This page is intended to provide an overview of basic commercial permits in the City of Cumberland. Application fees for each permit, as well as costs such as impact fees on new plumbing fixtures must be carefully considered. Take the time to research these costs and build them into your business plan upfront. Also, allow yourself enough time for the permit review. Depending on the complexity of the permit, reviews can take one week or several weeks, so plan accordingly. All projects are different – to discuss the specifics of a project, please contact the City’s Department of Community Development for more detailed information on required permits and approvals, 301-759-6456. Click here to view the City’s Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Regulations.
Allegany County Land Development – County Office Complex, First Floor, Suite 109, 701 Kelly Road, Cumberland, MD (301) 777-5951
Allegany County Planning – County Office Complext, First Floor, Suite 109, Cumberland, MD (301) 777-2199
Click here for Permit Checklists. Commercial construction, site plan review, storm water management, occupancy, electric, plumbing, utility taps, and sign applications are available at the Department of Community Development counter in City Hall, 57 North Liberty Street (lower level).
Zoning Determination/Occupancy Permit Process
This process is used to determine if the proposed use is recognized as a permitted use in a specific zoning district. It is recommended that if you wish to place a contract on a structure that you include a “subject to zoning approval” contingency. An Occupancy Permit is required for anyone occupying a new location.
Commercial Construction Permit (New and Alterations)
A contractor must have a valid State of Maryland’s Contractor’s License to sign for a Commercial Construction Permit. All Commercial Electrical and Plumbing Permits must be signed by a Maryland Master Electrician or Maryland Master Plumber. If you are a subcontractor who has been granted reciprocity by the State of Maryland, please provide documentation along with your Electrical and/or Plumbing Application. A Certificate of Occupancy will be provided upon completion of work and inspections.
Electrical, Plumbing and Utility Tap Permits
If the only work needed is plumbing or electrical, the corresponding permits are required. All plumbing and electrical work conducted within the City of Cumberland requires rough-in and final inspections by an independent inspection agency. An Occupancy Permit is still required for anyone to occupy a new location. All electrical and plumbing work within a commercial structure must be completed by a Maryland Master Electrician or Maryland Master Plumber.
The city regulates commercial signage, including the size of signs and the number permitted per lot. Click here to review these regulations in the City’s Zoning Ordinance, Section 14. A sign permit must be submitted for review and approval based on these regulations. Sign contractors will often handle permitting. Note: Within Cumberland’s Historic Districts, the Historic District Guidelines have additional signage regulations. Historic Preservation Commission approval is a separate process from the sign permit, and it is required before submitting the sign permit application.
Businesses are allowed one sandwich board sign, placed in front of their business. These signs must be removed after business hours and there are other regulations regarding size and placement.
Restaurants that plan to have live music and other entertainment must first obtain approval for entertainment from the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Sidewalk Cafes are allowed in City commercial districts, including the Central Business District. There are regulations for both enclosed and open outdoor seating areas. An enclosed seating area requires a permit. Note: Outdoor service of alcohol also requires Allegany County Liquor Board approval (301-724-6485).
For businesses located in the Central Business District/Cumberland Historic District, approval through the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) is required for most exterior work, including signage. Many rehabilitation projects and signs can be approved administratively by the City’s Historic Preservation Planner, who can be reached by calling (301) 759-6431 or by going to the Historic Preservation website for details.