Montgomery Council Seeks Applicants for Montgomery County Planning Board; Deadline for Applications is January 13, 2023

The Montgomery County Council is currently seeking applicants to fill three upcoming vacancies on the Montgomery County Planning Board. In October 2022, the County Council appointed five temporary acting Planning Board members. All members serve until their successors are appointed.

The Council intends to appoint successors, before February 28, 2023, for three members. The Council is expected to appoint the remaining two positions, including the chair, by June 14, 2023 and will advertise to fill those positions at a later date.

The following temporary Board members will vacate their positions at the end of February 2023: Ms. Amy Presley, Mr. David Hill, and Ms. Cherri Branson. The positions are available to fill the unexpired terms of the prior Planning Board members as follows:

  • One Montgomery County resident registered to vote in the County as a Republican (term ends June 14, 2024);
  • One Montgomery County resident registered to vote in the County as unaffiliated (term ends June 14, 2025); and
  • One Montgomery County resident registered to vote in the County as a Democrat (term ends June 14, 2026).

Applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, January 13, 2023. Political party affiliation will be verified by the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

The selected Planning Board members will serve out the unexpired terms of the prior Board members and must be of the same political party as the Board member who vacated the office. Members generally serve four-year terms and are limited to two full terms. No more than three members of the Planning Board may be from the same political party, and each member must be a resident and registered voter of Montgomery County when appointed.

In addition to Ms. Presley (Republican), Mr. Hill (unaffiliated) and Ms. Branson (Democrat), the current acting Board members are Chair Jeff Zyontz (Democrat) and Mr. Roberto Piñero (Democrat). Annual compensation for Board members is currently $30,000, and the chair currently earns $228,000.

The Planning Board serves as the Council’s principal adviser on land use planning and community planning. Planning Board members also serve as commissioners of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

The Planning Board’s responsibilities with regard to planning include preparation and amendment of the County General Plan; preparation and amendment of master plans and functional plans; formulation of subdivision regulations; preparation of, or recommendations on, text amendments to the County Zoning Code; implementation of the subdivision process by reviewing and approving all preliminary plans, site plans and other plans for development; offering or providing advice on the planning implications of capital facilities and programs of the County government, Montgomery College, WSSC Water, and Montgomery County Public Schools; commenting, under its mandatory referral authority, on plans for public facilities of local, state and federal agencies; and approving the work program and annual operating budget for the Planning Department and the Commission’s bi-county offices.

The Planning Board sits as the Park Commission and approves the following budgets, contracts and policies: the annual Parks Department operating budget and Capital Improvements Program (CIP); land acquisition contracts and major development contracts for parks; development plans for individual park facilities; policies for park operations; and park user fees.

The Planning Board meets all day every Thursday, including many Thursday evenings and will schedule other meetings as needed. The entire Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission meets the third Wednesday of every month. On average, a Planning Board member may spend two full days a week in scheduled and informal meetings. Additionally, substantial time is required for preparatory work and other activities related to Planning Board responsibilities.

Application Process and Deadline

Letters of application expressing interest, including a resume (no more than 4 pages) listing professional and civic experience, political party affiliation, home and office telephone numbers, and an email address, should be addressed to: Council President and emailed to [email protected], or mailed to County Council Office, Stella B. Werner Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850.

Letters of application and resumes are made public as part of the appointment process and are available for public review (personal contact information is redacted). The interviews are conducted in public and will be televised.

Letters with resumes must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, January 13. It is the Council’s policy not to consider applications received after the deadline. After the closing date, Councilmembers will review the letters of application and select applicants for interviews.

Other Requirements

A financial disclosure statement of assets, debts, income and family property interests will be required to be filed by each applicant with the State Ethics Commission. The financial disclosure form will be sent after receipt of application letters. Only the financial disclosure statement of the ultimate appointees will be made available to the public. In addition, an interview, under oath, regarding potential conflicts of interest, will be conducted of applicants by the Office of the County Attorney under Section 15-104 of the Land Use Article of the Maryland Code. The transcript of the full interview of each appointee will be made public, as required by law. Persons hired for this position must provide proof of being fully vaccinated for COVID-19 (with limited religious or medical exceptions). A criminal background check will also be required.

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