NewsRegionHoward County


Hundreds support moratorium on building in Ellicott City

Posted at 11:27 PM, Jul 16, 2018

The businesses that were able to reopen in Ellicott City are facing a steep fight back to normal.

On Monday night over 70 people patiently waited late into the night to give testimony on a bill that would put a moratorium on building for a year.

For Sally Tennant, who said she lost her home and business to flooding, stopping building on the Tiber Branch Water Shed would mitigate some of the disastrous floodings that have plagued the city.

“What is going to be done that I would be making a sound investment for myself?” Tennant said. “My employers to not put them at risk and to not blow my money on a repeat performance.”

In 2016 the Howard County Council decided to table the same legislation.

“If we had been able to stop development in the watershed two years ago there’s a much stronger chance that we could be further along in the rebuilding process then we’re able to now,” said Homeowner Beth Woodruff.

The signs are slowly shifting from closed to open.

This moratorium could mean a better chance for the people who have already invested and lost so much.

“I want to get something passed something done to at least give them a reprieve from this development,” said Derek Steiner. “There’s been careless development that’s contributed to the runoff that causes these floods.”

The bill also asks county agencies to study the impact of past present and future land use. 

And come back with ideas to fix the drainage problems that play a part in the tragedies that keep hitting the city.

“My real concern is not this year,” Tennant said. “I’m concerned with not reverting back to business as usual to the practices that got us in this situation. Especially over the last decade that has put is in a very vulnerable position.”

The hope is to have the bill voted on by July 27.

Because it is an emergency bill, it requires four votes to pass and would immediately go into effect.