Tuesday, January 01, 2008

County Framework for Town Center

In my original post on this topic I said I would share my thoughts on the county’s framework document for Columbia’s downtown over the weekend.

It’s been a long weekend. I realize its Tuesday but today feels like Sunday so I figure I’m still on time. Some logic eh?


I am about 36 pages into the document and I have begun to see that GGP’s draft vision plan that they began sharing at private meetings earlier this fall fits very nicely into this framework. I attended one of these meetings and posted about it (with pictures) here, here, and here. Of course these posts don’t include the narrative that was provided by GGP’s Project Director, Chuck McMahon but I can tell you that GGP’s and the county’s thinking are aligned.

Of course the devil is in the details.

The other thing I noted was the makeup of the focus group that advised the county. It includes representatives from every local interest group. Of course, you can never make everyone happy and those who didn’t get everything they wanted in this document are already whining about it.

No surprise there.


Freemarket said...

The community, whiners and all, will have ample opportunity to voice their opinions. The flowchart on Appendix A shows that every step is guided by the framework or allows for public input. You can’t please everyone, of course, but this plan should come pretty close.

Anonymous said...

Starting 2008 with tossing derogatory labels about? Classy.

Even with the festivities, it's not that many pages to digest, especially considering how little was changed from the framework's end of September draft. Pick up that reading pace. Hoo-rah.

While you may believe GGP's draft vision plan (is that really what it's called now?) fits well into this framework, how well does the framework itself fit into Town Center?

And while the focus group did represent several disparate points of view, did the focus group truly represent "every interest group"? Would you please post the lists of every interest group and every interest group represented? Let's see how they compare.

I am doubtful of fm's prediction that this "plan" (it's a framework, fm, the plan is in the works) will come pretty close to pleasing everyone. It still, unfortunately, lacks sufficient specificity in its guidance, varies from some of the more commonly held points of consensus from the Charette, invites proposals that will overwhelm Town Center, and sets the stage for a more contentious process than will be necessary to realize a viable 30-year vision.

And does the process limiting the public to three-minute sound bite statements really provide ample opportunity to voice opinions? The process, like the framework, needs work, too.

Freemarket said...

Anon, the Appendix A portion is a step by step PLAN for how the process works- it is not a framework like the rest of the document. I was speaking specifically to that section when I was referring to a plan.