Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Inevitability of Growth

“The growth pressures are here and we will grow and you need to grow.”

That is how Dick Story started off our conversation yesterday afternoon on the latest episode of our podcast “and then there’s that…”. Dick is the President and CEO of the Howard County Economic Development Authority. He went to say that though the housing market had slowed down considerably over the past two years it is about to experience a growth spurt “starting as early as late this spring, as those DISA and BRAC families are positioning themselves in the marketplace to be in school this September, they’ll move in this summer. Those people are kicking tires right now.”

Dick shared other insights on the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, a success story of the county’s Neotech Incubator, and the potential impact of the arrival of the Cyber Command headquarters at Fort Meade.

We also had a little fun with the census forms that began popping up in local mailboxes this week.

In past shows at the Lakeside Café we’ve actually had a few folks drop by to listen to the show live. The only problem was that, up until yesterday, the audience couldn’t actually hear what’s going on. We’ve now fixed that with a remote speaker that will allow anyone in the café to listen in.

Our next show will be on April 2nd and our guest will be Stacy Hunt, the President and CEO of Leadership Howard County.


Anonymous said...

While growth isn't inevitable in all cases and previously existing Columbia New Town zoning already permitted a planned and moderate amount of remaining growth anyway, obviously any additional growth can come in many forms, varying from growth done right to growth done wrong.

For additional growth, HoCo is supposed to be focusing on responsible transit-oriented develeopment (TOD), but somehow the areas where TOD was being most effectively addressed a few years ago, the Routes 1 and 40 corridors, have seen focus on them by county planning take a back seat to the GGP proposal to add much more density to Columbia than was planned, a proposal in which we've been given hard-to-believe reasons why, not only will robust transit not be included, but that the public should just accept convential traffic in and around Columbia becoming much worse.

Does that sound like growth done right or does it sound like multiple opportunities to get it right being delayed or lost altogether?

Anonymous said...

I think Anon, above starts to capture the idea, but what I really think you are missing has two facets that are being ignored here in HoCo:

1. "I like things the way they are. Why do we need to change? In fact, let's not change."

2. "You can't stop progress...but you can control it. And in Howard County, it's not being controlled in a way that will keep the county the kind of place I want to live."

I think if you put the people together that would agree with either of those statements, you'd find that all of the development you discuss on your blog would be dismissed.