Grading Permits

The purpose of a Grading Permit 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 land disturbances and stormwater runoff during and after construction.

Grading Permits are required for projects that will do one or more of the following:  

  • Disturb greater than or equal to 100 cubic yards of earth
  • Disturb greater than or equal to 5,000 square feet of surface area
  • Propose greater than or equal to 5,000 square feet of impervious area

Projects that typically require Grading Permits

  • Commercial development
  • Single-family residences
  • Mining projects 
  • Industrial wind turbines
  • Solar Arrays
  • Communication towers
  • Timber harvest projects
  • Proposed roads 

 Projects that are exempt from Grading Permits

  • Agricultural land management practices
  • Agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) 
  • Agricultural structures (E&S only) 
  • Clearing or grading activities that are subject exclusively to State approval and enforcement under State law and regulations

What is needed for a Grading Permit

  • Document Grading Permit Application (132.48 KB)
  • An Erosion and Sediment Control (E&S) Plan:
    An E&S Plan is needed if a project’s disturbance is greater than or equal to 5,000 square feet or 100 cubic yards. E&S Plans are reviewed and approved by the Garrett Soil Conservation District (GSCD). The purpose is to minimize soil erosion and prevent off-site sedimentation by using soil erosion and sediment control practices designed in accordance with the following:
  • Document 2013 Erosion and Sediment Control Ordinance (471.58 KB)
  • Document 2011 Maryland E&S Standards and Specifications (10.65 MB)
  • COMAR 26.17.01
  • A Stormwater Management (SWM) Plan:
    A SWM Plan is needed if a project’s impervious area is greater than or equal to 5,000 square feet. SWM Plans are reviewed and approved by the Garrett County Permits & Inspections Office. The purpose is to reduce the impacts caused by runoff from land development on waterways and public or private properties through treatment practices designed in accordance with the following:
  • Document 2010 Stormwater Management Ordinance (1.04 MB)
  • 2000 Maryland Stormwater Design Manual
  • COMAR 26.17.02

Not sure if a project needs a Grading Permit?

The  Document Application Information (15.8 KB) document can help determine the impervious area and land disturbance for a proposed project. Garrett County Permits & Inspections Office will make the final determination whether or not a Grading Permit will be required based on the information provided.

Plan Review and Approval Process


Grading Permits expire 2 years from the date of issuance unless renewed. Application for renewal shall be made at least 2 months prior to the permit expiration date.


Grading Permit fees may vary depending on the type of project and the amount of disturbance related to it. Please click the following for the current Grading Permit   Document fee schedule (57.18 KB) .

Waiver requests, as laid out in the Ordinances, must be submitted to the Board of Garrett County Commissioners.

As of March 1, 2024, Garrett Soil Conservation District (GSCD) has implemented E&S plan review fees. Their fee schedule can be found at Garrett Soil Conservation District - Erosion and Sediment Control.

Right of Entry

It shall be a condition of every grading permit that the inspection agencies have the right to enter property periodically to inspect for compliance with the approved plan and ordinances.

Fill Dirt

As of April 1, 2021, placement of fill dirt no longer requires a Grading Permit from this office unless the disturbance will be more than 100 cubic yards (approximately 7 truck loads) or 5,000 square feet. No fill should be placed in any wetlands or sensitive areas. For more information, please contact the Garrett County Roads Department at 301-334-7488 or the State Highway Administration at 301-895-3234.

Please call 301-334-7470 for additional information relative to complete grading permit requirements.