Thursday, February 19, 2009

Meridian Square:DEAD Part I

As I'm sure everyone is aware Meridian Square, the Mixed Use Retail/Office Building in Oakland Mills has been scrapped. Now who did the developers blame it on? The economy? No! The County, CA, and GGP for all the restrictions that were bestowed upon them. Columbia is so regulated that it would rather leave an empty barren parcel blighted than to just let the developers who have already presented their plans go ahead with it. Now you're back to square one and let me remind you how many years it took to get the Meridian Square Developers interested. Shame on all three parties!!! GGP should be trying to pay its bills and CA should be replacing its aging infrastructure and the County should lift the New Town Zoning restrictions.
It's time the got rid of the NT (New Town) Zoning all together and replace it according to the zone they're in. Examples R20 Single Family Detached with larger yards this would be perfect for a neighborhood like Hawthorn or Clemens Crossing. Then there's R12 Single Family Detached with smaller yards examples of this can be found in what I call "East Columbia Uglys" River Hill would warrant this zoning as well due to the smaller yard sizes Duplexes would receive the R12 classification. RSC or Residential Single Cluster would be used for smaller lots for Single Family Homes examples of these can be found in Thunderhill and Phelps Luck near Route 108 and in River Hill near the Village Center. R-SA8 would be for town homes and R-A15 would be for apartments and condos. PSC or Planned Senior Community would be used for the new Snowden Overlook. POR or Planned Office Research would be used for Columbia Gateway. B-1 would be used for a Village Center. B-2 would be used for something like Columbia Crossing. M-1 or light industrial would be used for Red Branch Road. M-2 or heavy industrial would be used for assorted properties along Dobbin Road or Snowden River Parkway and Gerwig Lane. PEC or Planned Employment Center would be the perfect designation for the defunct Meridian Square.
Now that the NT zoning regulations are lifted Columbia's blighted properties can redevelop with ease and make Columbia viable for decades to come. Stay tuned for Part II of this post which will clean up the mess of Meridian Square that was made by the County, GGP, and CA.