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Mission Statement

The Department of Permitting Services' (DPS) primary mission is to promote the health, safety, welfare, and economic well-being 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.

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Budget Overview

The total approved FY20 Operating Budget for the Department of Permitting Services is $41,888,787, an increase of $1,654,557 or 4.11 percent from the FY19 Approved Budget of $40,234,230. Personnel Costs comprise 75.32 percent of the budget for 239 full-time position(s) and two part-time position(s), and a total of 246.00 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 24.68 percent of the FY20 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

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Department 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 FY19 estimates reflect funding based on the FY19 approved budget. The FY20 and FY21 figures are performance targets based on the FY20 approved budget and funding for comparable service levels in FY21.

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.

Accomplishments

  • Integrated Fire Code Compliance into DPS permit system, document imaging system, licensing and eServices.


  • Launched restructured impact taxes and new Local Area Transportation Improvement Payment.

  • Facilitated and assisted major projects: United Therapeutics Unisphere -- 120,000 sf Net Zero Building; Glenstone Museum - acclaimed museum and sustainability center; Marriott World Headquarters; The Wilson and The Elm; Wheaton Redevelopment Project (georthermal); Chevy Chase Lake mixed use project; Elizabeth Square; County 911 Antennas; Adventist Hospital; Artomatic; Top Golf; Pike and Rose Beach; Quicken Loans Golf Tournament.

  • Maintained plan reviews in less than 30 days, residential solar permits in five days, record plat in approximately 2-3 days, sign permits in approximately one day and next day inspections.

  • Implemented the International Green Construction Code to reduce the County's carbon footprint.

  • Implemented many new zoning text amendments, including craft breweries, wireless towers, design for life, etc.

  • Addressed wide-spread community electrical deficiencies; coordinated complex construction activities; addressed unpermitted vehicles in communities; dealt with unlicensed kennel breeding and sales; eliminated illegal slaughterhouse; filed suit to address illegal tunneling; issued zoning citations to combat human trafficking; responded to thousands of illegal signs; etc.

  • Partnered with the Department of Technology Services (DTS) to develop a Construction Activity Website showing open commercial construction, demolition, and right-of-way permits by map and satellite.

  • Developed a database of on-site well and septic systems.

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Initiatives

  • Implementing 4Business Initiative to improve services to businesses.
  • Benchmarking building code regulations.
  • Upgrading and expanding electronic services.

  • Improving inspection services through technology.
  • Enhancing construction coordination and constructability review.

  • Working on Code Official Development Program in order to develop qualified code officials as part of a succession plan to address an oncoming shortage of code officials.

  • Initiating public relations and outreach program.

  • Developing standard pre-loaded right-of-way and sediment control inspections.

  • Working with the Tower Committee and the industry to develop a simplified application process, through a uniform stealth design for small cell towers, to meet Federal Communications Commission's ( FCC) required timeline.

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Innovations and Productivity Improvements

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Collaboration and Partnerships

Private and Public Projects

Collaborated extensively to help numerous private and public projects successfully open including, but not limited to United Therapeutics' new Net Zero Building; Oliver T. Carr's very complex project interfacing with the Purple Line, the Capital Crescent Trail, and the new Bethesda Metro platform; the Elizabeth House; Jezreel Housing; Chevy Chase Lake; the Wheaton Redevelopment Office Building; Marriott's new World Headquarters, etc.

Partners

Office of the County Executive, Department of General Services, Department of Housing and Community Affairs, Department of Transportation, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Non-Profits

 
Improve Quality of Plans

Collaborated with the Association of Structural Engineers Metro Washington to improve the quality of plans and to develop a checklist of necessary information for demolition projects to avoid demolition/alteration related collapses.

 
Assisted Communities to Resolve Life Safety Property Issues

Assisted communities to resolve life safety property issues, including dangerous electrical feeds, unsafe structures, aging condo and HOA infrastructure, illegal and unsafe site work, etc.

