DPIE Under Construction Newsletter - February 2021

DPIE Under Construction masthead with Permitting, Plan Review, Licensing, Inspections and Enforcement visuals, and DPIE logo

February 2021

Message from the Director

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DPIE Director Melinda Bolling

This month, we are focusing on the section of DPIE that might be considered the nerve center of the agency – the Permit Center. Securing permits is the first major task of any building project. The permitting process helps you determine the components necessary to ensure the safety of the project and guarantee the structure will fit onto your site without negatively impacting things like drainage. DPIE has a team dedicated to helping you successfully navigate the agency's permitting procedures. You will meet some of them in this issue. We look forward to receiving permit applications for your projects!

Be safe!

Melinda's signature block - her name and title as Director

Permits: The Starting Point for Building Projects

Demetrius Jones, Permits Center , reviews a document with staff member Lilliana Escobar.

One of DPIE’s most important functions is assisting customers with securing permits for their projects. Whether you are building a deck, renovating your kitchen or finishing your basement, getting the project permitted is required by County code.

The first-floor Permits Center has been closed to the public since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the shuttering of County buildings. However, the center’s functions continue. 

Customers can complete the building permit application online. The application information is then entered directly into the County’s permitting system. Permit applicants can upload building plans for review via the ePlan system. There are free monthly ePlan trainings

Members of the Permit Center team work with applicants online and via telephone. Permit applications are reviewed by other applicable County and State agencies for approval if particular construction plans include environmental, health and/or safety components. Each permit application must be accompanied by three copies of the building plan and three copies of the site plan.

Staffers Demetrius Jones (left), and Liliana Escobar discuss a document in the Permit Center prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Permit Center Manager Clarence Moseley Focuses on Customer Service


DPIE Permit Center Manager Clarence E.  Moseley believes the way his team treats customers is just as important as the efficacy with which they serve them.

When the pandemic hit in March 2020 and County buildings were closed, the Permit Center went completely online within hours. The desktops they used in the past had been replaced by laptops months before the onset of the health emergency, allowing the team to make the transition quickly. Staff who worked on intake in the building were trained to perform processing functions, and the other way around. These days, each team member can perform every function as they work on the 120 applications they receive daily.

Moseley credits the staff’s commitment with their ability to offer the same quality customer service in today’s challenging circumstances.

“Part of it is the training they receive, but it’s also due to the kind of people we have recruited and the way they respond to our customers,” Moseley said. “We preach customer service on a daily basis. At our meetings, we talk about the importance of treating people the way we want to be treated when we go into a business.”

Moseley came to Prince George’s County in 2002 to work as a permit specialist in what was then the Department of Environmental Resources (DER), which became DPIE in 2013. His previous experience included 10 years working in the District of Columbia and seven in the City of Alexandria – all in permitting departments.

“I was recruited by one of the plan reviewers because I live in the County,” Moseley said.

From the time he joined permitting services in Prince George’s County, Moseley has focused on the importance of good customer service, which aligns with the priority set by DPIE Director Melinda Bolling when she took over the agency in 2018.

His team includes 10 people: the intake group, which ensures each application is complete and  appropriate documents are included; the processing team; and the ePlan team, which does the plan screening reviews and moves the applications to other agencies that may need to examine them, depending on the project.

Many residential permit applicants are intimidated by the process, so the Permit Center staff takes special care to demystify it. For more information, visit the Permit Center page on the DPIE website. 

Permit Center Manager Clarence E. Moseley answers a customer's question before COVID-19.


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Basic Facts About Permits

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Q: What projects require permits?

A: Permits are required for many construction projects. Visit the Permits page for details.

Q: Which permits does DPIE issue?

A: DPIE issues permits for residential building, commercial building, building trade, use and occupancy, temporary use and occupancy, raze, signs and site/road permits.

Q: What documents do I need to get a permit?

A: You will need to complete an online application. Depending on the type of permit, you will also need to submit three site plans and three sets of building plans with the application. For use and occupancy permits and cases that do not need building plans, you still are required to have three site plans.

Q: What other projects require permits?

A: Installation or construction of antennae, billboards, carports, some fences, chair lifts, chimneys, escalators, certain electrical devices and wiring, swimming pools and wood burning stoves also must be permitted.

