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Grading Permit

Grading permits are required under Title 3, Subtitle 4 of the Howard County Code to assure that prior to construction, erosion and sediment controls are approved to minimize soil erosion and off-site sedimentation.

PERMITTING AGENCY DEPARTMENT OF INSPECTIONS, LICENSES AND PERMITS
LICENSES AND PERMITS
THE GEORGE HOWARD BUILDING
 

3430 COURTHOUSE DRIVE
ELLICOTT CITY, MARYLAND 21043
PH (410) 313-2455
FAX (410) 313-3322
 

SITE WORK REQUIRING GRADING PERMITS

  • Clearing – removal of vegetative groundcover
  • Grading – excavating, filling, stockpiling of soil; grubbing; root mat or topsoil disturbance
  • Forest harvest operations
  • SubSurface mining operations

EXEMPTIONS

  • Agricultural land management practices and construction of agricultural structures
  • Construction of single family dwellings or their accessory buildings which disturbs less than one-half acre on lots of two acres or more
  • Clearing or grubbing which disturbs less than 5,000 square feet of land area and less that 100 cubic yards of earth
  • Laying less than 100 feet of gas, electric, telephone, or cable television lines

PRIOR TO APPLYING FOR A GRADING PERMIT YOU MUST

  • Receive plan approval from the Howard Soil Conservation District (410-489-7987)
  • Execute any required Developer Agreements through the Department of Public Works (410-313-2330)
  • Execute a Forest Conservation Declaration of Intent through the Department of Planning and Zoning (410-313-2354), if required
  • Receive approval of any required state or federal permits for work in wetlands or waterways

HOW TO APPLY AND WHAT TO EXPECT

Grading permit applications are accepted by the Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits, 3430 Courthouse Drive, Ellicott City, Maryland. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The applicant for a grading permit must be the owner or developer (or authorized agent) of the property to be graded.

For prompt processing, please complete all of the following when submitting application:

  • Grading Permit Application
  • Grading and Sediment Control Cost Estimate – signed and sealed by a Professional Engineer if total costs exceeds $5,000.
  • Grading and Landscape Surety, if required
  • Two complete sets of approved site development plans, road construction plans, or mass grading plans
  • Copies of any State or Federal permits or approvals related to wetlands, waterway construction or water quality.

Grading application forms, cost estimate sheets and surety forms are available at the Licenses and Permit’s counter, George Howard Building.

Once an application has been accepted and the fee paid, a Sediment Control Inspector (Department of Public Works, Construction Inspection Division) will contact the applicant to schedule a pre-construction meeting at the site where the permit will be issued. Grading permits are issued in approximately three business days from the time the application is submitted.

LIMITATIONS OF WORK

  • Initially, the contractor will be allowed to clear and grade the site only to the extent necessary to install sediment controls. This is followed by a sediment control inspection to verify compliance.
  • After the sediment controls are inspected and approved, site grading may proceed and routine biweekly maintenance inspections are performed by the Sediment Control Inspector.
  • Daily inspections should be performed by the contractor to assure that sediment controls remain in place and work properly.

PERMIT FEES

A grading permit fee is based on the estimated costs of grading and soil erosion and sediment control work as shown on the approved plans. Grading and Sediment Control Cost Estimates must agree with the approved plans.

TIME LIMITATION OF GRADING PERMIT

Permits remain valid one year after issuance, as long as work continues as verified by inspections.

Howard Soil Conservation District plan review signatures on approved plans are valid for two years.

GRADING CERTIFICATION

New residential construction under an approved site development plan 

Prior to a final grading inspection the Licenses and Permits Division must be in receipt of the grading certification for distribution to the Construction Inspection Division in the Department of Public Works. The License and Permits Division will need a minimum of two business days for processing the certification. Incomplete certifications will not be accepted.

Builders and affected parties must request a use and occupancy grading inspection utilizing the automated inspection and permit information system (“Dial-up”) at 410-313-3800, inspection type code 487. The Construction Inspection Division in the Department of Public Works will make this inspection comparing field conditions with the grading certification.

Final building inspections will not occur without an approved grading inspection.

All other new residential construction under a grading plan 

Builders and affected parties must request a use and occupancy grading inspection utilizing the automated inspection and permit information system (“Dial-up”) at 410-313-3800, inspection type code 487.

WHO TO CALL FOR ASSISTANCE:

  • Automated Inspection and Permit Request and Informationr
    410-313-3800 (Dial-up System)
  • General Information Regarding Issuance of Grading Permits
    410-313-2455 (Licenses and Permits)
  • General Information for Inspections and Enforcement
    Department of Public Works, Bureau of Engineering,
    Construction Inspection Division
    410-313-1855
  • Fax 410-313-3322 (Permits) - 410-313-1854 (Inspections)
  • TTY 410-313-2323