Laws, Charter, Rules, and Regulations
Howard County’s citizens are protected and governed by the County’s Charter and laws, as well as a variety of regulations and rules adopted by the local government. These complementary standards and guidelines provide a framework for protecting people and resources in our County.
Helpful Links for Laws, Charter, Rules, and Regulation
County Code & Charter
The Municode corporation hosts the codification of the laws governing Howard County. Most of the laws were enacted by the County Council and approved by the County Executive. In some cases, the laws were enacted by the Maryland General Assembly.
Maryland State Law
Lexis corporation hosts the codification of the laws enacted by the General Assembly. Other publishers also post these laws. Many of Maryland’s laws are not codified. For those visit the General Assembly’s website. And for historical research, visit the Maryland Archives website.
The Howard County Charter and Code empower the County Council to adopt maps dividing the County into various zoning districts, each of which has certain regulations that govern the development and use of land within the district. Municode Corporation hosts the publication of the Howard County Zoning Regulations.
The laws that regulate Alcoholic Beverages are adopted by the General Assembly and codified in the Alcoholic Beverages article of the Maryland Code. See the link to “Maryland State Law” elsewhere on this page. State law establishes a Howard County Board of License Commissioners, which has adopted local rules under the authority of the State law.
The Council Members serve as the Zoning Board, which has the authority under County law for denying or granting an individual request for a piecemeal map amendment or approving or disapproving a development plan.
Board of Appeals
The Howard County Board of Appeals hears appeals of administrative decisions regarding land use and certain zoning matters.