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Green Neighborhoods

Howard County’s unique and vol­un­tary Green Neigh­bor­hood Pro­gram pro­vides allo­ca­tions for the design and con­struc­tion of homes meet­ing spe­cific environmentally-focused criteria.

Howard County cre­ated a Green Neigh­bor­hood Check­list that pro­vides a list of options to cre­ate a Green Neigh­bor­hood Site and Home. The check­list includes a vari­ety of envi­ron­men­tally respon­si­ble cri­te­ria such as paths and trails, open space, envi­ron­men­tal preser­va­tion, appro­pri­ate land­scap­ing, water and energy effi­ciency and waste management.

A devel­op­ment project can qual­ify as a Green Neigh­bor­hood if it meets a required num­ber of points on the check­list. These devel­op­ments can use this cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in pro­mo­tion and mar­ket­ing their com­mu­ni­ties and may also qual­ify for fast track plan processing.

Please visit the Green Neigh­bor­hood page of the Depart­ment of Inspec­tion, Licenses, and Per­mits for for more infor­ma­tion about the Green Neigh­bor­hood Guid­ance Man­ual and the Green Neigh­bor­hood Checklist.

Howard County’s Depart­ment of Plan­ning and Zon­ing also has a web­page that includes infor­ma­tion about Green Neigh­bor­hoods includ­ing Green Neigh­bor­hood con­tact info and guid­ance doc­u­ments found under Pro­gram Doc­u­ments.

Pic­tured below are just a few of the meth­ods that Howard County’s first Green Neigh­bor­hood, Locust Chapel, used to achieve Green Neigh­bor­hood status.

Community Pavilion Green RoofAt left: The neighborhood’s pavil­ion sat­is­fies the “Green Spaces and Amenity Areas” credit and fea­tures a green roof, pic­nic tables, and solar pan­els to power the pavilion’s ceil­ing fans and lights. What water is not absorbed by the green roof is cap­tured by rain bar­rels which can be used for water­ing land­scap­ing or the com­mu­nity gar­den pic­tured below.



Community Garden







Landscaping along South Pathway_Panorama

At right: The nature path helps con­nect areas of the neigh­bor­hood with a nat­ural sur­face walk­ing trail. The trail earned Locust Chapel points for the “Pedes­trian Sys­tem” credit.



Through these and many other inte­grated mea­sures, Locust Chapel is reduc­ing stormwa­ter runoff, con­serv­ing water and energy, and pro­mot­ing sus­tain­able prac­tices like grow­ing food. All while encour­ag­ing green and neigh­borly inter­ac­tions between res­i­dents and their surroundings.


Green Tip

Pay bills online.It’s usually free, and you can sign up for email reminders so you won’t be late.