ProjectDox is a tool for plan submission, review, approval, and tracking using a paperless online system that allows parallel collaboration between agencies to review and markup plans, share comments and more easily identify potential conflicts and issues. ProjectDox offers automatic task notification and plan routing between the applicant and all review departments. It also incorporates tools to increase the effectiveness of the review process and reduce review cycle time. The use of ProjectDox is intended to result in a better product with less effort and time.
Over the last year Howard County has been undertaking an extensive and multifaceted upgrade of ProjectDox. This has included migrating to a cloud-based server and updating the software and interface. The next phase of this upgrade is taking place on October 2nd and will see efficiencies made to our Development Workflow (S, SDP, F, ECP, SP, W&S plans), along with the addition of two new workflows that will see our Alternative Compliance and Redlining processes hosted and performed in ProjectDox. Overall, changes to the current user experience for development plans will be minimal. Unlike past updates, there will be no system downtime. The website URL will remain the same.
This latest upgrade will be most noticeable in several ways:
- All drawings submitted to ProjectDox for review must be in PDF format. Drawings in other formats, such as DWG, will not be accepted by the system.
- For more information regarding the Review Comments/Reviews process for responding to plan review, please see the Applicant Quick Guide found in the "Getting Started" section of this page
- Applicant responses to reviewer changemarks and comments are performed in a dedicated review form. Applicant changemarks and comments outside of the review response form will be disabled. Agency Staff changemarks and top-priority comments in the review form must be responded to in order to resubmit plans.
- All applications are accessed and submitted in ProjectDox and not via our webpage. For Alternative Compliance and Redlines, in-person paper applications will no longer be accepted and required plans prints can be submitted via the appropriate drop box in the George Howard Building.
In February 2023, Howard County upgraded to ProjectDox 9.2 from 9.1, which saw changes to the user interface.
In November 2022, Howard County migrated ProjectDox to a cloud-based environment.
To access applications for submission and to review pertinent information regarding submission materials, please visit our Plan Submissions webpage below.
I. Prior to submitting the initial application to our department, the following must be completed (if applicable):
Presubmission Community Meeting
(Please see Section 16.128 of the Subdivision and Land Development Regulations for the Pre-Submission Community Meeting procedural requirements)
A pre-submission community meeting is required for:
- Zoning petition if it includes a site plan or preliminary development plan
- Conditional use petition
- ALL new residential development
- New Non-Residential development
- Existing Non-Residential development proposed for a floor area expansion of more than 25%
To apply for a Pre-Submission Community Meeting, please click here.
For more information on Pre-Submission Community Meeting Requirements click here.
If applicable, please upload the following information to the ProjectDox exhibits folder:
- Certification that meeting notices were mailed to all adjoining property owners and any community association that represents the geographic area, and to the principals and Parent Teacher Association presidents through a mailing to each school with an attendance area that includes the subject property. Projects in Downtown Columbia must also notify each Village Board, the Columbia Association and each property owner located within the same Downtown Columbia plan neighborhood.
- Verification that meeting notices were emailed to any citizen/community association registered on-line with Howard County
- List of the meeting attendees
- Copy of the meeting minutes and written responses to the meeting attendees’ questions
- Verification that the meeting minutes and responses were sent within 30 days to all meeting attendees either by mail or electronically
Historic Preservation Commission Meeting
(Please see Section 16.605 of the Howard County Code for all HPC requirements)
A pre-submission meeting with the Historic Preservation Commission is required for: (verify and/or schedule the meeting with DPZ's Resource Conservation Division)
- New Development located within a designated Historic District
- If the site is listed in the Historic Site Inventory
- If the site contains a historic structure (a structure 50 years or older)
If applicable, please upload the minutes from the HPC Advisory Meeting to the ProjectDox exhibits folder.
Design Advisory Panel
(Please see Sections 16.1501 & 16.1504 of the Howard County Code for all DAP requirements)
A pre-submission advisory meeting with the Design Advisory Panel is required for all new development and redevelopment projects on parcels located: (verify and/or schedule the meeting with DPZ's Division of Land Development)
- In the U.S. Route 1 corridor that are zoned CE, CAC or TOD or that adjoin the Route 1 right-of-way and that are subject to the Route 1 Design Manual
- In the U.S. Route 40 corridor as defined by the Route 40 Design Manual
- On parcels which age-restricted adult housing is to be constructed pursuant to a conditional use
- On redevelopment parcels located in the New Town Village Centers with boundaries proposed by a property owner or established by the Zoning Board or County Council
- On parcels within the boundaries of the Downtown Columbia Plan
- In the Clarksville Pike Streetscape Plan and Design Guidelines boundaries
- As provided by the zoning regulations
If applicable, please upload a copy of the DAP project design recommendation to the ProjectDox exhibits folder.
- Submissions MUST be in PDF format
- Paper space should include all notes, tables, charts, images, sketches, etc.
