Guidelines for Participation at the Planning Board
Community members are invited to testify, watch, or listen to the Planning Board meetings to ensure their voices are heard in decisions that shape Montgomery County communities. During the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Planning Board has been adaptable and flexible to offer the ability to testify virtually at Planning Board meetings. Learn more below on how to get involved with the Planning Board process.
Rules of Procedure Testify live at the Planning Board
Community members can sign up to testify remotely or in-person in upcoming Planning Board meetings by providing real time testimony via Microsoft Teams, over the phone, or in-person during the Planning Board meeting. All persons attending Planning Board meetings in person must be vaccinated, must sign up in advance, and show proof of vaccination.
To testify, fill out the
Sign Up to Testify form by 12 noon on the day before the Planning Board meeting. Once the form is completed, if you are testifying remotely , you will receive an email with a phone number to call and a link to participate in the Microsoft Teams meeting during a designated time to provide your testimony for a specific agenda item prior to the Planning Board meeting. Please note that submitting the Sign Up to Testify form online by the deadline is the only way to testify in real time on Planning Board meeting items. How much time do I have to speak?
The Planning Board agenda is posted 10 days in advance of the scheduled meeting. Community members can sign up to testify on public hearing or other appropriate matters by 12 noon on the day before the Planning Board meeting. It is at the discretion of the Planning Board Chair to determine the amount of time each speaker has for testimony. The Chair may set time limits for oral testimony at public hearings on regulatory items. Group representatives are typically allotted eight minutes, and individuals testifying on their own behalf are typically allotted three minutes; however, the Chair has the discretion to set longer or shorter time limits. The Chair may require individuals with similar or related positions to divide available time and avoid duplicative testimony. Individuals are ordinarily not allowed to yield their allotted time to another person offering testimony. If an attorney or other representative is speaking on your behalf at the hearing, you should avoid repeating the points they have made or will be making.
Time allotted to speakers on non-regulatory items is also at the Chair’s discretion. Public testimony is typically not permitted on reconsideration requests (as opposed to a public hearings to reconsider an item), contract awards, work sessions, briefings, and roundtable discussions.
Only one individual may serve as the representative of a group (such as a civic or homeowner’s association) for purposes of requesting time to speak. Others speaking in support of a group’s position are allotted time to speak in an individual capacity but should identify their affiliation or support of that position at the time they sign up to testify so speakers with similar views may be heard at the same time, where feasible.
The Chair may require individuals with similar or related positions to divide available time and avoid duplicative testimony. Individuals are ordinarily not allowed to yield their allotted time to another person offering testimony.
How can I be prepared to testify at the Planning Board?
There are no specific requirements for the format of testimony. You must confine your testimony to issues that are germane to the issues being decided. You also should avoid undue repetition of points already made by you or others and reading verbatim from written testimony you have already submitted for the record.
How will I know the speaking order?
The time when each agenda item will be heard is difficult to predict, and you should plan to join the online meeting at the scheduled start time for either the morning or afternoon meeting when your item is on the calendar. The Chair has discretion to arrange the order of testimony, and speakers may be grouped by subject matter, issue of concern, or group affiliation.
Time allotted to speakers on non-regulatory items is also at the Chair’s discretion. Public testimony is typically not permitted on reconsideration requests (as opposed to a public hearings to reconsider an item), contract awarding, work sessions, briefings, and roundtable discussions.
If you need translation assistance or other accommodations, let us know when you register or contact the Chair’s Office at
email@example.com or 301-495-4605 at least five business days prior to the Planning Board meeting.
Submit testimony to the Planning Board
Community members can submit written testimony by emailing the Chair’s Office. Any individual or organization may submit a written statement for consideration by the Planning Board. Email your written testimony, including a mailing address, with comments on specific Planning Board agenda items to
firstname.lastname@example.org by 12 noon on the day before the Planning Board meeting, referencing the hearing date, item, and including a mailing address, in order to be reviewed by the Board and included in the official record of the hearing. Items received after this date and time will not be included in the record. Community members can also fax the Chair at 301-495-1320, or send in testimony via mail addressed to: Chair, Montgomery County Planning Board, 2425 Reedie Drive, Wheaton, MD 20902, all of which must include a mailing address
Written copies of testimony, correspondence or presentation materials may not be accepted or distributed at the hearing and must be submitted in advance of the hearing (by 12 noon the previous day) to the Chair’s Office.
Watch and listen to the Planning Board meetings
Planning Board meetings are
live streamed with closed captioning provided. Community members can watch Planning Board meetings live or on-demand. We recommend the use of an up-to-date browser, such as current versions of Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. If you simply want to listen in, you can click on the low-bandwidth live audio streaming service option during the meeting, which is available at this link: Listen live
Watch the Planning Board meeting
live online, and on demand. Listen live over the phone to the Planning Board meeting by calling: 866-774-0898 Password: 24252020