Q: How much do permits cost?

A: Fees for each type of permit can be found on the Bonds and Fees page.

Q: How can I get permit records or permit types?

A: You may search Data Prince George's, the County's Open Data Portal, for a full listing of residential and commercial permits dating back to July 2013.

Q: How can I access information about commercial building permits?

A: You may access commercial building information on the DPIE website.

Q: What is a Use & Occupancy Permit?

A: A Certificate of Occupancy or Use & Occupancy Permit, issued by DPIE, officially states that the building or space identified meets local zoning and safety requirements and may legally operate in that location.

Q: How do I get information about the status of permits?

A. DPIE provides information about permits, code violations and other research through the Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA). For more information, visit the MPIA page.

For more information, visit the DPIE website.

ePlan Training Guides Customers Through the Process

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DPIE offers free monthly ePlan Customer Training. Attendees learn how to complete online applications and upload plans for review in the ePlan system. Training is given online the third Thursday of every month from 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Those who wish to attend training must register by the second Thursday of the month by clicking the activities link. You may call (301) 636–2050 or e-mail all three of the following:  Robin McLean — ramclean@co.pg.md.us; Dunia Santamaria — dksantamaria@co.pg.md.us and Danielle Robinson — dmrobinson1@co.pg.md.us.

For more information, visit the Online Permit Services page at dpie.mypgc.us or send an e-mail to eplan@co.pg.md.us.

Helpful Information About Permits

When Is a Permit Required?


Building Permits and Use & Occupancy Permits (Video)

Homeowner's Guide to Permits


Online Permit Services (ePlan/Trade Permits)


Search Permit History by Address

https://dpiestatus.princegeorgescountymd.gov/site/public/Citizens/ActivitySearch.aspx. When entering the street name, use the first term. For example, search Chancellors Drive using “Chancellors.”

For more information, visit dpie.mypgc.us or call the Permits Office at 301-636-2050, extension 6.

Building Code Changes Take Effect February 15

Changes to the Prince George’s County Subtitle 4 Building Code became effective in January, updating it to conform to the 2018 editions of the International Building Code, the International Mechanical Code, the International Energy Conservation Code and the International Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings in connection with County Subtitle 4. After a six-month transition period, ending August 15, 2021, the requirements will become mandatory. All single family and town house plans-on-file (PDF) submitted will be required to comply with the new regulations.

For more information, call the Building Plan Review Division at 301-636-2070. 


New additions

New Hires

DPIE welcomes the following new hire and congratulates her on joining the team!  Each new staffer shares some information to help us get to know them and their start date.


Chrystal Tibbs, Enforcement Division – Asst. Associate Director, 12/2020

Chrystal joins DPIE from the Prince George’s County Police Department, from which she retired after 22 years of dedicated service. Chrystal holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management (BBA) from Howard University and a Master of Science in Management (MS) from The Johns Hopkins University.



DPIE has promoted the following employee and we would like to recognize and congratulate him for his hard work and commitment!


Alex Espartinas - To Engineering Technician III in the Permitting and Licensing Division, 12/2020

Alex has worked for Prince George’s County for three years. He assigns ePlan review tasks as part of the permitting process. He has a reputation for being a diligent and committed team player. 

Employees of the Month


DPIE Congratulates Selam Jena
Engineer III, Central District
Site/Road Plan Review Division
Employee of the Month for February 2021

Selam works closely with her team members and assists by training engineering technicians and new engineering staff. She responds to customers, engineers and developer concerns in a timely manner, with professionalism and a friendly attitude.  She also works closely with applicants and the permittees by answering and resolving permit related issues.




DPIE Congratulates Gabe Bejarano
Property Standards Inspector II, Zoning Unit
Enforcement Division
Employee of the Month for February 2021

Gabe performs his duties and assignments with pride and professionalism. He volunteers to be of assistance when his fellow team members need help and approaches new challenges with enthusiasm. He readily assists customers and team members as an interpreter. He has made himself available to investigate emergency concerns. He is a valued member of the Zoning Unit.

DPIE commends both of our colleagues for their excellence! 

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