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Letter: Columbia parkway saved from poor development with Planning Board vote | READER COMMENTARY

Columbia parkway saved from poor development

Perhaps there is a dawn of a new day as occasionally good things do happen especially when sense prevails. At the Planning Board meeting on Jan. 21, the board unanimously denied a proposed development to construct a “strip center” which would have been located on Broken Land Parkway opposite Lake Elkhorn.

The board’s rational was simple, as I pointed out in my testimony that asked them to adhere to “PlanHoward 2030.”

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In the General Plan policy section 10.6, “Improve the competitiveness and design of commercial areas,” it states:

“No extension of commercial strips: Reaffirm the policy of past General Plans to not extend strip commercial development into residential areas along major roads beyond their present limits or allow new areas of strip centers on these roads unless there are adjacent strip centers on both sides.”

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Yes, the board took the necessary action to adhere to the contents of the General Plan, which is supposed to be the vision of our county. This is especially important because another strip center is planned for the parking lot next door. The Planning Board decision sent a clear message: Strip centers don’t belong alongside a Columbia parkway or any other parkway.

What belongs alongside our parkways is thoughtful redevelopment that does not negatively affect the beauty of the parkway as was pointed out by the Howard County Design Advisory Panels and Columbia Association.

Brian England

Columbia

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The writer is a board member of the Howard County Citizens Association and chair of the Columbia New Committee.

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