Howard County considering limits on new gas stations

COLUMBIA, Md. (AP) - Howard County planning officials are considering whether to place limits on new gas stations built in the county.

WBAL Radio reports the planning board is holding a hearing Thursday night on a proposal that would prevent business with more than four gas pumps from being built within 1,000 feet of an existing station. It would also restrict new stations from being built near schools, parks or environmentally sensitive areas.

The Howard County Independent Business Association, which includes some gas stations, proposed the change. Royal Farms is leading another business coalition in opposing the change. A spokesman says the convenience store chain is considering adding new stores in Howard County.

Former Howard and Anne Arundel County Planning Director Joe Rutter is opposing the measure. He says it will discourage development.