New Poll: Majority of Howard County Residents Support Alternatives to Demolishing Ellicott City’s Historic District

By Preservation Maryland

74 percent of Howard County voters support alternatives to demolishing large portions of Ellicott City’s historic district, according to a poll released today by Preservation Maryland. 

Additionally, according to the poll results, 69 percent of Howard County residents were opposed or were uncertain as to whether it was worth spending $50 million to reduce floodwaters on Main Street from 6’-to-8’ to 4’-to-6’.

The survey of 625 registered Howard County voters who are likely to vote was conducted between September 17 and September 19, 2018 by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy. Those interviewed were randomly selected from a phone-matched Howard County voter registration list that included both landline and cell phone numbers. Quotas were assigned to reflect voter turnout by council district. The margin of error was +/- 4 percent.

“These poll results confirm what everyone suspected – there is broad and substantial public opposition to this plan. Spending $50 million and still leaving almost six feet of life-threatening swift water on lower Main Street is not a smart proposition – and Howard County residents clearly want to see alternatives.” – Nicholas Redding, Preservation Maryland Executive Director

In addition to broad support for identifying alternatives to demolition, the poll also found that:

The poll results come as the Howard County Council is considering fast-tracked legislation that would fund the irreversible demolition of a large portion of Ellicott City’s historic Main Street.  Despite the lack of substantive public engagement or opportunities to provide input, a vote on funding for this plan could come as early as October 1.

“Given the overwhelming public opposition – and support for exploring safer alternatives, we are urging the Howard County Council to table the demolition component of this plan and to move forward on the proven stormwater mitigation strategies while alternatives to demolition can be fully studied in a transparent and open process.” Elly Cowan, Preservation Maryland Director of Advocacy

To learn more about Preservation Maryland’s position on Ellicott City and ways to get engaged, visit

Download the full poll results

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Preservation Maryland

Preservation Maryland is Maryland’s first and largest organization dedicated to preserving the state’s historic buildings, neighborhoods, landscapes, and archaeological sites.

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