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A grading permit is required for:

  • Any land disturbance unless exempt in §§33-5-106 or 33-5-201 of the Baltimore County Code;
  • Grading activities that disturb greater than 5,000 square feet or more than 100 cubic yards of fill material;
  • Grading activities that include any watercourses, floodplains, wetland areas, buffers, habitat protection areas, or forest buffers.

Additionally, a permit is required for all grading work located in the following areas:

  • In a proposed or designated Baltimore County Historic District
  • On the Baltimore County Landmarks list
  • In the floodplain
  • In the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area

Learn more about sediment and erosion control.

Building Guidelines

Grading permits have a time limit of two years from the date of issuance.

Required Documents

The following items are required when submitting a building permit application:

  • Grading Plans—Required for the following:
    • If the limit of disturbance is greater than 5,000 square feet or 100 cubic yards.
    • If disturbed area for Commercial or General grading exceeds 20,000 square feet, or a Residential New Dwelling single lot exceeds 30,000 square feet plans must be signed and sealed by a design professional. These plans must be approved by the Soil Conservation District.

  • Sediment Control Standard Plans Forms — Standard Plans are used in lieu of engineered Sediment and Erosion Control Plans approved by the Baltimore County Soil Conservation District for commercial sites with a limit of disturbance less than 20,000 square feet, and New Dwellings single lots under 30,000 square feet.
  • Grading Plans Review Checklist (May be required for other offices.)
  • Stormwater Management Plan (May be required for other offices.)
  • Landscaping/Lighting Plan (May be required for other offices.)
  • Documents required to address the following regulations, if applicable:
    • Forest Conservation
    • Forest Buffer
    • Chesapeake Bay Critical Area 

About the Application Process

To learn more about the application process, read the steps and watch the videos below, or view the FAQ or full tutorial video playlist.

Apply for a Permit

Once you have reviewed the process outlined above and have gathered your required documentation, apply for your permit online using the buttons below.


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Contact Us

Department of Permits, Approvals and Inspections

County Office Building
111 West Chesapeake Avenue
Towson, Maryland 21204


Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.



C. Pete Gutwald