Development Technical Review
Development Engineering Division Design Review
The Development Engineering Division (DED) is tasked with ensuring that commercial and residential development projects meet current State and County design requirements.  Tasks such as Stormwater Management Design from concept to construction drawings, Road Design, Water and Sewer Design, Noise Evaluation, Adequate Public Facilities Roads Test (APFO) Evaluation, Storm Drain Design, Floodplain Analysis, Stream Restoration, etc., are just some of the areas of responsibility.  DED also looks at plan changes through the Redline Revision process, evaluates Design Manual Waivers for construction modifications and substitutions, and provides input to other County agencies when requested.  DED also coordinates with outside agencies such as the Howard Soil Conservation District and the Maryland State Highway Administration for all development projects.
Location and Hours

Public ServiceWalk-In Hours:
Monday - Thursday
8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Friday
8:00 am to 3:00 pm

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Telephone
(410) 313-2350

Review Responsibilities

Stormwater Management

DED is tasked with making sure all development meets current requirements as set forth by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and current Howard County Code.  The design moves from a concept plan through final construction drawings.  The purpose of stormwater management is to protect, maintain and enhance public health.  Design requirements are found in the Howard County Design Manual, Volume I, Storm Drainage.

Road Design

DED is tasked with making sure that new subdivision roads and frontage improvements to existing roads are constructed with any new development.  Improvements are governed by the requirements as set forth in the Howard County Design Manual, Volume III, Roads and Bridges, and the Howard County Design Manual, Volume IV, Standard Specifications and Details for Construction and the Howard County Design Manual - Volume IV, May 1, 2014 Revisions Only.

Water & Sewer Design

DED in conjunction with the Department of Public Works, is tasked to review all new water and sewer designs for new and modified developments both commercial and residential within the Metropolitan District.  The purpose of the review is to ensure that all facilities are designed and constructed in accordance with the requirements as set forth in the Howard County Design Manual, Volume II, Water and Sewer and the Howard County Design Manual, Volume IV, Standard Specifications and Details for Construction and the Howard County Design Manual - Volume IV, May 1, 2014 Revisions Only.

Noise Evaluation

DED is tasked with reviewing noise studies for new developments when applicable based on requirements set forth in the Howard County Design Manual, Volume III, Roads and Bridges.  The health, safety and general community well-being is greatly enhanced by the consideration of and provision for noise abatement or mitigation measures as appropriate in the planning for and development of residential land uses.

Adequate Public Facilities Roads Test (APFO) Evaluation

DED is tasked with evaluating whether developments impact existing road intersections by increasing traffic flow to unacceptable levels as prescribed in the current ​​​​​​​​Howard County Code and Howard County Design Manual, Volume III.  DED evaluates whether mitigation is required through construction of road improvements, intersection modifications, or whether a fee-in-lieu of is to be paid into a Capital Project to correct the deficient intersection.

Storm Drain Design

DED is tasked to ensure that new and modified developments that include drainage facilities meet the requirements as set forth in the Howard County Design Manual, Volume I, Storm Drainage for capacity, conveyance and constructability.  DED also makes sure that the appropriate public and/or private easements are designated so that long term maintenance concerns are accounted for.

Floodplain Analysis

Floodplain management goals are to reduce the existing flood hazards, to preserve the environmental qualities of the County and to protect and insure the continued health, safety and welfare of the general public.  DED is tasked with reviewing all floodplain studies through the development process to ensure that new construction and modifications to existing facilities are not adversely impacted by floodplain issues.  The design requirements are set forth in the Howard County Design Manual, Volume I, Storm Drainage.

Stream Restoration

It is sometimes necessary to reconstruct an existing stream that has been degraded as part of the overall stormwater management design for a development.  DED is tasked with reviewing and making recommendations when this practice becomes necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of the general public.  DED coordinates with other agencies when necessary to ensure that the best methods are used to create a stable and flourishing stream environment.  Design requirements are set forth in the Howard County Design Manual, Volume I, Storm Drainage.

Design Manual Waivers

From time to time it is necessary to provide an alternative to the requirements that still meets the intent of the regulations.  DED is tasked with the evaluation of the alternative to make sure the intent of the regulations has been achieved and that the health, safety and welfare of the public has been protected.  The requirements for evaluation of the alternatives are listed on the Design Manual Waiver Checklist.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

1.       Q: When can I submit a Simplified ECP versus an ECP?

       A: A Simplified ECP is only for a single lot development in the west or a redline.

 

2.       Q: Are there exemptions from stormwater management?

       A: Yes.  Additions or modifications to existing single family structures, developments that do not disturb more than 5,000 square feet of land, or agricultural land management activities.

 

3.       Q: Can I submit a waiver for this?

       A: Only if the waiver does not negate the intent of the regulations, and it does not adversely impact the public infra-structures and private property owners.

 

4.      Q:  Does the county accept gravel driveways?

       A:  Driveways serving one to six lots shall consist of a minimum standard of six inches of crusher run base with tar and chip coating.  All others refer to the Standard Details, Volume IV.

 

5.      Q: If I have a change in use or am expanding an existing commercial building do I need to address APFO road impacts.

       A: Yes.  Any change in use, additions or expansion of commercial, industrial, apartments or condominiums require that an APFO Roads Test evaluation be provided with the submission.

 

6.       Q: I want to add an extra entrance for my driveway. What should I do?

        A: A redline for the Site Development Plan (SDP) will be required if an approved SDP exists.  If no SDP exists, an ENTRANCE APPLICATION & PERMIT shall be submitted to DPW/Bureau of Highways. In addition, a Sight Distance Analysis will be required for the proposed entrance.

 

7.       Q: Can I submit Preliminary Water and Sewer (W&S) Plans with an F-plan or an SDP?

        A: No.  Preliminary W&S Plans shall be submitted prior to the submission of an F-plan or SDP.   There is a separate application process in ProjectDox for Preliminary W&S submissions.  The Preliminary W&S Plan review shall be complete before going to Final W&S Plans.   You may go straight to Final W&S Plans on a case-by-case basis, and avoid Preliminary W&S Plans.  Please contact DED at 410-313-2350 for further information.

 

8.    Q: Do I submit Final W&S Plans with the F-plan or the SDP?

        A: With the creation of new lots, Final W&S Plans shall be submitted with the F-plan due to the Howard County Code requiring public water and sewer to be made available for each new lot created within the Planned Service Area.  In most situations when no new lots are created, water and sewer plans shall be submitted with the SDP.