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Development Review Process Workgroup

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The Montgomery County Planning Department, the Montgomery County Executive, and the Montgomery County House of Delegates Delegation are forming a workgroup to examine the county’s process for reviewing and approving development projects, with a special focus on ensuring the county remains economically competitive.

Under county law, reviewing new development projects in the county, prior to permitting to build, is a collaboration between Montgomery Planning and several county and state agencies, with the Planning Board providing final approval of development proposals. Requirements and procedures that guide the development review process are set in the county code, for which the County Council has the ultimate authority to change and approve through legislation.

Workgroup members

Chair: Delegate Lesley Lopez (D-District 39)

  • Montgomery Planning: Robert Kronenberg, Christina Sorrento
  • Montgomery Parks: Henry Coppola
  • Montgomery County Council: Pam Dunn and Livhu Ndou
  • Montgomery County Executive’s Office: Meredith Wellington and Tom Lewis
  • Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services: Ehsan Motazedi
  • Montgomery County Department of Transportation: Tim Cupples
  • Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection: Steven Shofar
  • Director of the Montgomery County Office of Racial Equity & Social Justice: Tiffany Ward
  • Maryland State Highway Administration: Kwesi Woodroffe
  • WSSC: Karem Carpio
  • Pepco: Danielle Freedman
  • Washington Gas: David Shults
  • Development Community: Katherine Kubit, Gary Unterberg
  • Broader Community: Amanda Farber, Charisse Scott
  • Senator Ben Kramer’s office: Diane S. Jones

Workgroup principles

The workgroup will support the following principles:

  • Montgomery County residents and applicants for development approvals deserve the best and most efficient process, while neither minimizing public participation, racial equity and social justice, nor compromising on safety, transportation access, or environmental standards in approved plans.
  • Montgomery County has the assets to be the best county in the region for economic development and improving the development review process will help ensure a better economic development environment for all.
  • All parties are striving to create the best Montgomery County that we can and recognize that every person’s experience tells a story that needs to be heard and respected.

Development Review Process Workgroup Listening Sessions:

  • Thursday, June 22, 2023 – Occurred from 2 to 4 p.m. at County Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Avenue, 3rd floor Hearing Room, Rockville, MD 20850. Watch the meeting on demand.
  • Tuesday, July 18, 2023 – Occurred from 2 to 4 p.m. at the M-NCPPC Wheaton Headquarters, 2425 Reedie Drive, 2nd floor, Wheaton, MD 20902. Watch the meeting on demand.
  • Wednesday, August 2, 2023 – Virtual-only meeting was held from 6 to 8 p.m. Watch the meeting on demand.

View written correspondence to the workgroup

Participating at the Listening Sessions

Community members are invited to provide feedback at each of the public meetings on the development review process. Participants will have two minutes to speak. The workgroup members are interested in:

  1. Your specific experiences with the development review process.
  2. Suggestions on improving the development review process.
  3. Your experiences with the development review process in other jurisdictions.

In addition to the public listening session meetings, the Development Review Process Workgroup will meet on a regular basis between June and September as stated below. The meeting schedule is subject to change, so please check our website for updates. The community is welcome to watch the meetings through a livestream (also available on demand under the “Speakers and Special Events” tab).

About Montgomery County’s development review process

The Montgomery County Planning Board is the sole legal authority for the subdivision process in Montgomery County pursuant to the State Land Use Article.

The Montgomery County Planning Board reviews development applications and subdivision requests to ensure that our county— and your community—is a great place to live, work and visit. During the development review process, Montgomery Planning staff works jointly with the applicant and community members to ensure that proposed development is in accord with the Subdivision of Land Article, Zoning Ordinance, General Plan, master plan recommendations and other regulations and guidelines. Montgomery County’s development review process is largely delegated to the Montgomery County Planning Department by the Planning Board. Montgomery Planning works closely with Montgomery County Government Executive branch departments such as the Department of Permitting Services and Department of Transportation as well as utility companies and other agencies and stakeholders.

This process ensures that new development applications are consistent with the adopted master plan and the Montgomery County Zoning Ordinance as well as considering the impact on the environment, quality of design, compatibility with neighboring uses and the availability of public facilities (water and sewer, transportation, schools). Throughout the development review process, Montgomery Planning staff works jointly with applicants and neighbors to address issues of concern before the Planning Board reviews applications. For example, depending on the findings for a development application, staff may recommend that proposed development projects dedicate land for roads, schools, parks or recreation facilities. Montgomery Planning staff then continues to work with applicants, neighbors and state and local agencies to find common ground.

Last Updated: September 27, 2023