Historic Preservation


Following the announcement of the closure of the George Howard Building to the public, the Department of Planning and Zoning continues to operate through remote service. Based on the Executive Orders of the County Executive and the Governor, and recommendations for social distancing, the regular Historic Preservation Commission meeting scheduled for April 2, 2020 is postponed.  All applications that were scheduled for the April meeting will be scheduled as soon as circumstances allow.  

Given state and local mandates to cease in-person meetings, the HPC is unable to conduct public hearings.  You may submit a Certificate of Approval per Code § 16.605(b)(3) for review but that too is suspended and cannot be scheduled for a public hearing at this time.

The HPC will continue to review qualifying Minor Alterations applications for approval.

This website will be updated and applicants will be notified as new information is available, please check back periodically.

Regarding application submissions, the following new protocols have been put in place to continue to serve the community:    

PDF Application Submissions : Please email DPZ staff a pdf of your application submission (email:  preservation@howardcountymd.gov). Staff will review the pdf to determine if the application can be processed online as a Minor Alteration. If the application is processed online through the Minor Alterations process, no paper copies will be needed. All other applications will be reviewed and held until DPZ is able to schedule HPC public hearings.  All applicants will be notified when meeting dates are available.

Paper Application Submissions:  Paper application submissions can be mailed to: Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning, c/o Historic Preservation Commission, 3430 Court House Drive, Ellicott City, MD 21043.

Paper application submissions can also be dropped into the bin labeled “DPZ” in the George Howard Building lobby. Paper documents will be quarantined for no less than 24 hours.

Paper application submissions are still required for applications for: Advisory Comments/Pre-Application Advice and Final Tax Credit Approval. You may also email a pdf copy of your application for review at  preservation@howardcountymd.gov. All applicants will be notified when meeting dates are available. 

Historic Preservation Commission

The Ellicott City and Lawyers Hill Historic Districts are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. They are also local historic districts, allowing the county to protect their architectural integrity and preserve their history for future generations. Please click here to link to the Historic Preservation Commission's webpage, to view more information on members, meetings and procedures

Current Agenda

The regular Historic Preservation Commission meeting scheduled for April 2, 2020 is postponed.  All applications that were scheduled for the April meeting will be scheduled as soon as circumstances allow.

Meeting Schedule and Application Deadlines




Date of Meeting

First Thursday of each month

Deadline for Applications

Wednesday 22 days before meeting

The Commission does not meet in January


February 6

January 15

March 5

February 12

April 2

March 11

May 7

April 15

June 4

May 13

July 9

June 17

August 6

July 15

September 3

August 12

October 1

September 9

November 5

October 14

December 3

November 12^

*Unless otherwise noted, all meetings will begin at 7:00 p.m.*

^Application deadline was moved to Thursday after Veterans Day Holiday.


If you have an emergency, please contact Samantha Holmes at 410-313-2350 or sholmes@howardcountymd.gov.

Download printable schedule for 2020.


The Historic Preservation Commission reviews several types of applications, including applications for Certificates of Approval to make exterior alterations to properties within a local historic district, applications for Historic Property Tax Credits and applications for Advisory Comments to properties under going subdivision or site development plans that contain a historic property. 

Historic Preservation Commission Applications

Applications to make alterations or repairs:

Certificate of Approval and Tax Credit Pre-Approval - this application includes the Certificate of Approval and Historic Tax Credit application as one application.Please only use if you are located in the Ellicott City or Lawyers Hill Historic Districts. 

New Construction - this application is for the construction of new principal dwellings or outbuildings on properties in the Ellicott City or Lawyers Hill Historic Districts.

Historic Property Tax Credits - this application is for historic property tax credits for repairs to a historic structure. If you are located in Ellicott City, please fill out of the Historic District Supplemental Tax sheet. If you are listed on the Inventory, please fill out the Historic Sites Inventory Supplemental Sheet. If you are making any alterations beyond normal repairs and are located in a local historic district, please fill out the above application for Certificate of Approval for those alterations and do not use this form.

