Friday, March 06, 2009

Not Bad

I just read Derek Simmonsen’s article in The Columbia Flier about last nights planning board public hearing on ZRA 113. As I mentioned previously, I didn’t stick around very long consequently I didn’t hear much of the testimony. I did get to listen to Mark Bishoff. He testified right after me.

“While he initially wondered why redevelopment was necessary in a city that appeared successful, he said times are changing.
“Things that worked in the past won’t work in the future,” Bishoff said, arguing that it is time to “seize the opportunity” to transform downtown.”

I actually got a chance to talk with Mark before the meeting. He’s an old dog like me. He worked for The Rouse Company back in the early years of Columbia and it turned out we knew some of the same people from back then. We shared a few anecdotes from the past. Mark has lived in Columbia since 1971.

Before he testified I didn’t know what he thought about General Growth Properties plans for Town Center. We didn’t talk about it at all except to acknowledge that we were both motivated to take the time out to come and testify because it was important.

Though I believe I made the right decision in bugging out early, I missed a couple of good testimonies. During her testimony, Ilana Bittner somewhat inadvertently referred to the Columbia Council as “weenies.” She probably didn’t mean the whole council.

And Derek reported that Barbara Russel brought a brown paper bag to use as an exhibit in her testimony. If I had been there I could have given her a suggestion.


Anonymous said...

A video of the meeting is posted at, click the land development link.

Based on the video, I thought Bishoff said he'd been here since 1961.