Friday, January 20, 2006

Dept of Permitting services called a 'closed organization'

The Montgomery County Civic Federation is resisting county attempts to centralize control of authority to shape and enforce land-use decisions.

Civic leaders argue that county officials are too tight with developers, citing the Clarksburg development scandal. Proposals to centralize enforcement under the Department of Planning Services (DPS), which is controlled by the County Executive, will only protect corruption and other wrongdoing, advocates say.

According to the Gazette, "The County Civic Federation strongly opposes moving enforcement to the Department of Permitting Services, chiefly because the DPS enforcement process is not open to the public and because DPS lacks planning expertise, President Daniel L. Wilhelm told the Planning Board last week."

"Basically it’s a closed organization," said Wilhelm, in reference to the DPS. "They enforce certain things they are interested in, and they don’t enforce other things."