Planning and Zoning

The Department of Planning and Zoning helps shape the growth and future of Howard County by facilitating the development of safe, healthy, equitable, connected, and sustainable communities, while concurrently respecting individual rights and protecting the County’s natural environment, its historical integrity, and character.   


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Valdis Lazdins, Planning Director

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I want to learn about current and upcoming presubmission community meetings, public hearings, and development plans or a sign I saw posted on a property.

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Zoning Regulations or Subdivision and Land Development Regulations

Planning Board
What's New?

Route 1 Corridor Master Plan

May 3, 2018

DPZ is currently reviewing the RFP submissions for the Route 1 Corridor Master Plan. The selected consultant team will develop a comprehensive land use, transportation and economic development Plan that includes a land-use and transportation vision that is closely reflective of the corridor’s market conditions.  The Plan will include an economic/market assessment, address land use, transportation, and urban design concepts, provide a stakeholder engagement plan, and examine fiscal implications. The county will launch the planning effort this summer. For more information on the Plan, please contact Peter Conrad.

2017 Development Monitoring System Report

April 11, 2018

The 2017 Development Monitoring System report (DMS) is now available. The DMS report summarizes all development activity in the County. Both residential and nonresidential development are evaluated in the report with comparisons to previous years’ development activity going back five years. A 2017 summary is included of all zoning map and text amendments, subdivision regulation amendments, new General Plan elements and amendments, and new infrastructure built. Please click here for the report.

Ellicott City Watershed Master Plan

May 10, 2018

MAY 24 OPEN HOUSE IS POSTPONED: The plan development period is being extended to better address community concerns, further craft the technical aspects of proposals, and fine tune plans for implementation. Therefore, the draft plan open house originally scheduled for May 24 is postponed. Please stay tuned to the project website for additional details:

Development Regulations Assessment

At the request of County Executive Allan H. Kittleman, Howard County Planning and Zoning (DPZ) completed a Development Regulation Assessment, to include review of the zoning code, as well as regulations, policies and manuals related to land development. The project will occur in two phases: phase I is an assessment of the development regulations and phase II is the drafting of a new unified development code or sets of codes.

Please click here for more information. 


Research Report: Domestic Migration 2010-2015

August 3, 2017

This latest Research Report summarizes domestic migration trends in Howard County from 2010 to 2015. The county grew by a little more than 26,000 residents during this five-year time period, about a 9% population increase (287,085 in 2010 to 313,414 in 2015). As this growth occurred over the five years, more than 143,000 domestic migrants moved in and out of Howard County, reflecting the high mobility of residents in this economically vibrant part of the U.S. 

Click here to read the report.

Council Bill 60-2017- Natural Wood Waste (Mulch) and Composting Regulations

CB 60-2017 was approved on November 6, 2017. However, due to a timing error, the approval was invalidated. On December 12, 2017 Councilmembers Sigaty and Fox submitted the approved version of CB 60-2017 as Zoning Regulations Amendment 183 (ZRA 183). More information about ZRA 183 and previous versions of the legislation can be found here.

Redevelopment of the Long Reach Village Center (LRVC)

Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman signed the purchase and sale agreement with Orchard Development for the Long Reach Village Center on September 11, 2017. The completion of the purchase and sale agreement is another major step toward redevelopment of the aging center. The conceptual redevelopment proposal calls for a mixed-use, sustainable and innovative village center, and builds on community-inspired objectives for revitalization. 

Howard County purchased the 7.7 acre site in 2014 and 2015 under the County’s Urban Renewal Law for the purpose of revitalizing the property and undertook a multi-step process to revitalize the LRVC. More information…