Widening Route 1, enhancing libraries and other services, and including more affordable housing could all be part of a new Howard County master plan that will be adopted next year.
The county devises a new master plan every 10 years to ensure that zoning and other regulations can accommodate new jobs and housing.
A task force is currently weighing several changes to the master plan and will put together a draft by the end of the year, says Marsha McLaughlin, the county’s director of planning and zoning
. After getting input from the public, the proposal will go before the planning board, followed by the Howard County Council.
Widening Route 1 to include bike lanes, sidewalks and trees will likely be part of the plan, though the county has to determine how to pay for this, McLaughlin says. Offering more affordable housing is also on the map for the county, which has many of the state’s wealthiest zip codes.
County officials will also examine whether the Route 1 corridor needs more schools, senior centers, libraries and other services.
The county will need to look at how it can sustain its quality of life while accommodating future population growth, McLaughlin says.
Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Marsha McLaughlin, Howard County Planning and Zoning