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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 in Montgomery County. The Department provides timely, professional, transparent, and consistent review and processing of plans and permits and 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 FY24 Operating Budget for the Department of Permitting Services is $41,662,896, an increase of $595,847 or 1.45 percent from the FY23 Approved Budget of $41,067,049. Personnel Costs comprise 79.50 percent of the budget for 243 full-time position(s) and no part-time position(s), and a total of 249.03 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 20.50 percent of the FY24 budget.

County Priority Outcomes

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

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

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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 FY23 estimates reflect funding based on the FY23 approved budget. The FY24 and FY25 figures are performance targets based on the FY24 approved budget and funding for comparable service levels in FY25.

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.

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Initiatives

  • The Executive Regulations for the adoption of the Fire and Life Safety codes are in progress.

  • Working on the adoption of the 2021 International Residential Building, Mechanical, and Fuel Gas codes.

  • DPS is exploring a new software product that will enable users to upload legal documents that are recorded in the Land Records. This will reduce time for approval and recordation and give the County better oversight and control of the documents.

  • DPS is currently changing the method in which Use and Occupancy certificates are provided to customers. The Department will allow anyone with an online account and the application number to access the certificate and print it themselves. This will save staff time and provide improved customer service.
  • In FY24, DPS will seek an independent financial advisor to conduct a comprehensive rate study to determine appropriate rate levels and fund balance target range. The advisor will have proven experience in establishing fee structures and a background in building and land development services in connection with licensing and permitting of development, construction, and related activities.

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Innovations and Productivity Improvements

  • DPS developed Power BI dashboards tailored to division needs. The dashboards are connected directly to DPS servers and provide close to real-time updates on the status of transactions. Managers use the dashboards to monitor and assign tasks to their team members and to obtain monthly productivity data. In FY24, the department will maintain the existing dashboards and develop additional dashboards to provide DPS leadership daily visibility into DPS overall performance.
  • DPS is proactively processing fire code compliance permit renewals for permits to better prioritize inspections.
  • Land Development continues cross-training plan review and inspection staff to be multifunctional, saving the customer time and effort. For inspections, this effort will reduce the number of trips to a single site, helping to save time and protect valuable environmental resources.
  • DPS provides in-person and virtual training of commercial plan review and inspections staff with respect to changes in International Building Code, proposed new permitting system database, "wireless" permit applications, and updates to Department Policies and Procedures.
  • DPS will upgrade the current ePlan system which will facilitate process improvements and modifications to ePlan processes. The system will integrate service needs developed over time to accommodate changes in the industry and departmental needs.

Program Descriptions

  Land Development

The Land Development Division is responsible for ensuring the protection of the County's land and water resources, the protection of the environment, and the safety of residents and businesses through its engineering and inspection functions related to storm water management; sediment control; floodplain management; special protection areas; storm drain design...

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  Residential Construction & Fire Code Compliance

The Residential Construction staff is responsible for ensuring public safety through the effective application of residential building, structural, electrical, mechanical, and energy conservation codes. This is accomplished through technical plan review and inspection processes.The Fire Code Compliance staff is responsible for ensuring compliance with adopted National Fire Codes and Standards,...

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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, accessibility, and sustainability construction codes and standards. As the "First Preventers," this is accomplished through plan review and construction site inspections to facilitate compliance with approved plans and...

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  Administration

Central Services UnitThe Administration program provides policy development and leadership for all programs within the Department.The administrative staff are specialists 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,...

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  Zoning and Code Compliance

The Zoning and Code Compliance Division protects the quality of life, public health, safety, and welfare of Montgomery County. This is accomplished through the effective application and enforcement of the Montgomery County Zoning Ordinance development and use standards; Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) certified site plan requirements; and...

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  Customer Support & Outreach

The Customer Support and Outreach Division is responsible for all administration and issuance of building, land development, and zoning-related permits, applications and licenses, information requests, pre-design consultations, and other specialty services. This Division was formed to provide a multi-prong approach to enhance the methods in which our services are delivered...

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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 Katherine Bryant-Higgins of the Office of Management and Budget at 240.777.2764 for more information regarding this department's operating budget.

