County Council Process
Category changes requests for the County Council process review typically include applications that are:
- Recommended for denial because of their inconsistency with water and sewer service policies and/or master plan service recommendations
- Recommended for deferral of the Council's action, usually for the completion of another decision process, such as a master plan update, special exception application, or Water and Sewer Plan policy issue
- Found to have some level of controversy involved, which may result from some aspect of providing water or sewer service or another related issue such as the proposed site development
- Found to have significant differences between agency recommendations
- Needed to address an area-wide public health problem resulting from failing wells and/or septic systems
Application requests that go through the County Council are reviewed as follows:
- There are two County Council sessions each year—one in the spring and one in the fall.
- A packet of water and sewer category requests is put together with staff recommendations, Planning Board recommendations, the executive branch's recommendations, and any public testimony. This packet is given to the County Council.
- The County Council holds a public hearing (generally within 30 days of receiving the Council packet), of which all interested parties are notified at least 30 days in advance.
- The Planning Board meets to hear public testimony on the Council-bound applications, ask any questions, and prepare a recommendation for the County Council's Transportation and Environment (T&E) Committee meeting.
- The County Council's T&E Committee reviews the applications and offers its recommendations in the form of a draft resolution to the Council for consideration. (This typically occurs two weeks after the meeting.)
- The County Council reviews the applications, testimony, and recommendations from all agencies and committees and votes on the resolution (typically two weeks after the preceding step).
- A final resolution is put together for the Council. (This takes one week.)
- The Council adopts a resolution (typically one week after the preceding step).
- All interested parties are notified of the resolution by email.
- The resolution is sent to the Maryland Department of the Environment for review and final approval. MDE has a 90-day review period.
- DEP receives comments from MDE, and the resolution is adopted into the County Water and Sewer Plan.
Return to Top
How to Prepare for Your Public Heariing
Council hearings are held at The Council Office Building (COB) is located at 100 Maryland Ave., between Fleet St. and E. Jefferson St. (Route 28), in Rockville. Parking in the adjacent COB Garage is free for the first hour and free after 6:00 p.m.
To testify at the public hearing, please call the Council Office at 240 777-7931 in advance of the hearing. Do not call DEP to sign up to testify. Council office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. If time permits, those who have not already reserved a spot on the speakers' list may be heard at the end of the hearing; give your name to the Council Secretary when you arrive. You may cede your time to another speaker; however, you must be present at the hearing to do so.
The Council's Transportation and Environment (T&E) Committee usually conducts Water and Sewer Plan hearings. An individual's time is usually limited to three (3) minutes; Council members may ask subsequent questions of the speakers. When testifying, please state your name and address for the hearing record. To present written copies of your testimony at the hearing, please bring at least three (3) but preferably 12 copies, and provide them to the Council secretary before the hearing.
Because of limitations both on the number of speakers and their speaking time, the Council also accepts written testimony, which becomes part of the official hearing record, and is given the same consideration as oral testimony. Call the Council Office to confirm the closing date for the hearing record. Address written testimony as follows:
Mr. Michael Knapp
Montgomery County Council
100 Maryland Avenue
Rockville, Maryland 20850
Phone: 240 777-7900
Fax: 240 777 7888
Return to Top
County Council Process Review Schedule
Current public hearing dates are posted on the Service Area Category Changes page.
Projected hearing dates for Administrative and County Council packets in 2009 (MS Word) are also available. Note: This calendar is intended only as a guide to help project the timing of your application review process.
Council Review packets are reviewed and acted upon twice a year by County Council with public hearings. You can view the dates of category change request hearings, set by Council staff, on the County Council website (check the Council Agenda and the Committee Agenda). The packet of information for upcomming and past meetings are available under Packets and Meeting Summaries.
For Further Assistance or Other Assistance for Testimony to County Council
The Public Participation section of the County Council web site provides detailed information about the application process and how to participate. For additional information, call the Council Office at 240-777-7900; staff there will send you the appropriate information. DEP staff can also help with background material and information.
Return to Top
Frequently Asked Questions
Will the Council make a decision at the hearing? What happens after the hearing?
The hearing provides the Council members an opportunity to hear testimony from the public and the applicants. They will not act on the amendments at that time. Following the hearing, the T&E Committee will hold a work session to consider the testimony provided and the agency recommendations on each amendment. They will develop a draft resolution for the full Council to consider. The Council will subsequently hold a worksession to consider the Committee's draft resolution. The Council may choose to approve, conditionally approve, deny, or defer an individual request as part of their action. A week or two after the work session, the full Council will take a final vote on the resolution to amend the Plan.
How is the Park and Planning Commission involved in the process?
The Planning Board considers recommendations from Maryland - National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M NCPPC) staff and testimony on the proposed amendments. The Board will send its recommendations to the Council as part of the hearing record. For a copy of the Board's agenda or additional information, visit the Planning Board's website or contact Katherine Nelson in the M NCPPC Environmental Planning Unit at 301-495-4622 or by email at Katherine.Nelson@mncppc-mc.org.
Return to Top