301-926-2256 [email protected]

Planning Commission Rules for Building Permit Applications

McCathran Hall



  1. Obtain Application Forms
    • The building permit application form, applicable ordinances, and worksheet may be obtained from the Town Office or the Town Website.
    • The Town uses the “Application for Residential Building Permit” form also available from Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services website.
    • Helpful information on Town properties may be found in House Files located in the Town Archives.
    • For maximum benefit from the HPC review, applicants should present early-stage design plans to the HPC, allowing sufficient time to incorporate modifications, if desired.
    • The operation of the Town government is dependent on volunteers, and every effort is made to review applications promptly.
    • Questions regarding status of applications should be directed to the Planning Commission Chair and/or the Historic Preservation Commission Chair.
  2. Complete and Submit Building Permit Application Package The completed building permit application package is to be submitted to the Town Clerk in person or by mail. The completed package consists of the following:
    • Two copies of the completed application form.
    • Two copies of a boundary survey (see Boundary Verification Requirements) clearly showing proposed construction and distances from proposed construction to property lines and corner markers.
    • Fee payable to the Town of Washington Grove (cash or check is acceptable).
    • Minimum of two sets of Construction Plans and Elevations drawn to scale as noted on the plan legend. The submitted construction plans must be identical to those which will be submitted to Montgomery County.
    • Public Improvement Agreement with bond, when applicable.
    • Two copies of the completed Building Permit Worksheet.
  3. Review by Historic Preservation Commission (HPC)
    • Upon receipt of any application for a building permit which will involve any change to a structure or site visible from any public way, the Town Clerk will forward a copy of the application to the HPC for review and comment.
    • The HPC provides valuable input to applicants to encourage preservation of architectural features, compatibility with neighboring structures and preservation of the visual character of the Town.
  4. Required Actions Prior to Planning Commission (PC) Review
    • A building permit application must be received in Town Office at least 14 days prior to the PC meeting at which the application will receive initial PC review.
    • The PC will determine if the application and supplementary materials are sufficient for PC review; if not, the applicant will be informed and the entire application returned.
    • Applicant must post a “Notice To Neighbors” sign within 7 days of receiving it from the Town Clerk. The PC will not act on an application unless the “Notice To Neighbors” sign was posted in a timely manner as confirmed by the PC.
    • The PC will wait before taking a vote on a building permit application until the PC has received a timely response from the HPC. If the HPC does not comment within a 30-day period, then the PC may proceed without further delay.
  5. Review by Planning Commission (PC)
    • The PC will review the completed building permit application package at its next scheduled monthly meeting.
    • If the building permit is approved, the application and submitted plans will be stamped and returned to the applicant.
    • If the PC denies the permit, the application will be so stamped and returned to the applicant including the grounds for denial. The applicant may then pursue a variance from the strict application of the zoning standards or, in the event the applicant believes that the requested permit was denied in error, file an administrative appeal with the Town of Washington Grove Board of Zoning Appeals.
  6. Obtain Montgomery County Building Permit
    • The issuance of a building permit by the Town does not preclude the need to obtain a Montgomery County building permit.
    • Approval of the building permit by the Town must be secured prior to making application for a County permit.
    • Upon receipt, a copy of the approved County permit, as well as the approved plans and drawings, are to be submitted to the Town Office for filing.
    • Construction may only begin after the issuance of the required Town and County permit(s).
  7. Boundary Verification Requirements
    • Boundary Survey — The purpose of a boundary survey is to establish, reestablish, or describe, or all of these, the physical position and extent of the boundaries of real property. Sufficient monuments or reference control points which were used to determine the property lines shall be: set or recovered on the ground, to the extent feasible; and shown on a plat upon completion of the boundary survey so that the property lines can be determined or readily reestablished.
    • Location Drawing — The purpose of a location drawing is to locate, describe, and represent the positions of buildings or other visible improvements affecting the subject property. A location drawing is not a boundary survey and cannot be relied upon by anyone to show where the property’s boundaries are.
    • An applicant for a fence permit who can demonstrate the proposed fence lies within the boundaries as shown by four (4) corner markers will not have to submit a boundary survey.
    • Applicants should make sure the corner markers are flagged as they will need to be checked against the paperwork.
    • Applications for permits for fences at least 10 feet from a property line and/or perpendicular to property lines not violative of setback requirements for the non-perpendicular property line do not require a boundary survey.
    • For small sheds and home modifications that do not change the building’s footprint, a house location drawing clearly showing proposed construction and distances from proposed construction to property lines will be accepted in lieu of a boundary survey.


Town of Washington Grove

Mailing address:
Town of Washington Grove, Maryland
P.O. Box 216
Washington Grove, MD 20880-0216

Town Office:
McCathran Hall (North side of the Hall)
300 Grove Avenue (corner of Center Street and Chestnut Road)
Washington Grove
Telephone: 301-926-2256
Email: [email protected]
Website: https://washingtongrovemd.org

Planning Commission:

Meets first Wednesday of every month at 7:30 pm
Council Room, North side of the Hall

Historic Preservation Commission:

Meets third Tuesday of every month at 7:30 pm
Council Room, North side of the Hall



This worksheet was designed to help both the applicant and the Planning Commission.
Questions may be directed to the Planning Commission Chairman.

