Those supporting Columbia Association Directors' secret giveaway of a hunk of Symphony Woods for a private group's folly disregard the intent of the visionary they invoke. Last week, a former board member claimed here that James Rouse would love what looms ahead for the tract.
Actually, early on Mr. Rouse decreed that 22 percent of Columbia's acreage would forever be set aside as Open Space. For years this pledge echoed at the Visitors Center in the orientation film that he helped craft. It highlighted the solitude of Symphony Woods as the new town's elegant centerpiece.
Rouse's formula focused on making Columbia comfortable for residents and workers, not burdening them with excessive tourist traffic destined to a gimmicky exhibit wiping out many trees and natural ambiance.
I cannot imagine Rouse condoning the handout of prime Open Space to an outside group set to reap financial gains from its backroom deal with the board.