Actually, it would likely be twice the government for less than half the people if Columbia were to become an incorporated city. It is an idea that has come up in the past only to fade away due to lack of support. Most residents simply feel that that the county government is perfectly capable of handling the governance of Columbia issues as well the county. Howard is one of the smallest counties in the state encompassing only 254 square miles (the smallest is Calvert with 213 square miles).
Despite the past failed attempts to incorporate, the current push by the Columbia Association to have a greater role in Columbia zoning issues could simply be a back door attempt to circumvent the popular will. According to this story by Larry Carson in The Sun yesterday, Paul Johnson, the deputy county solicitor, “feels incorporation would be the only way for the town's residents to get zoning authority, an opinion shared by the Maryland attorney general's office, said spokeswoman Raquel Guillory.”
This is all the more reason to resist the efforts to create a new community based “gatekeeper” for Columbia to replace General Growth Properties. Gatekeeper is simply another euphemism for mayor.