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Combined Approval Process Authorized By Montgomery County Planning Board

March 25, 2021

In accord with the recommendations of a public-private initiative and the County Executive’s expressed hope to find ways to promote economic development, on March 25, 2021, the Montgomery County Planning Board took a significant step to streamline the development approval process by consolidating the filing and processing of Sketch, Preliminary and Site Plans under certain circumstances.

Eligible projects include, but are not limited to, applications designated Strategic Economic Development Projects, projects that have specialized public benefits above standard requirements, and projects that are judged to be extremely straightforward, have strong community support and which can be reviewed expeditiously. All requests for combined review will require approval by the Planning Director and should include submittal of a Concept Plan.

The Concept Plan would be submitted in advance to identify the key big picture items or red flags. Concept Plans will not require a fee and will not get approved by the Planning Board.  Instead, these plans will receive comments at the Development Review Committee (DRC) meeting.  They will not go to the Board. Concept Plan review is intended to provide the applicant with enough certainty to move forward with the next steps in the regulatory process.

At the March 25th meeting, Planning Staff also committed to provide comments on certified site plans within 2 weeks and to allow subdivision record plats to be submitted with the certified site plan submission.  If met, these commitments could also save applicants substantial time.

For more information on the land use approval process in Montgomery County, please contact Todd Brown or Nancy Regelin in the Shulman Rogers Land Use and Zoning Group.