Sunday, April 15, 2007

Down in the hole...

A true Tower compromise?

I'll just say I'm not enthusiastic about the details, especially the above-ground parking, but at this point I'm only reacting to words and a story, not drawings and a proposal.

24 comments:

numbers.girl said...

I fully expect CoFoBoBo, Broida and the rest of the gang to voice their opposition to this. If not, this "compromise" will be a literal illustration of how the opponents to the Tower are nothing more than a bunch of NIMBYs not wanting the tower in their backyard.

If "anything above 14 stories" is "out of character" for Town Center, moving the tower a couple hundred feet and reducing it to 18 stories should NOT be an acceptable compromise. Not to mention that the lot that Broida, BoBo, Sigaty and gang are protecting is vacant only because the previously sited buildings were razed in anticipation of redevelopment. Oh, and the fact that his precious condo is sitting on the same "illegally zoned" property.

I won't hold my breath. My bet is that they'll be fine with this compromise. It's not in Broida's backyard. He'll still have his view of the vacant lot- dumpster, construction material, and all.

Eldersburg1976 said...

it should be interesting... as someone who works in Columbia and leaves elsewhere... i'm somewhat neutral on this project... however.. personally don't have a problem with any aspect of the original proposed design/location.

the politics of columbia give DC a run for it's money..

Eldersburg1976 said...

lives not leaves.. been a long day and i need a beer..

Anonymous said...

I agree with numbers.girl that if it's still way over 14 stories, it's not an acceptable compromise.

Also, I'm curious if this "compromise" siting will be used as justification in the future to go through with converting Wincopin Circle into Wincopin Street, extending it south through Hug Statue Park consuming some CA open space (clearing trees therein), and disturbingly too close (just a few feet) to the amphitheater where we enjoy evening movies by the lake in the summer. Be careful - this slope's about to get really slippery.

"Ulman said he is eager for the county to prepare a master plan to create a 'vibrant Town Center' with more density, shopping and entertainment and cultural venues."

Helloooooo - it already is vibrant. We have 200+ stores just across the street for shopping and Town Center already has numerous entertainment and cultural venues including live and film lakefront performances, concerts at Merriweather, plays at Toby's, a few live performance theaters at HCC, a movie theater at the Mall, and occasional live music in Symphony Woods. Am I missing something?

Let's just hope (and work to ensure) Columbia's heart and greenspace therein isn't sacrificed in the process.

Anonymous said...

The definition of vibrant is in the eye of the beholder.... Bethesda is vibrant, Georgetown is vibrant, Reston is vibrant (closer example of what columbia could be)... few want to turn Columbia into Bethesda... however.. most (yes most) want Columbia to change into more then it currently is. For the vast majority of 20-30 somethings (young professionals), Columbia is no different than Laurel, Elliott City, and any the various suburbs around (except with better jogging trails)....

Evan said...

Note that neither WCI nor the appellants have agreed to this "compromise". It is hard to have a compromise that neither side has agreed to.

I just posted my thoughts on this over at the Howard County Blog.

Anonymous said...

"For the vast majority of 20-30 somethings (young professionals), Columbia is no different than Laurel, Elliott City, and any the various suburbs around (except with better jogging trails)"

Source, please? Or is this some anecdotal guess pulled out of the wind? Each of those locations is quite unique and I think more 20- and 30-somethings are well aware of the differences than you espouse.

Anonymous said...

anon 4/17 (8:30)

I would disagree... my source is by personal experiences.. i'm sure there are some who like/love Columbia.. however...I am a 20-30 something and have a lot of other 20-30 something friends. the vast majority of them avoid living and coming to columbia for a number of reasons (too many to note)..... Columbia is one of the least desirable places for young professionals to live in the DC/Balt metro area. I do work in Columbia and even looked for homes in Columbia when I moved to the area. I know at least 5 other families (young professionals) who recently moved to the area and all avoided columbia like the plague.

Columbia may be a great place to retire and does have great schools...but not high on the desirability list for a lot of people.

