Recap - The New Development Ombudsman in Montgomery County

Posted Date: 
November 10, 2015

Guest Speaker: Mike Smith, Development Ombudsman, Office of the County Executive, Montgomery County
Topic: The New Development Ombudsman in Montgomery County

November 10, 2015 Recap  

The vice-chair of the Infrastructure and Land Use Committee, Gus Bauman of Beveridge &  Diamond, P.C., welcomed MCCC members and introduced the guest speaker, Mike Smith, Montgomery County’s newly appointed Development Ombudsman. 

Mr. Smith began by talking about the process to create the new position and for his appointment. The idea was first announced as part of the County Executive’s six-point economic plan. He has long maintained that to be successful, this position must report directly to the County Executive, which it does. 

As an experienced professional from the real estate and development community, Mr. Smith is able to bring a dose of reality and help facilitate change on significant projects in the county.  He engages with stakeholders on policy discussions like roads and infrastructure needs, master plans and land use in general.

As the new Development Ombudsman, Mr. Smith sees his role as helping applicants through the development process and facilitating discussions as they arise.  To that end, he has partnered with DPS, Planning, DOT and DED as it takes buy in from all these departments.  When the public and private sectors can come together, they are able to work to the benefit of the larger community.

Attendees were able to ask a range of questions from issues dealing with specific sites to policies that hinder Montgomery County’s ability to be competitive.

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