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Mandatory Referral


Mandatory Referrals are plans submitted by government entities at all levels for any type of land acquisition, sale, use, or development activity. The Montgomery County Planning Board reviews the plans on an advisory basis and typically takes one of three possible actions: 1) approval without comments, 2) approval with comments; or 3) denial.

Forest Conservation:

Mandatory Referrals must address forest conservation law when submitted for a property larger than 40,000 sf and/or for more than 5,000 sf of proposed cutting, clearing, or grading.  For Mandatory Referrals proposing less than 5,000 sf of disturbance on properties smaller than 40,000 sf, forest conservation law does not apply.

Development Review Committee (DRC):

Mandatory Referrals do not go to DRC.

Decision Type:

The Planning Department does not formally approve or deny Mandatory Referrals.  Instead, they provide a recommendation to the applying agency either administratively or at a Planning Board hearing.


Mandatory Referrals are free because they are submitted by government agencies.

Review Time:

Must be acted upon within 60 days.


Mandatory Referrals may not be amended.  You may only change the results of a Mandatory Referral with a new Mandatory Referral application.

Application Instructions

Fill out this application form and email the PDF to  Once our team has received the application and entered it into our system, the primary contact listed on the application form will be asked to upload files to ePlans.

Essential Documents

Supporting Documents

Guides and Tools