Related Links
Budget Summary
TitleActual
FY22
Budget
FY23
Estimate
FY23
Approved
FY24
%Chg
Bud/App
PERMITTING SERVICES
EXPENDITURES
Salaries and Wages22650667.0024436707.00 23958882.00 26110430.006.9
Employee Benefits6330604.006454742.00 6366793.00 7009753.008.6
Permitting Services Personnel Costs28981271.0030891449.00 30325675.00 33120183.007.2
Operating Expenses4515018.0010175600.00 9262596.00 8542713.00-16.1
Permitting Services Expenditures33496289.0041067049.00 39588271.00 41662896.001.5
PERSONNEL
Full-Time240.00243.00 243.00 243.000.0
Part-Time0.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
FTEs245.90249.03 249.03 249.030.0
REVENUES
Building Permits29976294.0028742198.00 26292133.00 25865408.00-10.0
Electrical Permits and Licenses5129813.005130914.00 4914973.00 4907130.00-4.4
Fire Code Enforcement Permits2226560.003101062.00 2509934.00 2548228.00-17.8
Grading/Storm Drains/Paving/Driveway Permits4591291.003431353.00 4369966.00 4075018.0018.8
Occupancy Permits619573.00583903.00 559650.00 498435.00-14.6
Other Licenses/Permits402080.00300225.00 422959.00 314662.004.8
Sediment Control Permits3681565.003083491.00 3481155.00 2798592.00-9.2
Sign Permits238260.00237701.00 176933.00 197600.00-16.9
Special Exception Fee188845.00206228.00 206229.00 189052.00-8.3
Stormwater Mgmt and Water Quality Plan Fee237476.00270483.00 255227.00 248396.00-8.2
Well and Septic479923.00415414.00 473041.00 315194.00-24.1
Automation Enhancement Fee159.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Other Charges/Fees1847764.00870994.00 2050022.00 1600479.0083.8
Other Fines/Forfeitures71075.0040264.00 57713.00 27543.00-31.6
Miscellaneous Revenues20235.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Investment Income69879.00288370.00 1642610.00 2595390.00800.0
Mechanical Construction Permit1992263.001829425.00 1925645.00 1680824.00-8.1
Information Requests0.00165558.00 95870.00 136533.00-17.5
Permitting Services Revenues51773055.0048697583.00 49434060.00 47998484.00-1.4
 
GRANT FUND - MCG
EXPENDITURES
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 Expenses2960.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Grant Fund - MCG Expenditures2960.000.00 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 Grants32839.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Grant Fund - MCG Revenues32839.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
 
DEPARTMENT TOTALS
Total Expenditures33499249.0041067049.00 39588271.00 41662896.001.5
Total Full-Time Positions240.00243.00 243.00 243.000.0
Total Part-Time Positions0.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Total FTEs245.90249.03 249.03 249.030.0
Total Revenues51805894.0048697583.00 49434060.00 47998484.00-1.4
FY24 Approved Changes
TitleExpendituresFTEs
PERMITTING SERVICES
FY23 ORIGINAL APPROPRIATION41067049249.03
Changes (with service impacts)
Add: Comprehensive Rate Study [Administration]1500000.00
Other Adjustments (with no service impacts)
Increase Cost: Annualization of FY23 Compensation Increases12721530.00
Increase Cost: FY24 Compensation Adjustment11408240.00
Increase Cost: Avolve Maintenance [Administration]2855400.00
Increase Cost: Risk Management Adjustment821510.00
Increase Cost: Annualization of FY23 Lapsed Positions529820.00
Increase Cost: Increase Maintenance Cost for INfor, Avolve and Opentext [Administration]89860.00
Increase Cost: Printing and Mail65700.00
Decrease Cost: Retirement Adjustment-494480.00
Decrease Cost: Motor Pool Adjustment-1661340.00
Decrease Cost: Annualization of FY23 Personnel Costs-1877770.00
Decrease Cost: Back Out One-Time IT Expense [Administration]-20000000.00
FY24 APPROVED41662896249.03
Program Summary
Program NameFY23 APPR
Expenditures
FY23 APPR
FTEs
FY24 APPR
Expenditures
FY24 APPR
FTEs
Administration1176474124.131075848425.13
Commercial Building Construction692358152.00741659852.00
Customer Support & Outreach470898343.90495052743.90
Land Development652411048.00761921553.00
Residential Construction & Fire Code Compliance617320846.00654718846.00
Zoning and Code Compliance497242635.00437088429.00
Total41067049249.0341662896249.03
Funding Parameter Items ($000s)
TitleFY24FY25FY26FY27FY28FY29
PERMITTING SERVICES
EXPENDITURES
FY24 Approved41663.00000041663.00000041663.00000041663.00000041663.00000041663.000000
No inflation or compensation change is included in outyear projections.
Elimination of One-Time Items Approved in FY240.000000-150.000000-150.000000-150.000000-150.000000-150.000000
Items recommended for one-time funding in FY24, including the Comprehensive Rate Study, will be eliminated from the base in the outyears.
Labor Contracts0.000000735.000000735.000000735.000000735.000000735.000000
These figures represent the estimated annualized cost of general wage adjustments, service increments, and other negotiated items.
Subtotal Expenditures41663.00000042248.00000042248.00000042248.00000042248.00000042248.000000