The Howard County Planning Board unanimously approved HoCo By Design, the County’s general plan update and Route 1 Corridor Plan. The long-range plan informs the County’s decisions on land use, growth, development and conservation for the next 20 years.

HoCo By Design’s recommendations provide guidance for the County’s capital budget, zoning, and land development regulations, as well as future County planning efforts. The Board has now prepared a recommendation to the County Council for adoption. The vote follows a thorough three-year process which yielded extensive community input and data analysis.

At the March 9 Planning Board public hearing, DPZ provided an overview of HoCo By Design and highlighted the plan’s central goals: protecting the natural environment, strengthening economic opportunities, expanding transportation options, promoting diverse housing choices, preserving community character, and balancing growth and conservation in the County.

“Our HoCo By Design plan is the product of a comprehensive public engagement strategy that engaged a broad spectrum of our community, including historically under-represented populations,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “To inform this transformational plan, the Department of Planning and Zoning conducted historic community engagement with nearly 100 community meetings and received more than 12,000 comments from participants across our county. HoCo By Design also identifies numerous policies that will advance a more equitable and inclusive future for all County residents.”

Following the Planning Board recommendation, the Council will hold multiple work sessions on HoCo By Design, beginning this spring, before voting on the plan in the fall of 2023.