Budget Year / Version:

Program Description

  Zoning and Administrative Hearings

The Hearing Examiner receives applications for certain zoning matters decided by the County Council; schedules and conducts public hearings; prepares and issues reports and recommendations for County Council action; receives applications, hears and decides special exception and conditional use cases; schedules and conducts referral hearings from other departments, such as the Commission on Human Rights and the Commission on Common Ownership Communities; adjudicates objections from findings of the Department of Housing and Community Affairs regarding accessory apartment applications; maintains administrative records for public inspection; collects zoning application fees; responds to public inquiries on zoning, special exception, and conditional use cases; and works with other County agencies in the preparation, revision, and review of procedural rules, fee schedules, and zoning text amendments.

Program Contacts

Contact Martin Grossman of the Office of Zoning and Administrative Hearings at 240.777.6667 or Philip Weeda of the Office of Management and Budget at 240.777.2780 for more information regarding this department's operating budget.


Program Performance Measures

Program Performance MeasuresActual FY17Actual FY18Estimated FY19Target FY20Target FY21
Average time from filing a case until the first hearing date is scheduled (months) 144444
Number of Hearing Examiner decisions overturned on appeal 200000
Percentage of all legal deadlines and requirements met100100100100100
Percentage of Hearing Examiner recommendations accepted by County Council, the Human Rights Commission, the CAO, and the Board of Registration and the percentage of Hearing Examiner decisions upheld by the Board of Appeals100100100100100
Total cases completed 33225252525
1  Hearings in land-use cases are initially scheduled within 4 months of filing. When the hearings are delayed, it is almost always at the request of the applicant to accomplish changes in the applicant's plans required by the Planning Department.
2  At this time, no OZAH cases are pending in the courts. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals upheld the findings of OZAH Hearing Examiners in three cases in FY18. One of the cases is a human rights matter (Erik Belfiore v. Merchant Link, LLC, 236 Md. App. 32, 180 A.3d 230 (2018)). Two are land use cases (Brandywine Senior Living at Potomac LLC, et al. v. Ronald A. Paul., 237 Md.App. 195, 184 A.3d 48 (2018); and Costco Wholesale Corp. v. Montgomery County, Maryland, et al., Ct of Special Appeals No. 2450, OZAH Case No. S-2863).
3  The number of new cases filed in FY18 (25) was a decrease from FY17 (33), but slightly greater than the number of cases filed in FY16 (24). The current projections for new cases for future fiscal years is estimated to be 25 per year.

Program Budget Changes

FY20 Approved ChangesExpendituresFTEs
FY19 Approved7040594.00
Decrease Cost: Temporary Clerical Services-10000.00
Decrease Cost: Contract Hearing Examiners-48240.00
Decrease Cost: Transcription Services-80000.00
Decrease Cost: Consultant Services-140690.00
Multi-program adjustments, including negotiated compensation changes, employee benefit changes, changes due to staff turnover, reorganizations, and other budget changes affecting multiple programs.74170.00
FY20 Approved6835834.00