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Garrett County, Maryland Seal
Garrett County Government
301.334.8970 | [email protected]

Floodplain Permit Process


A floodplain management permit is required for all development in any designated floodplain area. It shall be granted only after all necessary permit applications are approved by applicable Federal and State agencies. A permit issued by the local permitting official is not valid until all necessary permits for development are obtained. Receipt of Federal or State permits does not exempt development from the provisions of the Garrett County Floodplain Management Ordinance.


Information for a Permit

Applications for a floodplain management permit shall contain, at a minimum, the following information:
  1. Name, address, and telephone number of applicant (owner or contract vendee);
  2. Name, address, and telephone number of owner, if different;
  3. Name, address, and telephone number of contractor;
  4. Legal description of site location;
  5. Proposed uses for the site;
  6. Type, dimensions, and estimate cost of development proposed;
  7. Site characteristics and improvements; and
  8. Other information deemed appropriate by the local permitting official.
  9. All permit applications must have a site plan drawn to scale which shows:
  1. Dimensions of site;
  2. Size and location of existing and proposed structures or alterations;
  3. Setbacks;
  4. Elevation contours in mean sea level (NAVD);
  5. Delineation of the 100-year flood elevation and boundary; and
  6. Proposed elevation of the lowest floor and method of elevation, if applicable.
  1. Building plans as required by the County building code.
All applicants shall agree in writing to provide an elevation certificate completed by a registered professional engineer or surveyor to certify the as-built lowest level floor of a structure which must be elevated to or above the flood protection elevation. An elevation certificate must be submitted before a certificate of occupancy or use may be issued. Work undertaken prior to submission of the certification is at the applicant’s risk. For enclosed areas below the flood protection elevation, a declaration of land restriction recorded among the land records of Garrett County shall be required, in addition to an agreement to install water equalizing vents as specific in §151.086 of the Garrett County Floodplain Managment Ordinance.
If an improvement to an existing structure is proposed, adequate information on the cost of the improvement and the market value of structure before the improvement must be supplied to the local permitting official to allow a determination of substantial improvement. The local permitting official may use tax assessment records to determine substantial improvement. In floodplain areas, permits shall be traced by property location to determine if the cumulative value of improvements constitutes substantial improvement of structure.

Subdivision Proposals

In addition to the information required above, an applicant for subdivision in the nontidal floodplain zone shall submit a plan to demonstrate that a building site and on-site sewerage disposal for each lot is outside of the 100-year floodplain. The plan for utility ingress, stormwater drainage structures, road access, and other rights-of-way shall be evaluated in light of the site characteristics. Subdivision requirements are outlined in §151.058 of the Garrett County Floodplain Management Ordiance.


Issuance of Permit


Prior to issuance of a permit, the local permitting official shall determine the location of the project relative to floodways and floodplains, and shall note on the permit the proper elevation to which the lowest floor of proposed structures must be elevated. In approximate floodplains where an elevation is not available, the applicant shall be required to obtain the elevation. The applicant must agree to secure all other required permits, an elevation certificate, flood proofing certificate, engineering analysis, or other required verifications deemed appropriate by the local permitting official.
Permits shall be granted by the local permitting official only after determining that the proposed development will be in complete conformance with the requirements of the regulations of the Garrett County Floodplain Managment Ordinance and all other applicable local codes and ordinances. All other necessary permits or approvals must be granted. Permits are valid only after all other necessary permits are granted.

Dam Safety

Caution shall be exercised when approving development downstream of existing or proposed dams. The condition of the dam, as well as the design criteria, hazard class, and the danger reach, should be investigated to avoid increasing potential hazards. Dams must meet design criteria based on the potential impacts downstream of the dam. Downstream development within the dam break flood wave shall be denied unless the dam meets the design standards for a high hazard dam.


After Issuance and During Construction

After issuance of a permit, no changes of any kind shall be made to the application, permit, or any of the plans, specifications, or other documents submitted with the application without the written approval of the local permitting official. A copy of the permit or other verification must be displayed at the construction site during construction activity.
Work on the permitted activity shall begin within 180 days of the issuance of the permit, or the permit shall expire, unless a written extension is granted by the local permitting official. During construction, the local permitting official or an authorized representative shall inspect the site to determine that the work is in compliance with the permit. Any work found to be noncompliant must be corrected before any additional work is undertaken.


Records of Permits

A record of all floodplain permits shall be maintained in the Office of Permits and Inspection Services and be available upon request for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or its authorized agent (MDE) during periodic assessments of this community’s participation in the National Flood Insurance Program. All documents needed to support any permit action, such as elevation certificates, map amendments or revisions, variance actions, shall be available for review during these assessments.



A fee may be charged at the time of application.

Call 301-334-1923 for more information relative to the floodplain permit process.