  • Application
  • Copy of review by Historic Preservation Commission (if applicable)
  • Bond (if necessary)
  • Survey (Boundary Survey for Major permit; Location Drawing for Minor permit)
  • Construction Drawings (final set, identical to those submitted to Montgomery County)
  • Set Back Distances Clearly Marked in Feet:
    Front (from Avenue/Street/Lane/Road/Circle)__________
    Side (Left)__________
    Side (Right)__________
    Total of Both Sides__________
  • Square Footage:
    Rear Lot (when applicable)__________
    Existing Footprint__________
    Proposed Footprint__________
  • Enclosed Space:
    Current Enclosed Space__________
    Proposed Enclosed Space__________
  • Building/Structure Height (from ground to peak):
    Corner 1 Left Front__________
    Corner 2 Right Front__________
    Corner 3 Right Rear__________
    Corner 4 Left Rear__________
    Number of Stories__________
  • Fence Requirements:
    Height Facing Private Property__________
    Height Facing Public Property__________
    Distance from Center of Intersection__________
  • Notes:



Adopted by the HPC July 22, 2003  | Revised by the HPC October 20, 2004

In November 2001, Washington Grove established a Historic Preservation Commission [HPC]. Its job is
to help safeguard the heritage of the town by encouraging the preservation of its historic structures. The HPC has five members – all Town residents.

One of the HPC’s specific duties is to review Building Permit applications made to the Planning
Commission. HPC reviews are advisory in nature. Only the Planning Commission has the authority to
approve or disapprove the submittal.

The HPC encourages Early Consultations before residents submit a building permit application. This
early consultation can take the form of informal discussion or a review of a tentative design to determine if there are any issues in the proposed plans that may concern the Commission. Such early reviews may
help in the preparation of formal architectural drawings.

If an applicant elects to adopt the HPC’s recommendations from the Early Consultation then the HPC
should be able to expedite its review of the building permit application.

When filing an application for a building permit with the Town, the submitted material will be compared with the written review(s) from the Early Consultations and if it shows sufficient attention to the HPC recommendations, it will be forwarded directly to the Planning Commission without a formal HPC
review. If the final design is not in accord with the earlier HPC recommendations it may be added to the agenda of the next HPC meeting for formal review.

When requesting an early consultation or when submitting a building permit application please include
floor plans, elevations, and descriptions of exterior building materials. Drawings should clearly show the existing structure and proposed changes. It is very helpful, especially if altering the existing structure, to include photographs and/or architectural models to convey proposed changes.

Information submitted should include the following:

  • The scale of the construction in relation to the existing and surrounding structures.
  • Type of exterior materials such as siding, and design elements including windows, doors, and
    decorative details.
  • Accurate depiction of roof design including pitch, ridgeline orientation, dormers, and eave treatments.

If at all possible, we encourage you to be present when we review your project.

Town of Washington Grove Historic Preservation Commission

Mail address: same as above.


TWG-Historic Preservation Commission Monthly Scheduled Meetings: Third Tuesday of every month at 7:30 pm in the Town Council Room adjacent to McCathran Hall.


Adopted by HPC Oct 19, 2004

Period of significance:

The period of significance for Washington Grove is 1873-1937. The beginning year is when the
Methodists originally purchased the 258-acre property in order to establish the camp meeting. The closing
year marks the dissolution of the camp meeting association and the end of the era of seasonal occupancy.


Most of the houses built during the period of significance are wood frame, 1-1/2 to 2 story structures that
feature open porches usually on the front, facing the walkways, and often on the sides and rear facades.
The principal style of architecture for buildings constructed from the 1870s through the 1880s is
Carpenter Gothic. The character-defining element of these 1-1/2 story houses is their sharply sloped,
front-gable roofs decorated with bargeboard and/or trusswork. Houses built from 1885-1900, including
110,111, and 117 Grove Avenue, exhibit Queen Anne influence in their larger, asymmetrical massing and
complex roof forms. The architecture of houses dating from 1900-1920s includes Craftsman influenced
houses as at 108 Grove, 109 Maple and 419 Oak, and larger, Colonial Revival influenced ones, at 103Brown and 118 Grove.

Categories of structures:

A contributing structure is one built within the period of significance, or has unique architectural or
historic significance regardless of the period of significance. The structure must retain enough of its
architectural integrity that the original building may still be discernable within the present structure.
Non-contributing structures are those that are built after the period of significance, or are so altered that
the character or form of the original structure is no longer evident.

Note: In the future, an application may be made to extend the historic district designation after 1937 to
include the early years of the incorporation of the Town of Washington Grove, or even subsequent styles
such as Cape Cod, Ramblers or even Ranch.

Note: A list of structures that have been classified as contributing structures in the Town of Washington
Grove may be obtained from the Town Office. The list is also provided on the Town Web Site

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