Hayduke said...

Out of curiosity, where did your friends end up living?

Anonymous said...

hayduke,

two in Carroll County, one in Odenton, one in Towson and one turned down the job offer and stayed in Northern Virginia. To be honest, I do have one friend who moved his family into Columbia. The 5 minute commute to his office was his overriding consideration.

Anonymous said...

so are you saying carroll county and odenton are vibrant???

Anonymous said...

Reston is much more vibrant than Columbia.

So is pretty much anywhere in Montgomery County.

Howard County looks like "amateur hour" according to one real estate friend. It doesn't help that you (not me) elected Ulman.

Hayduke said...

I'm not trying to start anything (which is why I won't comment on anything related to Northern Virginia), but what is meant by "amateur hour" and how is Ken Ulman related to that?

FreeMarket said...

Honestly, Ulman is doing a hell of good job. I also would be curious to know how anon thinks he is actually degrading the County in some way.

Anonymous said...

How is Ulman doing a hell of a job?

FreeMarket said...

He has not been on the job a year yet, but he’s made a bunch of good appointments and he is doing a ton of stuff for the environment. He has generously funded the school system. I am not saying I agree with everything he does, because I certainly do not, but the same gripes I have about him I have with any other Democrat. The sentiment from Anon 8:28 appears to be Ulman-specific, not related to Democrats as a group.

I am still curious as to exactly what Anon 8:28 is referring to.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 8:48. I don't think Ulman is doing a good job at all.

His appointments are fine, except for:

1) their overwhelmingly white male composition.
2) appointing his high school buddies.
3) those he fired after saying he would keep them on during the campaign

Throwing money at schools does not necessarily make them better.

How many jobs has he had since graduating college?

Also, he has a pattern of exaggeration to get ahead.

The resume.

The "I saved Merriweather" claim

Now there is the claim that he drives around in a hybrid. A Crown Vic is not a hybrid.

If a county police officer is going to drive him around, maybe they could at least drive a hybrid.

Nobody will ever beat Chuck Ecker.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not trying to start anything (which is why I won't comment on anything related to Northern Virginia)"

"... at least we're not as bad as Fairfax, whose government was just given (by me) an award for being the most outrageously stupid and evil bureaucracy in history." - http://hocohayduke.blogspot.com/2006/11/how-about-few-libertarian-rants.html

Each place is unique. It's a matter of pursuing what's best for each and not pursuing trying to be better than someplace else.

Anonymous said...

Ulman had to give money to the schools because he is in love with the teachers union.

Look at Montgomery County - there they are taking a stand, demanding more without large budget increases and getting it. Of course, Ike Leggett is much more qualified than Ulman.

With Ulman, we have another Tax and Spender on our hands.

PZGURU said...

The biggest gripe I have heard about Columbia is the overly restrictive covenants and endless HOA regulations. There are people who literally walk through the neighborhood "inspecting" peoples homes and properties for violations. I don't know of too many people, especially those in the 20-30's, who like that much control over their homes and lives.

There is also an increasing crime problem in Columbia, and many of the villages have older housing stock. Not appealing to many buyers.

Anonymous said...

pzguru: agreed.... you stated the main reasons I don't live in Columbia..... also.. couldn't find a gas station...

hayduke said...

Crime is on the rise? Not in Oakland Mills. It's actually dropped markedly in the past few years.

We're also pretty laid back about the covenants. If you maintain your house to a reasonable standard, you'll never notice them.

But we don't have a gas station.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:25- where do you live then? Where is this bastion of decreasing crime, no HOAs and gas stations galore?

We know Tom lives in Eldersburg, which is overrun in gas stations, strip malls, and covenant-free strips of incongruous residential development. Are you also claiming Eldersburg to be a better alternative to Columbia?

Eldersburg1976 said...

I do live in Eldersburg and work in Columbia.. I do prefer Eldersburg for a number of reasons (over Columbia) but a debate on this issue won't be constructive in this forum..... "my big brother is bigger than your big brother"