Columbia Association's proposal to develop a Symphony Woods "Arts District" as a regional attraction goes far beyond the association's legitimate scope of interest as a homeowners association. CA's charter states that it is the purpose of CA, "To organize and operate a civic organization … which shall be organized and operated exclusively for the promotion of the common good and social welfare of the people of the community of Columbia and its environs." Drawing in people from other counties fails the "exclusively" test.
This current proposal would put CA's residents' property (i.e. Symphony Woods) — and their assessment payments — to the regular service of patrons spanning a widespread geographic area, not just Columbians— not even only Howard County residents. I question whether this is a proper use of CA assessment payer resources.
Most people would like and enjoy an "Arts District"; but it should be acquired with county funding augmented by the developers who stand to gain from the recent increase in downtown density authorizations.
ColumbiaCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun