Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman has announced the beginning of HoCode Rewrite, an initiative to modernize and unify the county’s development regulations under a single, comprehensive document that will make the regulations easier for residents to understand and use. The process will result in a new Unified Development Code that will eliminate loopholes and inconsistencies, and tighten ambiguous language in existing regulations that often lead to subjective interpretations of the law.
The process began in 2016, during which nearly 500 residents and stakeholders participated in more than 40 public meetings to discuss what should be improved in the existing regulations. This outreach and an online survey resulted in more than 700 comments that informed an assessment and roadmap for the remainder of the project.
For example, the rewrite will address concerns cited with conditional uses, infill development and quality of design. The roadmap proposes to establish a new Neighborhood Protection Standards section and overhaul zoning districts that are seldom used or contain vague criteria, such as the Community Enhancement Floating zone.
The effort is being led by Clarion Associates, a Denver-based national land-use consulting firm that led the project’s initial public engagement phase. For more information about HoCode Rewrite, go to www.howardcountymd.gov/hocoderewrite.