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Mission Statement

The Department of Permitting Services' (DPS) primary mission is to promote the health, safety, and 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 the environment through application and enforcement of national, State and local environmental protection codes protecting our natural resources. DPS protects residential and business communities and users of public rights-of-way through inspections of work within public rights-of-way and inspections 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 approved FY19 Operating Budget for the Department of Permitting Services is $40,234,230, an increase of $1,359,401 or 3.50 percent from the FY18 Approved Budget of $38,874,829. Personnel Costs comprise 74.73 percent of the budget for 236 full-time position(s) and two part-time position(s), and a total of 243.75 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 25.27 percent of the FY19 budget.

Linkage to County Result Areas

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

  • An Effective and Efficient Transportation Network
  • Healthy and Sustainable Neighborhoods
  • A Responsive, Accountable County Government
  • Safe Streets and Secure Neighborhoods
  • Strong and Vibrant Economy
  • Vital Living for All of Our Residents


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 FY18 estimates reflect funding based on the FY18 approved budget. The FY19 and FY20 figures are performance targets based on the FY19 approved budget and funding for comparable service levels in FY20.

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.


  • Completed Insurance Services Office (ISO) review and moved up on the Building Code Effectiveness Scale for both commercial and residential construction (3/3) placing Montgomery County in the most favorable category for new construction insurance rates.

  • Consistently met commitment to complete all reviews of commercial plans in 30-days or less, and overall permit issuance time was reduced by 53%.
  • Maintained next day inspections for more than 98% of scheduled inspections.
  • Assisted high profile projects to completion including the timely opening of Clarksburg Premium Outlets.

  • Developed policy to facilitate Artisan Manufacturing and production for breweries and distilleries.
  • Adopted the International Green Construction Code, updated Fire Codes and trained customers under new codes.
  • Held First Annual Design for Life Showcase bringing together businesses involved with home accessibility improvements and residents.
  • Reduced the Department's carbon footprint through expanded online services for commercial revisions, fire alarm, and fire protection, fences, signs, commercial solar, and new homes.
  • Implemented legislative mandates including complete overhaul of impact taxes arising out of the rewrite of the Subdivision Staging Regulations.

  • Updated to Hansen 8.4 to provide cross browser support (Chrome, Firefox and Safari), provide the capability to link to the Geographic Information System (GIS) so inspections can be more effective and efficient, and provide ability to develop automatic email or text messaging to customers when an inspector is en route to an inspection.



  • Website redesign.
  • Current Construction Activity Website.
  • Implement International Green Construction Code (IgCC).

  • Expand eServices to online payment for additional DPS services.

  • Adoption of 2018 International Building, Mechanical, Fuel Gas, and Energy Conservation codes with industry open houses.

  • Update Montgomery County Code, Chapter 17- Electricity Regulations.


Innovations and Productivity Improvements

  • Performed over 200 free design consultations.
  • Processed 259 tree plans, protected 421 roadside trees, required 206 roadside tree plantings, and collected $95,850 for Department of Transportation (DOT) roadside tree planting.

  • Performed 98,999 plans reviews.

  • Performed 171,233 inspections (building construction, zoning and site plan, fire systems, existing building, land development and roadside trees).

  • Served 119,122 customers at DPS counters and fulfilled 5,148 requests for information.

  • Issued 569 sign permits and removed 2,026 illegal signs from the public right-of-way.

  • Processed 3,238 residential solar permits.

  • Processed 59,501 permits, licenses, and service requests.
  • Performed 3,494 site plan investigations on 212 active certified site plans.

  • Performed 17,386 inspections and issued 35,093 permits by the Fire Protection and Code Compliance Division.


Collaboration and Partnerships

Subdivision Staging Policy

Department of Permitting Services implemented the completely revised development impact taxes and trip mitigation payments in March and July of 2017 pursuant to the recently adopted Subdivision Staging Policy.


County Council, Office of the County Executive, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission

Storm Water Management and Water Quality Efficiencies

Department of Permitting Services developed an expedited process for handling reviews of County projects undertaken by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) under the County's MS-4 permit to improve water quality.


Department of Environmental Protection

Economic Development Initiatives

Department of Permitting Services is collaborating on several strategic economic development efforts including the new Marriott Headquarters, the reconstruction of the APEX building, the Bethesda entrance and platform for the Purple Line and the new Bethesda entrance for WMATA, and the Wheaton Building.


Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission

Agritourism Initiatives

Department of Permitting Services adopted policies to support and advance agritourism.


Office of Agriculture , Office of the County Executive, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission

Emergency Response Initiatives

Department of Permitting Services established a workgroup to minimize site development issues that interfere with the ability for first responders to reach building occupants and provide effective emergency rescue and services.


Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission


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 administration of residential building construction codes. This is accomplished through review of building plans and field inspections related to the building, structural, electrical, mechanical, fire-safety, and energy conservation codes. In addition, this program processes all...

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  Commercial Building Construction

The Commercial Construction program is responsible for ensuring public safety through the effective enforcement of commercial building construction codes and standards. This is accomplished through engineering plan review and construction inspection related to the administration and enforcement of building, structural, electrical, mechanical, fire-safety, and energy conservation codes and standards. This...

