3 Things to Know About Baltimore County’s New Online Permitting Platform

03 February, 2022

As of November 1, 2021, Baltimore County, MD has transitioned to an online permitting platform in an effort to more efficiently serve the community. Applications for building, electrical, grading, plumbing, signage, stormwater management, and other construction-related permits, as well as all inspections, will be coordinated online.

Site-related approvals like Development Plan Approval will still be handled in hard-copy submission and will be transitioned later in 2022.

Bohler Project Manager Jen Bass has been piloting the system with Baltimore County for several months prior to its launch date. She’s learned the platform and offered feedback on its usability and impact on the permitting process. With a leg up on the new system, Jen has been guiding her internal teams and both local and out-of-town subconsultants to ensure a smooth transition for her projects.

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Jen shared three things applicants should know about filing a new land development application in Baltimore.

1. Set up an account.

“Every applicant will need to use an email address to set up an account,” Jen says, “but it’s a fairly straightforward process.” As the applicant, you’ll be linked to the projects that your consultant team submits on your behalf, and you can track their progress in real time. You can also pay fees online – now a more streamlined process than the platform previously launched for emergency use at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

2. Your consultant can still file for you.

“If you don’t regularly file permits, there could be a bit of a learning curve for your team,” Jen advises. There are 35 different types of permits and nearly 50 types of inspections available. To avoid misfiling snags, consider allowing your civil engineering consultant to continue facilitating filings on your behalf. If they are local to Baltimore like Bohler’s Towson team, they should know what’s required for each type of submission, where to find it, and how to submit.

3. Your contractor will have access to the system too.

In a proactive measure, Baltimore County is uploading all current registered contractors into the new portal, allowing applicants and consultants to easily tie them to their projects. Once they are set up, contractors can pull permits and request inspections independently. “This feature is great,” Jen comments. “It significantly reduces coordination efforts between the design team, applicant, and contractor.”

Now that design and development teams have more access and visibility into Baltimore County’s entitlements processes, it’s more important than ever to understand the filing strategy for each project. Engage a knowledgeable, local consultant to help you navigate the system and keep your project moving forward.

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