Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

December 03, 2006

Focus on the tower, affordable housing

A month has nearly gone by since the election, but it is good to see that the excitement still lingers. Ken Ulman has reached out with a public meeting [on Wednesday], and it will be good to hear what he has to say now that he is our county executive.

As a charter member of the Coalition for Columbia Downtown (CCD), I was thrilled to hear that Ken has signed on giving support to the CCD positions on downtown development. His vision for Columbia's downtown closely matches the CCD's vision. It will be good to get back to the community's true aims and priorities as expressed during the first day of last year's charrette. Ken will have the support of the council, too, because the majority of them have signed up supporting the coalition, as well.

Of particular and immediate interest are the executive and council taking action to halt the construction of the 275-foot Plaza Tower, which Ken said has "no place in our Town Center" and moving to ensure that any plan for downtown includes full spectrum of affordable housing.

Brian England


Age-limited housing a disservice to seniors

County age-restricted housing is a disservice to seniors.

Age-restricted housing is springing up everywhere in Howard County. The politicians see a real need to provide such housing to provide an option for 55-and-older citizens. Developers want them because they can build without meeting the same level of Adequate Public Facilities requirements that non-age-restricted developments have to adhere to.

The only concern for the age-restricted development is the traffic impact, and traffic estimates on 55-and-older communities are greatly reduced by the assumption that people over 55 do not continue to work. This is ludicrous thinking when the average cost of one of these homes is $300,000. How do they expect people to afford these homes unless they continue to work until they are 70?

If the politicians want to help seniors, provide them with affordable whole-life care with assisted-living and nursing homes in the county without completely depleting their estates. Age-restricted housing only provides developers another avenue to build without meeting the AFPO standards and further stressing our infrastructure in the county.

Howard L. Johnson


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