Columbia Association’s (CA’s) role in the community is defined by several state and federal laws. Under Maryland Corporations law, CA is a private, non-stock corporation. Under the federal tax code, CA is a 501(c)(4) non-profit community services corporation. According to the Maryland Homeowners Association Act (enacted in 1984), CA is a homeowners association (HOA) because it has the “authority to enforce the provisions of a declaration.”
But CA is significantly larger and responsible for far more operations than any other HOA in Maryland, with about 100,000 residents and 37,000 annual charge payers — the average HOA has 131 units.
CA is not a Planned Unit Development (commonly called a PUD). CA is a community-controlled, private, non-profit service corporation created to provide services, amenities and facilities for the benefit of Columbia and parts of neighboring Clarksville, Ellicott City, Elkridge and Jessup.
There are no common areas associated with CA that are owned in common by all residents. CA’s open space areas, facilities and community buildings are all wholly owned by CA.
CA also has a mix of commercial and residential properties, as well as the ability to issue bonds to fund operations — the only HOA in the state with that ability.