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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 heath, safety, welfare, and comfort through the effective application and enforcement of zoning code standards and M-NCPPC certified site plan requirements. This division reviews plans prior to permit issuance and conducts...

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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 Maryland State Fire Prevention Codes. This is accomplished through plans review, permit issuance and inspections of fire protection systems, and fire...

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Budget Trends
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
Salaries and Wages21456720.0021694489.00 21562558.00 22475069.003.6
Employee Benefits7464993.007488656.00 7588232.00 7592432.001.4
Permitting Services Personnel Costs28921713.0029183145.00 29150790.00 30067501.003.0
Operating Expenses7946332.009691684.00 8319013.00 10166729.004.9
Permitting Services Expenditures36868045.0038874829.00 37469803.00 40234230.003.5
Full-Time236.00236.00 236.00 236.000.0
Part-Time2.002.00 2.00 2.000.0
FTEs243.65243.75 243.75 243.750.0
Automation Enhancement Fee331081.00120000.00 126334.00 95437.00-20.5
Building Permits20086596.0021889612.00 25219611.00 22106143.001.0
Electrical Permits and Licenses4762772.006199212.00 4038385.00 4534810.00-26.8
Fire Code Enforcement Permits2812822.002501787.00 2453870.00 2415946.00-3.4
Grading/Storm Drains/Paving/Driveway Permits3605088.003663418.00 3735716.00 3697727.000.9
Investment Income334005.00153700.00 548280.00 776730.00405.4
Mechanical Construction Permit1589377.001654421.00 1888746.00 1569836.00-5.1
Miscellaneous Revenues19796.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Occupancy Permits555941.00457678.00 576780.00 603695.0031.9
Other Charges/Fees770942.00687311.00 706206.00 1244027.0081.0
Other Fines/Forfeitures87485.00140485.00 98152.00 89772.00-36.1
Other Licenses/Permits431893.00737366.00 449455.00 594672.00-19.4
Sediment Control Permits3482839.003181283.00 2670410.00 3811233.0019.8
Sign Permits201315.00184808.00 225936.00 191776.003.8
Special Exception Fee228519.00212405.00 212405.00 230549.008.5
Stormwater Mgmt and Water Quality Plan Fee351391.00266777.00 246410.00 284702.006.7
Well and Septic334415.0057641.00 255140.00 274308.00375.9
Permitting Services Revenues39986277.0042107904.00 43451836.00 42521363.001.0
Salaries and Wages3619.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Employee Benefits930.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Grant Fund - MCG Personnel Costs4549.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Operating Expenses3600.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Grant Fund - MCG Expenditures8149.000.00 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 Grants8150.000.00 0.00 0.00
Grant Fund - MCG Revenues8150.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Total Expenditures36876194.0038874829.00 37469803.00 40234230.003.5
Total Full-Time Positions236.00236.00 236.00 236.000.0
Total Part-Time Positions2.002.00 2.00 2.000.0
Total FTEs243.65243.75 243.75 243.750.0
Total Revenues39994427.0042107904.00 43451836.00 42521363.001.0
FY19 Approved Changes
Other Adjustments (with no service impacts)
Increase Cost: FY19 Compensation Adjustment7882680.00
Increase Cost: Annualization of FY18 Personnel Costs2640370.00
Increase Cost: IT Maintenance1778830.00
Increase Cost: Motor Pool Adjustment1602920.00
Increase Cost: Risk Management Adjustment753500.00
Increase Cost: Office Rent552120.00
Increase Cost: OPEB Adjustment46400.00
Increase Cost: Printing and Mail16680.00
Decrease Cost: Retirement Adjustment-1679490.00
FY19 APPROVED40234230243.75
Program Summary
Program NameFY18 APPR
Land Development831901264.25835052763.25
Residential Building Construction & Intake499473942.90498606640.90
Commercial Building Construction510049041.50534062742.50
Zoning and Site Plan Enforcement423526732.00444763432.00
Fire Prevention and Code Compliance406244334.00450047835.00
Future Fiscal Impacts ($000s)
FY19 Approved40234.00000040234.00000040234.00000040234.00000040234.00000040234.000000
No inflation or compensation change is included in outyear projections.
IT Maintenance Costs0.0000006.0000006.0000006.0000007.0000005.000000
Represents additional maintenance costs for the system upgrades and post-warranty maintenance for servers, scanners, and printers.
IT Replacement Plan0.000000760.0000000.000000510.0000000.0000000.000000
Key components of Permitting Service's technology replacement plan include: FY20 Scanners $160,000 and Servers $600,000; FY22 Printers $60,000 and Permit DB Servers- Hardware and Software $450,000.
Operating Budget Impacts0.000000215.000000-1347.000000-1438.000000-1531.000000-1628.000000
Operating budget impacts from the new Wheaton headquarters include lease savings, debt service, maintenance, energy, and parking.
Retiree Health Insurance Pre-funding0.00000013.00000017.00000023.00000023.00000023.000000
Labor Contracts0.000000383.000000383.000000383.000000383.000000383.000000
These figures represent the estimated annualized cost of general wage adjustments, service increments, and other negotiated items.
Subtotal Expenditures40234.00000041611.00000039293.00000039718.00000039116.00000039017.000000