1. The community supports the continuing development of Downtown and wants it to be done on a human scale and at moderate, not high, density.
I agree, though rather than the moderate density language I would say at a density in-line with the context of the area and values of the community. Sure, my language is squishy, but it’s no squishier than “moderate” density.
I also believe that density should be one of the last items mentioned. To me, it is far less important than ensuring the four principles of our community are upheld. Furthermore, if Town Center’s development were an equation, density would be the dependent variable – that is, the level of density would be dictated by what we expect from Town Center development (i.e., amount of open space set asides, affordable housing, cultural amenities, public transportation, traffic, infrastructure, etc). In short, the more goods we want, the more density we tolerate.
Evan's comment: I strongly agree!
2. The community backs mixed-use development throughout Downtown.
3. The community wants new housing units to be affordable for a wide cross-section of people.
4. The community rejects the proposed major increase in traffic congestion and resulting deterioration of our quality of life.
I don’t like the wording – it is both negative and sounds as though traffic congestion is an end and not an externality. Nobody is proposing increases in traffic. They are proposing increases in development that will result in more traffic. I know this is nitpicky, but I’m a writer and language matters. All that said, I don’t want traffic congestion deteriorating my quality of life. But this is a subjective position and I think
traffic isn’t anywhere near that point now. Town Center
Evan's comment: Yes, but the traffic study showed that under the current plan it would be congested.
5. The community wants to move about safely and conveniently by foot, bicycle, auto, mobility devices, and mass transit.
6. The community desires Downtown to have a wide variety of civic, cultural, and entertainment, amenities.
7. The community recognizes the Lakefront as the heart of
and wants it to be protected against overdevelopment. Columbia
Yes, but the “overdevelopment” language is again squishy. I certainly think more development than what is currently there could enhance the Lakefront.
Evan's comment: Let's refine the language then. How about we say the the current frame of the Lakefront from the Rouse building to the Exibit Building be preserved including the Hug Park and Grass Amphitheater. Buildings in this area and those facing the lake should reflect a scale that does not crowd the Lakefront.
8. The community considers Symphony Woods and the Merriweather Post Pavilion as
Columbia’s “ Central Park” area, deserving of special consideration.
I agree that they are vital parts of
and should be given special consideration. Town Center
9. The community expresses strong support for implementing sound environmental practices in future development.
10. The community is intent on continuing to be actively engaged in decisions concerning their
Columbia– the Next . America
That I agree with all of these points may surprise some, but it didn’t surprise me. I’ve been saying, in one way or another, these things for years, a fact that is inconsequential.
I am not surprises since I have been hearing HayDuke say these things and knew we were in much more agreement than the tone recent posts have taken. We all want a good plan. My issue with the county plan more than anything else is that it won’t achieve what we all say our declared goals are. I see the CCD paper as a way to move the process forward by getting down what elements the county needs in its plan for it to be workable. I already see HayDuke as helping further improve the CCD proposal by raising the issue of Green Infrastructure. As I have reflected on this I think that we should include in the plan that the Zoning Board is asked to approve a Green Infrastructure connectivity plan that lays out the rough location of such a Green Infrastructure so we don’t have to retrofit this in as an afterthought.