DPS Constructive Comments




March 2015  Vol 2



DPS Commits to 30 Day Plan Reviews via ePlans 

The Department of Permitting Services has committed to complete first reviews of commercial plans within 30 calendar days for plans submitted via electronic plans. Currently, progress is being made towards that commitment.  Full implementation will begin in the second quarter of FY16.  Residential plans are already meeting that target and DPS looks forward to bringing this to commercial plans as well.  The expansion of ePlans to commercial buildings is a significant step towards our expedited review process due to the ability to have concurrent reviews by different disciplines.  

As with paper plans, applicants will need to have obtained prior approvals such as site plan approvals and record plats, and applications for required sediment control and stormwater approvals will need to have been submitted.

Permitting Services continues to provide free "Design Consultations" to help clients prepare their building plans for submission.  Well prepared plans and complete applications helps assure faster permit issuance.

See our free online training for ePlans or applicants can attend one of our monthly ePlans workshops.  


DPS Land Development

Top 5 Reasons for Protecting, Planting and Managing our Urban Forest 

by Michael Knapp

Urban Tree

A typical level of environmental and socioeconomic service provided over a 50 year lifespan by a mature red maple tree growing in the front yard of residential properties located within the Mid-Atlantic area.  Source: U.S.D.A. Forest Service: Tree benefits Calculator.

1. Enhance the livability and sustainability of our community. 

Healthy and structurally sound trees provide the surrounding community with a wide array of environmental, ecological and social-economic benefits.          


2. Trees are good for business.

Cumulative impacts of tree canopy at the local level add up to significant levels of air quality improvement, water quality improvement and energy conservation that increase over the lifespan of the tree – which can be several hundred years or more!

Montgomery County has enacted laws to protect and replace our urban tree canopy.  Montgomery County’s Roadside Tree and Tree Canopy Conservation Laws are two examples of new tree conservation programs.

Research shows that shoppers in well-landscaped business districts are willing to pay more for parking and up to 12% more for goods and services.


3. Trees Save Homeowners Money on Energy Bills.

As few as three trees properly positioned can save the average household between $100 and $250 annually in energy costs.


4.  Protecting Trees is the Law.

As of March 1, 2014, Montgomery County’s Roadside Trees Protection Law requires the submission of Tree Protection Plan when construction activities would result in the “trimming, cutting removal or injury” of roadside trees. In addition, The County’s new Tree Canopy Conservation Law requires developers to plant trees in proportion to levels of soil disturbance associated with development projects.

A Roadside Tree Protection Zone implemented by a home builder in Bethesda, MD. Tree protection fence is a common used method to protect the trunks and root systems of trees.


5. Managing Trees helps Prevent Negative Impacts

Because trees can cause property damage, power outages, traffic problems and human injuries, it is important for communities to take steps to manage its tree canopy; including steps to conserve tree resources during land development.

Although trees help sustain our environment and quality of life they also cause negative impacts that we must be aware of and do our best to mitigate.

In order to maximize the capacity of urban trees to delivery their benefits and services communities must take steps to minimize the negative impacts of tree canopy.   Montgomery County’s Roadside Tree Protection Law allows for the rapid removal of roadside trees that endanger life or property.  In addition the Montgomery County Department of Transportation has established a Street Tree Maintenance Program that regularly removes, maintains and plants roadside trees along County roads and streets.

For more information on Montgomery County’s Roadside Tree Protection Law, Tree Canopy Conservation Law, Forest Conservation Law and tree planting programs check out the County website .


ePlans is now accepting Commercial Plans and more!


Jessica Fusillo, DPS Constructive Comments Editior

Montgomery County's Department of Permitting Services

255 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20850