Worcester County Building Codes
For more information, please click on any of the following links below.
Projects that involve plumbing and installation of gas service and/or appliances must obtain the proper Plumbing/Gas Permits. However, it is not required prior to the issuance of the Building Permit. For more information relative to Plumbing/Gas Permits, please visit Department of Environmental Programs or contact the office at 410-632-1220.
BUILDING PERMIT PROCESS
A Building Permit application is required for any new construction, excluding accessory
structures 500 square feet or less, or uses of land. The permitee shall provide the required
information along with a complete Building Permit Application and the initial submittal fee. See Permit Application. Please refer to the “How to Complete a Permit Application” found next to the online permit application for more specific submittal criteria. See Schedule of Fees for costs associated with this permit.
A Zoning Permit is required for any type of use of land, detached building or structure (which is 500 square feet or less in size), above-ground swimming pool, signs, home occupations, agricultural structure, fence/wall, sign, etc. The permittee shall provide the following information along with a complete and notarized Zoning Permit application and the initial submittal fee.
- Four (4) copies of an approved site plan if outside of public water and sewer service area; three (3) copies of an approved site plan if within public water and sewer service area (i.e. Ocean Pines, Newark, West Ocean City).The site plan should illustrate the following information:
- Uses and sizes of existing and proposed building structures/use areas;
- Dimensions along all property lines;
- Distances between the proposed construction activity and any existing building structures to each other, lot lines, ditches, roads, and private well/septic, if applicable.
- See Fee Schedule for permit costs.
- Due to the existence of wetlands, flood plains, multiple lots, public services on the property, etc., the Department may require the filing and recording of other "special" documents as part of the permit package.
Zoning Permit Fees
- Accessory Structures (Under 500 square feet): $50.00
- Use of Land (i.e. fences, home occupation ): $50.00
- Chicken Houses: $50.00
- Agricultural Structures: $50.00
- Signs ($1.00 per Sq. Ft. or $50.00 minimum)
If a zoning permit has been issued, a site inspection is required after the completion of the proposed work/use to confirm compliance with zoning setbacks. Upon completion of the inspection, the applicant will receive a copy of a Zoning Cerificate for the use of the structure/use.
Project that involve or require electric must obtain the proper Electrical Permit. However, it is not required prior to the issuance of the Building Permit. Electrical Permits may be obtained from the following locations:
- Isle of Wight Office - located at the corner of St. Martins Neck Road and Route 90, or contact the office at (410) 352-3057 or (410) 632-5407. (Construction in the Ocean Pines area, Newark area or West Ocean City area must obtain Electrical Permits from the Isle of Wight Office).
- Snow Hill - located in Room 1201 of the Government Center, or contact the office at (410) 632-1200.
- See Fee Schedule for permit costs.
- Electrical Permits may be obtained by either the homeowner or licensed electrician.
Electrical Permit Fees
- Permit Fee: $25.00
***The County does not perform electrical inspections. The owner/applicant will be required to contact an outside inspection agency for all electrical inspections. See below:
- American Inspection Agency: 302-732-6900
- First State Inspection Agency: 302-422-3859
- Maryland Electrical Inspections: 410-219-3228
- Middle Department Inspection Agency: 410-749-0641
- Private Inspection Agencies Approved by Worcester County
If the property is located within a public water and/or sewer service area, the applicant/property owner should contact the Water and Wastewater Department at (410) 641-5251.
If the property is not located within a public water and/or sewer service area, the applicant/property owner should contact Environmental Programs at (410) 632-1220 regarding possible permits and fees.
According to the Worcester County Zoning and Subdivision Control Article, Section ZS 1-115(b) Zoning/Occupancy Certificate, "It is unlawful to:
(1) Use a building or structure or part thereof, erected or located after the effective date of this Title, until a zoning/occupancy certificate for such use shall have been issued by the Department....." Failure to obtain a Zoning/Occupancy Certificate prior to the use or occupancy of any structure is a violation and could result in the issuance of civil infraction citations/fines.
Important Note: Issuance of a Zoning/Occupancy Certificate requires 48 hours for processing after approval of the final inspections (Building/Zoning, Plumbing/Electrical, and Water & Wastewater).
Residential Building Permit Fees
- Stick Built Houses, Modular Homes and Additions
- Minimum fee: $50.00 payable at time of submittal (NON-REFUNDABLE).
- Habital Area (Stick Built House, Addition & Modular Homes) Square Footage x $48.12 x .0055
- Non-Habital Area (Garages, Covered Decks, etc.) Square Footage x $22.62 x .0055
- Open Decks - Square Footage x $15.00 x .0055 dential Building Permit Fees
- Mobile Homes: $100.00
- Accessory Structures (Greater than 500 square feet): Square Footage x $22.62 x .0055