New Year's Message from DPS Director

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DPS New Year's Message

New Year's Message from DPS Director Mitra Pedoeem


As this unusual year and time finally ends, it’s hard to imagine, even with 20/20 hindsight, all the challenges and changes that the Department of Permitting Services (DPS) faced.  I took leadership on April 21, at the height of the pandemic, via a Zoom appointment with the Montgomery County Council. It was not clear in April that would become the norm. This year brought us demanding challenges and changes. I am so proud of this team for tackling them head on.

DPS remained open to serve our community and helped businesses stay operational throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We successfully transitioned over 200 staff members to telecommuting in less than a week in March and moved our physical location to our new offices in Wheaton in October.

DPS inspectors modified their delivery methods increasing the use of virtual inspection techniques and our plan reviewers and managers created innovative ways to move applications online while continuing to process paper plans submitted during pandemic. We also created the outdoor dining and tent policy to help businesses continue to operate safely.

In August, I unveiled my workplan for DPS with 85 action items to improve delivery and customer service. In October, the Department completed a reorganization to create a new division for Customer Support and Outreach to further emphasize our dedication to improved customer service. In November, we hired new leadership for our IT team and established and invested in the goal to overhaul our permitting and licensing systems and step into the latest 21st century technology. Finally, in December, we hired our new leader for the Customer Support and Outreach Division.

DPS continues to move forward and perform services that our customers need to realize their goals and to keep the County’s economy moving along. In 2020, we issued over 35,000 permits, completed over 5,000 site plan inspections, fielded over 50,000 MC311 inquires and completed over 10,000 investigative inspections where code violations were alleged. Our inspectors are instrumental in guiding commercial businesses in new COVID procedures and enforcing those codes.

DPS proudly received two achievement awards from the National Association of Counties for effective delivery of government services in implementing its MNCPPC Certified Site Plan and Inspections and for expanding the free Deck Safety Inspections program leading to changes in codes to ensure deck safety. Montgomery County was also awarded the SolSmart Gold designation—the highest designation awarded to communities by the national program— for its efforts to permit and issue residential rooftop solar; making it faster, easier and more affordable for homes and businesses to go solar. Montgomery County is the first Maryland jurisdiction to achieve the SolSmart Gold designation.

DPS is ready to head into 2021 with a new commitment to customer service, new technology to streamline our permitting and licensing processes and strong leadership to achieve our goals.

We look forward to serving the residents and businesses in Montgomery County in 2021! 

Happy New Year and may you and your families and businesses continue to stay safe and thrive in the coming year ahead.

Mitra Pedoeem, Director

Department of Permitting Services