Letters to the Editor


August 06, 2006

Misquoted in article, reader says

In your July 30 story, "Struggling for balance: Downtown-Columbia panel debates its focus, its disparity of vision," you quote me as saying that I believed that the final plan for downtown Columbia redevelopment "should not be fashioned by General Growth [Properties]" and that they are only here to "implement," rather than to "create a vision." In fact, as verified by others in attendance, I said the opposite.

As the largest land owners in Columbia, and the business successors to the Rouse Company, the town's originators, GGP is considered to be the "general manager" of Columbia. I said that they should be the ones to come up with the final plan and that it is the county's Department of Planning and Zoning, which has been tasked with creating a vision plan, which is better suited to implementing plans, not to creating visions.

You correctly quoted me as saying that, at the present time, GGP has a trust problem with me and many others in the community. It is that trust problem that is, I believe, the most serious roadblock to creating a successful partnership between the community and GGP. Thus far, they have not proven themselves to be true successors to Jim Rouse and his vision for "the Next America" in Columbia. As I said at the meeting on which you reported, I look forward to being proven wrong on this.

Alan Klein Columbia

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