Tuesday, May 1, 2007

East Columbia Uglys: Change is Afoot

There is a style of home mainly in East Columbia that is well ugly. They're small contemporary homes built roughly from 1971-1975. They turn up on Kilminjaro Road, Farewell Road, Stevens Forest Road, Thunderhill Road south of Route 175, Tamar Drive, in both Jeffers Hill and Locust Park, and along Martin Road and Freetown Road. Clemens Crossing is the only section of West Columbia that has these homes. The homes have wood siding, car ports rather than garages, usually ranchers or split level foyers, and are often poorly maintained. These are the cheapest Single Family Homes in Columbia and may be bought up by absentee land lords and rented out with little to no work done inside or out.
One thing people need to start realizing about Columbia is that it's no longer a "New Town" as its zoning suggests, its buildings are in some cases 35-40 years old. Buildings that were built that long ago may not have aged well and it could not be more true than in the case of East Columbia Uglys. In order for these homes to remain marketable for years to come intervention is needed. CA (Columbia Association) needs to redraw its guidelines for the neighborhoods that have these houses. This may have already been holding back home owners and investors alike from renovating these homes to a more modern attractive look. If CA redraws its neighborhood's guidelines then the properties when they're put on the market can be marketed as "Build your new dream home in a well established neighborhood." Simply slapping on new siding to these homes actually made them look worse in my opinion, real change needs to come in a full renovation to update these homes.
As new homes become harder to come by in Howard County people will start looking to renovate an existing home in an existing neighborhood and with the relative affordability of these homes, this would be a great place to do such. If CA redraws its guidelines change may finally be afoot for these "East Columbia Uglys"
*all pictures were taken in the village of Oakland Mills' Stevens Forsest Neighborhood on sidestreets of Farewell and Kilminjaro Roads.

1 comment:

berto said...
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