Budget Year / Version:

Mission Statement

The Department of Permitting Services' (DPS) primary mission is to promote the health, safety, welfare, and economic wellbeing of residents, businesses, and communities of Montgomery County with timely, professional, transparent, and consistent review and processing of plans and permits and through inspections of structures, rights-of-way, and development. DPS protects the public through application and enforcement of national, State, and local codes for fire and life safety, electrical, mechanical, energy, accessibility, building, and other public safety and zoning codes. DPS protects residential and business communities and users of public rights-of-way through inspections of work within public rights-of-way to assure adherence to approved site plans and special exceptions. DPS strives to promote economic well-being and customer service through ongoing process improvements, timely response, and service, while ensuring that structures are safe for occupants and visitors, sustainable for future generations and that development is consistent with requirements to protect the environment.


Budget Overview

The total recommended FY21 Operating Budget for the Department of Permitting Services is $41,447,971, a decrease of $440,816 or 1.05 percent from the FY20 Approved Budget of $41,888,787. Personnel Costs comprise 74.87 percent of the budget for 240 full-time position(s) and two part-time position(s), and a total of 246.90 FTEs. Total FTEs may include seasonal or temporary positions and may also reflect workforce charged to or from other departments or funds. Operating Expenses account for the remaining 25.13 percent of the FY21 budget.

County Priority Outcomes

While this program area supports all eight of the County Result Areas, the following are emphasized:

  • Easier Commutes
  • A Greener County
  • Effective, Sustainable Government
  • A Growing Economy


Program Performance Measures

Performance measures for this department are included below (where applicable), with multi-program measures displayed at the front of this section and program-specific measures shown with the relevant program. The FY20 estimates reflect funding based on the FY20 approved budget. The FY21 and FY22 figures are performance targets based on the FY21 recommended budget and funding for comparable service levels in FY22.

The department combines department and applicant time components when measuring "total time to issue a permit." These times may be impacted by satisfaction of related preconditions such as sediment control submissions and approvals and outside agency approvals.



  • Relocate Department of Permitting Services offices to Wheaton as part of a Countywide initiative to centralize government services to support business growth and development. This move was planned as part of the Wheaton Redevelopment Program, which will encourage private reinvestment in Wheaton through targeted, complementary public investment.
  • Integrate all communication and outreach and develop a comprehensive communication program to inform and engage Department staff, County agencies, County Council, advocacy groups, news media, and the public about the Department's initiatives, programs, and events. This integration will be achieved through development and implementation of a strategic plan for communications; use of various forms of communication including social media, websites, presentations, and speeches; and outreach to County residents.
  • Participate in the development of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) code 915 governing remote inspections. Department staff are in the early stages of accepting video inspections for certain permitting jobs including decks and reinspections. Having a staff member on the code development committee allows the Department to contribute to the code and keep aware of the latest developments and requirements for remote inspections.
  • Improve Quality Control (QC) by implementing monthly Department of Permitting Services manager ridealongs to observe and document Residential inspections.
  • Develop a process to implement collaboration between the Department of Permitting Services plans examiners and inspectors prior to permit issuance by identifying complex projects wellsuited for a collaborative approach; coordinating through meetings and on-site inspections before, during, and after plan reviews; and capturing data from the collaboration to measure the impact on customer service.
  • Transition from paper plans to electronic submissions increasing efficiency, decreasing review times, and moving toward a more environmentally-friendly method of processing plans in support of the County Executive's "A Greener County" initiative.


Innovations and Productivity Improvements

  • Performed over 5,936 Plan Inspections on over 150 Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) Certified Site Plan Projects, including 3,210 Site Plan Inspections, 1,569 Building Inspections, 709 Commercial Building Inspections, and 448 Use & Occupancy Inspections.

  • Other accomplishments include 1,146 Conditional Use and Special Exception Inspections, 28,015 Zoning Reviews, issuing 266 Zoning Confirmation Letters, and serving 20,199 walk-in customers.

  • Implemented OneDrive Solution for Maryland Public Information Act requests.
  • Upgrade to newest Project Dox platform that will allow greater flexibility to move additional permit types to electronic plans submissions.
  • Processed over 210 telecommunication related permits related to ZTA 18-44.

Program Descriptions

  Land Development

The Land Development Program is responsible for ensuring the protection of the County's land and water resources and for the protection of the environment and the safety of residents and businesses through its engineering and inspection functions related to stormwater management; sediment control; floodplain management; special protection areas; well-and-septic systems...

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  Residential Building Construction & Intake

The Residential Building and Intake Program is responsible for ensuring public safety through the effective application of residential building, structural, electrical, mechanical, and energy conservation construction codes. This is accomplished through plan reviews and construction inspections. This program processes all commercial, fire protection, and residential permit applications, handles construction complaints,...

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  Commercial Building Construction

The Commercial Construction program is responsible for ensuring public safety through the effective application of commercial building, structural, electrical, mechanical, fire-safety, and energy conservation codes and standards. This is accomplished through plan reviews and construction inspections for compliance with approved plans and codes. This program processes applications for and issues...

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The Administration program provides policy development and leadership for all programs within the Department. Staff specialists are responsible for a full range of administrative, financial, and budgetary tasks, including daily operations, revenue collection (fees and development taxes and charges), reporting and management, automation, human resources, fleet management, training, safety, quality...

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  Zoning and Site Plan Enforcement

The Zoning and Site Plan Enforcement program protects the quality of life in Montgomery County and the public health, safety, welfare, and comfort through the effective application and enforcement of zoning code standards and Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission certified site plan requirements. This division reviews plans prior to...

