What issues concern you?

Are you worried about overbuilding, the preservation of open space, adequate public facilities? Maybe you should think about joining the HCCA and leveraging the power of many voices from across Howard County.
We Are Making Things Happen

Want to stay informed?

Being aware of legislative actions and decisions early enough to influence the outcome is the key to effective action.  HCCA can help you do just that with links, online tools and information you need to stay informed.
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Revise & Expand APFO

In order to preserve the quality of life in this county, we need to ensure that the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) is aligned with our plans for growth.  We’re facing some issues in Howard County.  Let’s get APFO revised and expanded.

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Concerned About Columbia's Future as a Planned Community?

A lot of the best things about Columbia came about because it is a planned community.  But with over development and lack of a gatekeeper to ensure adherence to development guidelines, Columbia’s future is at risk.

Help Us Preserve the Vision
Aging in Place in Howard County

Aging Successfully in Howard County

Are you putting together a plan for aging in Howard County? The HCCA is actively involved in helping ensure that Howard County residents have the tools they need to age successfully.
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Why We Are Here

Why We’re Here

Through the HCCA, we, the citizens of Howard County, have a collective voice. As a non-partisan organization, we offer an outlet for residents to unite on concerns that impact all of us. And, as it’s commonly said, there is strength in numbers!

Meet the HCCA Board Members

Meet Our Team

Our board of directors is made up of members from all over Howard County with a diverse experience base. What we all have in common is that we care. We come together to strategize regarding key issues impacting county residents.

Take Action - Be Heard

Take Action

In order to forward the many causes and concerns of Howard County residents, we rely on assistance from people like you. Become a supporter of HCCA; help us keep Howard County one of the best places to live in the U.S.

Join Us For Our Next Board Meeting

HCCA Members are Welcome to Attend

The next HCCA Board Meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at 2PM at Bertucci’s Italian Restaurant, Snowden Square Shopping Center, 9081 Snowden River Pkwy, Columbia MD. Prior to the Board Meeting, starting at Noon, will be an HCCA Social Network Gathering. This networking event is open to the First 25 HCCA Paid Members who sign-up to register. Whether you’re a new member or you’ve been with us for a while, we encourage you to come out. Just contact us if you have any questions.

HCCA Board Meeting

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HCCA 2015 Annual Meeting Highlights

HCCA 2015 Annual Meeting Highlights

The HCCA Board would like to thank all of the Howard County residents and government officials who came out to our annual meeting last night.  We would like to express a warm welcome to our new members, appreciation to our renewing members, and a special thanks to County Exec. Allan Kittleman, for coming out to meet with and respond to questions from citizens. We would also like to thank County Council members Calvin Ball, Mary Kay Sigaty and Jen Terrasa for coming out to listen to and speak with HCCA members and friends. Question topics and citizen concerns covered a broad range including: Curbing infill development Ensuring we have affordable housing downtown Body cameras and dash cameras for Howard County policemen Savage residents concerns re: potential odor problems with the proposed bio-solids expansion at the sewage treatment facility Noise concerns regarding Merriweather Post Pavilion Installing an air quality monitoring station in Howard County New processes for pre-review of concept plans by the Planning Board APFO concerns re: the efficiency apartments being built on Guilford Rd. Status of personnel changes at DPZ with Marsha McLaughlin’s retirement Improving the overall process & decision making at the Planning Board Preventing industrial mulching on agricultural preservation properties Pedestrian safety Citizens being unfairly singled out for complaints by DPZ (e.g. Highland Farm & Rob Long’s property) Residents inability to get access to plans around the planned expansion of the compressor station & their concerns re: benzene, CO2 & particulate matter emissions Improving walkability & decreasing pedestrian access to cross illegally on busy parkways Concern about rain tax staying in place Status of APFO task...
The Longevity Bonus Years + A Few Livability Resources from AARP

The Longevity Bonus Years + A Few Livability Resources from AARP

At the HCCA’s recent annual meeting, Director, Paul Verchinski, gave an update on some of the work he’s been doing around ‘Aging in Place’ in Howard County.  Notably, Paul likes to call the years after age 55, “The Longevity Bonus Years”. After all, if we plan for them financially and focus on keeping as healthy as possible, they are indeed a “bonus” few would turn down. “Aging, no one likes to hear about it, and it’s a negative,” Paul shared, “but longevity bonus years, now that puts a positive spin on it.” Though due to be released in January, 2015, we are still waiting on Howard County’s Master Plan for the Aging Population.  You can find the information presented at the December, 2014 public meeting on the Howard County website. In the meantime, while we are waiting on the Master Plan, here are a few AARP resources you may be interested in. 1) The Livability Index – This tool, developed by the Public Policy Institute, rates the livability of communities based on 7 factors:  housing, neighborhoods, transportation, environment, health, engagement and opportunity.  Check it out.  Find out how livable your community is. 2) Livability Fact Sheets – For some additional perspective or ideas re: making your community more “livable”, check out these AARP “Livability Fact Sheets”. 3) The Most Livable Places at 50+ – Here’s a link to the article Paul’s holding up in the photo. So…if you are 55+, here’s to enjoying that...

