Tuesday, August 14, 2007

With a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole...

I'm not going anywhere near some of the recent local stories on this blog (for obvious reasons). If you want to talk to me about them, however, a cold beer might loosen me up.

Short of that, I wanted to share a meeting announcement about something that was (is?) a bit controversial.

The Green Neighborhoods checklist developed as part of the package of recently approved green building legislation is still awaiting a final decision. In an effort to inform more folks about the checklist and what it is designed to accomplish, there will be a public meeting on Wednesday, August 22 at 4 pm at the Gateway building to discuss the details. If you're interested in attending, shoot me an email (hocohayduke - at - gmail.com) and we'll make sure we've got space for you.

For those of you who don't know, this checklist will be used to certify residential projects wishing to take advantage of the pool of green neighborhood housing allocations. Projects must earn a predetermined number of points for each green feature included in the development. If you're interested in seeing the checklist before the meeting, let me know and I can get you a copy (I know people who know people who know how to get it).

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't think you should be conducting government business via this blog site. It's a tremendous conflict of interest. Just like being part of a self appointed coalition on the Town Center Master Plan that is petitioning the County to expand the scope of the Master Plan, while at the same time being a policy adviser to ken ulman.

Why do attendees need to register with you, via this website? Shouldn't any notification or registration be done via the County's website?

Hayduke said...

I honestly didn't think it would be a problem to post an announcement about a meeting about a topic readers of this blog seem to care about. A similar announcement was posted to the HCCA listserv and the sole intent of my posting it here was to spread the word. I'm having real trouble seeing how this represents a conflict of interest.

I probably should have made clear, however, that you can't register with me. I only asked that people send me emails because I didn't want to post on a blog the email address of my coworker who's running the meeting. Emails posted publicly on websites tend to get picked up by spammers and thus innundated with junk email. I didn't want to tax the county system unnecessarily. While I didn't say (and perhaps should have), I was going to ask anyone who responded to send an official RSVP to the person running the meeting.

As for the New Town Zoning Task Force (not Town Center), I was appointed to that group by the Oakland Mills Village Board long before I started working for the county. The only work I've done related to this task force since I started working for the county was to present the group's findings and answer questions about the report for the OMVB on Tuesday night (I made a commitment to do this B.C., as well).

At this point, the task force is only presenting it's report to village board, who are free to do what they want with it. The hope of the task force's chairman is that the village boards decide on a series of recommendations (based on the findings in the report) and then present these recommendations to the county. I have answered the questions of the OMVB and it is up to them to decide what to do with this report. I'm out of the loop.

As to your belief that this task force is recommending expanding the scope of the TC Master Plan to all of Columbia, that is simply not the case. Members of the task force felt there needs to be an overarching plan to guide the next 40 years of Columbia, not just Town Center, and that a process to acheive this plan could be modeled after the TC process, although with significant changes based on lessons learned.

But this is really not the main point of the task force. After all, saying a planned community needs a plan is pretty straightforward. The big change recommended by the task force is to shift power away from General Growth (which inherited power when it purchased the Rouse Company) and put it into the hands of citizens, either through the existing village structure, government, or something else (the task force has left it up to the VBs to decide on the model they like best).

Rather than relying on the newspaper for all your information, you should seek out the primary sources. The Task Force report is available on this page, as is contact information for Andy Stack, the Owen Brown Village Chair and the impetus behind the task force.

Anonymous said...

Anon-
Why is it a conflict of interest? This is a personal blog...

David W. Keelan said...

I don't see any conflict here. He presented an opportunity for people to take advantage of another means to access the venue. It was an invitation not a mandate.

Anonymous said...

You don't need to worry about taxing the County's system. That email system I'm sure can handle a few dozen or few hundred emails without any problem.

I wouldn't see a problem with the initial post if it simply directed people to the County website and the appropriate person to contact to get on the attendance list. I'm actually surprised that anyone needs to pre-register anyway. Aren't these meetings open to the general public? You don't have to register to attend a Planning Board meeting or a Council meeting.

You may be right that I shouldn't rely in any way on newspapers for "facts". A recent story indicated that the task force wanted to expand the scope of the Master Plan to whole of Columbia - which I'm glad to hear you say is not what the group is aiming to do.

Thank you for clarifying.

ANON

Hayduke said...

Just for further clarification, no one needs to register to attend the meeting; it's fully open to the public. The only reason I asked that potential attendees reply to me is to ensure there's space for anyone who wants to come. If the group gets too big, we may need a bigger room.

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't a green meeting be held outside where there's space for everyone? That'll save the cost of lights and airconditioning and will reduce our carbon footprint, too.

Just hold it under one of those big several hundred year old oak trees. Wait, nevermind, those were pretty much all cut down.

David W. Keelan said...

Jeez

Anonymous said...

ANON 10:59 is not the same Anon commenting earlier - just so that everyone knows that I'm not the person who made the 10:59 comment).

Other Anon

Anonymous said...

If you are anonymous, why would it matter? Do you think you have a reputation to maintain? Just curious...

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