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Permit Review Process

Once the Building Permit Application Package has been received by the Permit Application Center, it is distributed so all required reviews can be performed. Nine separate review functions may be required on a residential building permit application for development of a non-waterfront lot. Each review pertains to a specific section of the Anne Arundel County Code.
If all proposed work, existing site conditions and abutting public facilities meet the requirements of the Code and established policies regarding land development, approvals will be granted and the permit issued. If not, review sections unable to approve the initial submittal will generate comments requiring additional information, materials, plans or permits pertaining to development of the subject property. The County’s goal is to generate comments in 15 working days.
Important Note:  The best way to get through the process is to have a complete and accurate first submittal.
The following is a summary of reviews on residential building permit applications.
Planning and Zoning - This review is performed by a representative of the Office of Planning and Zoning, Development Division who checks items such as whether the lot is a legal lot, within a floodplain or airport zone, subject to impact fees and that the proposed structure(s) meet setback requirements for existing zoning. Inability to meet minimum requisites of this review may result in requirements for subdivision approval, execution of a lot merger agreement, variance to zoning regulations or possibly an airport zoning permit, if the site lies within a designated airport zone. Any applicable school, transportation or public safety impact fees must be paid prior to the issuance of permits.
Environment - This review is performed by the Office of Planning and Zoning, Development Division, to check for compliance with the County’s Critical Area Program, Bog Protection Program and implementation of the State Forest Conservation Act.  Items checked are critical area buffers, impervious surfaces, habitat protection area (e.g. wetlands, rare/threatened/endangered species, etc.), steep slopes and bog protection areas.  Requirements generated by this section may include reforestation fees/bonds/agreements, a conservation easement and/or approval from State/Federal regulatory agencies.
Public Works - This is one half of an on-site inspection performed by a representative of the Environmental Programs Section. Items checked are drainage to and through the site, adequate outfall for that drainage, condition or existence of abutting roadways, sight distance checks at access point(s) and review of the record plat for notes pertaining to site improvements required at subdivision approval. Requirements generated by on-site inspection and review of plat notes may include a storm drainage study, grading plan, on-site stormwater management system, road improvements and any supporting plans, documentation or agreements for the above. Note: Stormwater Management is required for all development in the critical area. 
Grading - This review is the remainder of the on-site inspection performed by the Grading Inspector. It consists of an actual field check for compliance with the Standard Grading Plan Application limitations and requirements pertaining to grading and sediment control. If the site or proposed work does not meet that criteria as outlined, it will be required that a Grading Permit Package be submitted and approved prior to issuance of the building permit. Additionally, if the on-site inspection reveals evidence of non-tidal wetlands, the Office of Planning and Zoning, Development Division will be notified for verification since work in these areas may require State and / or Federal government approval.
Utilities - Review performed on all single family dwelling building permits by the Office of Planning and Zoning, Development Division. This review determines the availability of public water and / or wastewater service to the building site. In addition to requiring developers of lots abutting public utilities to connect to available services, County policy mandates that developers of lots within 50 feet of existing public utilities extend those services and connect to public water and / or sewerage, as applicable.  If the site is within a water quality problem area, as identified by the Health Department, and is within 300 feet of public water service, developers will be required to extend and connect to public water service.
Health - This review is carried out by a representative of the Environmental Health Section of the Health Department and is required when water will be supplied by a private well. This ensures that placement of the well meets setback requirements from existing and proposed septic systems, sewer connections, stormwater management facilities and structures, all of which may adversely impact a private water supply. 
Plans - The Plan Review Section reviews the residential construction plans to check compliance with local, state and national construction codes as adopted and amended by Anne Arundel County. Construction plans not conforming to the County Code will be marked to indicate minimum standards. Plans with major conformance problems will be rejected and returned with comments detailing items to be corrected for re-submittal. It is the developer’s responsibility to ensure that all construction complies with Code requirements as indicated on the construction plans approved for use in the field. 
State Highway Administration (SHA) - This review is performed on all residential building permits by a representative of SHA. If access to a building site will be gained from a State highway or road, developers will be required to obtain a residential entrance permit from that agency prior to issuance of the pending building permit. This review ensures access point(s) do not create traffic hazards on State thoroughfares. SHA will coordinate this process and charges no fees for this permit.
Allocations - This function is actually verification that public water and / or sewer service allotments are available to building sites served by public utilities. Allocations are not assigned until other necessary approvals have been granted. Therefore, applicants checking status on residential building permits should not be alarmed that the Allocations status remains “required” throughout the review process.
If the submitted Building Permit Application and associated materials represent proposed work where existing site conditions and abutting public facilities meet all requirements regarding land development in Anne Arundel County, approvals will be granted and the building permit issued. In many cases, one or more reviewers may require supplemental information, materials, plans or permits in order to approve the pending building permit. This does not constitute a denial of an application for single lot development, but requires that site deficiencies or special conditions be addressed prior to approvals being granted.


Anne Arundel County, MD. 44 Calvert Street Annapolis, MD. 21401 | Telephone: (410) 222-7000 | Suggestions | Disclaimer

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