A. In this Executive Order the following words have the meanings indicated.
(1) “Coordinating Committee” means the committee designated by the Governor’s Chief of Staff under Section D(2) of this Order to assist in the implementation of this Executive Order.
(2) “Priority Funding Area” has the meaning stated in Title 5, Subtitle 7B of the State Finance and Procurement Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
(3) “Priority Funding Area Exception” means an exception provided for State funding under Sections 5-7B-05(a) or 5-7B-06(a) of the State Finance and Procurement Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
(1) There is a Governor’s Economic Development and Job Creation Fast Track (Fast Track) to provide more coordinated, efficient, and expedited review of business and economic development projects with significant State, regional or local impact.
(2) Fast Track is a coordinated review process by State agencies including, but not limited to, the Departments of Business and Economic Development, Transportation, the Environment, Planning, Housing and Community Development, and Natural Resources.
C. Oversight.The Lieutenant Governor will Chair Fast Track.
D. Operational Support.
(1) The Governor’s Chief of Staff or the Chief of Staff’s designee shall identify staff to provide operational and other support as needed to implement this Executive Order.
(2) The Governor’s Chief of Staff or the Chief of Staff’s designee shall appoint a project coordinating committee of staff from State agencies or select an existing coordinating committee to assist in the implementation of this Executive Order.
E. The eligibility criteria for Fast Track are as follows:
(1) The project will produce jobs or economic development that significantly impacts the State, region, county, or municipality;
(2) The project requires the issuance of one or more State permits or approvals; and
(3) (a) 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
(b) The project is not located within a Priority Funding Area, but the project meets the criteria for a Priority Funding Area exception.
F. Application for Expedited Review by Fast Track.
(1) A local government, or project developer may apply to the Fast Track coordinating committee for expedited State review of a project that meets the eligibility criteria by submitting an application form to the committee.
(2) The application form will be located on the Maryland Made Easy website at www.easy.maryland.gov.
(3) In determining whether to recommend an eligible project for review, the Fast Track Coordinating Committee shall consider the following factors:
(a) 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;
(b) Whether the project is designated as a priority project by a local government;
(c) Whether the project involves infill development or redevelopment;
(d) 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;
(e) Whether the project furthers an important State policy or goal;
(f) Whether the project is ready to proceed upon issuance of permits and approvals;
(g) Environmental impacts, both positive and negative; and
(h) The capacity of the Fast Track Coordinating Committee to manage projects accepted for review.
(4) After receiving a recommendation on the eligible project from the Fast Track Coordinating Committee, the Chair shall decide whether to accept eligible projects for expedited review.
(5) The Fast Track Coordinating Committee shall notify an applicant if a project is accepted for expedited review.
G. Fast Track Duties and Activities. The Chair of Fast Track shall:
(1) Determine whether to accept eligible projects for expedited review;
(2) Assign a project coordinator to each accepted project;
(3) Oversee the timeliness of the processing of the requests for approvals and permits and act to eliminate, to the extent possible, delay or inefficiencies; and
(4) Report annually to the Governor on the implementation of this Executive Order including:
(a) The number of projects accepted for expedited review;
(b) The timeliness of the processing of approval and permits of accepted projects; and
(c) Local government participation in Fast Track.
H. Duties of the Project Coordinator.The Project Coordinator, with the assistance of staff from State agencies, shall:
(1) With a representative of the project, assist in determining the approvals and permits that may be required, the types of information that will be required, and an estimated timeline for applications and processing of accepted projects;
(2) Invite the local jurisdiction or jurisdictions that would be processing approvals and permits at the local level to participate in the review of the project;
(3) Construct a consolidated estimated timeline for discussion with the applicant and the Fast Track coordinating committee; and
(4) Report periodically to the Chair on the progress of application and review of the project.
I. This Executive Order does not:
(1) Supplant or alter any review or permitting process that is required by law;
(2) Lessen any standard or criteria for permitting or approvals; or
(3) Apply to any federal or local permits or approval processes.