An Overview of Necessary Disturbance in Howard County

Through the Necessary Disturbance process, an applicant may request that the Department of Planning and Zoning (DPZ), in consultation with the Department of Public Works and the Office of Community Sustainability grant relief from strict compliance with specific land development regulations related to development impacts within the flood plain, wetlands, streams, and steep slopes.   The proposed impact must be necessary for construction of public or private roads, driveways, utilities, trails, pathways, or stormwater management facilities which are essential for reasonable development of the property.  The design must minimize the disturbance and no other reasonable alternative exist.  Cost of reasonable alternatives is not a factor in the decision making process and DPZ requires mitigation for the approved disturbance.