There is a recent article in the Sun discussing the planned development for Columbia over the next ten years. In my opinion, all legislatures (county council included) see their role as similar to a business' board of directors. They must grow. But that is not the mandate of government and I think Columbia's growth is simply for the sake of growth and not to reach any end goal. A perfect example of the dangers presented by this approach is the Maple Lawn "community." They've had multiple failed businesses and the residential district that was meant to manufacture customers sits at half capacity. Growth cannot be manufactured by the government, not matter what your President tells you.
In Columbia, we already have a budding crime problem that is getting worse by the day. A county that less than 5 years ago had 5-10 homicides a year is edging closer to the 50 mark. Why does the council see fit to bulldoze themselves into new problems while the existing one's fester? I think the reason is that they are mostly oblivious. You will not see a council-person making statements about how the "details are where a lot of the discussion will go in the future" about the drug rings using our county as home base or the prostitution along Route 1 ("I have seen some improvement"...really?). If Towson is the model, please just look up the Beltway and tell me things are going well for them.
This county will develop and has developed over the past 20 years, but it has developed to meet a steadily rising demand. The county is looking to create a glut of housing (because that worked out before) and then prop up new businesses to meet the expected market. Funny thing is that I don't see any economists weighing in on this little plan. Just developers...and council-members.