authorize, after review and subject to appropriate conditions, certain specified uses which, although generally appropriate in the district in which they are permitted by the Zoning Ordinance, have a potentially greater impact on neighboring properties that those uses which are permitted by right in the district.
The special use procedure is intended to provide the opportunity for the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors (PDF) to review of each proposed special use and its potential impacts on surrounding properties and land uses, with special regard for the particular circumstances of each use. It is also intended to provide an opportunity for the Planning Commission to recommend and for the Board of Supervisors to impose such conditions as are necessary to ensure that the use will be compatible with the surrounding area and consistent with the intent of the particular district and the purpose of the Zoning Ordinance.
If some aspect of a proposed project does not conform with the development standards for the zone, it is possible to apply for a Variance. The purpose of issuing variances is not to allow exceptions to the development standards but rather to help achieve equal treatment for owners who would be disadvantaged by strict application of these standards. For more information on variances contact the Building and Zoning Department.
The Board of Zoning Appeals (PDF) is a four member Board that makes recommendations related to the application and enforcement of the Zoning Ordinance, as well as variation requests.