COVID-19 Updates: Howard County

May 4, 2020

  • Howard County is moving to a virtual hearing platform for zoning hearings via WebEx. The first virtual zoning hearing has been scheduled for May 28th. 

March 19, 2020

  • All milestone and submission deadlines have been extended according to the County Executive’s order.
  • Paper and mylar submissions: Residential walk-thru permits, and all physical plan submissions can be mailed to the Howard County Planning and Zoning, 3430 Court House Drive, Ellicott City, MD 21043 or dropped into the bin labeled ‘DPZ’ in the George Howard Building lobby. Paper documents will be quarantined for no less than 24 hours and mylars may be quarantined longer.
  • Payments: Checks can be dropped off in the metal drop box located outside the George Howard Building. Please secure them in an envelope and send them attention to Department of Planning and Zoning. Receipt forms can be filled out digitally and once the check is received, DPZ staff will deposit it with the cashier. A copy of the receipt will be emailed at the applicant’s request.
  • Pre-submission community meetings, hearings and noticing signs: All public Pre-submission Community meetings should be cancelled and notification signs will not be issued until further notice. Signs notifying the community about a project in for review must be paid for in advance and can be picked up at the front desk of the George Howard Building, 3430 Court House Drive, Ellicott City, MD 21043 by appointment. 
  • Appointments: DPZ will not offer in-person or intake appointment but materials can be scanned and emailed directly to and payments can be dropped off in the metal drop box outside the George Howard Building. Planners will still be available via email and phone to help answer questions. To speak with the planner or engineer of the day, please call 410-313-2350 or email general questions to

March 18, 2020

  • County Executive Calvin Ball filed legislation to request an extension of the local State of Emergency until further notice. The County Council will review and act on the legislation on Friday, March 20.  
  • The Howard County Economic Development Authority has created an information portal for the business community impacted by the coronavirus outbreak that is available online. It includes information from partners such as Howard Chamber, Tourism, and Maryland Department of Commerce. 
  • April and May hearings before the Zoning Board, Board of Appeals, Council Hearing Examiners and the Alcohol Beverages Hearing Board are postponed until further notice.
  • The Howard County Council has postponed a public legislative hearing originally scheduled for March 16 until April 6.
  • The County Council will have an Emergency Legislative Session and Hearing on Friday, March 20, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. to consider a resolution or extension to the State of Emergency declared by Executive Order issued on March 15, 2020 in order to protect the public health, safety and welfare. The meeting will be held virtually and will be livestreamed online for those interested in watching remotely.

March 17, 2020

  • Press Release from Howard County Council announces the following changes to schedule, deadlines and Council Office operations as a result of the Covid-19 public health emergency: March 20, 2020 – Council will meet at 1:00 p.m. in emergency legislative session and hearing on a proposal to extend the state of emergency declared by County Executive Calvin Ball on March 15, 2020. Notice of the emergency session and instructions on how to watch and provide public comment will be posted on the Council website at

March 16, 2020

  • On March 16, 2020, on account of the concerns surrounding the virus known as COVID-19, County Executive Calvin Ball signed Executive Order 2020-03 declaring a state of emergency in Howard County. 
  • All hearings before the Hearing Examiner originally scheduled for March are being rescheduled for May and June.  Most of the hearings originally scheduled for April are also being rescheduled.
  • All Howard County Government gatherings, events, and meetings that attract one of the high-risk populations were cancelled or rescheduled for March 12 – April 26, to be reassessed as new developments arise.
  • The deadline for all licenses, permits, registrations, and other authorizations issued by Howard County is suspended until 30 days after the Maryland State of Emergency ends.  
  • All County employees that are able were instructed to telework as of Monday, March 16th until further notice. All out-of-state official travel for County employees has been canceled through April 24.