Per Montgomery County: Today the Montgomery County Council appointed James Hedrick, Mitra Pedoeem and Shawn Bartley to the Montgomery County Planning Board. The Planning Board serves as the County’s principal land use and planning advisor. Planning Board members also serve as commissioners of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.
“The Council’s public selection process for Planning Board members has led us to make three key appointments,” said Council President Evan Glass. “James Hedrick, Mitra Pedoeem and Shawn Bartley have the combined experience, leadership and listening skills that are necessary to engage with community members and the Council about land use and planning issues. These individuals will play an integral role in establishing a vision for the future of our County.
“The Council appreciates Cherri Branson, David Hill and Amy Presley for serving as temporary Planning Board members. Their work was essential to providing continuity of service and building a bridge to the new Planning Board. Additionally, we thank all those who applied to serve on the Planning Board and encourage residents to stay engaged and informed about land use and planning issues.”
In Oct. 2022, the Council appointed five temporary Planning Board members to ensure continuity of operations at the Montgomery County Planning Board and maintain services for residents. The three newly appointed Planning Board members will serve out the unexpired terms of the prior members and are registered voters of the same political party as the prior Planning Board members. Shawn Bartley will serve as the Republican member until June 14, 2024. Mitra Pedoeem will serve as the unaffiliated member until June 14, 2025. James Hedrick will serve as the Democratic member until June 14, 2026.
The two remaining temporary Planning Board positions including the Planning Board chair are scheduled to be filled in June 2023. Public notice advertising these positions will be issued at a later date. Planning Board 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.
The Planning Board’s responsibilities include preparing and proposing amendment to the Montgomery County General Plan, master plans and functional plans, proposing amendments to the subdivision regulations and preparing and making recommendations on text amendments to the Montgomery County Zoning Code. The Planning Board implements area master plans and the subdivision process by reviewing and approving preliminary plans, site plans and other plans for development and provides advice about the planning implications of capital facilities and other infrastructure.
Moreover, the Planning Board comments, under its mandatory referral authority, about plans for public facilities of local, state and federal agencies and proposes the work program and annual operating budget for the Planning Department and the Commission’s bi-county offices.
The Planning Board also sits as the Park Commission and proposes the annual Parks Department operating budget and capital improvements program and establishes park policies and fees. Land acquisition contracts and major development contracts for parks development plans and park facilities are approved by the Planning Board.
Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich must approve or disapprove the Planning Board appointments within 30 days. If no communication is received, the appointments are approved. Once the Planning Board members are sworn in, they will begin their work immediately.