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.

4 comments:

Jess said...

hey there! here is my latest blog post: http://galaxycoff.blogspot.com/2009/04/quick-plug-help-me-win-fundraising.html

check it out, really cool fundraiser! and for some Columbia news, the mall was leaking today...every so often walking around I got splashed by drips from those exposed metal support beams. I guess the seals on those triangular window-ceilings are starting to degrade...

Joel said...

Spence, why bother changing the NT zoning on all those built residential neighborhoods? If an overlay zone were created for redevelopment it could be applied where needed.

Joel

Spence said...

I wish it were that easy but development and redevelopment occurs at a much longer pace where NT zoning doesn't exist. NT zoning is essentially an umbrella corporation that does less good than evil. This is why Meridian Square met this fate. The more stakeholders there are, the harder and longer it is for the finished product which ironically everybody is pushing for to get completed. An overlay zone would be great if redevelopment in Columbia was limited to smaller scale projects. This blog is about large scale redevelopment and reinvestment that an Overlay Zone would not be sufficient. To get done what needs to get done in Columbia NT Zoning is standing in the way. CA, the County, and GGP have the power to do this. They should do it for the future of Columbia, which we all hold so dear.

columbiaworried said...
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