I just read the opinion in the Sept 16 publication of the Howard County Sun in reference to the planned Fairway Hills Golf Course.
I had to laugh at the uproar the residents are making about having a "golf course" built near their homes. The article quoted families who bought their homes 20 years ago and "were led to believe that they were located (abutting) open space, and that in Columbia, open space, is 'sacrosanct.' "One quotes goes: "Little did we know that we will be paying for something that will ruin our neighborhood and our lives."
Well, I have also lived in the Columbia area for 20 years and have learned that nothing, and I mean nothing, is exempt from possible change. My husband and I bought our town house in a small community behind Howard High School in 1983. We were told before we bought our home, that the road known as "Route 100" was off the books.
That is, until 1985, when it was put back on the books, our community of Timber Run will eventually have our main entrance closed in order to accommodate the entrances leading to Route 100 from Route 104. (Route 100 is planned for six lanes). In the past three years, three local families that have lived off Route 104 much longer than our own community have been forced to leave their homes they're occupied for decades.
Meanwhile, the proposed "new" entrance to our community will be made behind the first group of town homes in our neighborhood. (The orginal owners of those homes were told that their backyards backed up to 'farmers' land' and their yards would be longer than other yards in our community.) Since 1989, we have had our beautiful forest between our homes and Howard High School cleared, leaving behind very little to back up our community name of "Timber Run." (Maybe our future name should be "Timber Lost.")
The next complication of this complex issue is getting our local high school students to school. We can see the school from our homes, but it's a strong possibility that within two years, students will have to ride a bus "around the corner" in order to get to school safely.
Our next concern with proposed Route 100 is the noise we will have to deal with. And it's certain we will have noise. At the moment we hear birds and the rustling of the trees, but we know one day that will change. Our community is currently working with ideas for construction of a berm of some sort, and that coud be a lengthy process.
Future Route 100 will eliminate congestive traffic off "other" local roads and grant an easier access from point "A" to point "B," but gennerally speaking, the people not directly affected by Route 100 barely know the stress it has put on the communities that are directly affected by it.
I only wonder if you or anyone else in your area would trade places and let us have a green, peaceful golf course in our back yard. We would welcomeit.
Margaret J. Frazer
I can't believe that county officials consider the Deep Run Valley Stream parkland of no significance. It is very significant to the wildlife in that area and it's also significant to water quality.
Why did the county bother to acquire the parkland in the first place? Also, why did the county acquire the community open space of Hunt Country Estates, Brampton Hills, Montgomery Meadows, Brightfield, Glenmar, Crystal Spring Estates, etc., and designate it county parkland? Something screwy is going on here, and the elected officials of this county better reverse this decision quickly. One thing is for sure: If the county or state had acquired the original rights-of-way years ago instead of pandering to developers, Route 100 would have been built by now instead of causing all this heartache. I say scrap the road and boot out the individuals who fouled it up.
Howard County is making quite a stink around here lately. We've recently learned that Howard County has taken an official position on community open space parkland, reversing a long-standing commitment made to Howard countians.
When we moved here from Montgomery County, we did our homework. We looked over the general plan. From what we can recall, Howard county had very progreseive ideas about "greeways" and that these areas would be acquired to preserve the land. We liked that idea, and it became another "plus" that the county offered to its citizens.
Now that integrity has been squashed and we want to know why. Frankly, we don't think communities will stand for this, nor should they. The current Howard County administration better do some house cleaning quickly because the county's initial stand on the cemetery issue really stunk and this open space issue smells big time. Perhaps a landfill should be considered at the site of the Geogre Howard Building.
Kim and Leslie Iannucci