Governor Launches Initiative to Fast Track State Permitting Process and Expedite Economic Development

Governor O’ Malley along with Lt. Governor Brown launched several new business-friendly initiatives today via an Executive Order to implement the Governor’s Economic Development and Job Creation Fast Track (FastTrack),  a program that will be incorporated into the Administration’s  StateStat program.  StateStat is a performance measurement and management tool for accountability and efficiency in state government and the new program will be folded into that tool and will be called Project Stat.  As part of Project Stat, the  FastTrack tool has been created for business owners and developers to streamline the review of state permits for projects in county and municipal priority development areas.

The Governor was joined by Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, other state and local officials and owners of the Bakery Express, Inc. in Halethorpe to unveil Maryland Made Easy , a new website hosted by the Department of Business and Economic Development. The site will also include a portal to FastTrack’s application and process.  Read more about the new programs in Baltimore Business Journal.

The impetus behind the Executive Order and the new program O’Malley stated, “is to cut the bureaucratic red tape”  behind the permitting process required under multiple departments.  The business friendly move is designed to enhance economic development in specified areas throughout the state and is intended to work in tandem with the local process in county and municipal governments.

The eligibility criteria for ProjectStat are as follows:

1.  The project will produce jobs or economic development that are significant to the locality, region, or State;

2. The project requires the issuance of one or more state permits or approvals; and

3. The project is located in targeted areas typified by commercial main streets, revitalization and redevelopment areas, and commercial job centers within a Priority Funding Area; or the project is not located within a Priority Funding Area, but the project meets the criteria for a Priority Funding Area exception.

In determining whether to recommend an eligible project for review, the ProjectStat coordinating committee considers the following factors:

  • The significance of the potential economic, job, and business development of the project in relation to the size of the jurisdiction that the project would benefit;
  • Whether the project is designated as a priority project by a local government;
  • Whether the project involves infill development or redevelopment;
  • Whether the project conflicts with an important State policy or goal including whether the project is located in a targeted ecological area or priority agricultural preservation area or impacts historic/cultural resources;
  • Whether the project furthers an important state policy or goal;
  • Whether the project is ready to proceed upon issuance of permits and approvals
  • The environmental impacts, both positive and negative; and
  • The capacity of the ProjectStat coordinating committee to manage projects accepted for review.

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