New Town Columbia – An Update

Brian England presented this speech at the May 13, 2015 HCCA Annual Meeting.   Over the last two years JD Smith and I have been working on understanding the New Town Zoning process. We have reviewed enough documents to fill several tables! We have listened to many people and soaked up their ideas and opinions! After all this work, we released the HCCA New Town report. But it wasn’t until recently that we started to understand why our “Planned Community” had started to disintegrate. Spurred by a meeting with Mary Kay Sigaty who said, “seek out those with the institutional knowledge,” we contacted two people, Jervis Dorton, who worked for the Rouse Company from 1969 until his retirement and Lloyd Knowles, who was on the County Council from 1975 to 1986. Both said the same thing. “New Town is safe.  Our planned community is safe if our government follows the rules.” “The FDP’s are NOT vague if you read them, bearing in mind, the intent was to reflect the goals of a planned community”. It should not be about our government facilitating development in Columbia; it’s about regulating it. Our next step is to honor the County Commissioners who took the bold step of bringing a planned community to Howard County 50 years ago by promoting The “Planned Community” concept for the rest of Howard County… …by updating APFO. …by implementing the recommendations of the Fuel Station Task Force. …by fully implementing the recommendations of PELU! …by having a variety of housing options for everyone across the county. …by writing regulations that will fully implement the 2030 plan. And finally… …by making DPZ enforce the...

Civic Coalition Between HCCA and TPV

All, We are pleased to announce that Stu Kohn, President of the Howard County Citizens Association, HCCA, and Lisa Markovitz, President of The People’s Voice, TPV, are establishing the civic coalition of the two groups. Lisa, a former VP of HCCA, has attended recent HCCA Board meetings, where the two groups having mutual civic goals was discussed and collaboration was enthusiastically approved. Each President will attend each other’s Board meetings to help disseminate information to Howard County citizens regarding local government activities that affect our quality of life. Each group seeks to involve civic leaders and organizations from across the County to create a hub of information, to improve communication and transparency for citizen input into such areas as education, infrastructure, zoning, the environment, support for seniors, public safety and other county interests.  The two organizations will work together and share resources to better accomplish their goals. The HCCA’s purpose is to bring residents together to take action and encourage participation in County affairs.  The HCCA has represented Howard County since 1961 and has been very successful and extremely involved, helping to form Howard County plans, sitting on task forces and working with elected officials on land use and other matters. Please go to http://howardcountyhcca.org/ for details. The People’s Voice, founded by Lisa has the same goals, but is also a political organization. TPV’s Board of civic leaders from around the County has vast experience regarding improving transparency and citizen input in government decision-making.  The TPV has been well-received since recently being formed with over 1300 likes on Facebook and hundreds of members.  TPV sponsors The Ethics Ballot, through a non-partisan PAC...

10 Reasons Why We Should Keep Columbia a Planned Community (Part 2 of 2)

This is part 2 of a 2-part blog series providing reasons 5 through 10 of why we should keep Columbia a Planned Community.  Part 1 of this series is here. 5.  Consistency in Design – The photo below shows the new pathway that connects the Howard Community College to Blandair Park.  The lamps look like something that would blend in more with the look of old Ellicott City, while the fence looks more like what we might see in a backyard.  They just don’t fit in with the planned new 21st century look for downtown Columbia.  What happened with the approval process here? For perspective, below is the conceptual image of the pathways on the Downtown Columbia website — what the pathways should look like.   6.  Consistency between Regulation Enforcement and Land Use Development Policy – When the entity responsible for policy enforcement also has a hand in decisions made regarding initial land use and development, the likelihood of consistency in approach increases.  For example, the owners of one of the best looking (of course this is subjective) gas stations in Columbia had their feet held to the fire by  the Hickory Ridge Village Board when they trimmed the bottom of these trees. Should they not be allowed to trim trees while a mega gas station along one of our parkways has been given permission to remove all the trees (shown in the photo below) alongside the parkway? Where is the consistency in application of this policy? 7.  Enhanced Control of Re-Development & Infill – This house was built at the end of Wilde Lake.  Looking at the house in isolation, there...