About CCD

CCD is comprised of a collection of diverse, independent, non-partisan individuals who are involved at the grassroots level in Columbia & Howard County with the intention of influencing the direction of Downtown Columbia's redevelopment.

In October 2005, Howard County hired a consultant to conduct a Charrette in order to obtain input from the community with regard to the future redevelopment of Downtown Columbia.

A group of over 300 community members participated in the first day of a week-long Charrette process. On the first day of the Charrette, citizens spontaneously and overwhelmingly affirmed the values that guided Columbia’s original designers - and that have made it the 4th best city in the country according to Money Magazine.

As the week-long Charrette progressed, it became clear that much of the citizens’ input was dismissed or ignored by County officials. Attention was instead steered into a plan many saw as pre-determined by the Charrette organizers. Participants who were without ties to the development community began to drop out.

CCD...making a difference!

Over 200 people gathered at General Growth Properties last February to hear the County’s draft proposal. Numerous community members stood to attest firmly and publicly to the values and vision that seemed to have gone missing from the plan.

CCD affirms its appreciation for the Howard County elected officials who gave the community  the opportunity to express its views via the Charrette, particularly then-Councilmember Ken Ulman, who proposed the Charrette. CCD appreciates the fact that the County has continued to engage at least a few citizens in Focus Group discussions about Downtown. However, CCD regrets that the focus group does not reflect the diverse population and has excluded numerous interested citizens from this process.

Finally, perhaps paradoxically, CCD appreciates that the County’s draft plan strayed so far from what the citizens actually said on the first day of the Charrette, as it is this chasm between citizen input and the resulting County output that has spurred so much energy, interest, and activism.


CCD wants to ensure that a vibrant Downtown Columbia emerges from the redevelopment planning process and that the plan remains true to the founder's vision for Columbia.





Not surprisingly, the plan that eventually emerged differed significantly from that envisioned by the original 300+ citizens on the first day.