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Garrett County Government
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Stormwater Management

No person shall develop any land for residential, commercial, industrial, or institutional use without having provided stormwater management measures that control or manage runoff from such developments. The stormwater management measures must be designed consistent with the Design Manual and constructed according to an approved plan for new development or policies for redevelopment as stated in section 3.5 of the Stormwater Management Ordinance.
The purpose of stormwater management is to protect, maintain, and enhance the public health, safety, and general welfare by establishing minimum requirements and procedures to control the adverse impacts associated with increased stormwater runoff. The goal is to manage stormwater by using environmental site design (ESD) to the maximum extent practicable (MEP) to maintain after development as nearly as possible, the predevelopment runoff characteristics, and to reduce stream channel erosion, pollution, siltation and sedimentation, local flooding and use appropriate structural best management practices (BMPs) only when necessary. This will restore, enhance, and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of streams, minimize damage to public and private property, and reduce the impacts of land development.

Plan Classifications

Residential Plan Classification

The purpose of a residential plan is to facilitate the issuance of a permit for residential construction.
A residential plan shall apply to developments, which meet all of the following criteria:
  1. Area of disturbance shall be less than 30,000 square feet, not including areas disturbed for septic fields.
  2. A plan for a single structure occupied by only one or two families (as in a duplex) or its related structures (i.e., detached garages not used for commercial use, pools, decks, and storage sheds) located on the same lot as a single-family residential structure.
  3. Plan must utilize acceptable environmental site design (ESD) to the maximum extent practicable (MEP) for stormwater management as approved by the Stormwater Management Office. Any plan meeting the criteria for single family, but using alternative form of stormwater will be considered a Commercial Plan.
  4. Project does not exceed the limitations as outlined in the Garrett Soil Conservation District’s Standard Erosion and Sediment Control Plan.
The property owner or contractor may submit design of a residential plan. If a stormwater best management practices (BMP) requires either a dam safety permit from Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) or small pond approval from the Garrett Soil Conservation District (GSCD), the Stormwater Management Office shall require that the design be prepared by a professional engineer, professional land surveyor, or registered landscape architect licensed in the State of Maryland.

Commercial Plan Classification

A commercial plan shall apply to developments that meet one or more of the following criteria.

  1. Area of disturbance shall be equal to or more than 30,000 square feet, not including areas disturbed for septic fields.
  2. A plan for any institutional, industrial, or commercial structure or its related appurtenances including both public and private which is not included in the definition of Residential Plan. For purpose of the ordinance, roadways, parks, parking lots, fire stations, fire halls, businesses, manufacturing complexes, distribution centers, churches, and other such facilities shall be considered commercial.
Design of a commercial plan is required to be prepared by either a professional engineer, professional land surveyor, or registered landscape architect licensed in the State of Maryland.

Stormwater Management Plan Review

Residential Project Plan Comprehensive Review and Approval Process

The comprehensive review and approval process for residential development is initiated by the owner/developer making application for a grading permit. The owner/developer shall submit a grading permit application and a standard erosion and sediment control plan for minor earth disturbances to the Stormwater Mangement Office for review and approval.

Commercial Project Plan Review and Approval Process

Proposed commercial development requires a comprehensive three (3) phased review and approval process. The review and approval process is initiated by the submission of the first of the three required plans to be submitted. The Stormwater Management Office and appropriate agencies shall perform a comprehensive review of the stormwater management plans at each phase of site design. The Stormwater Management Office shall determine appropriate agency involvement and coordinate the comment and approval process. All comments from the Stormwater Management Office and other appropriate agencies shall be addressed and approval received at each phase of project design before subsequent submissions.

The Stormwater Management Offices determination of appropriate agencies may include the Garrett Soil Conservation District, Garrett County Planning and Land Development, Garrett County Roads Department, Environmental Health Department, and the Garrett County Department of Public Utilities.

At a minimum, the owner/developer shall submit phased stormwater management plans to the Stormwater Management Office for review and approval at the following three (3) phases of plan development:
  1. Concept Plan – The owner/developer shall submit 6 copies of a concept plan including completed checklist that provides sufficient information for an initial assessment of the proposed project and whether stormwater management can be provided in accordance with the stormwater management measures.
  2. Site Development Plan – Following the concept plan approval, the owner/developer shall submit site development plan at a scale of 1” = 50’, completed checklist, and grading permit application that reflect comments received during the concept plan review phase and show existing flow paths throughout the project area, and demonstrate how stormwater management proposed plan mimics the existing flow through the site.
  3. Final Plan – Final stormwater management plan and completed checklist shall be submitted for approval in the form of construction drawings and be accompanied by a report that includes sufficient information to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed runoff control design to meet the environmental site design (ESD) to the maximum extent practicable (MEP).

