Dear Members of the Columbia Association Board of Directors,
My name is Bill Woodcock and I reside at 6127 Orient Lane, Columbia, 21045, in the Stevens Forest neighborhood of the Village of Oakland Mills. I was privileged to serve my community as a member of the OMCA Board of Directors from 2002-2006, including 3 1/2 years of service as Village Board Chair. I currently represent no group or organization; I am simply writing as an individual.
I am writing to express support for the "Inner Arbor" concept for Symphony Woods. I have been following the development and presentation of this concept in local media and I have been impressed with the product to date. I congratulate the architects and others involved in the development of this concept for bringing forth a concept that maintains the natural ambience of Symphony Woods, while at the same time setting aside a significant portion of downtown Columbia real estate for arts-related uses. Moreover, the potential exists to develop this parcel into an active, vibrant arts-related destination for all Howard County to enjoy, as well as create some wonderful open space for downtown Columbia and others.
In fact, what I think could be very captivating about this space is that this space could ultimately serve as Howard County's downtown. One could envision, for instance, a "First Night Columbia" on New Year's Eve which would culminate in the dropping of "something" in Symphony Woods to signal the New Year. Or possibly a Rockefeller-Center style ice rink, during the winter months, as some of us may remember once existed in Columbia at the Mall and at the Oakland Mills Village Center. Or possibly a city or county-wide festival healding the coming of spring.
In other words, this space could become a gathering and celebration space, in addition to be the center of arts-related activities in Columbia and Howard County. But that's my idea of how to flesh out the concept. There are undoubtedly many other very valid opinions on how to do this.
My point is that the development process should continue, and I strongly urge the CA Board of Directors to approve continuing the planning process for the Inner Arbor concept. Thank you very much for your time.