Columbia’s collection of neighborhoods and villages combine to create a sense of community. Schools, community centers and village centers are convenient gathering places and help define the character of each village.
Each of Columbia’s nine villages and Town Center has a community association, which is an independent, incorporated, nonprofit civic association. Each association elects its own board of directors, as well as a representative to the CA Board of Directors.
CA passes on a portion of its annual charge money to the village associations, which use these funds to foster the growth of community. They provide programs and events such as classes, fairs, holiday activities, parties, space to rent for meetings, special events, seminars and political forums; they oversee the village elections; and they ensure that the architectural guidelines, also known as covenants, are upheld.
Although Columbia Association built and owns all of the village community association buildings and neighborhood centers, they are operated by the village community associations.
Architectural Guidelines (also known as the Covenants)
The covenants of each village are contained in a legal document that is recorded in the land records of Howard County as part of the deed to every property located in the village, including commercial real estate. Since the covenants stay with the property, each owner accepts them as a stipulation of the transfer of ownership. The covenants, which set the exterior alteration standards, have protected the aesthetic environment of our neighborhoods — and our property values.
Columbia’s village community associations handle the following:
- Enforcing covenants.
- Providing resources and referral services for residents.
- Advocating for residents at the village, Columbia and county level.
- Fostering partnerships between villages, Columbia Association and Howard County.
- Managing, maintaining and renting out CA’s village buildings and neighborhood centers.
- Hosting individual village events and partnering with all villages for Columbia-wide special events.
- Offerings programming, including classes, camps and lectures.
- Creating village master plans.
- Working with village merchants.
- Communicating to residents via newsletters, websites, and social media.
- Encouraging neighbor-to-neighbor connectivity via block parties, beautification grants and block captains.
The village community associations do not own or operate the village shopping centers.