Harford County first introduced the concept of a Development Envelope in 1977. The original goal of the Envelope was to concentrate development in a specific area of the county that was appropriately zoned and had adequate public facilities and resources to sustain a growing population, while in theory reducing the amount of uncontrolled growth outside of the Envelope.
The envelope has doubled since the early 1980s to include the current 56,398 acres.
The Development Envelope is generally outlined along the Interstate 95/Route 40 and Route 24 corridors and in Priority Funding Areas for water and sewer services.
As noted in the 2016 HarfordNEXT, fragmented and uncoordinated development continues to happen outside of the Envelope.
Development Envelope expansion
The boundaries of the Envelope can also be expanded, as was recommended by the Department of Planning and Zoning in 2016, particularly along the Route 1 corridor. Future expansion of the Development Envelope’s eastern boundary could occur between US 1 and I-95 as a result of the County’s planned study of this area.