Speak Out

Your Opinions

October 02, 2005

THE ISSUE -- Plans for a 22-story lakefront tower in Columbia's Town Center have been submitted to the county. (An artist's rendering of the proposed building was in Friday's Howard Sun.) The building will include 160 condominium units. Do you think this fits in with downtown Columbia? Are you in favor of the project or do you oppose it?

Affordability is key issue

I've been a Columbia resident for four years. I'm currently in the process of settling on the purchase of my first home -- in Baltimore County. I love the convenience and green space of Columbia, but I simply cannot afford the house prices.

What does this have to do with the lakefront tower proposal? Simply, it's another chance for developers to ram new housing into the community that the average buyer cannot afford. I read in The Sun (Sept. 23) that these condo units will be retailing for $500,000 and up. I was under the impression that Columbia was always meant to be a diverse community embracing different cultures and economic classes. Apparently, I was wrong.

It's merely a chance for developers to rake in money and the "haves" to buy a home in a "hot" location.

I will miss many things about Columbia when I move, but I will not miss the sheer disregard I've seen for moderate income residents. I suppose that's what happens when you live in a town owned by a corporation. A giant high-rise tower might raise astronomically high property values, but it won't help Columbia with it's main critical problem -- disappearing diversity.

Karen Mitchell Columbia

We want your opinions

THE ISSUE

With the announcement last week by County Council Chairman Guy Guzzone that he will not run for Howard County executive in 2006, the Democrats must look for another candidate to run against Ellicott City Republican Christopher J. Merdon, who has been campaigning for weeks. Possible candidates include former County Councilman C. Vernon Gray, Del. Frank S. Turner, County Councilman Ken Ulman and school board Chairman Courtney Watson. Whom would you like to see on the Democratic ticket?

YOUR VIEW

Send e-mail responses by Thursday to howard.speakout@baltsun.com. A selection of responses will be published Sunday. Please keep your responses short and include your name, address and telephone number. Addresses and phone numbers will not be published.

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