In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Montgomery County identified the need to ease regulatory burdens to enable more unfettered economic development countywide—especially for development projects that benefit our entire community. Working with Montgomery County Departments of Permitting Services and Transportation, a representative from the County Executive’s office, and several representatives from private industry, Montgomery Planning has created the Speed-to-Market Initiative.
The new initiative streamlines the approval process for development projects by consolidating the processes of planning and land-use approvals. Simply put, applications for projects that are designated Strategic Economic Development Projects, projects that have specialized benefits above standard requirements, and projects that are extremely straightforward or have strong community support.
Speed-to-Market ensures that these projects will be reviewed expeditiously; with a new consolidated process, qualified applicants can expect feedback from the Development Review Committee (DRC) within two weeks of submission. Typically, in the past, Sketch and Preliminary aspects of project proposals had to be approved before Site Plans could be reviewed at all, without any mandated timelines, too often resulting in long wait times for straightforward ideas and stymying much-needed development.
With Speed-to-Market, priority proposals can have all elements reviewed concurrently and receive the feedback or approvals they need to take next steps forward. While these changes are ultimately procedural, they will immediately create more opportunities and offer a more attractive business environment for businesses looking to make Montgomery County home—as well as move the County forward with expedited changes that benefit all our residents.