Howard Co. starts work on design guidelines for Route 108 in Clarksville

Howard County government is beginning to work on design guidelines for development of the Route 108 Corrdior in Clarksville, the county announced Wednesday.

County Executive Ken Ulman said the goal of the initiative, which will create design guidelines for the commercial area, is to develop standards that "reflect the unique nature of this portion of Howard County, and that will lead to sustainable, pedestrian-friendly and attractive development and redevelopment for years to come."

The county plans to get input from the community. A public meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb.12 at 7 p.m. in the River Hill Village Center’s Claret Hall.

“We are launching a community process to develop a vision for this important commercial area,” Ulman said in a news release.  “Our residents and our businesses deserve a sustainable, attractive, bike- and pedestrian-friendly environment.”  

Baltimore-based Design Collective, Inc. and Sabra Wang & Associates, Inc. have been retained by the county to assist with the effort. 

“This design guidelines process will help the community to come together and decide what they want their commercial center to look like and how it will function as a transportation corridor in the future,” said Steve Lafferty, the county's director of special projects.

Marsha McLaughlin, the county's director of planning and zoning, said design guidelines could include streetscape concepts for public areas and building design standards for adjacent, private properties."

“Together, these would create an implementable design vision for the local commercial core," she said.

Once the design guidelines are developed and adopted, they will become the standards for new projects, according to the release. The County’s Design Advisory Panel (DAP) would use the guidelines while reviewing projects in the designated Route 108 corridor. 

The county said there are design guidelines or manuals for other development areas in the county, including the Route 1 Corridor, the Route 40 Corridor, areas within downtown Columbia and the Wilde Lake Village Center. 

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