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A permit is required to install a retaining wall if the height of the wall measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall is over 48 inches, unless supporting surcharge, crosses a lot line, is located in problem soils, or is part of a tiered retaining wall system. Walls of peculiar design or substantial height will be subject to the Montgomery County Special Inspection Program and/or be referred to Commercial Structural Plan Review.  Compliance with commercial submittal requirements for retaining walls and review timelines will be required.

A permit application for a retaining wall installed on the private property line must include a letter of approval from the adjacent property owner. A separate permit will be needed for any segment of the retaining wall crossing a lot line. Occasionally, lot conditions require approvals from other agencies such as easement holders, or homeowner associations. Any Retaining Wall installed within the County right of way will not be permitted and will be required to be removed. A retaining wall is considered an accessory structure if it exceeds the height of 6' - 6.”
Retaining walls with a design wall height of over 7’-0” shall also meet the submittal criteria for Montgomery County Special Inspection Program.

SURCHARGE: The vertical load imposed on retained soil that may impose a lateral force in addition to lateral earth pressure of retained soil. For example: Sloping retained soil; structure footings supported by the retained soil; adjacent vehicle loads supported by retained soil.
TIERED RETAINING WALL SYSTEM:  A series of two or more stacked walls, each higher wall set back from the underlying wall.

Commercial Retaining Wall Permit Submittal Requirements
Special Inspections Program Manual
Statement of Special Inspections


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