Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced the launch of a 30-day comment period on the draft Ellicott City Watershed Master Plan. This comprehensive, long-range document creates a community-driven vision for historic Ellicott City and the surrounding Tiber Branch Watershed.
The master plan establishes goals, desired outcomes and policies for the next 20 years. It also features conceptual illustrations that can serve as inspiration should specific opportunities arise over time. It represents the culmination of a multi-year public outreach process that began in response to the 2016 flooding and builds upon the county’s “Ellicott City Safe and Sound” flood mitigation plan.
Howard County’s Department of Planning and Zoning (DPZ) has established several ways community members can engage and offer comments on the draft plan during the 30-day comment period. Details for reviewing the plan FAQ’s and a user guide are available at www.howardcountymd.gov/ecmp.
“We are grateful for the hundreds of community members who provided input while we were developing this draft,” said Amy Gowan, Director of the Department of Planning and Zoning. “At last count, we have received [more than] 600 comments through our online surveys. That is in addition to the input received at the 7 public workshops we held from 2017 to 2019. DPZ looks forward to the community being able to see the results of all of this work captured in our draft master plan.”
Community members will find a comprehensive menu of recommendations in the draft plan, grouped under five topics that apply to the entire watershed:
- Community character and placemaking
- Flood mitigation
- Environmental sustainability
- Economic development,
- Transportation and parking.
The plan then illustrates how these topics apply to specific areas within the watershed, with recommendations and options for Main Street Ellicott City and the West End neighborhood. Cross-cutting themes throughout the plan include the flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances, incorporate a multi-objective approach, and an emphasis on collaboration and partnerships.
Once the 30-day public comment window closes, DPZ will compile all comments into a summary to be transmitted to the Planning Board and County Council this fall as part of the legislative process to adopt the master plan.