State of Emergency Extended Until Oct. 6

The Howard County Council has extended the state of emergency in Ellicott City until Oct. 6.

The county reopened all of Main Street on Sept. 17, at 7 a.m., except for the area just east of Old Columbia Pike and just west of Maryland Avenue. That day, the Patapsco River Bridge reopened to two-way traffic for access to Maryland Avenue and St. Paul Street. Commuters are urged to use alternate routes.

On-street parking of personal vehicles remains prohibited on Main Street. Parking will be available in all county lots, with the exception of Lot “B” which is located on the eastern portion of Main Street. Parking in Lot “D” will be limited and two-way access will be from Old Columbia Pike onto Roussey Lane. There will be no direct access to or from Main Street.

Kittleman stressed that Main Street remains an active construction zone and it may be necessary to impose temporary restrictions and changes through the flood-damaged area. Traffic pattern changes, such as one-way traffic, detours, lane closures, flagging operations and complete closures of the roadway, could occur.

Howard County Police and private security will maintain security checkpoints and enhanced patrols around the clock through Oct. 6, when it is anticipated that Main Street between Old Columbia Pike and Maryland Avenue will reopen at 5 p.m. For more information or assistance, call 410-313-2900 and continue to visit the recovery resource page at www.ECfloodrecovery.org.

Ellicott City: Now Reopened for Business

Below are lists of businesses that are open on Main Street and others that are working from remote locations. If you have a business to add to either list, email BizMoEditor@aol.com.

  • Historic District
  • Alexander Design Studio
  • Antique Depot
  • Bear Fox Babe
  • Dr. John Milton Bowman, D.D.S.
  • Catalyst Communication
  • CentreTek
  • Classic Interiors
  • The ClayGround Studio
  • Envy Salon
  • Judge’s Bench
  • Hi Ho Silver
  • LaPalapa Grill & Cantina
  • Little French Market (catering)
  • Pam Long Photography
  • Mat About You
  • Matcha Time Cafe
  • Ooh La La Salon
  • PCF Management
  • Pure Wine Cafe
  • Real Estate Auditing
  • Rethink Brands
  • River House Pizza Co.
  • RUCK Law Firm
  • State Farm Insurance/Fred Gossage
  • Su Casa
  • Robert H. Vogel Engineering
  • Waverly Real Estate
  • The Wine Bin
  • Historic Savage Mill
  • Sweet Cascades Chocolatier
  • Turf Valley (through the holidays)
  • Attic Antiques
  • Boliwalou
  • Sue Langert Fine Art
  • Matcha Time Cafe
  • Park Ridge Trading Co.
  • Simply Divine Boutique
  • Southwest Connection
  • Still Life Gallery
  • Syriana Gallery
  • The Vintage Vault and Gallery
  • Zebop

Opening Soon

  • Ellicott Mills Brewing Co. (week of 10/1)
  • The Creative Garden (10/10)
  • Sweet Elizabeth Jane (11/4)

Kittleman Submits Legislation to Simplify Ellicott City Flood Recovery

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman filed legislation with the county council aimed at simplifying the recovery process for building owners of historic properties damaged in the July 30 Ellicott City flash flood. The bill would allow certain minor alterations of historic buildings to proceed without a certificate of approval from the Howard County Historic Preservation Commission as long as the alterations are in accordance with accepted design guidelines.

Kittleman said the bill would allow the county’s Department of Planning and Zoning to approve work, such as replacement of non-historic materials with historically appropriate materials, signs, minor landscape changes and minor changes, to plans already approved by the Historic Preservation Commission; as well as simplify the pre-approval process for historic property tax credits.

The current process can take up to two months to obtain written approval; the proposed process was to reduce it to approximately two weeks. The commission will continue to approve significant alterations to structures within historic districts through the normal process.

Allan Shad, chair of the Historic Preservation Commission, said his organization supports streamlining the process for minor alterations to historic structures in the Ellicott City and Lawyers Hill historic districts. “The new process will avoid lengthy timelines for property owners making minor changes that comply with the Historic District Guidelines and will aid the recovery and reconstruction of Historic Ellicott City,” he said.

FEMA Funds Approved for Ellicott City Flood Costs

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman, along with Gov. Larry Hogan and County Council Vice Chairman Jon Weinstein, announced that Howard County has been awarded public assistance funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a result of President Barack Obama’s declaration of emergency for costs incurred during the July 30 Ellicott City flash flood.

