Use & Occupancy
A Certificate of Occupancy or Use and Occupancy Permit is issued by the Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement to officially state that the business identified meets local zoning and safety requirements, health codes, and may legally operate. A new Use and Occupancy Permit is required when a change of tenant/occupant, use, or ownership occurs and no construction is required.
Use & Occupancy applications are to be completed online. Please go to Online Permit Applications; enter the information directly into the County’s Permitting System; and print one (1) copy of the computer-generated application prior to visiting the Permits Center. (Printers are NOT available onsite for customers.) If you prefer to use our online (ePlan) permit review process, please select the ePlan Requested by the Applicant option BEFORE you submit your online application.
The following plans and documents are required for a Use and Occupancy Permit with no construction:
- Property Tax ID Number
- Three (3) Site/Plot Plans Showing Lot, Building and Parking
- Original, signed lease agreement between owner and tenant, or a letter of authorization from owner on the owner's letterhead indicating the property address, owner's name (according to SDAT), tenant's name, tenant's business name and the type (use) of business that the owner is authorizing to use the space.
- The letter of authorization has to be signed and dated by the owner.
- If the owner of the property is a business entity, i.e., LLC, the owner must include the entity's name, and the letter must be signed by the authorized member of the entity. Articles of Organization or Incorporation may be required for verification of ownership. The tenant's and the owner's business must be registered and In Good Standing with the State of Maryland.
Food Service Facility Plan Review Requirements
The following requirements pertain to any situation where a food service facility is constructed or materially altered, or when an existing structure is converted for use as a food service facility.
A complete set of scaled plans must be submitted, reviewed, and approved by:
- The DPIE Health Review Section prior to commencing site work; and/or
- The Health Department prior to selling, serving, storing or preparing food onsite.
The plans must detail the specifications for the construction, remodel/alteration including the layout/arrangement, construction materials, equipment specifications, scope of operation and, in some instances, specific details of proposed methods of food processing.
Items Required for a Health Review:
- One set of scaled drawings to include architectural, plumbing, mechanical, reflected ceiling, a finish schedule, and a labeled fixture layout
- HACCP plan
- Equipment cuts sheets
- Pay Health Review fees
The following are required for a Special Event Temporary Use and Occupancy Permit:
- Property Tax ID Number
- Three (3) Site Plans
- One (1) Letter From Owner
Two (2) applications are required for a Special Event Temporary Use & Occupancy Permit. For the online application, please go to Online Permit Applications; enter the information directly into the County’s Permitting System; and print one (1) copy of the computer-generated application prior to visiting the Permits Center. (Printers are NOT available onsite for customers.) For the paper application, please go to Special Event Permit Request Form (PDF) and complete one (1) printed copy of the form prior to visiting the Permits Center.
If you prefer to use our online (ePlan) permit review process, please select the ePlan Requested by the Applicant option BEFORE you submit your online application, and include the date of the event, time of the event (from set up to end), number and sizes of all structures, tents/stages/generators, etc. that will be used at the event in the Work Description section of both applications. In order to use ePlan, your online application must be submitted at least 45 days before your event.
Application and Plan Review Requirements (Walk-Thru Permit Process)
- Property Tax ID Number
- Completed DPIE Online Building Permit Application and Special Event Permit Request Application
- Three (3) site plans showing the location of all structures that will be on the property the day of the event
- One (1) letter of authorization to use property from owner (not a contract)
- If tents are used, the manufacturer’s flame retardation specifications/certification are required. Please indicate on the application the number and dimensions of tents that will be used for the event.
- If generators are used, a master electrician has to obtain the electrical permit. Please indicate on the application the number of generators that will be used for the event.
- If there are structures, i.e., stages/platforms/carnival rides etc., you need to submit 3 structural drawings. Please indicate on the application the number of structures and dimensions that will be used for the event.
- Refer to the Special Event Checklist and contact the Fire Marshall’s Office, Health Department Inspections and DPIE's Inspections Division to determine their requirements.
- The owner's business must be registered and In Good Standing with the State of Maryland.