Dorchester County Planning & Zoning, and its permits, inspections and licensing responsibilities, implements a variety of regulatory and land-use planning functions at the local level. The Department is responsible for the enforcement of the following regulations and codes: Zoning Ordinance, Subdivision Regulations, Building Code, Plumbing Code, Electrical Code, HVAC Code, Property Maintenance Code, Minimum Livability Code, Uniform Numbering System, Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Protection Program, Forest Conservation Act Program, and Floodplain Management Protection Program.
The Department is also responsible for the administration and management of the following planning and land preservation programs: The Dorchester County Comprehensive Plan, Agricultural Land Preservation Program, Rural Legacy Programs, Census Data Distribution, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The Departments also provide staffing and technical assistance to the Planning Commission and Board of Appeals.
Boards & Commissions
The Dorchester County Board of Appeals meets at 7:00 pm on the third (full week) Thursday of each month in room 110 of the County Office Building.
The Dorchester County Planning Commission meets at 12:00 pm on the first Wednesday of each month in room 110 of the County Office Building.
Dorchester County Planning & Zoning Permits, Inspections & Licensing
Web GIS Maps Now Available to the Public Click here to access GIS website Online Geographic Information Systems (G.I.S.) maps are now available to the public! Some of the web maps you can browse include Critical Area Maps, Floodplain Maps, Zoning Maps, and more.
***NOTE:If you experience problems while using this webpage, please contact the Dorchester County Office of Planning and Zoning web affairs branch. You must have Adobe Reader installed on your computer to view the documents offered below. Click here to download Adobe Reader.***
Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act (SB 236), known as Septics Bill, click HERE for information.
Effective October 1, 2016, the Department of Planning & Zoning will begin providing BUILDING INSPECTIONS, 'in-house.'2016-17 TRANSITIONING NOTICE
ELECTRICAL AND PLUMBING LICENSE APPLICATIONS AVAILABLE ONLINE
The current electrical and plumbing license applications are now available here.
Click here to view and/or download the electrical license application. Click here to view and/or download the plumbing license application.
ATTENTION- CHANGES TO HUD ADMINISTERED HOUSING INSTALLATION PROGRAM **NEW REQUIREMENTS**
All manufactured home installers in Maryland must apply for and receive a HUD Manufactured Home Installers License by NOVEMBER 1, 2015. Building inspectors are not to approve any manufactured homes for occupancy permits after this date if the home's installation was not performed by a licensed installer.
Click here to view and/or download the full document which outlines all requirements for the program.
NOTICE - Dorchester County Permit Requirements
Permits are required for Pellet and Wood Stoves, Wheelchair Ramps and Demolition. Click here to view and/or download a PDF.
Dorchester County Building Code Amendment - Sprinkler Ordinance
Click here to view and/or download the sprinkler bill as a PDF.
Click here to view public advertisement of the public hearing for the sprinkler bill.
NOTICE FOR NON-OWNER OCCUPIED DWELLINGS/RENTAL PROPERTIES
If you own a non-owner occupied dwelling in Dorchester County*, you are required by law to register your dwelling(s) with Dorchester County Planning & Zoning.
You may obtain your registration form by calling our office at 410-228-3234 or by clicking HERE.
The fee for each dwelling unit is $30.00. This fee is due by December 31, 2016. If the fee is not paid by March 1, 2017, the fee will be $40.00 per unit.
*This notice applies only to properties outside of a municipality.
FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT BILL ONLINE
The Floodplain Management bill is now available. This bill, to be considered by County Council on March 16, 2015, will revise the current floodplain section of the Dorchester County Code and have an effect on development within the floodplain.
Click here to view and/or download the Floodplain Management bill language.
NEW CRITICAL AREA PLANTING STANDARDS IN EFFECT
The Critical Area Commission created new regulations regarding the tidewater buffer effective March 8, 2010. Among these regulations are new standards for mitigation of disturbances and establishment of buffers. For more information, follow the links below.
Click here to view and/or download the Critical Area State Planting Standards guide. Click here to view the new forms which apply to planting requirements. Click here to view and/or download a guide for the regulations.
FOREST CONSERVATION UPDATE
Fees for Forest Conservation plans, delineations, and declarations have been updated. Additionally, the Declaration of Intent forms and Planting Plan Maintenance and Management Agreement have been updated.
Click here and scroll down to view and/or download the forms.
WATER RESOURCES ELEMENT FINAL DRAFT AVAILABLE
The final draft of the Water Resources Element (WRE) of the Dorchester County Comprehensive Plan is now available for review.
Click here to view and/or download the Water Resources Element document. Click here to view and/or download the WRE Appendix.
PLANNING COMMISSION ANNUAL REPORT FINAL COPY
The Planning Commission Annual Report is available for viewing.
Click here to view and/or download the Planning Commission Annual Report.
EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2009: HOME BUILDER GUARANTY FUND INFORMATION
Information regarding changes to state law that affect home builders.
PLANNING COMMISSION AND BOARD OF APPEALS AGENDAS, MINUTES ONLINE
Agendas for upcoming Planning Commission and Board of Appeals hearings, as well as minutes from the past six months, are available online.
Click here to access Planning Commission information.
Click here to access Board of Appeals information.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTORS
Home improvement contractors must have a Maryland Home Improvement License to perform certain types of work. These types of work are listed in this announcement. Click here to download or view the document.