By granting the declaration, federal assistance will be made available for expenses related to infrastructure repair and replacement, hazard mitigation projects, debris removal and other costs associated with the storm. Kittleman said a FEMA declaration means that Howard County will be able to recover 75% of FEMA-eligible costs.

Kittleman also noted that Howard County already had a head start on recovery efforts, with former State Sen. and County Executive Jim Robey serving as a special adviser, a Community Advisory Group in place and a list of possible mitigation projects established by the Historic Ellicott City Flood Work Group that was established in 2015.

“The opening up of federal mitigation grant funding will help us implement controls and projects to help prevent future flooding incidents from occurring,” said Kittleman. “The declaration could open up funding from resources such as the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program, potential IRS tax relief programs and the Cora Brown Fund.” Kittleman also said a critical benefit of the declaration will be the support of a federal coordinating officer whose job will be to take the lead in coordinating all the federal aid entities. This coordination will help the county ensure that it satisfies key requirements for all eligible programs and not miss out on any funding opportunities.

Repair Permitting Process Announced for Properties Damaged in Flooding

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman announced an expedited permitting process for properties damaged by the July 30 flash flood.

This accelerated process will allow permit applicants to schedule appointments with Howard County’s Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits (DILP) on the hour between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays with the goal of issuing a permit the same day. The appointments will be held in the George Howard Building, 3430 Court House Drive, in Ellicott City.

The number of appointment slots could be expanded depending on the volume of requests. The expedited process will begin immediately and will be in effect through Dec. 31. Permit fees will continue to be waived through the end of the year as well. The applicant, building owner, contractors and any architects or engineers involved in the repair project will be asked to attend the appointment to address any potential comments from reviewers, allowing for an immediate issuance of the permit.

Necessary Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) approval must be obtained prior to the submission of any construction drawings to the county. In these cases, grant and tax credit opportunities are available; however, they require approval from the Maryland Historical Trust. In-kind repairs do not require approval, but they are not eligible for financial assistance. For help with HPC approval, call 410-313-2350.

Projects that involve a food service facility may require county Health Department Food Protection Program approval, and obtaining approval is encouraged before entering the permit process. For health department support, call 410-313-1772. To see the complete details about the flood repair permitting process, go to www.howardcountymd.gov/ECStrong-Recovery-Resources.

County Hires Consultants to Analyze Ellicott City Flood

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman also announced that the county is in the process of hiring three consultants to help better understand what happened the evening of July 30. The first consultant will interview members of the community in order to piece together how the various branches of water acted that evening. The study should take no more than three months.

The second consultant will perform a visual survey and document the stream/channel conditions with the Tiber/Hudson watershed following the flood. This survey will include mapping and written and photographic documentation of conditions that may have added to the flooding of adjacent properties or have contributed to additional stream instability.

The third consultant will conduct a thorough and extensive hydrological analysis of the Tiber, Hudson and New Cut branches, modeling various storms and the potential impact they would have on Ellicott City.

Kittleman also said that the Historic Ellicott City Recovery Community Advisory Group will conduct a series of listen-and-learn sessions with those impacted by the flood to assemble a list of proposed projects before the county begins a comprehensive planning process. He said the overall process will take about a year to complete.

Kittleman announced the plan during an unveiling of a mural by Ellicott City artist Dee Cunningham, who recovered her artwork in her damaged studio in the days following the July 30 Ellicott City flash flood. The painting was purchased for $5,000 by Theo and Lisa Schlossnagle and donated to Howard County to be displayed at the George Howard Building, until a permanent location in Ellicott City can be found. The proceeds of the sale have been donated to the Ellicott City Partnership recovery fund.

HEC Opens Avoca 2016 Decorator Show House

Historic Ellicott City (HEC) invites the public to visit its 30th Annual Decorator Show House, Avoca, a stone manor home sited on a secluded wooded property at 4824 Montgomery Road. A portion of the funds raised through ticket sales will be set aside in a fund to help restore and rebuild those properties in the historic district that were severely impacted by the flood waters.

During more than three months of intensive renovation, the designers and HEC have creatively reimagined this 4,838-square-foot manor house with innovative design concepts.

The house is open through Oct. 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays (closed Mondays, and note that doors close one hour before the end time). For the history of Avoca, visit HEC’s website at www.historicec.com. Tickets for the Show House are $20 in advance and $25 at the door and are available for purchase at www.historicec.com or by calling 410-461-6908.