There is an integer absent in the Columbia's General Plan 2030. It is one of those signature pieces, like black and white rigging in a 5,000 piece puzzle of tall ships, and it is missing.
The GP 2030 is a substantial 242 page legislative document filled with visionary scope and objectives with aspects open for interpretation and placement. Given the diminishing role of the founding gatekeeper, from James Rouse to Howard Hughes, stewardship of Columbia's architectural planning needs to be addressed and positioned in the plan. It is essential to maintaining the Columbia concept and to maintaining the brand.
Under the section of Economic Development Policy 5.6 (Plan for Class A office and mixed-use redevelopment of commercial and industrial properties within the Snowden-Dobbin-General Electric area, section), part (b) suggests establishing a partnership or special servicing district to promote and manage redevelopment. With the inclusion of the following, replete with covenants and their enforcement, Columbia's evolution will come full course with its roots.
Architectural covenants and guidelines have been central to the whole, resulting in the covenants remaining in force today. All commercial and residential property located within the villages and borders of New Town should be protected from unfettered design and development, consistent with the village center model CB 29-2009, ensuring that what is missing need not be.
Rhoda Toback, ColumbiaCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun