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Montgomery County Updates Permit Processes for ‘Residential Fast Track’ and ‘Apply Online’ Portal, Leading Some Permits to Being Approved in Days Instead of Weeks

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services (DPS) has improved its “Residential Fast Track” program and its “Apply Online” portal, creating changes that could lead to permits on some eligible projects being approved in days instead of weeks. The changes continue DPS initiatives that are making its building permit programs and services faster and easier to use for residents and businesses.

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DPS has reenergized its Residential Fast Track program to ensure building permits are issued in one to two days for eligible projects, such as single-level decks and fences. The program previously was offered in-person as a walk-thru service, but was discontinued during the COVID-19 health crisis. It is now available online, and in some cases, permits for eligible projects that took weeks for approvals may now be completed in a few days as long as submitted applications have complete information. To make this happen, Residential Fast Track applications are tracked by a dedicated permit technician to ensure they are expedited.

For customers who are applying for deck, driveway apron, dumpster and fence permits, the revised Apply Online portal on the DPS website makes it more intuitive. Those permits are now listed as stand-alone permit types in the initial dropdown menu, simplifying the permitting process from the start.

 “Streamlining the permitting process and providing excellent customer service are top priorities of my administration,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich. “These improvements reduce the number of steps in the application process and highlight our commitment and dedication to speeding up the permitting process. When we can make changes that literally turn the process for getting a permit into a few days rather than a few weeks, we are making improvements that our residents need.”

The projects eligible for Residential Fast Track include:

  • Fences.
  • Single-level decks.
  • Finishing basements and attics without structural changes and with a floor area of 400 square feet or less.
  • Installing sheds, gazebos and other detached non-habitable accessory structures that are 200 square feet or less.
  • Alterations not exceeding 400 square feet and not involving a load-bearing wall
  • Remodeling bathrooms or kitchens less than 400 square feet.
  • Accessory ramps.

A project must not be served by well or private septic system to be eligible for the Fast Track program.

A complete list of eligible projects for the Residential Fast Track program is available on the DPS website at montgomerycountymd.gov/dps. If a residential project qualifies for Fast Track, customers should visit the DPS website to use the Apply Online queue.

DPS Deputy Director Ehsan Motazedi said the changes to the Apply Online portal and Residential Fast Track programs make the process more efficient and effective, following the department’s continuing efforts to improve its services.

“We issue hundreds of deck, driveway and fence permits each year so these applicants will see a difference,” said Deputy Director Motazedi. “The Residential Fast Track program makes a difference because standard residential building applications can take up to four weeks compared to a few days for the Fast Track program. We continue to look for ways to improve and innovate our processes as we strive to become a world-class permitting department.”

DPS customers can apply and pay for permits, submit construction plans, request records, file property complaints, and schedule inspections online at any time. Customers who have permitting questions or need more information about the application process, should call MC 311 or 240-777-0311 or stop by DPS offices. No appointment is necessary to get in-person assistance. The customer service lobby, located at 2425 Reedie Drive (7th floor) in Wheaton, is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday.

For more information about the permitting process, visit the DPS website at montgomerycountymd.gov/dps.

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Release ID: 23-468
Media Contact: Sonya Burke 240-777-6272