Wednesday, November 02, 2011

In This Months Business Monthly

While all the attention has been focused on the redevelopment of Columbia Town Center other parts of the planned community have been gradually losing their allure. Back in the day when The Rouse Company ruled the roost, every employee of the company served as Columbia covenant cops, particularly in the towns’ business parks. As soon as a business would violate the tastefully crafted covenants with a garish sign or fail to replace a dead tree the company would pounce upon the offender with certified letters threatening legal action. They would not let up until the offense was cured.

No longer. These days covenant crime in Columbia is on the march as the ranks of the enforcers have been decimated by mergers and bankruptcies.

Some may dismiss this as no big deal. Columbia’s covenants were often seen as being way too restrictive anyway. A little loosening of the rules can’t be all that bad they’ll argue.

I happen to disagree. These covenants are part of what makes Columbia stand out from other communities. My company has an office in Towson and I regularly travel there for meetings. Towson is arguably one of the nicer business communities in the Baltimore metro area but the contrast to Columbia is striking.

To be sure, the business areas of Columbia have long to way to go before they start to resemble the business areas of Towson but the trend has already begun in places like Dobbin Road.
First it was the taped over cracks in the plate glass windows over at Hamni, Inc. They’ve been this way for over three years.  Now, just down the street there’s a new barbed wire topped galvanized chain link fence. If these businesses are allowed to get away with this, others will inevitably follow.

You can read this month’s column here.
blog comments powered by Disqus