Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett announced significant improvements in the Department of Permitting Services (DPS) processing times. The commercial permitting processing time has decreased over the past two years from an average of 25 weeks to an average of 12 weeks a 52 percent improvement. Initial reviews are completed in 20 to 30 calendar days and solar permits, which have increased dramatically in volume, have a three to five day turn- around. A total of 60,543 permits and licenses were processed in fiscal year 2016, which is a 20 percent increase in volume over 2013 and a 63 percent increase in work volume since 2009. This is customer service and customer friendly.
Recognized by the National Association of Home Builders for their streamlining work, DPS credits the launch of the web-based system called eServices as pivotal in the improvement of services. County residents and businesses use "ePermits" and "ePlans" to apply online and electronically submit building and permitting plans for electrical, deck, new home and right-of-way permits.
The online process kicked off in December 2013; since then, the use of ePermits and ePlans has expanded to required use and there has been a dramatic improvement in review times with businesses receiving their building permits in one-third of the time that it took in Fiscal Year 2015.
The software developer for the ePlans system created a "green" calculator to estimate the benefits to the environment due to avoided vehicle miles, saved fuel costs, avoided driving time, trips removed from the road and paper and trees saved. The estimated positive environmental impacts are considerable and critical.
For more information about the Department of Permitting Services, call 311 or visit the website at montgomerycountymd.gov/permittingservices.