Information about the Process
In addition to construction plans, other examples of projects requiring permits include installation or construction of chimneys, billboards, carports, chairlifts, escalators, swimming pools, wood burning stoves, certain fences, antennae, and installation or renovation of certain electrical devices and wiring. Applicants must submit structural and site plans with the application. Application fees are set in accordance with the County Code and the nature of the project.
- Click for for a more comprehensive Commercial Building permits list.
- Click for for a more comprehensive Residential Building permits list.
The permit application must be reviewed for approval by other County and State agencies. This occurs when part(s) of a particular construction plan include environmental, health and/or safety matters governed by agencies other than the Prince George's County Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement (DPIE).
Agencies Involved in the Permitting Process
The following agencies are involved in the permitting process:
- Health Department* — Approves plans for new and remodeled facilities, food service facilities, on-site sewage disposal systems, wells for potable water supplies, and public swimming pools and spas.
- Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC)* — Approves zoning, users, subdivisions, site plans, tree conservation plans, and subdivision plats prior to issuance of building and site permits.
- Prince George's Soil Conservation District (PGSCD)* — Approves erosion and sediment control plans, as well as agricultural and forest harvesting operations.
- Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC)* — Approves water- and/or sewer-related plans involving systems extensions, site utility, hydraulic analysis and planning commission preliminary plans; manages plumbing and gas service connection permits.
- Maryland State Highway Administration (MSHA) — Approves permits for all work in the state rights-of-way.
- Utility Companies (PEPCO, Washington Gas, Baltimore Gas & Electric, Verizon, Comcast, SMECO, etc.) — Approve and install electric gas, phone, cable, streetlights and other dry utilities through special utility permit services through DPIE.
- Municipalities — There are 27 municipalities in Prince George's County. Permit requirements vary depending on the municipality.
- Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) — Approves permits impacting wetlands, waterways and floodplains. MDE also permits certain landfills, large sewers, groundwater withdrawals, and certain other uses that result in environmental impacts.
- Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) — Approves permits for mining operations and roadside tree removals.
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) — Approves impacts to FEMA floodplain areas.
*Representatives from the Health Department, PGSCD, M-NCPPC, and WSSC are colocated at DPIE.
Permitting Required in Municipalities
If you live in a municipality, there may be additional requirements when getting a permit. To find out if your property is in a municipality, check the PGATLAS. Once you are on the page, select "Map Layers" (the last icon on the right). View the list of choices, then click on the drop-down menu by "Administrative" layer; next, move the slider down on the right to view and click on the "Municipal Boundary" layer.
Some projects require permits from the County and other permits are required from a municipality. For projects located in municipalities, DPIE's matrix identifies the types of permits you need from Prince George’s County and various municipalities.
In addition, the requirements for inspections of projects are located in the Inspection Responsibilities in Municipalities chart.
Plans Screening Office
Plan screening is required on submittals for all new residential buildings, commercial buildings, commercial additions and townhouses prior to entering the building permit application process. Plans are screened to determine if sufficient information has been included in the package for an engineering plans review to be conducted. Submittal packages that achieve a positive screening will be approved to enter the building permit process. Packages that do not achieve a positive screening will be returned to the customer for correction.
Plans are screened on a first-come, first-serve basis. Information for plans screening can be obtained by calling (301) 883-5880.
Permit Renewals and Extensions
Once a permit application has been filed, a permit must be issued within two years of the application date or it becomes null and void. Once a permit has been issued, work must begin within six months from the date of issuance. After work has started, approved inspections are required at a minimum of every six months to keep the permit valid. The exception to this rule is grading permits. Grading permits are issued with an expiration date of up to five years from the date of issuance.
A request to extend a permit must be submitted within 30 days of the expiration date. Once granted, extensions renew the validity of an application or permit.