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Permit Processing

Application

Learn how to start the process of applying for a building permit.

The requirements described below need to be met before proceeding with filing an application for a building permit. Failure to do so will delay permit issuance.

Also, if you are planning to change the use of your property in any respect, you should first contact the Zoning Review Office at 410-887-3391 to see if the new use conforms to the uses permitted due to the property's zoning classification.

Please note that permit fees are required at the time of application and are not refundable. View the Building Permit Fee Schedule (PDF).

Building Permit Requirements

The owner of the property, or their authorized agent, must apply for a building permit in person at:

County Office Building, Room 100
111 West Chesapeake Avenue
Towson, Maryland 21204

In addition to the correct property tax account number, you are required to bring the following when making application for a building permit.

New Dwelling

The following documents are required when submitting an application for a new dwelling:

  • Two construction plans
  • Affirmation of Landowner (PDF) if dwelling is being constructed by homeowner
  • Plot plans to scale:
    • Seven for metropolitan sewer and water or
    • 11 for septic tank or well and filing approval from the Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS)
    • Note: Plot plans must show the entire lot with dimensions, all four setbacks and the proposed house with dimensions exactly as it is to be constructed. EPS requires plot plans on one page and the engineer scale to be no less than one inch equal to 100 feet.

Per Part 113.1 of the Baltimore County Code and Section R106.1.4 of the International Residential Code, an original seal and signature are required on construction drawings for:

  • Construction that utilizes steel framing pursuant to Sections R505, R603 or R804 of the International Residential Code
  • Construction that exceeds 3,000 square feet gross floor area, excluding one-story garages
  • Permanent Plans—Master set of construction drawings utilized to obtain multiple building permits without providing additional sets of construction plans for each additional building permit
  • All construction in V (High Velocity Wave Action) Flood Zones per Section R322.3.6 of the International Residential Code

Residential Alterations or Additions

The following documents are required when submitting an application for residential alterations or additions:

  • For construction under 600 square feet: four plot plans.
  • For construction 600 square feet and over: two construction plans and five plot plans
  • For construction exceeding 3,000 square feet: seal and signature is required on plans

Residential Accessory Structures

The following documents are required when submitting an application for residential accessory structures:

  • For construction under 1,000 square feet: four plot plans
  • For construction over 2,000 square feet: two construction plans and five plot plans

Residential Swimming Pools

The following documents are required when submitting an application for residential swimming pools:

Residential Piers

The following documents are required when submitting an application for residential piers:

  • Two construction plans
  • Four scaled site plans developed by a professional engineer

Solar Panel Installation

The following documents are required when submitting an application for solar panel installation:

  • Roof-mounted panels: two construction plans (no permit is required if the panels are 10 kw or less)
  • Ground-mounted panels: two plot plans

Sprinklers

The following documents are required when submitting an application for sprinklers:

  • Three construction plans
  • Structural Certificate, if required by Plans Review

Commercial Buildings—New Structures, Additions and Alterations

The following documents are required when submitting an application for commercial buildings, including new structures, additions and alterations:

  • Two construction plans with an original seal and signature on each page
  • Three data sheets with a professional seal and signature
  • 10 plot plans if served by public water and sewer; 14 plot plans and filing approval from EPS for an on-site water or sewer system

Note: If the disturbed area is over 5,000 square feet, a separate grading permit will be required. Approved grading and sediment control studies will be required for a grading permit. All commercial permits are subject to review for stormwater management by EPS.

Contact Environmental Health Services about plans for any commercial permit that involves food or swimming pools.

Additional Permits

Additional permits include antennas, bulkheads, carnivals, fences, razing, retaining walls, commercial sprinklers, commercial solar panels and various others. Call Permit Processing at 410-887-3900 for additional information and requirements to file these applications.

Permit processing staff will assist you in preparing the application form. You will be directed to the Zoning Review Office for setback verification and other agencies required for filing approval. The application process is completed in Room 100, at which time the building permit fee is paid and a receipt is obtained. Your applications, drawings and plot plans will be sent to the proper agencies for approval. When all approvals have been obtained, the permit is issued and mailed to you. Some permits may have to be picked up due to the size of the construction plans.

  • All construction and setbacks must be maintained exactly as they were stated on the permit application. All building permits are good for one year from the date of issue. Do not work on an expired permit.
     
  • All residential alterations or additions by a private contractor require the Maryland Home Improvement License number of said contractor.
     
  • A contractor building a new dwelling must be registered with the Maryland Home Builder Registration Unit.
     
  • All residential applications filed by a tenant must be submitted with a letter of permission from the owner of the property.
     
  • For your protection, Code Inspections and Enforcement officers make periodic inspections while construction is in progress.
     
  • Sign permits are issued by the Zoning Review Office in Room 111 of the County Office Building. Call 410-887-3391 for more information.
     
  • Plumbing and Electrical postcard permits can be purchased at all full-service Baltimore County Public Libraries.

Electrical

A licensed master electrician must be hired by you to do any kind of electrical work in Baltimore County. An Electrical Permit must be obtained in addition to a Building Permit for solar panel installation.

Plumbing

A Plumbing Permit is required before any type of plumbing work, new or replacement, is started. This permit must be obtained only by a registered master plumber of Baltimore County, who is knowledgeable about the necessary information needed by this department. All plumbing work must be inspected by our plumbing inspector before it is approved. All subsoil drains must be inspected before coverage.

If a private disposal system is required, no part of the disposal system shall be located within 10 feet of a property line, within 100 feet of any stream or within 100 feet of a private water supply.

Minimum required lot size:

  • For lots without metropolitan water and sewer line: 20,000 square feet with 100-foot frontage
  • For lots with metropolitan water but no metropolitan sewer: 15,000 square feet with 100-foot minimum frontage

No building permit shall be issued when a private disposal system is involved until a soil test of the land has proven satisfactory. All applications for standard percolation tests must be filed in Room 100. One plot plan, drawn to scale, is required to apply. Water supply service and meter applications also are filed in Room 100. If the owner is not filing, a power of attorney is required.

Swimming pool applications that require a permanent water line to fill the pool also require a plumbing permit.

Public Sewer

The Baltimore County Code requires that all commercial users of metropolitan sewer lines obtain a Wastewater Discharge Permit prior to any discharge to the sewer. Facilities with sanitary waste only (restrooms, hand sinks and showers) or routine boiler blowdown are excluded. Any uncontaminated water (non-contact cooling water) is prohibited. For information, contact the Bureau of Utilities Engineering Regulation Division at 410-887-5348.

 
Revised July 31, 2019         

 

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