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Ulman Proposes $3 Million in Upgrades to Ellicott City Historic District

County official says a rebuilt Lot D, updated stormwater management and land acquisition are all on the table.

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.

Related:

- Merchants Dream of a Better Downtown Ellicott City

- Historic District gets Funds for Facades

- Bigger Problems Than Meters on Main Street

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Kelly Secret January 25, 2013 at 06:22 PM
I have an idea for a new program. "Put a Plug in It" - free ear plugs for residents, kinda like the free condom program. It will help protect against complaining due to construction noise, woo hoo'ers and early morning traffic! Seriously though I think that this is really great news and am glad that the county sees the Historic District for the gem that it is. Storm water mgmt is a big concern of mine having been totally flooded out a couple of years ago. For a quick beautification fix, I'd like to see new sidewalk (enclosed?) trash cans and more recycle spots if possible. The trash can be a real eyesore especially on Sundays.
bill bissenas January 25, 2013 at 06:34 PM
Dirty Filthy Ken Ulman shaking down the Howard County taxpayers for another $3 million.
Sara Arditti January 25, 2013 at 09:40 PM
I would like something very simple and inexpensive for Parking Lot D- a big colorful weatherproof SIGN / MAP near the entrance showing the locations of ALL the parking lots in the Historic District. I also hope whatever "improvements" are made to Lot D do not hinder or disrupt the ability to park there during the process.
Brandie Jefferson January 25, 2013 at 09:59 PM
That is an excellent idea, Sara!
Mike H February 02, 2013 at 12:56 PM
Perhaps bike racks could be included in any capital improvement projects.

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