Partners

Community Engagement Cluster, Department of Housing and Community Affairs

 
Assessing Terrorism Risks on Public Streets

Assessed terrorism risks on public streets and sidewalks and strategies to minimize these risks, including sidewalk cafe regulations.

Partners

Office of the County Executive, Department of Police, Division of Transit Services, Department of Transportation, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission

 
Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission

Collaborating with Maryland Department of Environment, other jurisdictions, and stakeholders on the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission.

Partners

Department of Environmental Protection

 

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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  Administration

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
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Program Contacts

Contact Barbara Suter of the Department of Permitting Services at 240.777.6244 or Alison Dollar of the Office of Management and Budget at 240.777.2769 for more information regarding this department's operating budget.

Related Links
Budget Summary
TitleActual
FY18
Budget
FY19
Estimate
FY19
Approved
FY20
%Chg
Bud/App
PERMITTING SERVICES
EXPENDITURES
Salaries and Wages21632995.0022475069.00 22627788.00 23531841.004.7
Employee Benefits7468242.007592432.00 7665757.00 8020750.005.6
Permitting Services Personnel Costs29101237.0030067501.00 30293545.00 31552591.004.9
Operating Expenses8015810.0010166729.00 8790769.00 10295570.001.3
Capital Outlay0.000.00 0.00 40626.000.0
Debt Service G.O Bonds166.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Permitting Services Expenditures37117213.0040234230.00 39084314.00 41888787.004.1
PERSONNEL
Full-Time236.00236.00 236.00 239.001.3
Part-Time2.002.00 2.00 2.000.0
FTEs243.75243.75 243.75 246.000.9
REVENUES
Automation Enhancement Fee151365.0095437.00 0.00 0.00-100.0
Building Permits24986876.0022106143.00 23088344.00 24261450.009.7
Electrical Permits and Licenses4275846.004534810.00 4079479.00 4200000.00-7.4
Fire Code Compliance0.000.00 0.00 1187437.000.0
Fire Code Enforcement Permits2632197.002415946.00 2988310.00 2405943.00-0.4
Grading/Storm Drains/Paving/Driveway Permits4088911.003697727.00 4387046.00 4200000.0013.6
Information Requests0.000.00 127075.00 0.000.0
Investment Income560411.00776730.00 880000.00 880000.0013.3
Mechanical Construction Permit1856330.001569836.00 1552508.00 1648328.005.0
Miscellaneous Revenues89982.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Occupancy Permits604572.00603695.00 611951.00 633880.005.0
Other Charges/Fees754110.001244027.00 674564.00 1661907.0033.6
Other Fines/Forfeitures110305.0089772.00 97050.00 89772.000.0
Other Licenses/Permits442935.00594672.00 608994.00 638329.007.3
Sediment Control Permits3338786.003811233.00 2772528.00 3101270.00-18.6
Sign Permits220587.00191776.00 241083.00 262500.0036.9
Special Exception Fee205536.00230549.00 230549.00 242076.005.0
Stormwater Mgmt and Water Quality Plan Fee310046.00284702.00 254702.00 288814.001.4
Well and Septic357790.00274308.00 318113.00 274308.000.0
Permitting Services Revenues44986585.0042521363.00 42912296.00 45976014.008.1
 
GRANT FUND - MCG
EXPENDITURES
Salaries and Wages2933.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Employee Benefits772.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Grant Fund - MCG Personnel Costs3705.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Operating Expenses27146.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Grant Fund - MCG Expenditures30851.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
PERSONNEL
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
REVENUES
State Grants27146.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Grant Fund - MCG Revenues27146.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
 
