Friday, March 25, 2016

It's a Free Country

Anyone can write a blog. You can choose one topic, or choose all the topics. It's entirely up to you. Either readers will find you, or they won't. Believe it or not, some people write just to write and don't care if they have an audience. They just have something to say.

As a blog reader in Howard County you are "spoilt for choice" as my Irish inlaws would say. Take a look at the HoCo Blogs page if you don't believe me.

There's one particular blog that continues to make me scratch my head and go, "huh?" It's called Columbia and Howard County Maryland's Future. Basically, the premise of the blog is to narrate the writer's plans for redoing everything in town that he thinks needs redoing. It's kind of amazing in its hubris. In the past he has asserted that the houses where I live should be torn down simply because nobody really wants a house without a garage.

On the other hand, anyone can have a blog. It's a free country. People have poked fun at me for suggesting that the old Patuxent Publishing Building would make a good "extreme home" for HGTV, and I have suggested rather eccentric plans for Wilde Lake Village Center which included a haven for children's birthday parties or a theme park of early Columbia history.

So I'm not saying he doesn't have the right to do this. And yet--

Well, he's back at Oakland Mills again. I've stopped being annoyed by these posts and now I'm largely bemused. Of particular interest in his latest plan is:

The first Apartment building will be located on the grounds of the former Exxon Station with a parking garage (hidden) located on a surface lot for the Meeting House directly behind it. This building will be exclusively for low income Seniors due to its location in the Village Center. The low income Senior Apartments will draw on the aging population of the Village living in older Apartments that lack ADA compliant amenities. The first floor of this building will contain Retail from old pad sites in the Center including; Little Caesar's, Second Chance Saloon, Siam Spice, and the Howard County Police Satellite Office currently housed in a trailer.

There's just one little problem with this. The Exxon site comes with all kinds of environmental issues, I believe. When I was on the OM board we learned about what sorts of uses were allowable, due to the long-term damage to the site from underground leakage while Exxon operated there. I have only a bit of knowledge on this (and that can be a dangerous thing, I admit) but I don't think you can have a residential property there.

Well, maybe you can if you are making it all up and can assume massive remediation to the site. And that would be nifty. While we're doing that could you please throw in Bridge Columbia? (But absolutely no multi-million dollar Sports Complex.) However, I note his plans also include demolishing The Second Chance as an independent location in the Village Center.

Them's fightin' words, Mister. It may be a free country but you can't have my Second Chance.


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