Not much going on over the past few weeks, and well, I'm a strong believer that one should only write something meaningful, or don't bother. Just burning electrons to stay "current" is useless.
I'm going to write to give credit where credit is due, to a body I have certainly been critical of on these pages-- the CA Board of Directors! Specifically, with respect to their suggested changes to the County Council on Council Bill 29, otherwise lovingly knows as the village center redevelopment bill.
Please don't get me wrong-- the speed at which the CA Board moves is sometimes glacial and their rationale for (or against) various topics remains dopey at times. However, this is one on which they got it right:
-- removing GGP as the gatekeeper of Columbia, and suggesting another gatekeeper in the form of some local governmental body, is valid. As I have written on these pages before, the ability to develop/redevelop Columbia should not be a commodity for the marketplace. It should be in the hands of the residents and of local government and by establishing this new gatekeeper, the future of Columbia would remain in the hands of people based here in Howard County, not in some corporate office.
-- supporting redevelopment of village centers only if in accordance with village master plans. This of course means that several villages have to actually establish master plans, but that's what village boards and village activists should be doing. It's a better use of their time than, say, deciding what weekends the dumpsters will come to the village! Having participated on the Master Plan process in Oakland Mills, it's a great opportunity to be creative, indeed visionary. Therefore, it only makes sense for redevelopment to take place in accordance with these plans.
More on CB29 later!