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A building permit/zoning certificate is generally needed to: construct or alter any principal or accessory structure, demolish or move a structure, make a change of use, install or alter any equipment which is regulated by the Harford County Code. Such structures include but are not limited to swimming pools, sheds, fences and finished basements. A building permit/zoning certificate is also required for certain home occupations, and for the storage of untagged or inoperative vehicles.
If a property owner is authorizing someone else to apply on his/her behalf, an Owner Authorization form must be presented at the time of application.
If you are unsure if a building permit/zoning certificate is needed, call the Permits Center at 410-638-3122.
Generally all applications will be reviewed within 10 working days. Some applications may be issued on the date of application. Once issued, a permit is valid for 1 year from issuance. If construction is initiated and continues, the permit will remain valid. If work does not progress for 6 months after initial construction start up, a permit expires. Please call 410-638-3122 for more information.
All applicable fees for building permits are due at the time of application.
A site plan is a drawing of a parcel or lot, prepared to scale, showing accurate and complete dimensions of the property including all buildings, structures, driveways and uses (existing and proposed) and distances to property lines. For subdivision lots, a site plan should include recorded easements and/or environmental restrictions such as forest retention, Natural Resource District (NRD), floodplain, floodway or Critical Area. For commercial lots, a site plan may require more detailed information.
Site plans are required when applying for a Building Permit/Zoning Certificate to determine conformance with the Harford County Zoning Code and to document the location of existing and proposed improvements or uses. Improvements and uses associated with the approved Building Permit/Zoning Certificate should substantially conform to the Site Plan submitted.
Accurate and complete site plans provide Planning and Zoning staff the ability to assist you with questions regarding your property. When detailed and unique conditions of your site are documented, we can provide you with specific, rather than general, information regarding your inquiry and compliance with the Harford County Zoning Code.
Where no work has been done under a permit issued, the holder of the permit may submit a request to cancel at the Permits Center (220 South Main Street, Bel Air, Maryland (first floor), and upon cancellation thereof, shall be refunded 50% of the fee paid provided that application for the refund is made within 6 months of the issuance of the permit.
Private horse stables are permitted on Agricultural and Residential lots provided a setback of at least 50 feet is maintained from any property line or public road. Pastures, when fenced, may extend to the property lines.
Only 1 dwelling is permitted on any parcel except for tenant dwellings and cottage housing. A tenant dwelling may be located on a parcel of 11 - 50 acres where there is a bona fide agricultural use and the person living in the dwelling will be working in this endeavor. Cottage housing is temporary approval for members of the immediate family based upon age or need due to medical need.
Read the complete list of requirements on our
Construction Plans 410-638-3366
Health Department 410-877-2300
County Highways 410-638-3507
Stormwater Management 410-638-3545
Sediment Control 410-638-3507
Water and Sewer 410-638-3300
State Highway 410-838-7788
Impact Fees are one-time payments used to fund school capital improvements needed to accommodate new development. Impact Fees relate only to capital facility expenses benefiting new development and are not to be used to address existing deficiencies and/or operating expenses. Public School Impact Fees, authorized under Bill 05-21, as amended, became effective on July 1, 2005. Impact Fees were amended under Bill 09-37 which became effective December 4, 2009.
Who pays the Impact Fee?
Anyone applying for a new residential structure for which a building permit is required, but does not include renovations, additions or modifications to an existing residential structure.
What uses can be exempted from payment of an Impact Fee?
Bill 05-21, with amendments, exempts housing for the elderly, continuing care retirement communities (CCRC), transient housing, housing constructed by not for profit organizations and redevelopment, re-construction or replacement of an existing residential structure that results in no new housing units.
How much are the Public School Impact Fees?
The Single Family detached fee is $6,000. The Townhouse / Duplex fee is $4,200. The fee for all other residential (including mobile homes) is $1,200.
When will the Impact Fee be paid?
The Impact Fee is paid at the time of building permit application. Or the applicant for the building permit may execute a promissory note obligating the applicant to pay the required development impact fee upon the earlier of the following. 1) Within 12 months of the issuance of the building permit; or 2) Issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy.
A Zoning Certificate/Permit may be required for carnivals, circuses or other events open to the public, excluding religious activities. For additional information contact the Permit Center at 410-638-3122.
Maryland State Law requires organizers of special events that meet certain conditions to provide recycling services. Please call 410-634-3417 for more information.