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

Quick Links
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

Elkridge Main Street Area Plan

May 22, 2018

The Department of Planning and Zoning (DPZ), in partnership with Councilman Jon Weinstein and Patapsco Heritage Greenway, held a community meeting on May 9th and received input from over 75 residents and stakeholders on the boundaries and scope of a small area plan for the main street and surrounding area of Elkridge. Click here to read more.

Please sign up here if you would like to receive updates as the planning process continues.

Ellicott City Watershed Master Plan

August 23, 2018

Howard County launched its master plan process for Ellicott City and its watershed in 2017. The May 2018 flood required the county to take a renewed look at the master plan. This master plan effort will help define a comprehensive community-driven vision for rebuilding a stronger and more resilient Ellicott City. The plan will take a fresh and creative look at potential long term flood solutions and strategies. More information can be found here.

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.

Redevelopment of the Long Reach Village Center

May 2018

Howard County's Zoning Board approved the redevelopment plan for the Long Reach Village Center. The approval marks the final step in the County's zoning process, clearing the way for Orchard Development, the project's master developer, to submit the plan for land development review, the remaining approval requirement for the project, and begin the much anticipated overhaul of the forty-four year-old center in Columbia. More information…