DEPARTMENT TOTALS
Total Expenditures37148064.0040234230.00 39084314.00 41888787.004.1
Total Full-Time Positions236.00236.00 236.00 239.001.3
Total Part-Time Positions2.002.00 2.00 2.000.0
Total FTEs243.75243.75 243.75 246.000.9
Total Revenues45013731.0042521363.00 42912296.00 45976014.008.1
FY20 Approved Changes
TitleExpendituresFTEs
PERMITTING SERVICES
FY19 ORIGINAL APPROPRIATION40234230243.75
Other Adjustments (with no service impacts)
Increase Cost: FY20 Compensation Adjustment9203090.00
Increase Cost: IT Replacement Servers [Administration]4600000.00
Increase Cost: Annualization of FY19 Personnel Costs4361500.00
Increase Cost: MLS III- Sediment Control Land Development [Land Development]1313791.00
Increase Cost: MLS III- International Green Building to Assist the County in Meeting its Goal of Reducing Greenhouse Emissions by 2035. [Commercial Building Construction]1313791.00
Increase Cost: Imaging Operators for IT Section [Administration]1061223.00
Increase Cost: Increase in Rent [Administration]738210.00
Increase Cost: Risk Management Adjustment603460.00
Increase Cost: Retirement Adjustment483950.00
Increase Cost: Motor Pool Adjustment442620.00
Increase Cost: IT Maintenance Costs294910.00
Shift: Annualization of ESRI Enterprise Agreement - Shift to DTS [Administration]-61000.00
Decrease Cost: Decrease Temporary Clerical Contractors [Administration]-1181230.00
Decrease Cost: Eliminate Two Permitting & Code Enforcement Inspectors Due to Program Efficiencies [Fire Prevention and Code Compliance]-189244-2.00
Decrease Cost: Charges for Lab Services for Asphalt Testing [Land Development]-192400-0.75
Decrease Cost: OPEB Adjustment-2812300.00
FY20 APPROVED41888787246.00
Program Summary
Program NameFY19 APPR
Expenditures
FY19 APPR
FTEs
FY20 APPR
Expenditures
FY20 APPR
FTEs
Land Development835052763.25856822463.50
Residential Building Construction & Intake498606640.90528502340.90
Commercial Building Construction534062742.50571280743.50
Administration1260889830.101318009233.10
Zoning and Site Plan Enforcement444763432.00461609232.00
Fire Prevention and Code Compliance450047835.00452654933.00
Total40234230243.7541888787246.00
Future Fiscal Impacts ($000s)
TitleFY20FY21FY22FY23FY24FY25
PERMITTING SERVICES
EXPENDITURES
FY20 Approved41889.00000041889.00000041889.00000041889.00000041889.00000041889.000000
No inflation or compensation change is included in outyear projections.
Annualization of Positions Approved in FY200.00000079.00000079.00000079.00000079.00000079.000000
New positions in the FY20 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 Approved in FY200.000000-12.000000-12.000000-12.000000-12.000000-12.000000
Items recommended for one-time funding due to the creation of two positions in FY20 ( laptops, cell phones, supplies, cubicles/furniture), will be eliminated from the base in the outyears.
IT Maintenance Costs0.0000003.0000007.0000007.0000009.0000009.000000
Represents additional maintenance costs for the system upgrades and post-warranty maintenance for servers, scanners, and printers.
IT Replacement Plan0.000000-460.00000060.000000100.000000-160.0000000.000000
Key components of Permitting Service's technology replacement plan include: FY20 six servers for $460,000, FY22 $60,000 in printers, and FY23 $160,000 in Scanners.
Retiree Health Insurance Pre-funding0.000000-4.000000-12.000000-81.000000-129.000000-165.000000
Labor Contracts0.000000273.000000273.000000273.000000273.000000273.000000
These figures represent the estimated annualized cost of general wage adjustments, service increments, and other negotiated items.
Subtotal Expenditures41889.00000041768.00000042284.00000042255.00000041949.00000042073.000000
Annualization of Personnel Costs and FTEs
TitleFY20 Approved FY21 Annualized
TitleExpendituresFTEsExpendituresFTEs
MLS III- International Green Building to Assist the County in Meeting its Goal of Reducing Greenhouse Emissions by 2035.1253791.001649361.00
MLS III- Sediment Control Land Development1253791.001649361.00
Total2507582.003298722.00