- Model space should only contain existing & proposed features
- Fonts should be AUTOCAD Standards
- Paper space sheet should be in a separate CAD file
- Scale in paper space should be between 1" = 10' to 1" = 50'
- Paper space should be printable on 24" x 36" sheet for ECP's, Road Construction Drawings/Supplemental Plans, Water and Sewer Plans and SDP's, and on a 18" x 24" sheet for plats
- Plan sheets must have specific sheet numbers with two digits & names (ex: C-01_CoverSheet; C-02_Sediment Control, etc.)
- Reports/Exhibits should have specific file numbers and names. (ex: SDP-09-001_SWMReport; SDP-90-001_PhotoExhibit,etc.)
- Estimates should maintain the file name given when downloading from the checklist.
- Naming convention MUST NOT CHANGE over any subsequent submissions in order for the ProjectDox versioning function to work.
Development Plan Applications:
Environmental Concept Plans, Sketch Plans, Preliminary Equivalent Sketch Plans, Preliminary Plans, Preliminary Water and Sewer Plans, Final Plans and Site Development Plans have the following folder structure:
- Only drawings that are part of the plan set and will be signed. Please ensure drawings are uploaded into the correct subfolder, if applicable.
- Layer Definitions
- Pre-Submission Meeting Documentation
- Historic Preservation Commission Documentation
- Approved Decision and Order
- Previous Correspondence related to project (pre-meeting notes, special approvals, etc.)
- Maryland Aviation Administration approval (if applicable)
- Design Advisory Panel documentation
- Scenic Road exhibit
- Percolation Plan
- BGE approval
- Green Building documentation
- Previous Waiver Petition or Design Manual approval letters. Be advised new WP and DM requests must be submitted as a separate application.
- Stormwater Management Report
- Storm Drain computations
- Wetland Report/Letter
- Traffic Study
- Forest Stand Delineation Report
- Noise Study
- Geotechnical Report
- Retaining Wall Computations
- Sight Distance analysis
- Floodplain Report
Checklist and Estimates
- Completed DPZ Checklists – For checklist, please click here
- Initial fee calculations
- Revised cost estimates
Developers Agreements (Internal Upload Use Only)
- Final cost estimates from DLD & DED
- RES Documents
- Copy of signed redline approval/denial letter (to be uploaded by DPZ)
Reviewer Correspondence(Internal Upload Use Only)
- Decision Letters
- Written comments
- Scanned correspondence related to project
Applicant Correspondence (External Upload Use Only)
- Typed point-by-point responses to comments
- Scanned correspondence related to project that does not fall into the Exhibits folder
PDF’s For Signature
- Drawings uploaded for electronic signatures
- Support documents needed for final electronic signature (uploaded to the Support Documents for PDF nested folder)
Signed PDF (Internal Upload use only)
- Once the plan is signed it will be scanned and uploaded to this folder
Alternative Compliance Application:
- Completed Alternative Compliance Application
- Written justification
- Plan Exhibit
- Other documents or exhibits to support the request
- Applicant response to review comments
Decision (Internal Upload Use Only)
- Decision letter from DPZ
- Director Action Reports
Review Comments (Internal Upload Use Only)
- SRC review comments and recommendation
Please download the Owner's Authorization, have the Owner sign it and upload it to the Exhibits folder when submitting a new plan to DPZ.
Professional Review Statement
Please print the Professionals' Review Statement, and upload the signed original to the Drawings Folder when submitting a new plan.
Electronic Signature Process:
Sketch Plans, Preliminary Equivalent Sketch Plans, Preliminary Plans, Final Road Construction Drawings/Supplemental Plans and Site Development Plans are processed for electronic signature. Plan submissions will be uploaded electronically through ProjectDox and routed to all Agency reviewers electronically for signatures.
For more information on the electronic signature process, please click here.
Mylar Signature Process:
Environmental Concept Plans, Final Subdivision Plats, Water and Sewer Plans and Redline Revision Plans are processed by submission of a physical Mylar for wet seal and signatures.
Plan sheet size:
- 24" x 36" with a 1/2" border along all edges of the plan for ECP's and redline revision Road Construction Drawings/Supplemental Plans and SDP's, and Water and Sewer Plans.
- 18" x 24" with 1/2" border along all edges of the plan for all plats.
- All originals submitted for signature approval must meet the following Department of Planning & Zoning Original Requirements.
- No information or numbers shall be placed within the borders, except the assigned County file number. When more than 1 sheet is required, a sheet index chart shall be provided on sheet 1. All sheets in the set will be numbered as in this example (i.e.: Sheet 1 of 5, etc.).
- Be made of durable, reproducible mylar material. No sepia paper, tracing paper, etc., will be accepted.
- Not be pieced, spliced, have "stick-ons" or "press-type" lettering
- On all sheets, have original seal and signature of the Maryland registered professional engineer/surveyor/architect(s) authorized by appropriate section of Annotated Code of Maryland to prepare the specified plan.
- Have on the appropriate sheets of the plan the original signature(s) of owner/developer/engineer and any required certificates.
- All required signatures and seals on the original drawings shall be in permanent ink. Water soluble felt tip pens and similar instruments shall not be used.
Signature Blocks, Standard Charts, etc.
The standards set forth by the Department of Planning and Zoning must be followed when submitting plans to the Department.