An accelerated permit process for properties damaged by the July 30 flood will allow building owners to repair quickly, Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman announced Thursday afternoon.
Permit applicants can schedule appointments with the county's licensing, permit and inspections between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays. Permits will be issued the same day. Normal turnaround times range from two to four weeks, according to county spokeswoman Karen Spicer.
"We know this could be a daunting task for applicants," said Bob Frances, director of the county's licensing, permitting and inspections department. "It shouldn't be that way and we're going to do our best to reduce anxiety and make this a painless process."
Some projects may require the approval of the county's Historic Preservation Commission. Food service facilities may need to consult with the county's health department to get approval for repairs before the permit process.
The county government may expand the number of permitting slots available based on demand, according to a county press release.
In mid-August, the Howard County Council voted unanimously to waive licensing and permitting fees in order to offer Ellicott City business and property owners relief after July's flooding gutted businesses and displaced dozens of residents.
"Government should be a partner in the rebuilding of Ellicott City," Kittleman said. "Building owners have been through a lot already. This process should make it easier for them to reopen as quickly as possible."
To date, $6,135 in permit fees have been waived on a total of 41 permits, Spicer said.
Permit applicants can meet with the licensing department at the George Howard Building, 3430 Court House Drive, in Ellicott City. To schedule an appointment, applicants may call Elaine Hauck at 410-313-2433.
This story will be updated.