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Locating Your Business in an Existing Building
Locating your business in an existing building is a major investment in a community and its plan for the future. 

Businesses should review the area plan and find out where all infrastructure (water, sewer, etc.) is located before acquiring a site. Your engineer or surveyor should be able to help you locate existing infrastructure and/or the distance to the nearest infrastructure. You can research possible sites on the Calvert Prospector website. For help, contact Economic Development at 410-535-4583. 

Is public water or sewer available?
Contact the Department of Public Works Water and Sewer Division for more information on public and community water and sewer systems.

Private well or septic system?  Planning to serve food or drink? 
Soil percolation testing may be required if you are locating your business in an existing building on a septic system.  If your property or business location is on well and septic, contact the Maryland State Health Department, Environmental Health Division for more information.  If you plan to prepare and/or serve food or drink, contact the Health Department (link above) for requirements on water testing, well and septic/sewer requirements, commercial kitchens, food preparation, food labeling and storage, etc.

Road/Entrance/Public Safety Considerations
A traffic study may need to be prepared by a traffic engineer and reviewed by the Department of Public Works. 

Where will a road entrance to my building/property be allowed?
On state roads, contact the District 5 office of the Maryland State Highway Administration. On county roads and other roads, contact the Department of Public Works Engineering/Transportation Division.

Are there any public safety codes or regulations? 
Contact the Department of Public Safety Fire-Rescue-EMS Division about possible fire lanes, fire suppression water tanks, and other standards.   Contact the Maryland State Fire Marshal office for state code regulations.  Inspections and Permits coordinates with the State Fire Marshal who determines if any changes are needed to meet the state fire code.

Zoning/Covenants/Construction Permit Requirements/Environmental Considerations
Are you in a Municipality?

If so, check with the town hall to see the plans and regulations in the town.  Chesapeake Beach and North Beach are both incorporated towns within Calvert County, and have separate governments and zoning regulations from the county and town center regulations. 

Are there private covenants?
Contact the property owner, landlord, or property management company to see if there are any covenants or restrictions on the property.  Check the deed and/or the record plat to see if there are any covenants which may affect your business plan. 

What About Zoning?
Determine the zoning of the property and ask Department of Community Planning & Building  - Zoning, Permitting and Citizen Relations staff to assist you in determining if the business is permitted at that location.  You will want to ask for information on zoning standards such as property and building setbacks, permitted uses, landscaping buffers, building size, parking, etc.

Is my property/business in a Town Center?
There are seven (7) Town Centers in Calvert County (these do not include the Incorporated towns of North Beach and Chesapeake Beach) - Dunkirk, Owings, Huntingtown, Prince Frederick, St. Leonard, Lusby, and Solomons.  Each Town Center (TC) has its own Master Plan and Zoning Ordinance.  You will have to get approval from the Architectural Review Committee for the building and any signage.  Refer to the Town Center page for more information.

Do I need a Building Permit?
All construction must be done according to an approved site plan and as per the applicable building codes.  Review of building permits may include (but is not limited to) State Fire Marshal, Zoning, Architectural Review Committees, Public Works, Health Department, and the Soil Conservation District.  You will also need a Use and Occupancy (U&O) Permit before you can officially open for business to the public.  Any electrical work must be done by a licensed electrician.  Any plumbing work must be done by a licensed plumber. In both cases, permits are required.  All soil disturbance/grading and building requires county permits.  Please contact Inspections and Permits for more information. 

A pre-construction meeting is held at the site to make sure that owners, applicants, and contractors are aware of the conditions of approval.

Can my business have a sign?
For zoning regulations pertaining to signage, refer to the Calvert County Zoning Ordinance or the Town Center Zoning Ordinance that applies, or contact Department of Community Planning & Building Planning, Development Review Staff for assistance.  You may need to file a Sign Permit Application.  If your business is located in a town center, you may have to seek Architectural Review Committee approval for signs.

For information pertaining to environmental regulations on forest cover, wetlands, streams, flood plains, and the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Program, refer to the Department of Community Planning & Building Environmental Section

Stormwater Management
For more information on storm water management regulations, contact the Department of Public Works Engineering/Transportation Division.

How Can You Stay Informed? 
Applicants may follow the status of their project on the Permit/Project Application Status System (PASS) page or contact Terry Williams,  Development Navigator with the Department of Community Planning & Building at 410-535-1600 ext. 2642. 

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