Historic District Supplemental Tax Sheet - for properties located in the Ellicott City or Lawyers Hill Historic Districts. Please also fill out the Historic Property Tax Credit application above.

Historic Sites Inventory Supplemental Tax Sheet - for properties listed on the Historic Sites Inventory. Please also fill out the Historic Property Tax Credit application above.

Sign Application (for sign installation for properties in the Ellicott City or Lawyers Hill Historic Districts)

Tax Credit Claim Forms:

Final Tax Credit Claim 10% - this application must be submitted to process the final tax credit. Applications prior to September 2013 were approved at the 10% tax credit rate.

Final Tax Credit Claim 25% - this application must be submitted to process the final tax credit. Applications approved September 2013 or later were approved at the 25% tax credit rate.

Assessment Tax Credit Claim  - this application must be submitted to process the 20.113 assessment tax credit. 

Applications for Advisory Comments or Pre- Application Advice:

Advisory Comments/Pre-Application Advice - this application is for advisory comments prior to a submittal to Planning and Zoning for subdivision or site development plans. This application is also for anyone located in a historic district seeking pre-application advice from the Commission prior to formally submitting for a Certificate of Approval.


If you have any questions, please call Samantha at 410-313-2350 or email at sholmes@howardcountymd.gov. 


Design Guidelines

 Ellicott City Historic District | Lawyers Hill Historic District | Solar Panels and Other Devices

Historic District Maps

Ellicott City Historic District | Lawyers Hill Historic District

Historic Tax Credits

Samantha Holmes | 410-313-2350

County Tax Credit Application | County 25% Historic Property Tax Credit  | County Historic Property Assessment Tax CreditState Tax Credits | Federal Tax Credits

The County's Historic Property Tax Credit program provides incentives for property owners to restore or preserve historic properties. Property owners must submit an application and obtain approval from the Historic Preservation Commission before beginning work which qualifies for tax credits.
Facade Improvement Program
Samantha Holmes | 410-313-2350

FIP Claim Application

All funding for the Ellicott City Facade Improvement Program (FIP) has been allocated and we are no longer accepting applications for pre-approval. If you have been pre-approved and finished construction, please contact staff to start the final approval process. 
Demolition Review

Ken Short | 410-313-2350

The demolition of structures in Howard County requires clearance from Historic Preservation. The application form can be found above. Please fill this form out and return completed, with photographs, to the Department of Planning and Zoning, Resource Conservation Division. As of July 1, 2015 fees of $50 for outbuildings and $250 for principal use structures will be due in order to receive the completed clearance form.  
Historic Sites Inventory

Ken Short | 410-313-2350

Howard County maintains a Historic Sites Inventory of over 1,000 architecturally and historically significant properties located throughout the county. Properties listed on the inventory are also eligible for historic tax credits.
Cemetery Preservation

Beth Burgess | 410-313-2350

Cemetery Preservation Advisory Board | Cemetery Inventory Form 

Cemetery Maintenance Suggestions | Cemetery Grants | 

The Cemetery Preservation Advisory Board meets bi-monthly (six times) and meetings are open to the public. Please visit the Board's website above for more information on meeting dates and times.

The Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning (DPZ) and the Cemetery Preservation Advisory Board (CPAB), through the efforts of many volunteers such as the Howard County Genealogical Society, began a County wide cemetery survey in 2014 to document the current conditions of the historic cemeteries located in Howard County.

Howard County 2018 Grant:  If there is a repair project you have been meaning to work on, please consider apply for the grant. We have $5,000.00 in funding for cemetery grants. The application deadline is Thursday, March 1, 2018 and the funds will be designated by Thursday, March 15, 2018. To apply, please click here.



Historic Preservation Plan

Howard County Historic Preservation Plan

The purpose of the Historic Preservation Plan is to provide guidance and direction for the current and future preservation of Howard County's non-renewable historic and cultural resources, as well as to ensure the County's future plans for growth will protect historic resources in a coordinated, recognized and measured manner. The Historic Preservation Plan was adopted by the County Council in April 2014.