Testimony on the Long Reach Redevelopment

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

The Long Reach Redevelopment and Master Plan

The legislation supporting the redevelopment of the Long Reach Village Center has been submitted to the Howard County Council. It leads me to want to share some of the things we talked a lot about during the Master Plan process. This is based solely on my recollection and should not be considered official. The Boundary First, we had a very difficult time establishing the boundary of the Village Center. There’s an apartment complex, now known as the Timbers at Long Reach just behind the shopping center, down Cloudleap Court. Back in the mid-2000s, it was called Lazy Hollow and I

The Board of Appeals Seeks a New Member

As I’ve said before, I don’t often talk about land use. But here’s a bit of news. The Board of Appeals has an opening and the County Council has put out a call for applications. Short version of the details is that you should apply by June 5th. The Board of Appeals has two roles in Howard County. In the first role, cases for conditional uses, sometimes called special use permits, are heard by the Board of Appeals Hearing Examiner. Under some circumstances, parties may appeal a decision of the Hearing Examiner and the case will then be heard by

Chernobyl as Brownfield

There’s an interesting article about possibly using the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone1 to store radioactive materials. That’s interesting, and probably stupid, but that’s not important right now. What struck me is a comment on the article at Slashdot referring to Chernobyl as seriously brownfield. And that doesn’t seem right. Brownfield sites are locations where the land is contaminated with some sort of hazardous waste or pollution. But the implication in brownfield is that the site can be cleaned up. This contrasts with greenfield, wide open land, and greyfield, developed, but not dangerous and suitable for redevelopment. Think of an abandoned mall.

Tyler’s Paper on the Advantages of Sustainable Mitigation

There’s a great article by Jenna Tyler at IUPUI (who doesn’t have a website?) on how to use green infrastructure for sustainable mitigation. The key take away is that FEMA could use smarter funding for hazard mitigation, and create naturally resilient mitigation options. You can read it in the current issue of Consilience. 2016: Issue Sixteen An online, open-access, interdisciplinary journal of sustainable development, run by students of Columbia University. Image by Balaji / Wikimedia. That’s not very sustainable.

EPA Course for Local Governments on Climate Change

The Environmental Protection Agency has put together a only training course on adapting o climate change: Local Government Climate Adaptation Training | Environmental Health Resources for Community Members | US EPA This training was developed with the assistance of EPA’s Local Government Advisory Committee. This is actually really cool. The course is set up like a standard webinar, but we shouldn’t hold that against it. Running this on Coursera would make a lot more sense, but there you go. The course begins with an introduction to climate change and its effects (drought, severe weather, flooding, permafrost melt, and so forth).