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Development Review Process Workgroup

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In 2023, the Montgomery County Planning Department, the Montgomery County Executive, and the Montgomery County House of Delegates Delegation formed 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.

Following a five-month process, the Development Review Process Workgroup came to consensus on 22 recommendations to improve the development review process. The recommendations were crafted from input from members of the public, as well as detailed consideration by a large interagency body convened to improve every element of the development review process for the benefit of Montgomery County and its residents, business owners, and real estate developers. The 22 recommendations approved for the Workgroup include changes to state law, public notices and involvement, agency coordination, and more.

Read the Development Review Process Workgroup report.

Recommendations of the Development Review Process Workgroup

State Law Recommendations

  1. Codify language in State Law limiting SHA review time to 30 days. This change will align the SHA review time with County DOT review time and ensure the applicant has all transportation comments at the same time so they can address them efficiently while staying on schedule. VOTE: PASS UNANIMOUSLY
  2. Add specific language in State Law that allows for conditional Planning Board approval of plats. This change would allow an applicant to receive Planning Board approval of a plat while the plat is still circulating for signatures and other administrative tasks. Once the plat is conditionally approved by the Planning Board, it does not need to go back if the conditions are met. This change will save up to 3 weeks for the applicant in the plat process. VOTE: PASS UNANIMOUSLY
  3. Explore the use of digital signatures on plats and allow for the archiving of digital plats.
    • Using digital signatures on plats could save time but future discussion and research is needed to see what changes can be made at the State level where mylars are required and discussion with engineering firms and surveyors need to occur to determine whether they have the ability to facilitate digital signatures. This will require action by the State, the Planning Board and DPS.
    • Propose a change to the Real Property Article to change State Law to allow the Archivist to accept digital plats. VOTE: PASS UNANIMOUSLY

Non-State Recommendations

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About the Development Review Process Workgroup

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.

Participation at the Listening Sessions

Community members were invited to provide feedback at each of the public meetings on the development review process. In addition to the public listening session meetings, the Development Review Process Workgroup met on a regular basis between June and September as listed below.


Development Review Process Workgroup releases recommendations to streamline Montgomery County’s development review process

Workgroup reaches consensus on 22 recommendations after four months of public meetings,…

Montgomery County Development Review Process Workgroup to hold more public work sessions

Three more livestreamed work sessions scheduled for fall; deadline for community to…

Community invited to testify at final Development Review Process Workgroup listening session on Wednesday, August 2 at 6 p.m. – virtual only

Community members have shared their experiences with the county’s development review process…
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