Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Now Who’s in a Hurry?

During the numerous public hearings on the Town Center redevelopment legislation, opponents of the plans continually asked the hurry and argued for more time to flesh out the plans. According to this story by Jennifer Broadwater in The Columbia Flier the projected start date for this project “has been pushed back until April 2011.”

Now those very same anti development activists are rushing to get the Symphony Woods redevelopment underway this fall before the other pieces of the plan for the areas surrounding the park are in place.

Liz Bobo is not pleased.

“Bobo said she finds irony in the situation, since some residents have criticized CA in recent years as not being “action-oriented” in regards to their role in the redevelopment of downtown Columbia.”

“Here they are, ready to go,” she said. “I’m bewildered by it.”

The real irony is that Liz is pushing to get this started ahead of the rest of the redevelopment plans. She was one of those voices calling for more time on the overall Town Center plans.

Then again this is an election year and Liz would like to get as much campaign mileage out of the fact that she helped arrange a $250,000 state bond issue for the park. Even though it makes sense for the Columbia Association wait until General Growths plans for the land surrounding the park are in place, that won’t help her much this year.

Her buddy Alan Klein is anxious to hitch his political wagon to this project as well.

The fact is that it makes more sense to wait. Hopefully over the next year GGP and CA can iron out a workable compromise in there divergent visions for the future of the park. It makes no sense at all for CA to forge ahead without a common vision. That’s precisely what the Town Center legislation was intended to prevent. For example, one of the centerpieces of the proposed park plan is a café in the middle of the park. A café sitting alone in the park is destined for failure unless and until the area around is developed.
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