The Economic Development Authority develops and implements an economic development plan for Howard County. The Authority promotes economic development, relieves conditions of unemployment, and encourages new job creation in the County. In addition, the Authority encourages the location of new industry, commerce, and business for a balanced economy in the County; assists in the retention of existing business and industry and strives to increase its commerce; and generally promotes the economic health, welfare, and quality of life of Howard County residents (County Code, secs. 26.100 through 26.110).


[photo, George Howard Building, 3430 Court House Drive, Ellicott City, Maryland] In Howard County, the Department of Planning and Zoning is charged with comprehensively planning for the County's growth and development (County Charter, secs. 405, 701-709; County Code, secs. 16.800 through 16.801).

Matters relating to planning and zoning are governed by both State and County laws. The Maryland Forest Conservation Act, for example, requires all county governments to adopt local forest conservation programs (Chapter 255, Acts of 1991; Code Natural Resources Article, secs. 5-1601 through 5-1613).

George Howard Building, 3430 Court House Drive, Ellicott City, Maryland, October 2014. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

The Department oversees six divisions: Comprehensive and Community Planning; Development Engineering; Land Development; Public Service and Zoning Administration; Research; and Resource Conservation. The Department also is aided by seven advisory boards.

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