Howard County Blog

A Blog on what is going on in Howard County

Monday, April 03, 2006

Focus Group This Wednesday

The Focus Group on downtown Columbia redevelopment starts up again this Wednesday, April 5th from 3pm to 5pm at Oakland Manor off Vantage Point Road in Town Center. Here is the agenda. The handout that has been posted online by the county is a summary of what the county says they heard at the Feb. 27th meeting. Let me know if you think it matches up to what you heard. I know that my comments are not accurately portrayed in DPZ's "minutes" of the Feb. 27th meeting and I frankly am very disappointed that the Department of Planning and Zoning (DPZ) did not video tape the public comments and put them up on the web as they promised. I feel like yet again when DPZ had an opportunity to build trust in the process they yet again decided to through there actions undermine trust. Every single person I have talked to in this process has wanted to work positively with county officials to find the best plan for downtown redevelopment, yet it seems to me that this process has been made a lot more difficult because 1) the plan the consultants presented after the charrette didn't reflect what the community said during the charrette, but what the developer had been advocating for, 2) the fact that the plan has yet to be changed to reflect what the community has been consistently saying on things that there was near universal agreement about at both the charrette and the focus group like mixed income housing, 3) the effort by some to close the public out of the process, and 4) actions like the lack of the promised video of the Feb. 27th meeting that break down trust. I truly would like to see trust restored in this process, but I think the situation is clearly in the hands of the Department of Planning and Zoning and the new representative of General Growth to rebuild this trust.

Tomorrow I will post a rundown of the plan as it currently stands and some of the issues we have discussed here before that need to be fixed to make it a workable plan that will be a livable downtown that will be economically sustainable and true to the Howard County values of mixed income housing, preservation of greenspace, and planning before we build so that infrastructure meets the needs of the community.


Anonymous Qualitative Market Research said...

Hi all,

Nice blog! Focus groups are an easy and fun way to make extra cash, especially if you are someone who has a flexible schedule during the weekday. Focus groups look for specific characteristics in their participants. Once you are in a focus group, you will interact with the market researcher and with other focus group members. You will give your opinion on the product or promotion the researchers wish to evaluate. Focus groups are usually in person, but a minority might be conducted via the Internet or over the phone. Thanks...

9:40 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home