Testimony on the Long Reach Redevelopment

Tuesday June 20, 2017

•  Howard County •  land development •  land use •  Long Reach • 

Last night, I testified in favor of CR98-2017 and CR99-2017. These resolutions are part of the final steps to kick off the Long Reach redevelopment plan. See my testimony below.

Chairman Weinstein and members of the Council, good evening. I am Dr. James Howard and I am here to testify in favor of the Long Reach Redevelopment Plan. Thank you for the opportunity to speak, tonight. And, please excuse me Chairman Weinstein, I also want to thank the four members of the Council who passed CB 2009-29, Dr. Ball, Ms. Terrasa, Ms. Sigaty, and Mr. Fox, which allowed for a resident-driven process for revitalization of the Village Centers, and particularly Dr. Ball, who has always championed Long Reach, for creating the process that leads us to today.

I have lived in Long Reach for a long time. I served on the Master Plan Committee for Long Reach after CB29-2009 was adopted. Our committee spent a great deal of time, all of it in the Village Center, discussing the Center, its future, the Village, and Columbia. In the Village’s plan, we adopted a vision for a center than enhanced Long Reach. We asked for a public village green. We asked for shops and commercial to support everyday residents. We asked for institutional space. And finally, we asked for residential units to support the non-residential uses. The Village Board later adopted our proposed master plan in 2012.

The Proposed Plan brings us a lively and beautiful implementation of the vision of Long Reach’s residents. Orchard offers pedestrian walkways, retail operations, and sufficient parking to support our new Village Center. Orchard also brings us dynamic green space, community space, and a place to gather and play. For the first time, there will be a there there.

This plan sits at a pivotal point in the course of modernizing Columbia and moving it forward. Parties looking toward other village centers and downtown will look at how Long Reach proceeds. I ask you to support Long Reach and this plan.

Image by FlugKerl2 / Wikimedia Commons.