Section 3 of the Village of Chevy Chase
P.O. Box 15070
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Phone: 301 656-9117


Planning on Building? Helpful Information

Building Permits and Regulations Summary

Construction projects undertaken in Section 3 of the Village of Chevy Chase must be done in conformance with both Montgomery County regulations and Section 3 regulations – and they are not always the same. These two sets of regulations operate concurrently. In certain instances, Montgomery County zoning ordinances allow actions that Section 3’s Code of Ordinances do not and vice versa. It is important that you review both Section 3’s Code of Ordinances  and the county’s zoning ordinances (for our residential Zone R-60, click here to get started) before you get too far in planning your project. If you have questions, please address them to the Buildings and Roads Representative on the Village Council or contact the Village Manager.

The overall goals of our building ordinances are to retain consistency in our setbacks; to make sure that no one, including the Village itself, is adversely affected by water from a neighbor’s property; and to preserve sufficient open space in our established neighborhood -- in sum to protect and promote the health, safety and general welfare of the residents. That goal is achieved via the permitting process and by requesting that residents inform all their neighbors immediately impacted by their proposed construction (that means bordering, abutting and confronting properties). We ask that you do so well in advance of whatever work you are contemplating so that you are certain they have a complete understanding of what you are planning. We want the entire building process to be a smooth one for all parties involved. To that end, we also advise that you include plenty of time in your schedule to go through the permitting process.

Section 3 building permits are required for any demolition, construction or renovation of a residence or accessory building that changes the footprint and/or envelope of the structure. Section 3 building permits are also required for the construction or alteration of fences and walls; the construction or renovation of driveways, aprons and curb cuts; the excavation or regrading of yards; and the installation of sump pumps.

These types of projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Building a new house 
  • Putting on an addition
  • Tearing down a structure or any part thereof 
  • Building a shed or garage 
  • Installing a sump pump and/or a sump pump discharge 
  • Constructing a porch or deck 
  • Creating a patio or other paved area 
  • Using a dumpster or temporary storage unit (PODS) 
  • Building a pool, tennis or basketball court

Section 3 building permits are not required for work on the interior of one’s house or for any plumbing or electrical work, but your contractor must have the proper permits from either Montgomery County or in the case of a plumber, WSSC (Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission). It is recommended for your safety and protection that your contractor be licensed and insured. Section 3 building permits are also not required for ordinary repairs and maintenance to the exterior of a structure.

These types of projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Painting 
  • Repair of gutters 
  • Replacement of windows 
  • Emergency repair or excavation

For more detailed information on Section 3’s rules, please consult Section 3’s Code of Ordinances.  The bulk of building permit-related regulations can be found in Chapter 6. Fines for non-compliance can be found in Chapter 3.

If you prefer you may download a complete pdf of the Building Permits and Regulations Summary.