Block that…Tower (updated)
Posted by David Keelan on Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Remember this campaign pledge?
Nov. 3–Democratic candidate for Howard County executive Ken Ulman said yesterday that if elected Tuesday he would move to block construction of a 23-story lakefront tower in Columbia and impose a 14-story height limit on downtown buildings. The two proposals are part of a broader plan Ulman was to announce at noon today at the lakefront for redirecting the process for developing Town Center. Ulman said he decided to speak up now “when I saw this issue being made into a political football by my Republican opponent. I felt it was important to lay out exactly what my vision is.” Ulman, who represents west Columbia on the County Council, said he rejects Republican candidate Christopher J. Merdon’s call for at least a one-year delay in the planning process.
Update: I found this on Ken Ulman’s campaign web site. I just want to be sure I am quoting his campaign pledge accurately.
Ken Ulman’s November press conference where he pledged to introduce legislation restricting building heights in Columbia Town Center.
I will share with you what I see as the core features of the master plan based on my own personal vision andwhat I have heard… And finally, downtown Columbia must be developed at reasonable heights. The community’s voice has been loud and clear that a 22 story building has no place in our Town Center. As County Executive, I will introduce a height limit for New Town Zoning to prohibit any building over 14 stories.
I am told that we are waiting or the planning board to review and comment on Mary Kay Sigaty’s ZRA petition. We will see if either of them submit legislation or if Ulman is going to pull an O’Malley (problem is O’Malley has an Ehrlich to dump on – Ulman doesn’t) End Update
Remember this February statement?
“I’m actively engaged in discussions with all parties,” Ulman said, and “I’m hopeful all parties will come together and compromise.”
Which is it.?
- Ring Ring…. County Executive Ken Ulman speaking.
- Hi Ken, this is Mary Kay.
- Ha ha. Ok. Mary Kay who? Mary Kay cosmetics?
- Ken, this isn’t a knock knock joke. This is Mary Kay Sigaty.
- [Sigh…] Hello Mary Kay. Actually, I am glad you called. About my order. When is my toe nail polish going to arrive? [Snort].
- Aren’t you funny Ken?
- I know. I know.
- Ken, about that WCI tower. I am going to submit legislation proposing height restrictions and I want to know if you are going to support me.
- Mary Kay, first let me ask, do you think that candy apple red or peach is a better color for my toe nails?
- Peach is better for your comp…. Er… Ken, stop it, no more jokes. Get serious!
- [Snort… ]Ok ok Mary Kay. Well Mary Kay, as you know this is a very complicated issue. I was against the tower before I was for compromise. Now I am waiting for the results of my poll on the issue to come out. So, I don’t think it is fair for you to put me on the spot. First you run against me for County Council and now you want a straight answer….
- Ken, you said you would stop the tower. Are you going to stop the tower or not?
- Are you there, Ken?
- Ken, for Pete’s sake will you stop crying?
Since Mr. Ulman layed out his exact vision EIGHT months ago isn’t it time for him to act? Shouldn’t the business community expect an answer on this question? Given the implications of retroactive legislation don’t we all deserve closure to this question. Will Mr. Ulman uphold his campaign pledge or is all this just rhetoric or will we he refuse to act at all?