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Japanese Delegation of Planners and
Developers Study Wormald Development

Ken Wormald

(3/26) The Wormald Companies, home builders at the Links at Gettysburg and developers of Liberty Valley in Adams County, hosted a delegation of planners and developers from Japan on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 at their Worman's Mill development in Frederick, Maryland. The purpose of the one week tour to five states and nine communities was to study innovative planning concepts geared to the needs of the active adult/empty-nester.

The name of the tour was the "Social Welfare Research Institute Study Tour". Each of the thirteen tour participants own or oversee large communities in Japan and came to the United States to study the most successful and innovative planning concepts for the active adult/retiree market. Their hope is that these planning concepts can be imported into their own country and incorporated into communities they design and build in Japan.

Wormald was honored to be the only U.S. developer in this part of the country studied by the delegation. Worman's Mill, in particular, was selected among other nationally-recognized U.S. neighborhoods for it's innovative land planning, the variety and breadth of housing types geared toward the 50+ market, the Village Center concept, intergenerational living as the preferred living environment for retirees, the rich integration of parks and landscaping, and other important planning concepts. Wormald was the first to introduce neo-traditional or TND land planning to this region of the country in the mid 1980s, and according to the delegation, the first to particularize the concept to the active adult/empty-nester market.

Tour leader Shigenobu Ueoka, President of Information and Communication Service, Inc. of Japan, commented, "The community is very well done. The land planning and housing product are some of the best we've seen in the United States -- not like 'Sun City' and other mass retirement communities found in the U.S. We'd like to do something like this in Japan."

This was the Social Welfare Research Institute's second visit to Worman's Mill. Their first U.S. trip was in the early 1990s. Worman's Mill was one of their favorite communities at that time, and this delegation made a special trip to Washington, D.C. just to see the community again.

Already, Wormald's Worman's Mill community in Frederick has received a "Best In American Living" Award for Smart Growth from the National Association of Home Builders, a State of Maryland Smart Growth Award, recognition from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for Smart Growth, and has been featured in several books on smart growth, collecting over 35 industry awards for product and community design.

When Wormald was invited to come to Liberty Township in Adams County back in 2000, it was to introduce these same innovative land planning concepts to Adams County - concepts already celebrated nationally. With a warm invitation from several land owners within Liberty Township and the favorable zoning which permitted smarter development, Wormald approached the Township in 2002 to begin talking about smart growth and about incorporating award-winning planning concepts, fleshed out at Worman's Mill, into the growth plans for the Township. At that time, the planning concepts were warmly received by the Township Supervisors and residents involved in those early discussions. Fortunately, the township had a Planned Residential Development (PRD) Ordinance which permitted this type of development and it was agreed that this would be the best way of submitting a plan to the Township. What came out of those early meetings with the Township was the plan for Liberty Valley, a neo-traditional equestrian village, designed with the same award-winning planning concepts recognized by great planners world-wide. In fact, it was for these planning concepts that Wormald was selected to come to the Township. It is still Wormald's hope, and the hope of many in the Township, that Liberty Valley will become a reality in Liberty Township. According to Ken Wormald of The Wormald Companies, "We think it would be great for Adam's County to take a leadership role in the national debate on great planning by seeking and approving innovative land plans like Liberty Valley - plans that create a genuine and rich sense of place. We think Liberty Valley is poised to join the short list of truly great places to live in the U.S."

For more information on the Wormald Companies or any of their award-winning communities, please visit For more information on Worman's Mill, please visit

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