Development Regulations in Floodplain Zones


In order to prevent excessive flood damage and to allow for the protection of the natural and beneficial floodplain functions, the following provisions shall apply to all development, new construction, and substantial improvements to existing structures in all floodplain zones. If a structure is in more than one zone, the more stringent provisions shall apply to the entire structure. Specific requirements are contained in §151.085 through §151.092 of the Document Garrett County Floodplain Management Ordinance (3 MB) and also apply to development. Any approved development shall comply with all other zoning, environmental, water quality and sanitary regulations, as well as applicable State and Federal requirements.


In all floodplain zones, any development which proposes to alter a watercourse must obtain a variance. All conditions for encroachment in the floodway must be met and adverse impacts to aquatic resources must be minimized. Adjacent communities and property owners, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA, and the MDE must be notified by the applicant before any modification may occur to watercourses. Any activity falling within the 100-year nontidal floodplain may require a Document waterway construction permit (110.87 KB) from the MDE.


Encroachment by development into wetlands is not allowed without State and Federal permits. It is State and Federal policy that disturbance of wetlands shall be avoided. The applicant must demonstrate that no alternatives exist and the encroachment is the minimum necessary. Mitigation may be required by the appropriate regulatory authorities.

Sediment and Stormwater Management

Any land disturbance permitted in the floodplain must have a stormwater management and sediment and erosion control plan as required by State and local regulations. The plan must include design of land contours that will not increase surface water runoff onto neighboring properties. Ground cover must be established immediately after disturbance.

Call 301-334-1923 for more information relative to development regulations in floodplain zones.