Howard County Council Passes 1-Year Development Moratorium Around Ellicott City

Howard County Times article (2018-07-27) reported that the Howard County Council has unanimously passed emergency legislation that would freeze development around Ellicott City for one-year. The legislation is in response to the two devastating floods that inundated the City’s Main Street area and will provide additional time to address the City’s flooding issues. County Executive Allan Kittleman has stated that he will sign the measure.

The article indicated that the moratorium would affect about planned 600 housing units in the Tiber River and Plumtree Branch stream watersheds. County Council Member Jon Weinstein proposed the moratorium. While the moratorium was supported by many residents the proposal generated opposition from the Maryland Building Industry Association. The Association argued that studies had indicated development was not a primary cause of the flooding. From the article:

The council’s moratorium “ignores the lessons from previous flood studies,” the association said in a statement.

“While development may not be the primary cause, it is a contributor,” Weinstein said. “The studies that have been done that suggest that it isn’t as big a contributor I would say are tempered by the reality of our current climate.” …

“It’s heartbreaking to see what happened,” said Jen Terrasa, a council member. “I don’t think we can keep thinking of it in terms of catastrophic floods anymore. We need a new measure.”

Useful Links

Council Bill 56-2018

Prior Conduit Street Coverage of Ellicott City Flooding