4:13 PM EST, January 31, 2013
With all the time and effort devoted to the new downtown for Columbia, many good ideas and plans have resulted. I hope similarly good plans for Symphony Woods will result from the stakeholder discussions, hearings and multistep approval process currently ongoing. As a seven-year homeowner here, I have not figured out how to "officially" air an idea for the new downtown/Symphony Woods, which heretofore I've not heard raised: I've spent some time in Durham, N.C., and witnessed firsthand the substantial benefits of the farmers market operating each weekend from April through September in its own, unelaborate but well-sized, purpose-built pavilion constructed in their downtown. Closer to home, I understand there also may be one in Annapolis.
Columbia already has a small but well-received network of temporary farmers market stands operating in season. However, a more centrally located, permanent structure sited near ample parking could be a boon to farmers and residents alike, not necessarily to replace existing stands but as a festive and healthy "destination" among the several larger projects being considered and taking shape. It seems a small step for the planners and other stakeholders to include this idea for serious consideration in the plans for somewhere in our new downtown. Hopefully, seeing this letter will provide stakeholders with the spark for such consideration.
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