Howard County Blog

A Blog on what is going on in Howard County

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Columbia Association's Position on Symphony Woods

Late last year, CA reviewed plans for Symphony Woods presented by General Growth Properties (GGP) as part of their submittal for the General Plan Amendment. After review, the CA Board chose to work with independent landscape architects and land planners (Cy Paumier and John Slater) to study options for Symphony Woods. The goal for this plan is to develop the site into an attractive setting for public recreation and community events while protecting and enhancing the site’s natural features.

Columbia residents are encouraged to attend one or both of the following meetings:

Wed, Sep 16 • 7:30pm__Visual Presentation of Symphony Woods Concept Plan
* Slayton House • 10400 Cross Fox Ln • Col 21044 • 410-715-3118

Sat, Sep 26 • 10:30am-noon__Walking Tour of Symphony Woods Concept Plan
• Symphony Woods • 5950 Symphony Woods Rd • Col 21044 • 410-715-3118
Designers will then lead the walking tour through Symphony Woods to help residents visualize the possible future of the park.

For more information, please call 410-715-3118.
CA encourages residents to attend one or both presentations and provide feedback on these concept plans.

The message below appeared in the Columbia Flier on Sept 3, 2009 (Full-Page Ad)

Symphony Woods: Preserve, Enhance, Admire
A Message from CA
To Columbia Residents

The Columbia Association is aware that the Howard County Council will be considering ZRA-113 and the General Plan Amendment (GPA) presented by General Growth Properties (GGP). The purpose of this letter is to provide the Columbia Association position with regard to the area identified in the GPA as the Merriweather portion of the Town Center Redevelopment. We are aware that GGP was required by the County to create a comprehensive master plan for all of downtown, including property they did not own. To this end, GGP offered a concept for the use of Symphony Woods, and stated their understanding that it was not their property and that it would ultimately be up to CA to propose a plan.

In July 2008, the CA Board of Directors approved a resolution that protects and enhances Symphony Woods by creating a park-like environment. The resolution states: “Future plans for Symphony Woods should include the following: (1) Restoration and maintenance of a vibrant natural ecosystem, (2) Provision for a gathering place for individuals and community events, (3) Merriweather Post Pavilion will be an exciting and active destination, (4) Limited roadways or buildings of a park-related scale, and (5) Connectivity and accessibility to the rest of Downtown.”

Our intent is to make Symphony Woods more attractive to residents by improving the grounds, adding walking paths, and introducing an interactive water feature and other park-like amenities. CA Staff has been working with consultants to create an exciting design plan for Symphony Woods Park. The concept plans will be introduced to the community through a communications plan over the next few months and additional input will be sought from the
community. The funding for the proposed Symphony Woods Park plan will be included by Staff in the draft FY 11-12 Budget to be presented to the CA Board for approval. CA is committed to enhancing cultural activities and opportunities in Columbia; It is our belief that these can be best accommodated in the Lakefront district, as opposed to Symphony Woods. CA’s intent to preserve Symphony Woods is reinforced by the County’s Vision Plan for Downtown that calls for preserving Symphony Woods and enhancing it with park-related features.

We ask that any Master Plan recommended by the Planning Board acknowledge CA’s intentions as owner of Symphony Woods.

For the Board,

Phil Kirsch • Chair, Columbia Association Board of Directors