This page offers a brief overview of commercial-related permitting within the City. For more information, visit the City's Building / Permits Department page or contact 301-600-3808.
All City permit requests are now being accepted through an online portal. For all permitting needs, complete the general pre-submittal application to be contacted by the appropriate staff member to complete your specific permitting process.
- Certificate of Occupancy
- Construction / Renovation Work
- Work in the Historic District
- Water & Sewer
- Food Industry Permits
- Special Event Permits
- One-Stop Shop
A Certificate of Occupancy is required prior to the occupation of any structure.
- If entering a space without doing any construction/renovation work (i.e. electric or plumbing): Application for the Zoning Permit (and Certificate of Occupancy) (PDF).
- If you are doing construction/renovation work, the Certificate of Occupancy will be triggered by your application for building permits.
The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) must approve all exterior work (including signage) in the Frederick Town Historic District except ordinary repair or minor rehabilitation.
- Map of Historic District (PDF)
- Full Guidelines (PDF)
- List of Exterior Work That Does Not Require HPC Review (PDF) - Looking for a simpler overview? Check out these introductory guidebooks, sponsored by the Downtown Frederick Partnership, that speak to some of the most common projects and procedures:
- Questions? Contact the City's Historic Preservation Planners.
- Water and Sewer Allocation and Impact Fees
- The City regulates commercial users of the Publicly Owned Treatment Works by administering and enforcing the Industrial Pretreatment Ordinance (PDF). Through the program, the Department of Public Works issues FOG Control and wastewater discharge permits, and monitors/inspects industrial users' facilities. Learn more about the Pretreatment Program.
- Contact the Department of Public Works at 301-600-1681 with questions.
- Sidewalk Café (PDF) - Sidewalk cafes are allowed in city commercial districts, including Downtown Frederick. There are regulations for both enclosed and open outdoor seating areas in the City’s Code. An enclosed seating area requires a permit. Outdoor service of alcohol also requires Frederick County Liquor Board approval.
- Restaurant with Entertainment Approval (PDF) - Restaurants that plan to have live music and other entertainment must first obtain approval for entertainment from the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). Small-scale craft beverage manufacturers are not currently permitted to host entertainment, except by special event permit.
- Vendors / Peddlers - Mobile vendors (including Food Trucks) are permitted to operate in the City, in designated areas. Contact our department to request a map of these areas. Breweries and distilleries may also apply to Food Trucks to operate on their private premises.
- Large Event (PDF) - For an event held outside on private property that is anticipated to have 2,000 or more individuals in attendance at a time (Submit 90 days prior to event)
- Non-Large Event - For special events held outside on private property with less than 2,000 in attendance (submit 45 days prior to event)
Same-day permitting is available on Tuesdays from 8 to 11 a.m. for the following projects:
- Basement finish
- Commercial fit-outs under 5,000 square feet with no change in use
- Demolition (accessory structures with no utilities)
- Garage / carports
- Pools / hot tubs / spas
- Residential interior renovation
- Residential paving (pavers, concrete asphalt)
- Retaining walls under 5 feet high
- Temporary trailers
- Zoning application
If located in the Historic Preservation District, applicants must provide two copies of the HPC Certificate of Approval and all supporting documentation in order to be eligible for the One-Stop Shop.
For more information, visit the City's Building / Permits Department page or contact 301-600-3808.