Ellicott City's Historic District may get a redesigned parking lot D, better storm water management and even the acquisition of new land, according to a county official.
Steve Lafferty, director of special projects for the Department of Planning and Zoning, said that Howard County Executive Ken Ulman has proposed pumping more than $3 million of next year’s capital budget into planning and implementing improvements in downtown Ellicott City.
A portion of the money would fund the beginning of a project to “rebuild or rethink Lot D,” the parking lot behind the Howard County Welcome Center, Lafferty said. That includes trying to open up the river, changing the parking alignment and creating better storm water management. Work on any improvements developed during the design and engineering phase would likely not begin until the next fiscal year, Lafferty said.
About $3 million is proposed for additional improvements to the Historic District, including sidewalk and curb repairs and additional drainage storm water management improvements, which, Lafferty said, could be partially funded by the new stormwater fee—announced by the County Thursday.
Another possible upgrade would be land acquisition in the Historic District.
“We’ve been approached by a couple of owners about opportunities to acquire some of their land,” Lafferty said. He declined to go into detail, saying that the county was not working on a particular acquisition right now. “But there’s no question that there’s not much public space downtown,” he said. “If we had an opportunity to create some, this would give us a start.”
The administration's proposals will be heard by the planning board next month.