Service Area Category Changes
Instructions and Application
To change a service area category for a particular piece of property, follow these steps:
Each application goes through the review process outlined below with comments from DEP, the Department of Permitting Services(DPS), the Montgomery County Department of Parks and Planning (M-NCPPC), and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC). Agency comments are posted on the Web, and all interested parties are notified. Written public testimony is accepted at any time during the review period.
Application Review Process
All applications go through an administrative process review or a County Council process review. By default, category change requests—as amendments to the County's Water and Sewer Plan—are intended to be considered by the County Council, as provided for under state law. In the mid-1980s, however, the Council found itself having to address many requests of a fairly routine nature. In response, the Council developed and adopted the administrative delegation process for approving noncontroversial category change requests.
Under limited circumstances, the executive branch of the County (through the Director of DEP) acts on category change requests through the administrative process review. DEP may act to approve or conditionally approve an amendment or to defer an amendment to the Council for its process review. The authority is discretionary. The Director of DEP may also defer action on any potential administrative amendment to the County Council.
FY 2012-Q3: 2012 Third Quarter Applications(PDF, 2.25MB)
FY 2012-Q2: 2012 Second Quarter Applications (PDF , 5.74MB)
FY 2012-Q1: 2012 First Quarter Applications (PDF , 2.6MB
FY 2011-Q4: 2011 Fourth Quarter Applications(PDF, 7.7MB
Inter-agency Review Process
County Council Review
County Executive's September 2013 Amendment Packet (PDF, 4.2MB)
Public Hearing and Meeting Schedule
Planning Board Discussion:
Date/Time: Thursday, November 7, 2013
County Council Public Hearing:
Date/Time: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 1:30 p.m.
T&E Committee Worksession:
Date/Time: Monday, November 25, 2013 at 9:30 a.m.
Full Council Action:
Date/Time: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 2:00 pm
Current Administrative Review Packet
AD 2013-1 Administrative Packet (PDF, 28MB)
Public Hearing Schedule
DEP Public Hearing
Date/Time:Wednesday, April 30, 2014, at 10:30 a.m.
Application Hearing Schedule
See Projected hearing dates for Administrative and County Council packets for a planned schedule for category change requests filed during the current fiscal year. (Word, 95Kb)
Current Application Status
Use the links in the diagram to open documents with more information or to see application review status.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why would I apply for a category change?
If your property is currently served by well and/or septic and you'd like to request public water and sewer, but your property is not in the correct category for public water and/or sewer, you must fill out a water and sewer category change application.
How do I determine the category for my property?
The property's category is available as a data layer on a map. Follow these step-by-step directions to use the County's interactive MapViewer to locate your property address and check its water and sewer category.
What do the different categories mean?
The definitions of the water and sewer categories are spelled out in the category designations and definitons table.
How do I find all the property information that is asked for on the category change request form?
You can search the Maryland Real Property database and display your property records at the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation site.
How will my category change request be reviewed and how will a response be made?
Refer to the detailed Application Review Process above.
How do I prepare for a public hearing about my category change application?
First, determine whether your application will go through the Administrative Review Process or the County Council review process. Then, follow the instructions found on the administrative review process page or the County Council review process page.
How long does the review take?
The length of time it takes for the application to be processed depends on both the date the application is submitted and the nature and details of the application. If your category change request is going through the administrative process review, your application is handled by a Planning Board that meets four times a year to adjudicate applications for category changes. If your property is going through a County Council process review, hearings on category change applications are handled twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall.
What do I do after my category change has been approved?
What if my category change request has been denied?
You may usually reapply 1 year after the date of your application denial. Before reapplying, it's useful to see if anything has changed since your initial application, such as the proximity of water and sewer lines, the zoning, or the intended sewer service envelope for the County. Also contact DEP at firstname.lastname@example.org for an explanation of why your request was denied or if there have been significant changes in the area of interest.
What if conditional approvals have been put on my category change request?
After you've met the conditions, you must notify DEP and provide documentation proving that the conditions have been met. A final approval memo for the category change will be sent to you.
Who do I contact for more information?
For further assistance, contact the Department of Environmental Protection at email@example.com or call 240.777.7700.