Building Blocks Newsletter, July 2020

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July 2020

 In this issue:

Business Spotlight

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Shortcake Bakery and Maryland Meadworks

Shortcake Bakery and Maryland Meadworks, 2 business in Hyattsville, sought assistance from BDS

Shortcake Bakery and Maryland Meadworks, two Hyattsville businesses, now offer outdoor seating.

DPIE’s Restaurant Temporary Outdoor Seating Area (RTOSA) Permit is a County initiative designed to assist restaurants and bars in reopening during the COVID-19 emergency.  The Business Development Section (BDS) recently assisted two Hyattsville businesses located side by side on Rhode Island Avenue, along the Route 1 Corridor.  Shortcake Bakery and Maryland Meadworks now offer outdoor seating.  To ensure customers can continue to enjoy the varied restaurants and bars throughout the County, BDS is available to assist  restaurateurs and bar owners in applying for a RTOSA Permit.

Lidl Food Market

Lidl grocery store in Bowie, Prince George's County

Lidl Food Market has opened two new stores in Prince George's County.

The BDS team recently assisted Lidl Food Market in expanding further into Prince George’s County by opening two new stores, one on New Hampshire Avenue in Takoma Park and another on Livingston Road in Oxon Hill. With the addition of the two new stores, the company will now have a total of six stores in Prince George’s County. The Lidl stores have replaced several former Shopper’s Food Warehouse locations.

The Inside Scoop

Farmers Market vegetable display

Farmers' Markets are operating under COVID guidelines.

Farmers Market Display of peppers and tomatoes

Farmers' Markets Are Open and Thriving!

Prince Georgians continue to enjoy locally-grown fresh food from farmers’ markets during the current COVID-19 emergency under DPIE’s new vendor COVID guidelines established in response to social distancing mandates. To operate a farmers’ market, apply at the online application portal by selecting the Building Permit application. Once your application has been approved, payment can be submitted via the DPIE ePayments link. Once the permits have been issued, farmers’ market applicants must obtain a third party inspection.

Business Development Section: Helpful Hints

Helpful Hints


Applicants must submit a Use & Occupancy (U&O) Permit application along with a permission letter from the landlord. Once these initial documents have been verified and accepted, applicants will be invited to submit a clear and concise drawing indicating the seating chart of the outdoor area — including chairs, tables, open tents, and barriers. The drawing can be submitted by the owner applicant. To view a sample seating chart, visit DPIE's Temporary Restaurant Outdoor Seating web page.


Receiving a U&O requires a two-step process. Often, applicants forget the second part of that process. Step 1 requires the applicant to pay the outstanding application fee via DPIE's ePayments link. After payment has been made, the applicant must complete Step 2 by reopening their ePlan account to complete the “Applicant Final Fee Payment” task. Once Step 2 has been completed, DPIE will issue a job card for the project. If the payment task is not completed correctly in ePlan, the job card will not be issued. For detailed instructions, see DPIE’s ePlan Applicant User Guide.


If you are an entrepreneur interested in operating a food truck in Prince George’s County, you must apply for a Mobile Food Service Facility Permit which is issued by the Health Department. However, for those who want to operate at food truck hubs, a Special Food Service Facility Mobile Unit License is also required and issued by DPIE. For more information, visit DPIE's Food Truck Hubs web page.


Commercial vehicles should not be parked in residential communities within driveways, on public streets or rights-of-way unless a vehicle operator is performing work on the property. Vehicles found in violation of the code may be fined and/or towed.

What's Happening?

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BDS Upcoming Events

Join us for a free webinar about the Peer Review Program (PRP). This presentation will discuss Building Plan Review Division (BPRD) projects. The PRP is an optional program offered to allow permit applicants to hire approved peer reviewers to review their plans in lieu of having the plans evaluated by DPIE personnel. The program reduces the review time associated with construction plan approval.

The webinar will provide information for applicants about the program and those interested in becoming peer reviewers. Click to Register for the Peer Review Program Webinar.

Peer Review Program webinar flyer
Tenant Fit-Outs flyer


On June 30th, the BDS hosted a webinar to discuss the requirements for tenant fit-outs. A fit-out is a project involving interior construction within an existing building to accommodate a new tenant.

The presentation is available for public viewing at Tenant Fit-Outs.

Business News

Click on the graphics below to register for trainings or assistance.

Economic Development Corporation Assistance LinkePlan Training website linkPrince George's Chamber of Commerce assistance linkMD Small Business Development Center training link

Community Feedback

Community FeedbackKen Carter thank-you quote

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2020 Census


By law, every 10 years the U.S. Census counts every resident in the United States. Your participation determines representation and how billions in federal funds are distributed. If our community is undercounted, friends and neighbors miss out on an estimated $18,250 per person over a 10-year period. Statewide, that’s a total of $26.6 billion over a 10-year period.