BDS's DPIE Biz, March 2022

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MARCH 2022

In this issue:

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Business Spotlight words over stage curtains
Krab King building front displaying logo and owner sitting on top of the truck

The eye travels up to the Krab King logo crowning the building front while, underneath, owner Heath Wilkins casually sits on top of the company truck like a king on his throne, surveying his krab kingdom.

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The Krab King Opens in Upper Marlboro

Krab King signage depicting insignia, truck and locations.

The Business Development Section (BDS) recently assisted the Krab King with navigating the permitting process. Founded in 2018 by Heath Wilkins, the Krab King initially started as a mobile food truck business. After numerous pop-up weekend events and increasing customer demand, Wilkins said he knew he had something special. “I have been a Prince George’s County resident for 25 years, so I am elated to bring the Krab King to its brick-and-mortar location in Upper Marlboro,” said Wilkins. The restaurant is located at 5720 Crain Highway, just south of Route 4. Popular menu items include crab cakes and the Jerk Krab & Shrimp Quesadilla. The website is still under construction, but you may visit it at Krab King's website.

Krab King's restaurant interior shows plenty of room for seating

Krab King's restaurant interior shows plenty of room for seating from cozy tables for two to bench seating for groups.

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The Inside Scoop: Simple Steps to Get a Sign Permit

This storefront shows a building-mounted sign

This storefront shows a building-mounted sign that requires a Sign Permit application that needs to be completed online.

After many months of planning and navigating the building and use and occupancy permit process, small business owners may consider placing a sign to advertise their new business. Signs are a great marketing tool and can enhance a business’s ability to reach customers. However, it is important to note that all signs, including banners, require a sign permit. Failure to obtain a sign permit may lead to citations and fines. Here are few simple steps to facilitate obtaining a sign permit:

  1. Hire a design professional/sign company to get your vision on paper. This can take many months of planning, creativity, and resources. 
  2. Make sure to have all documents/plans ready.
    • Freestanding and building mounted signs require structural drawings.
    • A site plan must also be submitted for freestanding, ground-mounted signs.
  3. Submit the application through DPIE’s online application system. Applicants must also complete a hard copy of the Sign Permit Application.
  4. Once the application has been approved by plan screening, the applicant will be invited to upload documents into DPIE’s ePlan system to be reviewed by DPIE and Maryland–National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M–NCPPC) staff.
  5. Make sure to apply for an electrical permit for illuminated signage.
  6. After the sign permit has been issued and construction is completed, applicants must schedule an inspection.
  7. See additional sign permit requirements on DPIE’s sign informational webpage.
  8. Applicants should also check their municipal requirements. Some municipalities have additional requirements, and it’s prudent to determine the local municipal rules for sign permits. For additional information on municipal jurisdiction requirements, review the Municipalities Responsibilities in Prince George's County chart.


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FAQs: How Do I Change Building Use and How Do I Complete ePlan Tasks?

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Change of building use for new business owners retrofitting the space

I want to open my business in an established commercial location. The prior tenant had a different type of business. What are the requirements?

If you are changing the use of a building, you will need to get a building permit. For example, building permits are required if you are opening a coffee shop in a former retail space, opening a restaurant in a former store, or establishing an assembly-style business, which increases the occupancy load. You will also need a Use and Occupancy Permit.

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How do I complete ePlan tasks?

Tasks are assigned by the plan coordinator or reviewer to the permit applicant. When you have completed the task, you must click “Submit.” Once you click “Submit,” you will no longer have access to your task, and you will no longer have the ability to upload files. Please note that you MUST click “Submit” to move the ePlan process forward to the next step.

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What's Happening: Events and Information

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Photo of laptop with Nicole instructing a webinar


Over the last year, the Business Development Section has conducted several webinars and prepared PowerPoint presentations for the business community on a variety of DPIE processes. These include Building and Use and Occupancy Permits, Inspections, Special Events, Business Licensing, and more. Customers may access the BDS presentations here.

On February 16, 2022, BDS Officer Nicole Reece presented a webinar featuring some of DPIE's permitting services. Customers may access DPIE's website to view the "Building Permits, Use and Occupancy and Inspections" presentation.

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Resources: Business Community News

white space barDPIE's Free ePlan Training for September adEconomic Development Corporation ad for how COVID-19 affects small businesses videoMaryland Small Business Development Center banner for informationPrince George's Chamber of Commerce monthly meetings adwhite space bar

contact us

County, Prince George's Proud and DPIE logos, plus DPIE address, phone and email