Floodplain Purpose, Authority, and Jurisdiction

The purpose of floodplain management is to protect human life and health, minimize property damage, encourage appropriate construction practices to minimize future damage, protect individuals from unwittingly buying land subject to flood hazards, and to protect water supply, sanitary sewage disposal, and natural drainage. The prevention of unwise development in areas subject to flooding will reduce financial burdens to the community and the State, and will prevent future displacement and suffering of its residents. This protection is achieved through review of all activities proposed within identified floodplains and by the issuance of permits for those activities that comply with the objectives of Document Garrett County’s Floodplain Management Ordinance. (3 MB)

Floodplains are an important asset to the community. They perform vital natural functions such as temporary storage of flood waters, moderation of peak flood flows, maintenance of water quality, groundwater recharge, prevention of erosion, habitat for diverse natural wildlife populations, recreational opportunities, and aesthetic quality. These functions are best served if floodplains are kept in their natural state. Wherever possible, the natural characteristics of floodplains and their associated wetlands and water bodies should be preserved and enhanced.

The County’s floodplain managment ordinance provides a unified, comprehensive approach to floodplain management which addresses these natural floodplain functions and the Federal and State programs concerned with floodplain management. This ordinance is adopted under authority of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 and the Flood Hazard Managment Act of 1976, Environmental Article, Title 5 of the Annotated Code of Maryland and in compliance with the National Flood Insurance Program as set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations - 44 C.F.R Section 59.22.

The Document Garrett County Floodplain Management Ordinance (3 MB) shall apply to the unincorporated part of the County and any incorporated municipality which may enter into an agreement with the County to enforce floodplain management regulations within municipal boundaries.

Any person or entity proposing to do any development within floodplain zones as defined and regulated by the ordinance must first obtain a permit for the development from the Garrett County Permits and Inspection Services Office located at 2008 Maryland Highway, Suite 3, Mt. Lake Park, MD and must comply with all provisions of the Garrett County Floodplain Management Ordinance.

Disclaimer of Liability

The degree of flood protection provided by the Document Garrett County Floodplain Management Ordinance (3 MB) is considered reasonable for regulatory purposes and is based on engineering experience and scientific methods of study. Floods of greater magnitude may occur or flood heights may be increased by man-made and natural causes. These regulations does not imply that flooding will not occur outside of the delineated floodplain zone, nor that permitted development and land uses within the floodplain will be free of flooding and associated flood damage. These regulations do not create liability on the part of the community, any officer or employee thereof for any damage which may result from reliance on these regulations.


Any person who fails to comply with any or all of the requirements or provisions of the Document Garrett County Floodplain Management Ordinance (3 MB) or direction of the County Department of Community Planning and Development or any other authorized employee of the County shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of not more than $500.

Each day during which any violation of the ordinance continues shall constitute a separate offense.

The imposition of a fine or penalty for any violation of or noncompliance with the County’s floodplain management ordinance shall not excuse the violation or non-compliance or permit it to continue, and all such persons shall be required to correct or remedy such violations and non-compliance within a reasonable time.

Any structure constructed, reconstructed, enlarged, altered, or relocated in non-compliance with these regulations shall be declared by the County to be a public nuisance and abatable as such.

The Federal Insurance Administrator and the MDE shall be notified immediately in writing of any structure or property being used in violation of these regulations, including failure to submit as-built elevation certificates.

New or renewal of National Flood Insurance shall be denied for any structure remaining in violation or situated on property in violation of the Garrett County Floodplain Management Ordinance.

Call 301-334-1923 for more information relative to floodplain management purpose, authority, and jurisdiction.