System designed to expedite review system for priority area development projects in State
by Christine Hansen
Standing inside the 125,000 square foot bakery plant of Bakery Express/Ms Desserts in Halethorpe, officials today unveiled a new permitting system that streamlines the review process and allows businesses to more easily obtain permits for development projects. The new system – dubbed ‘Fast Track’ by officials – is part of the Maryland Made Easy initiative that Governor O’Malley unveiled in January.
“For 41 years, Charles Burman has been waking up early and keeping the doors open to make sure that places like 7-11 have the baked goods that people eat every day,” Governor O’Malley said.
“And when Charlie moved into his new facility, it took the approval of a number of business licenses and permits in order to make it happen. This Fast Track program will help businesses, like Charlie’s, get those permits and licenses under an expedited review process so that we can help our Maryland businesses grow and create jobs.”
The Maryland Made Easy program was designed to help cut red tape in government, creating a more centralized system for business licenses and permits. Since January, state agencies have worked together to implement the initiative, outlining key components that would make it easier to do business in Maryland.
Three major components of the ‘Easy’ plan include: ‘Fast Track’ – a new system that would streamline and expedite issuance of multiple state permits to projects in designated development zones; Central Business Licensing – an online one-stop shop containing the various license applications to start a business in Maryland; and State Highway Administration Permits – a new system that makes it easier for businesses to obtain permits for development projects.
Details of the Maryland Made Easy plan and the major components were unveiled today on a new website: easy.maryland.gov.
Governor O’Malley signed an Executive Order today establishing the ‘Fast Track’ expedited review process. Projects considered for the Fast Track review process are those that fall into priority areas such as the Protected Forest Area, Transit-Oriented Development, Enterprise Zones and Critical Areas. Once a company meets eligibility requirements, they are then “scored” and submitted to the Governor’s Smart Growth Coordinating Council who will identify the necessary agencies and key permits and guide the applicant through the expedited process.
Charles Burman, owner of Bakery Express, said with the help of Baltimore County and the State, the process to move his facility to its current location was smooth. The company moved in 2008, and is located within a Maryland designated Enterprise Zone.
“The County and the State really made sure our move was as smooth as possible, and we made sure to keep them apprised of our development to ensure that everything was done cooperatively,” Burman said.
Founded in 1970, Bakery Express was previously located on Georgetown Road in southwest Baltimore. In 2002, they acquired Ms Desserts, which had a bakery plant located on Rolling Road in Woodlawn. As the company expanded and outgrew its 30,000 square foot production plants, Burman decided to consolidate both locations. In 2008, the company moved to its current Halethorpe location, which was formerly a canning company and then was turned into a lumber yard. Burman turned the 14-acre parcel location, just a few miles from the beltway and Interstate 95, into his 150,000 square foot bakery and production plant.
Bakery Express currently has 265 employees, and produces donuts and fresh bakery products for over 1,000 7-Eleven stores along the East Coast. It produces 150,000 bakery items a day. The company was also featured on CBS’s Undercover Boss.