10:52 AM EST, February 19, 2013
On Feb. 14, you published eight letters raising thoughtful questions about a newly hatched plan for Symphony Woods. At the CA Board meeting a few hours later, many residents spoke out, almost all in opposition. Questions were raised about elements of the plan, about the mechanism for implementing it, and about the unseemly haste to pass it.
Unfortunately, the Board went ahead and passed the plan that night, after suspending their own rules and without answering the questions and concerns raised by residents.
The immediate effect of that vote is the delay or demise of a lovely park plan, almost shovel ready and five years in the making by Cy Paumier and others.
This new plan of dubious provenance is justified by some who claim it will fulfill James Rouse's vision for Columbia. In fact, among the leading skeptics of this plan are a number of planners from the early years of Columbia who know better than most what would fulfill that vision. If Jim Rouse were here today, he would be appalled by the way the CA Board fast tracked this and disrespected those asking for more information, including the only two Board members who voted "no."
To the CA Board: please spare us the cant about bold innovative vibrant and visionary and begin work on the park you previously endorsed. Approve Phase 1 of the plan now and take all the time you need to decide on the rest of the design and implementation for the development of Symphony Woods.
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