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For projects requiring ePlans submission, the permit and plans will be referred to different DHCD divisions or Baltimore City agencies depending on the needs of the specific project. The sections below describe the various types of reviews that could be required for ePlans submission.
(410) 396-3460 417 E. Fayette St. Rm. 101
The Plans Examining section in DHCD serves as the focal point for the plans review process. The processed application with "plan number" will be the reference name of the project throughout the review.
The Plans Examining section reviews the construction plan set for architectural, structural, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing code compliance. Each project is assigned an architectural/structural, and electrical, and mechanical/plumbing plans examiner. The engineers and architects of Plans Examining work directly with the project design engineers and architects. In order to facilitate large projects, preliminary meetings prior to the submittal of plans are available for project design architects and engineers for a fee of $50 per half hour.
The Plans Examining section routes the plan sets to the Plans Review coordinator for pertinent city departments, which could include the Department of Public Works, the Health Department, the Planning Department, and the Fire Department. Each department has a distinct scope of responsibility and applicants must engage directly with the department to resolve any outstanding issues within its scope of responsibility.
If revised plans are required, they must be brought to Plans Examining and then rerouted to the other departments. There may be a fee associated with revised plans. Ultimately the various departments will transmit their comments and approvals back to Plans Examining for the final site and construction plan set assembly and building permit fee assessment.
Department of Planning
(410) 396-7526 - 417 E. Fayette St. 8th Fl
The Department of Planning is involved with projects which are located within certain specific areas or are subject to approval by various committees.
Specific areas include:
- Urban renewal areas
- Special planning districts
- Planned Unit Developments (PUD)
- Subdivision and/or Development Plan
- Flood plains
- Critical Area
- Site Plan Review Committee
- Planning Commission
- Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP)
- Urban Design and Architecture Advisory Panel (UDAAP)
- Board of Municipal and Zoning Appeals (BMZA)
- City Council
The Department of Planning is also involved with projects which require four or more parking spaces and those projects which trigger forest conservation (grading of 20,000 sq. ft. or more).
The Land Use and Urban Design Division coordinates project development and permit review. The Land Use and Urban Design Division ensures that development proposals are in line with the Comprehensive Master Plan, aesthetically pleasing, within the character of the respective neighborhood, and fiscally beneficial to the City of Baltimore. The Division serves as the first stop for development in the City of Baltimore.
If a project includes parking, loading, new buildings, significant grading, or is in a special district, it is advisable to contact this division to schedule a site plan review prior to permit submittal. The planning staff will also provide appropriate community contacts. Once the project is approved, the Department of Planning will provide Plans Examining with a report of its comments.
Department of Public Works (DPW)
(410) 396-0732, 3001 Druid Park Drive
The Department of Public Works (DPW) is responsible for approving any connections to the public water, wastewater and stormwater utilities, as part of DOT’s right-of-way permitting process. DPW is also responsible for approving stormwater management and erosion and sediment control (SWM/ESC) as part of DHCD’s building and grading permits.
Any project which involves land disturbance of 5,000 square feet or more requires SWM / ESC plan approval. Projects which involve land disturbance of less than 5,000 square feet in area, but exceed 100 cubic yards in disturbance volume (cut plus fill volumes) still require ESC plan approval. During the planning stage of such a project, applicants should contact the Plans Review and Inspection Section at email@example.com to discuss project requirements.
Health Department, Division of Environmental Inspection Services
(410) 396-4544, 210 Guilford Ave. 2nd Fl.
The Health Department, Division of Environmental Inspection Services provides services to regulate facilities and to enforce the Baltimore City Health Code and applicable state and federal rules and regulations as they relate to environmental health.
The Plan Review section is the first stop for most facilities looking to obtain a license. New foodservice facilities or facilities under new ownership, including swimming pools and tattoo establishments, must submit plans and undergo an initial Plan Review inspection prior to license approval.
Inspection reviews are done for:
- Completed building plans;
- Floor plans;
- Equipment specifications (including manufactures specifications for the equipment); and
- Hazard Analysis Critical Control Plan (HACCP), which includes the flow of food, specifications for swimming pools (building and blueprints), and chemical storage area.
Types of Facilities Inspected:
- Day Care Centers
- Hospitals and specific rooms
- All food facilities (i.e., markets, restaurants, carry-outs, grocery stores, etc.)
- Large assisted living homes (17 or more non-related people)
- Nursing/Convalescence homes
- Juvenile facilities
- Incarceration facilities (half-way homes, group homes, etc.)
- Swimming pools
- Car washes
- Convenience stores
- Mobile diners
- Manufacturers and processing plants
- Warehouse and distribution centers
- Vending concessions (movies, stadiums, museums, convention centers, etc.)
- Cruise ships (passenger boats on the harbor)
The following areas are thoroughly inspected to focus on disease prevention and safety:
- Various types of contaminants (infestation, peeling paint)
- Plumbing systems (fixtures and riser diagram)
- Structure of the facility
- Equipment specifications (make, model number, manufacturer's name)
- Ventilation systems (exhaust hood, mechanical ventilation for restrooms
- Lighting diagram
- Various food processing versus food layout
- Automatic dishwashers
- Refuse storage/disposal (must have contact)
- Required number of toilet rooms versus seating
- Chemical storage area(s)
- Overall employee
- Finishing coats for floors, walls and other surfaces
- Dressing rooms/personal storage areas
- Sufficient water supply
- Utensil washing and hand sink locations
- Food manager certification
- Emergency plan for disaster and terrorist acts
A Baltimore City Fire Department representative is located in the Plans Examining office and reviews both building construction plan sets and fire protection system plan sets for compliance with The National Fire Prevention Code and the National Fire Codes.
In addition to providing Plans Examining with a written report of comments on particular "plan numbers", the Fire Department also requires specific fire department permits to be purchased. For example, fire protection, fire alarm, and tank permits are required both from DHCD and the Fire Department. In contrast, commercial kitchen hood suppression system permits are issued by the Fire Department exclusively.