www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/readersrespond/bs-ed-columbia-letter-20130627,0,764638.story

baltimoresun.com

Only developers and politicians want an urban Columbia

3:00 PM EDT, June 27, 2013

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I read Steve Kilar's article on Columbia this morning, and nobody I know wants Bethesda in Columbia ("'Urban feel' is aim for Columbia," June 25). I see the term "urban" used in a lot of these articles, but the only people who use it are developers and politicians. To me, it's just a synonym for crowded.

The problem is that there's not much, if any, property to develop in and around Columbia anymore, so the developers have turned their attention to the downtown area. They have all these grandiose ideas on how to "improve" downtown, but it's really all about money, not improving the community. If you've ever tried to find a parking spot at the mall on Saturday night, you know that downtown Columbia is already crowded enough.

The politicians just really want to let the developers do whatever they want with as little interference from residents as possible. This includes Columbia Association, which wants to develop Symphony Woods as they see fit and spend lots of dollars to do it and ignore complaints and reasonable alternatives suggested by members of the community.

My friends and neighbors don't want an overly crowded downtown Columbia but would rather see it developed slowly, reasonably and openly.

Howard Gampel