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Inner Arbor plan puts at risk future of Symphony Woods [Letter]

CultureHeavy EngineeringManufacturing and Engineering

There are several serious and potentially dangerous parts of what CA and the new Inner Arbor [IA] corporation plan to do in Symphony Woods. One is that they jettisoned the already approved plans for Symphony Woods Park in favor of a much more costly and building-heavy development plan. In fact, as of last viewing, they essentially plan to leave the woods as is, even though everyone agreed years ago that the woods were in need of some work to convert them into a beautiful and inviting park.

Although CA has approved a "concept plan," there is no guarantee that what the IA actually builds will conform to it. So, even if we like the ideas presented, we have no guarantee that what we liked will be what is actually built.

The most dangerous problem is that CA is planning to give the IA corporation "perpetual easements" on the use of Symphony Woods! Once those easements are granted [and they will be signed very soon] our beloved Symphony Woods will no longer be under the control of CA and our elected representatives. Instead, they will be under the control of a private corporation, with no requirement for openness and transparency in its operations and no accountability to Columbians.

Please contact your CA representative immediately to let him/her know that this is entirely unacceptable to you! We are especially in need of people in Town Center, Hickory Ridge and River Hill to be as vocal as they can be on this matter! If we delay in this, it is quite likely that the easements will be signed behind closed doors and the ballgame will be over.

Harpers Choice, Wilde Lake, Oakland MIlls and Long Reach residents should be proud of your CA reps' votes on Symphony Woods! Let them know how proud you are and encourage them to continue to stand up for our rights and our legacy of the most important piece of open space we have — Symphony Woods!

Alan Klein

Spokesperson, the Coalition for Columbia's Downtown

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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