Thursday, March 15, 2007

Blandair: Not Meant to be Parkland

Blandair is the huge undeveloped patch of land that separates Oakland Mills from Long Reach. This was always meant for development by the Rouse Company but the property owner simply wouldn't sell. The state had to acquire the land to build Route 175 through the property but still no dice for the Rouse Company. Now that the land owner is dead and the county has ownership of the land the development of the land can finally proceed right? Wrong, some busy body thought it would be a good idea to turn the whole area on both sides of route 175 and both sides of Oakland Mills Road. The idea of turning the area into a park was met lovingly with arms wide open on both sides of the aisle. There was and is one person who wasn't and isn't so keen on the idea of yet another park that drains the county and/or the Columbia Association of its precious resources. That one person is me in case you haven't figured it out yet.
How could the land this land help its surrounding communities rather than take from them? Now we've established that the county owns this land right? Right,now the county just like any other jurisdiction is stretched very thin financially right? Right, the land here is very valuable right? Right, so why doesn't the county just sell the land and make a whole lot of money that could be better invested in Columbia's ever aging schools? Because it makes too much sense that's why. Downtown Columbia is slated to be redeveloped with high density apartments and condos so this piece of land would be better suited for single family detached dwellings. I'm sure you may be asking yourselves how can a huge development of single family homes be beneficial to East Columbia? That's easy, new residents equal more tax dollars and in this case more CA lien dollars. More middle to upper income families (the population of this new development) equals louder voices in when it comes to capital funding for their public schools and fatter PTA banks accounts for the schools this community will serve Talbott Springs Elementary, Oakland Mills Middle and High schools. More residents equals more business for the struggling Oakland Mills Village Center. Also the property values of existing homes will go up giving home owners the opportunity to take out home equity loans to improve the appearance of their homes.

If you see this land as a catalyst development for East Columbia please do what I will certainly do, Tell your County Council member and maybe just maybe this be developed into housing just like Rouse Intended it to be.


berto said...
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Shanon said...

River Hill is the last and westernmost village to be developed in the town of Columbia, Maryland, though numerous residents have addresses in Clarksville. It is home to about 6,500 residents. It is bounded by Maryland Route 108 and Maryland Route 32, and is centered on Trotter Road. The village is divided into two neighborhoods: Pheasant Ridge and Pointers Run, which are much more conventional in design than earlier neighborhoods in Columbia.The original plan called for the village to be connected to the rest of Columbia via an extension of Little Patuxent Parkway. In addition, a dam on the Middle Patuxent River would have created a large lake in that watershed. However, with the rise of the environmental movement, a large part of the watershed was made into a park, and River Hill is largely disconnected from the rest of the city, accessing Columbia Town Center only by roads on the periphery of the city.

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