Stormwater Management Plan Requirements

Stormwater Management Plans require the following:
  1. Maintenance Agreement – Prior to the issuance of any  building permit for which stormwater management is required, the Stormwater Management Office shall require the applicant to execute a Declaration and Easement for Private Stormwater Management Facilities binding on all subsequent owners of land served by a private stormwater management facility.  Click on the following links for the Declaration for a Private Owner, LLC, Corporation, or Leased Property Supplemental Declaration.
    1. The agreement shall, by exhibit, show the Environmental Site Design practices and stormwater management practices used to satisfy the stormwater management criteria in Section 4.0 of the Stormwater Management Ordinance and shall clearly identify the approved permit number.
    2. Additional development, redevelopment, or amendment to the approved stormwater management plan shall require subsequent execution of the agreement.
    3. Such agreement shall provide adequate access from a public right-of-way to the facility at reasonable times for inspection and maintenance by the Stormwater Management Office or its authorized representative.
    4. The applicant and/or owner shall record the agreement within the Land Records of Garrett County, Maryland.
    5. The agreement shall also provide that, if after notice by the Stormwater Management Office to correct a violation requiring maintenance work, satisfactory corrections are not made by the owner(s) within a reasonable period of time (30 days maximum), the Stormwater Management Office may perform all necessary work to place the facility in proper working condition. The owner shall be assessed the cost of the work and any penalties as per the Garrett County Stormwater Management Ordinance.
  2. Performance Security – A performance security in the form of a performance bond, irrevocable letter of credit, or cash security with signed cash surety agreement is required by the developer and/or his designated representative for all non-single family residential structure and for all commercial, institutional and/or public occupancy development including the right-of-way for cul-de-sacs and roads.
    1. This performance security, provided by the developer, consultant and/or contractor, shall be in the amount of the line item estimate for all proposed work indicated on the project documents plus preparation of the design certification and as-built drawings. The proposed work prices shall consider all labor, materials and equipment at a publicly bid rate.
    2. Shall be a non-expiring or auto-renewing surety or other means of security acceptable to the Stormwater Management Office prior to the issuance of any building/grading permit for the construction of a development requiring a stormwater management facility.
    3. The amount of the security shall not be less than the total estimated construction cost of the stormwater management facility.
    4. Shall include provisions relative to forfeiture for failure to complete work specified in the approved stormwater management plan, compliance with all of the provisions of the Stormwater Management Ordinance, and other applicable laws and regulations, and any other limitations.
    5. The surety shall not be released without submission of certified red-lined as-built plans of completed stormwater controls submitted by a licensed Maryland Engineer, architect or land surveyor comparing the constructed plan to the designed controls. Once submitted a final inspection of the completed work will be conducted by the Stormwater Management Office to ensure compliance of all stormwater management facilities with the approved plan and provisions of the Stormwater Management Ordinance.
      1. A procedure may be used to release parts of the security held by the Stormwater Management Office after various stages of construction have been completed and accepted by the Stormwater Management Office. The procedure used for partially releasing performance bonds must be specified by the Stormwater Management Office in writing prior to stormwater management plan approval.
  3. Permit Fee- a non-refundable permit fee will be collected at the time the stormwater management plan or application for waiver is submitted. The permit fee will provide for the cost of plan review, administration, and management of the permitting process, and inspections of all projects. The permit fee established by the Garrett County Commissioners may be amended from time to time.



The developer shall notify the Stormwater Management Office (301-334-7475) at least forty-eight (48) hours before commencing any work in conjunction with site development, the stormwater management plan, and upon completion of the project when a final inspection will be conducted. When notifying the
Stormwater Management Office please have the grading permit number available.
At a minimum, all environmental site design and other structural and nonstructural practices shall be inspected during specified stages of construction: upon completion of final grading, the establishment of permanent stabilization and before issuance of use and occupancy approval.
No work shall proceed until the Stormwater Management Office or designated representative inspects and approves the work previously completed and furnishes the developer with the results of the inspection reports as soon as possible after completion of each required inspection.
In granting the plan approval, the Stormwater Management Office may impose such conditions that may be deemed necessary to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Stormwater Management Ordinance and the preservation of the public health and safety.



Exemptions to provisions of the Stormwater Management Ordinance and requirements of providing stormwater management are:

  • Agricultural land management activities;
  • Additions or modifications to existing single family detached residential structures that do not disturb over 5,000 square feet of land area accumulatively from the original disturbance of that residential parcel;
  • Developments that do not disturb over 5,000 square feet of land area; and
  • Land development activities that the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) Water Management Administration (WMA) determines will be regulated under specific State laws, which provide for managing stormwater runoff.


Please call 301-334-7475 for additional information relative to complete stormwater management requirements.