Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Snow Day Musings

I took a break from blogging after my last post on January 20th. I guess I had a case of bloggers writers block or perhaps I just had the blogging blahs.

You know, sometimes it all just seems so much like blah, blah, blah. the interim I took a little trip down to an island in the West Indies and recharged my blogg strokes. Wordbones is back.

Since today was the first snow day for Howard County schools and I found myself being a stay at home dad with my eight year old daughter, I had a little spare time to get back to blahhing...err...blogging.

I stopped by Howard County's most prolific blogger, Hayduke, and was surprised to find a comment posted by Councilperson Courtney Watson. She was clarifying remarks attributed to her in a newspaper story about Brantley Developments proposal to build duplex housing in Elkridge. I leave the discussion of that particular topic to Hayduke but I was surprised to find one of our council people weighing in on a blog. Could it be that the bogging universe is expanding?

Are local blogs gaining credibility as legitimate forums for public debate?

I have always been curious as to the demographics of our local blogging scene. Up until now I suspected that it was largely composed of angry men (with apologies to numbersgirl!).

Could I be mistaken?

I also wanted to comment on a story I read in today's Sun about the proposed Centennial Gardens housing development. It now appears that this affordable housing project is officially dead in the water. The community opposition to this development was strong with the arguments being that it was "the wrong project on the wrong site" and "the lack of compatibility and the density of the project."


So where is affordable housing compatible in Howard County?

Apparently anywhere but my back yard.


Jim Binckley said...

Your backyard is just fine with me.

Hayduke said...

Courtney Watson has been reading my blog for over a year, but she's not yet a regular commenter (working on that).

As to whether blogs are gaining credibility, I guess that sort of depends on us. The forum provided by blogs is only as credible as the people who contribute. And though we still see instances of unproductive dialogue, on the whole the local blogs are a pretty good source of ideas and discussions.

I think you're still right about the demographics: We're all just a bunch of angry men, with a few notable exceptions.

Eldersburg1976 said...

>>Apparently anywhere but my back yard.

As a society and community, we should be embarrassed.

Anonymous said...

Embarassed? Hardly.

Part of Columbia's strength was to spread affordable housing throughout, allowing people of all income levels to live in pretty much any of its villages. Columbia rightly strove to avoid concentrating affordable housing in just one corner.

Avoiding similarly dispersed affordable housing was, to a smaller extent, some peoples' concern with this development.

Wasn't this development being used to aggregate the affordable housing obligations of developments elsewhere in the county?

To paint opposition to it as "anywhere but my backyard" doesn't do justice to what some perceived was going on - affordable housing obligations in many many other backyards being aggregated in one spot.

Eldersburg1976 said...

I don't think so... With Columbia's hyper-inflated home values.. most people living in Columbia now (5+ years) couldn't afford to buy the houses they now live in.
This development was an attempt to increase the entry level building stock in a very respectful way. I have seen no good argument not to allow this development to move forward.
To be honest…This problem goes beyond Columbia’s shores into the surrounding suburbs as we have been having a similar debate here in Carroll County.

Carrolltowne United

Anonymous said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't this development going to be much, much higher density than adjacent R-20 homes?

And wasn't it going to have considerably more affordable housing placed onsite than any of the developments from which the affordable housing obligations came? If that was indeed the case, that was the gist of my comment about its aggregation running counter to Columbia's thoughtful design of dispersing affordable housing throughout.