What is New Town Planning?

In 2020, Howard County started the process of rewriting its General Plan. Ultimately, this General Plan will set the stage for county-wide Comprehensivetown center diagram Rezoning in the coming years. Several elements focus specifically on what’s known as the New Town Development Process, which guides zoning in Columbia and helps preserve the community’s unique character. 

As a major stakeholder in this process, it is necessary that Columbia Association (CA) leadership understand the planning vision that shaped the founding of Columbia, have knowledge of modern planning principles and practices that are effective in established master planned communities today and a readiness to apply these concepts to the Columbia community where appropriate. In order to move Columbia forward into the future, it is important to build a consensus among CA’s leadership as to what makes Columbia a desirable community, as well as identify where change is needed.


A Vision For Columbia: Consultant Process and Final Report

planning visionTo ensure CA is ready to advocate for optimal development practices that maintain our community’s character, CA hired a consultant team to lead an in-house exercise involving the Board of Directors and village representatives. This process was meant to educate and facilitate discussions about the overarching planning principles that were applied during the creation of Columbia and other notable master planned communities across the county. The consultant team designed workshops on these topics, including discussion of the planning principles and practices that are applicable to redevelopment, reinvestment, and preservation of mature master planned communities.

As a direct result of these work sessions, the consultant team and participants have identifieda vision for columbia the “big picture” goals and priorities for the greater Columbia community and drafted a guide that will serve as the foundation for CA’s participation in the General Plan and other planning processes. Click here to download the guide.

This foundation will give the CA Board, senior staff and others the knowledge to advocate for and support policies and objectives that will reestablish the community as an example of great planning, continuing its legacy as a desirable place to live, work, and play across all ages, income brackets and cultures.

Click here to read the entire New Town guide, A Vision For Columbia.