Howard County Blog

A Blog on what is going on in Howard County

Monday, April 16, 2007

Not Really A Compromise

So this idea for a “compromise” on the 22 story building seems like something that is neither a solution nor a good idea to me. First suddenly the building the developer and advocates of the building have been calling 22 stories is suddenly called 23 stories for this article to make it seem like the developer is giving more. This seems like an utterly ridiculous tactic for them to try to use to sell this “compromise”. Second this does nothing to resolve the illegality of the initial approval. Government must not be allowed to get away with breaking the law. Since the 22 story building is not yet vested there still time to fix this. Any developer (whose good part of their business is getting the proper approval of their project) should have known what the lawful approval process was and insisted that that process was followed in order to make sure their project was not later put in jeopardy. The fact that WCI went along with the county breaking the law because it was expedient and they thought they could get away with it does not give them any right to complain when the legality of the county's actions are legitimately challenges, because the bottom line is that knowing the proper legal approval process is a huge part of their business.

Also let's note in the article that neither the developer WCI nor the appellants have agreed to this “compromise”. Don't you need the sides to agree to have a compromise.

Now let us get to the new site they are proposing moving this building to. That site is an even more inappropriate site for this building that the current proposed site. I have said repeatedly over the past year and a half that the parking lot south of the Rouse Building is the perfect spot for a signature building that will provide an elevation transition from the Mall/Merriweather area to the Lakefront. The proposed 22 story building not only is not special in anyway to achieve a signature building status, but its very content is a middle finger at how Rouse designed Columbia. The building is not mixed income, it has a private pool on the roof that is an attack on how CA’s pools have been a very effective way of getting people of all different backgrounds to mix, and the lack of sufficient parking is a perfect example of bad planning. As I have said from the start my problem with the building is its content, not its height. If the developer's laywers ever stopped playing procedural stalling tactics and actually let the case be heard we could fix the illegality of the building's approval and put the building’s site back into the downtown master planning process. Let us develop a quality comprehensive plan for downtown. I wish the proponents of the current downtown plan would 1) realize the current plan will not achieve the beautiful words they say it will achieve and 2) sloppy planning only makes the community more suspicious of allowing development and that only makes it more difficult to get development approved.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreement on all points, Evan. Your comments were concise and cut to the heart of the matter as usual.

8:48 AM  
Blogger Evan said...

Thanks :)

12:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. Ulman is once again selling out to developers by negotiating a "compromise" which is nothing of the sort.

How much money did the developer give Ulman?

What about Ulman's charity? How much do the developers give to that?

8:26 PM  

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