Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor

January 12, 2003

CA should make pools free for kids

We have read recently, including in The Sun, of surplus funds the Columbia Association is expecting to receive from increased lien payments. We feel strongly that now is the time for CA to use these funds to allow for free pool memberships for all children age 16 and under.

Having lived in Columbia in the early years, it was always our understanding that at some time the pools would be free for all. Along with open space and parks to walk and play in, all children would be able to have the pools to go to in the summer.

Our community would offer that - and just the way our county property taxes support the education of all children, our lien fees would support the opportunity for all the children in the community to have a place to learn how to swim and a summer activity to enjoy.

In this one community we now have two golf courses and three athletic clubs for the more affluent. We believe it is time for all children to have summer pool memberships - not to be based on good grades or volunteer work or any other criteria, but because they live here and this is a value of this community.

Nicki and Yale Stenzler

Columbia

Seniors deserve affordable housing

The protests by the Font Hill neighborhood of Ellicott City concerning a proposal for building 30 townhouses for seniors are short-sighted, at the least, and sad, at the worst.

As an advocate for affordable senior housing in Howard County, I offer some facts that may change their mindsets. The status of seniors in Howard County is well documented. Seniors age 60 and over total 33,000; 87 percent own a home; 66 percent have been residents for more than 20 years; 80 percent of nonseniors plan to retire in Howard County; and there will be a 169 percent increase in the senior population by 2020.

Seniors are a very desirable class of citizens who need the affordability, safety and transportation offered with planned senior housing. They deserve to age in a place where their past and future contributions and volunteerism will be appreciated.

The complaints that the development will contribute to a lack of visual and aesthetic appeal is without merit. The affected area is bordered on the West and North sides by commercial development. Shopping center and a propane storage area cannot compete with a well-planned senior housing facility.

The friends of Font Hill group should stop and think. By the grace of God they may live long enough to lose the ability to maintain their empty nest and will seek the very facility they now oppose. What would your grandparents say?

Donald Dunn

Ellicott City

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