Subdivision Administration

The Garrett County Subdivision Ordinance first became effective on July 1, 1997. An amended version of the  Document Subdivision Ordinance (873.91 KB)  and  Document Subdivision Map (8.17 MB)  became effective on June 1, 2010. The following amendments to the Subdivision Ordinance have been adopted:

  • August 7, 2012  Document amendment (93.86 KB) to the definition of Minor Subdivision.
  • February 18, 2014  Document amendment (174.38 KB) to the definition of Planning Director.


For more information please contact Chad Fike at 301-334-1922


The division of a lot, tract or parcel of land into two or more lots, plats, sites or other division of land for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of sale or of building development constitutes a subdivision.  The term subdivision shall also include a re-subdivision of land or the adjustment of existing lot lines.  The Garrett County Subdivision Ordinance applies within all areas of the County except within the incorporated towns.  If planning subdivision activity within the town limits of Accident, Grantsville, Friendsville, Oakland, Loch Lynn, Mt. Lake Park, Kitzmiller or Deer Park, please contact the appropriate town hall or click this link for the  Document Accident Subdivision Ordinance (495.21 KB) .


Subdivision applications are divided into the following three categories:

  • Lot line adjustment
    A revision or deletion of one or more lot lines that does not create any new lots.  Lot line adjustments may be approved and signed by the Planning Director.
  • Minor subdivision
    A subdivision that results in a maximum total of 5 new residential lots in addition to the one pre-existing parent lot and does not involve an extension or new segment of a road.  Minor subdivisions may be approved and signed by the Planning Director. For specific purposes of implementation of the Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act of 2012, a subdivision that results in a maximum of 7 new residential lots in addition to the one pre-existing lot may be considered a minor subdivision.
  • Major subdivision
    Any subdivision of land that does not qualify as a minor subdivision; including commercial lots, subdivisions of more than 5 residential lots, or lots that require extensions or new segments of a road. Applications for major subdivisions must be approved by the Garrett County Planning Commission at one of their regularly scheduled monthly meetings.

Checklists & Forms


The following  Document Fee Schedule (159.9 KB)  was adopted on March 11, 2014:

  • Major subdivisions - $50.00 per application plus $10.00 per lot over 5 lots.
  • Waiver request - $25.00


Some of the purposes of the Garrett County Subdivision Ordinance are:

  • Assisting in the orderly and efficient integration of subdivisions;
  • Ensuring conformance of subdivision plans with the public improvements plans of the County;
  • Ensuring sites suitable for building purposes and human habitation;
  • Facilitating the efficient movement of traffic and avoiding traffic hazards and congestion;
  • Securing equitable handling of all subdivision plans by providing uniform procedures and standards;
  • Improving land records by establishing standards for surveys and plans;
  • Safeguarding the interests of the public, the homeowner, the subdivider and all municipalities.


Pursuant to Article 13 of the Subdivision Ordinance, whoever being the owner or agent of the owner of any land located within a subdivision transfers or sells or agrees to sell or negotiate to sell any land by reference to or exhibition of or by other use of a plat of a subdivision, before the plat has been approved by the County Planning Commission and recorded and filed in the Office of the County Land Records Office, shall forfeit and pay a civil penalty of not less than $200 and not more than $1,000 in the discretion of the court, for each lot or parcel so transferred or sold or agreed or negotiated to be sold.

Sustainable Growth & Agricultural Preservation Act of 2012 (The Septic Bill)

The Maryland General Assembly approved the Sustainable Growth & Agricultural Preservation Act of 2012 (Senate Bill 236) during the 2012 General Assembly session.  The law, which took effect on July 1, 2012, is sometimes referred to as the Septic Bill since it seeks to limit the spread of residential development on septic systems.  

The Act required all jurisdictions, including Garrett County, to adopt land use categories called Tiers. The Tiers were created based on certain criteria in the Act that established where major and minor residential subdivisions may be located and what type of sewerage system will serve them.  The Garrett County Commissioners adopted the original Tier Map on December 4, 2012. On November 7, 2016 the Garrett County Commissioners adopted an  Document amendment (241.87 KB)  to the Comprehensive Plan that incorporated a slightly updated version of the Garrett County  Document Tier Map (360.77 KB)  into the Plan. All subdivisions submitted on or after December 31, 2012 must comply with the Tier Map and other provisions of the Act.