The Department of Comprehensive and Community Planning (DCCP) partners with communities to shape innovative plans for great places. By developing community plans, DCCP partners with other DPZ staff, with other County and State agencies, and with residents and their elected officials. These plans create a comprehensive overview of targeted areas and provide opportunities for sustainable, vibrant, healthy, and active communities across Howard County.

Community Meeting



The Gateway area encompasses roughly 1,000 acres of business and industrial uses. In January 2024, Howard County launched the Gateway Master Plan effort, which will provide a comprehensive, actionable roadmap to guide Columbia Gateway’s long-term transformation as the new innovation district – a regional destination for new research and ideas within an area that is dynamic, mixed-use, connected, and creative. The plan will address multiple elements, in addition to innovation: economic development, housing, development phasing, environment and sustainability, urban design and architecture, and land use and public facilities. 


Ellicott City


Howard County launched its master plan process for Ellicott City and its watershed in 2017. The May 2018 flood required the county to take a renewed look at the master plan. This master plan effort will help define a comprehensive community-driven vision for rebuilding a stronger and more resilient Ellicott City. The plan will take a fresh and creative look at potential long term flood solutions and strategies. 


Downtown Columbia


The Downtown Columbia Plan Amended is an amendment to PlanHoward 2030, the County's previous General Plan, and creates a 30-year master plan for the revitalization and redevelopment of Downtown Columbia. Specific land use, transportation, environmental, community conversation and housing policies are presented.

Downtown Columbia Monitoring Report

This report, completed at the end of 2023, provides the second update on the implementation of the 2010 Downtown Columbia Plan. Focused on development, transit and transportation, arts and culture, and the environment, this report provides a status update regarding the implementation of the goals and vision laid out for Columbia's downtown in the 2010 master plan.

2023 Downtown Columbia Monitoring Report 

2023 Downtown Columbia Monitoring Report StoryMap

The first report, which was issued prior to the above update, was published in the fall of 2018. It can be found here: 2018 Downtown Columbia Monitoring Report, accompanied by a dynamic story map, which can be found here: From Vision to Reality: Revitalizing Downtown Columbia (2018)

Design Guidelines

Environmental Studies

Transportation Studies

Other Downtown Documents


Columbia Village Centers


Eight of the nine village community associations have prepared Village Center Community Plans (excluding Dorsey's Search), which are focused community plans for each village center.

Resources by Village Center

Harper's Choice

Hickory Ridge

Kings Contrivance

Long Reach

Owen Brown

Oakland Mills

River Hill

Wilde Lake

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