Tails are wagging in anticipation.
Sunday, February 24, 2013
Thursday, February 14, 2013
The conceptual Inner Arbor Plan for Symphony Woods was approved by CA's board of directors on Thursday night.
The Columbia Association's Board of Directors voted to approve the Inner Arbor Plan for Symphony Woods that has been called bold by its supporters and criticized for a lack of specifics by its detractors. "This concept plan sets a direction," said Gregg Schwind, the board member for Hickory Ridge. The conceptual plan that features an arts village, elevated walkway, wooded amphitheater and an iconic sculpture will now officially be pursued by the Columbia Association, replacing the pathway and fountain design previously approved by CA. In addition, CA will pursue the formation of a 501(c)(3) trust to help pay for the plan, as well as designate Symphony Woods as the preferred location for a new CA headquarters building. During a contentious…
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Residents make their feelings known in letters and comments.
The Inner Arbor Plan to develop Symphony Woods was revealed in January as a bold solution to creating an iconic park in a growing city, but many residents disagree with how it has been handled and the plan itself. Columbia Association's Board of Directors may vote on the plan as soon as its meeting on Thursday. The public meeting starts at 7 p.m. at the Columbia Association building (10221 Wincopin Circle, Columbia). The agenda has alloted 45 minutes for public discussion, as well as 60 minutes for the Strategic Implementation Committee to discuss the plan. In a letter to the board, CA's president Phil Nelson recommended that the board should adopt the Inner Arbor Plan, set Symphony Woods as the preferred location for a new CA office …
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Do you support the new plan for the park?
Columbia Association's new Inner Arbor Plan represents a dramatic shift from its original plan for Symphony Woods. Gone are the simple pathways and central fountain, replaced with a cluster of buildings coined the Arts Village, an "iconic" sculpture, an elevated tree walkway and a parking garage. A change.org petition asking the Columbia Association Board of Directors to approve the new Inner Arbor Plan for Symphony Woods garnered more than 130 signatures in its first three days on the web. The petition was started by Columbia resident Ian Kennedy, who is also the communications director at the Horizon Foundation. Ten years ago, Kennedy formed a group with a friend called "Save Merriweather" that lobbied General Growth Properties from …
Friday, January 25, 2013
British artist Bruce Munro is best known for his "Field of Light" installation.
Columbia Association officials are meeting with a British artist Friday who is known for his installation works that have lit up fields, gardens and museums around the world. The artist, Bruce Munro, recently lit up 23 acres of the Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA, with a combination of fiber optic stems, sculptures, glass bulbs and lit pathways. Wired magazine described the work in a recent article, "When night falls, the orbs illuminate like bioluminescent seed pods, forming a sea of shifting colors like something out of a Hayao Miyazaki movie." With all the recent news about CA's new plans to develop Symphony Woods, perhaps a modern art installation may be lighting up the woods sometime soon? Too early to say that now, as CA …
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
A critical discussion of the plan has already begun on local blogs.
Whether you love it or hate it, Columbia Association is inviting local residents to speak out on the new "Inner Arbor Plan" for the development of Symphony Woods on Thursday night. The meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. at CA Headquarters in Town Center, will include a presentation of the new plan, as well as an overview of the trust that CA plans to establish to pay for the developments. The Inner Arbor Plan features a new Arts Village, a tree canopy walkway, restaurants, a children's theater and an "iconic" sculpture, among other features. The new plan was formally announced on Friday and has received praise -- and criticism from at least one local advocate. Local blogger Julia McCready wrote in a recent post, "I am excited about the new …
Friday, January 18, 2013
"Inner Arbor Plan" plan features a space for Columbia Association’s headquarters, a canopy walkway, a public event space, an amphitheater, new plazas and an enhanced botanical garden.
Columbia Association announced this week they have scrapped their old plan to redevelop Symphony Woods and created a new one that features new buildings and walkways that officials say will create an “iconic” city park in Downtown Columbia. “We think this will satisfy three key areas,” said CA president Phil Nelson, “protect the environment, provide entertainment and showcase the arts.” “We’re excited about new apartments and the mall expansion, but this is something the community can be passionate about,” said CA board member Tom Coale, who represents Dorsey’s Search. Nelson and Coale said the impetus for the redesign came from criticism at community meetings that they weren't thinking big enough on the original plan and that it wasn't …
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
After a gun reportedly turned up during the dredging of Lake Kittamaqundi, could there be anything else?
During opening statements in the retrial of a man convicted of a 2008 murder in Wilde Lake, assistant state's attorney Doug Nelsen told the court that the murder weapon used in the homicide was found during the dredging process of Lake Kittamaqundi. Federal officials were able to take the gun and match it with shell casings found at the scene of the shooting, according to Nelsen. This got me wondering, did anything else interesting, unique or dangerous turn up during the dredging process of Columbia's three man-made lakes? On Wednesday I received an answer: No, according to Columbia Association spokesperson David Greisman. Dredging of the lakes began in 2010 with Lake Kittamaqundi and both Kittamaqundi and Wilde Lake were finished by …
Monday, December 17, 2012
Columbia Association announced Monday they would build a gym on the lake level of the iconic downtown building.
UPDATE - 12:20 p.m. - This post has been updated to include cost information. The Columbia Association announced Monday it would open a new 27,000-square-foot health and fitness club on the lake level of the former Rouse Company headquarters. Howard Hughes Corp. and CA worked out an 11-year lease for the space, according to CA. CA is expected to spend $2.7 million on construction costs, which will be largely spent from CA's Fiscal Year 2015 capital budget, according to a spokesperson. "This is a great opportunity to partner with Columbia Association to bring another important amenity to our community," said John DeWolf, senior vice president of development for Howard Hughes, in a statement. "It is also appropriate for an institution such …
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
A small group of local residents are working on an amendment that would force Columbia Association to make all residential lien-payers corporate members.
Columbia Association's attorney has responded to a report about an amendment to the Maryland Homeowner's Association Act written by local residents by saying it may raise "legal and financial issues for CA." The amendment, supported by a local advocacy group, would make all Columbia residential lot owners corporate members of CA, according to an Explore Howard report. Currently, only the board of directors of CA are defined as corporate members, according to CA's charter and bylaws. Corporate members are able to vote on charter changes, budget decisions and pass resolutions, among other powers listed in the charter. "This proposal would change the fundamental structure of an organization such as Columbia Association," wrote Sheri …