`Charrette' result slated to be unveiled tomorrow


Tomorrow, Columbians will get to see the result of the weeklong intensive design gathering that involved a few hundred residents brainstorming their visions for the planned community's downtown.

A draft master development plan for Columbia's Town Center put together by the Baltimore firm Design Collective Inc. and based on residents' ideas is to be revealed at 2 p.m. tomorrow at General Growth's Spear Center.

Bill Mackey, the county's planning supervisor, said that while tomorrow will be the design team's final presentation, residents will still be asked for input. They will be given cards on which they can write their comments and send them to the county.

Throughout the county-sponsored process, known as a "charrette," residents have been mapping out their ideas and then criticizing or supporting the design team's draft plans that were incorporating their views.

The meetings have been focusing on the 570 acres that make up Town Center's core. Issues being discussed included mixed uses, the feasibility of walking, the balance between pedestrians and cars, diverse and affordable housing, and the environment.

Some of the ideas have included improving road connectivity by extending Twin Rivers Road to the plaza by The Mall in Columbia; turning Wincopin Circle into a street that reaches South Entrance Road; and transforming Little Patuxent Parkway into a pedestrian-friendly street with four lanes, trees and sidewalks.

Information: 410-313-2350

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