Guidance and Forms
The Department of Planning and Zoning is the central point for all building and grading permit applications. The Stormwater Management team within the Department of Public Works reviews permits for stormwater requirements.
The Stormwater Management review team looks at building permits to ensure work does not disturb existing stormwater management BMPs (link to map) and will not alter pre-existing drainage patterns to the site. Sites that have multiple building permits may need to get a grading permit if the thresholds under the below grading permit section are cumulatively triggered by multiple simultaneous projects. Applications for building permits and more info can be found on the Forms-Permits-Licenses page and FAQs for Planning and Zoning.
Accessory Dwelling Units
Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) that increase impervious area on a site are required to have stormwater management. Definitions of ADUs and more information can be found in the Accessory Dwelling Unit Guide.
Grading permits with ground disturbance are reviewed for stormwater management and sediment and erosion control plans. Grading permits and stormwater management are required for:
- Any new single-family home
- Any non-waterfront lot disturbing 5000+ square feet
- Any waterfront lot disturbing 2000+ square feet
Additionally, a grading permit is required if there are more than 100 cubic yards of earthwork involved in the project. For example, a large swimming pool could trigger this. In this case, a grading permit is required and sediment and erosion control plans are required, but stormwater management may not be required as long as the above thresholds are not triggered. All grading permit applications go through our Citizen Self Service Portal website.
Reviews for Sediment and Erosion Control and handled through the application process and the portal will trigger you to upload the following documents:
Any Stormwater Management (SWM) facility must have a signed SWM maintenance agreement, ensuring it is properly inspected and maintained on a regular basis. Maintenance logs should be kept for each separate facility and shall be made available upon the City's request. If you need help setting up a maintenance log, please contact Public Works at 410-263-7949. The City is required to inspect stormwater facilities every three years for compliance with its MS4 permit. Maintenance agreements give the City access for inspection and if necessary, for completing necessary maintenance at the owners’ expense.
If your project has a SWM facility, you will be required to sign the SWM maintenance agreement before the grading permit will be issued. Information on obtaining the SWM maintenance agreement will be given upon initial review of the grading permit application. The standard template for Maintenance Agreements.
During construction of Stormwater facilities, it’s important to take pictures during critical steps of construction. These include all underground installation of pipes and structures and installation of media. It’s also important to avoid compaction of areas where stormwater facilities will be placed. Usually stormwater facilities are the last to be installed on a site. Once the facilities are finished, they must be surveyed by the design engineer and submitted to Planning and Zoning for approval. These are required before bond reduction and release inspections can be scheduled. More information on adequate as-built plans can be found in the As-Built Supplemental Guide.
The online portal for grading permit applications will also prompt the applicant to submit securities for construction of utilities including stormwater management. Bonds are a way to guarantee that stormwater and other facilities are installed correctly before they become the responsibility of the property owner to maintain. After completion of a project the City inspects facilities to ensure they are installed correctly prior to reduction of a bond. One year later the facilities are inspected again before release of the bond. Bonds are managed by the Office of Planning and Zoning.