The "Inner Arbor" plan is a major breakthrough for CA and the community. The plan is bold, exciting and wide ranging. We should celebrate its introduction.
CA's now entrenched approach to community development is to act parochially; with a knee-jerk, anti-developer attitude to boot. Throughout the downtown redevelopment process CA testified and behaved as just another landowner — albeit a key one. In fact CA can be both a community leader and a financial beneficiary of development. Let's remember that businesses pay the CA lien, just like us residents. The public squabbling with GGP/HHC was counterproductive. Cy Paumier's plan for Symphony Woods is very attractive. He optimized his client's desires. Unfortunately CA was playing small ball at the time.
As a former CA director (now decades ago!) I recognize that some things never change! Our CA directors face a delicate balance between community involvement and community leadership. Depending on who is talking, this "Inner Arbor" was a major and surprising change in direction. I encourage the directors to work this out with staff outside the press and the speechifying.
The "Inner Arbor" will face many steps and receive many refinements before ever becoming a reality. This is the nature of the development process. A financial feasibility study is certainly one major hurdle. My hope is that the CA Board focuses on the best, ultimate product for the community, without missing the forest for the trees.
Let's not lose an opportunity in an unending process. CA directors are elected to lead. Please lead on this concept.
Roy Appletree was a CA Council representative from 1979-82Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun