Zoning Rules Baltimore City

9 Replies

Hello All!

I have a property under contract in Baltimore City that has approved plans (2016) and most of the work has been done but no inspections were conducted.

1. Do approved plans expire in Baltimore City?

2. If the plans don’t expire can I complete the renovation utilizing the existing plans or are new plans required.



@Reco Collins  

1.) Yes permits expire (as Greg mentioned) in Baltimore City. 

2.) You need to renew the permits. If you complete the work with out a permit you run the chance of being fined (If an inspector catches you) and the city puts a stop work order on the property until you get a permit pulled. The Chances of being fined are greater than others in different parts of the city. I would suggest getting the permits because (depending on your exit strategy) 1.)  it shows the buyer that all renovations were made according to City code which gives them a sense of assurance before purchasing. 2.) It is noted with in the system and can raise the properties value as far as assessments go. 

@Jamal L. @Greg Dickerson Thanks for the responses. I understand that permits expire, in Baltimore you have 6 months to compete the work.

My question is whether zoning approvals for a major renovations expire and if the approved plans are transferable to the new owner in the event the zoning approval doesn’t expire. 

@Reco Collins

Permits are not transferable typically.  You may have to pull your own permit to complete the work.  This will require licensed contractors etc.  The Building Code states if no work takes place for 6 months (abandoned job) the permit goes void.  Most cities have altered this section.  Spent 30 years in this industry lots of funny rules.

@Reco Collins  

I would imagine they would as circumstances change as well. I can't say for certain but I would call down the zoning office at 417 E. Fayette st. to confirm. Ms. Katrice should be able to assist you in that matter. 

@Reco Collins

These types of inspections are not fun for the inspector either; contrary to a lot of opinions.  If you have photos that can help.  Usually portions of drywall will need to be removed to look at structural loads, mechanicals, insulation etc.  If they want to be difficult they can require all of the drywall to be removed.  

I would address this situation during your due diligence so you know what your getting in to.

Good Luck.

Thanks everyone for the comments. I wanted to circle back on this post. Interestingly enough I've acquired a 2nd property with existing permits. After speaking with the City's zoning and permit offices, I learned that I can apply for new permits and reference the previous permits and get the benefit of the approved work done by the previous owner. 

So to circle back to this post. I’ve been able to reinstate the previous permits to allow for final inspection solely on the grounds that the rough-in inspection me had already been completed. The fee was $52 per permit which is a lot cheaper than having to pull all new permits.