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  Fire Prevention and Code Compliance

The Fire Prevention and Fire Code Compliance program is responsible for ensuring public safety through enforcement of the National Fire Codes and Standards, the Montgomery County Fire Code and the Maryland State Fire Prevention Codes. For new construction, this is done through plans review, permits issuance and inspections of fire...

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Budget Trends
Program Contacts

Contact Barbara Suter of the Department of Permitting Services at 240.777.6244 or Gary Nalven of the Office of Management and Budget at 240.777.2779 for more information regarding this department's operating budget.

Related Links
Budget Summary
Salaries and Wages22611457.0023531841.00 23012458.00 23921656.001.7
Employee Benefits7636152.008020750.00 7993755.00 7109592.00-11.4
Permitting Services Personnel Costs30247609.0031552591.00 31006213.00 31031248.00-1.7
Operating Expenses8029079.0010295570.00 9202684.00 10376097.000.8
Capital Outlay0.0040626.00 40626.00 40626.000.0
Permitting Services Expenditures38276688.0041888787.00 40249523.00 41447971.00-1.1
Full-Time236.00239.00 239.00 240.000.4
Part-Time2.002.00 2.00 2.000.0
FTEs243.75246.00 246.00 246.900.4
Automation Enhancement Fee89571.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Building Permits25032702.0024261450.00 22814403.00 23208332.00-4.3
Electrical Permits and Licenses4418780.004200000.00 4440021.00 4200000.000.0
Fire Code Compliance0.001187437.00 0.00 0.00-100.0
Fire Code Enforcement Permits2572530.002405943.00 3004166.00 2975042.0023.7
Grading/Storm Drains/Paving/Driveway Permits3881390.004200000.00 3222294.00 3500000.00-16.7
Information Requests0.000.00 145525.00 110000.000.0
Investment Income904945.00880000.00 756400.00 200000.00-77.3
Mechanical Construction Permit1576079.001648328.00 2405684.00 1670000.001.3
Miscellaneous Revenues4432.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Occupancy Permits597011.00633880.00 600756.00 600000.00-5.3
Other Charges/Fees718395.001661907.00 1418696.00 1400000.00-15.8
Other Fines/Forfeitures87008.0089772.00 41400.00 90000.000.3
Other Licenses/Permits492741.00638329.00 699136.00 507845.00-20.4
Sediment Control Permits3171598.003101270.00 2894976.00 3101270.000.0
Sign Permits207873.00262500.00 232634.00 260500.00-0.8
Special Exception Fee281153.00242076.00 242076.00 242076.000.0
Stormwater Mgmt and Water Quality Plan Fee263167.00288814.00 263344.00 288814.000.0
Well and Septic410462.00274308.00 295362.00 274308.000.0
Permitting Services Revenues44709837.0045976014.00 43476873.00 42628187.00-7.3
Salaries and Wages0.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Employee Benefits0.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Grant Fund - MCG Personnel Costs0.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Operating Expenses2218.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Grant Fund - MCG Expenditures2218.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Full-Time0.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Part-Time0.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
FTEs0.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
State Grants2218.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Grant Fund - MCG Revenues2218.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Total Expenditures38278906.0041888787.00 40249523.00 41447971.00-1.1
Total Full-Time Positions236.00239.00 239.00 240.000.4
Total Part-Time Positions2.002.00 2.00 2.000.0
Total FTEs243.75246.00 246.00 246.900.4
Total Revenues44712055.0045976014.00 43476873.00 42628187.00-7.3
FY21 Recommended Changes
Other Adjustments (with no service impacts)
Increase Cost: FY21 Compensation Adjustment5888650.00
FY21 RECOMMENDED5888650.00
Program Summary
Program NameFY20 APPR
Commercial Building Construction571280743.50578678244.50
Fire Prevention and Code Compliance452654933.00456054433.00
Land Development856822463.50854168363.50
Residential Building Construction & Intake528502340.90562311646.90
Zoning and Site Plan Enforcement461609232.00440660732.00
Funding Parameter Items ($000s)
FY21 Recommended41448.00000041448.00000041448.00000041448.00000041448.00000041448.000000
No inflation or compensation change is included in outyear projections.
Annualization of Positions Recommended in FY210.00000021.00000021.00000021.00000021.00000021.000000
New positions in the FY21 budget are generally assumed to be filled at least two months after the fiscal year begins. Therefore, the above amounts reflect annualization of these positions in the outyears.
Elimination of One-Time Items Recommended in FY210.000000-170.000000-170.000000-170.000000-170.000000-170.000000
Items recommended for one-time funding in FY21 will be eliminated from the base in the outyears.
IT Maintenance Costs0.0000007.00000015.00000024.00000033.00000043.000000
Represents additional maintenance costs for the system upgrades and post-warranty maintenance for servers, scanners, and printers.
IT Replacement Plan0.000000-100.000000-160.000000-160.000000115.000000515.000000
Key components of Permitting Service's technology replacement plan include: FY21 $160,000 in Scanners, and FY22 $60,000 in printers.
Retiree Health Insurance Pre-funding0.000000-39.000000-91.000000-89.000000-96.000000-20.000000
Labor Contracts0.000000154.000000154.000000154.000000154.000000154.000000
These figures represent the estimated annualized cost of general wage adjustments, service increments, and other negotiated items.
Wheaton Move Operating Budget Impact0.000000-2890.000000-2891.000000-2890.000000-2875.000000-2875.000000
OBIs for Wheaton move include elimination of rent payment at 255 Rockville Pike and maintenance and utility expenses at Wheaton Building.
Subtotal Expenditures41448.00000038431.00000038326.00000038338.00000038630.00000039116.000000
Additional Documentation