Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mobilizing On Town Center

Another group is organizing to have its voice heard on development of Columbia's downtown, according to this story in the Sun. The paper said Columbia Tomorrow is led by development consultant Jud Malone and includes folks such as Phil Engelke, a designer for RTKL architects, and Sharonlee Vogel, a member of the county's Transportation Board, president of Transportation Advocates and a volunteer on the county's Commission on Aging.

A group of about 40 people gathered Tuesday at the edge of Symphony Woods on Little Patuxent Parkway to announce the new organization. Among the crowd were representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, development lawyers and the county's Economic Development Authority. General Growth is expected to begin the redevelopment process by submitting formal requests to the county this month.

Malone, a former Town Center representative on the Columbia Association board of directors, said the event represented a formalization of a loose collection of friends and associates who have worked for years to boost civic participation in Columbia's governance. His organization and the other pro-development groups are trying to counter criticisms and questions about school capacity, infrastructure costs and traffic congestion raised by other longtime residents at community meetings.

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