Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

Going Forward On the Tower?

Posted by David Keelan on Friday, July 20, 2007

Well the law suit has been dismissed.  Is the fight over?  Mr. William Rowe, mid-Atlantic vice president of WCI Communities’ hopes so.

“My hope is that now we have a hearing examiner ruling, a board of appeals ruling, a Circuit Court ruling complemented by a unanimous [planning board] vote against the proposed zoning amendments. All of them put together complement each other and should be enough to convince everybody that the project was approved appropriately,”

According to the article I don’t think those members of the community fighting the towere are through.  However, it takes money to file an appeal and I don’t know what financial resources these folks have.

The question remains.  What is Ken Ulman going to do?  This is a set back for him in terms of his campaign promises.

As a reader commented earlier:

If Ulman ends up dropping the height limit pursuit, in favor of the tower, he has broken a campaign promise. Even though the end result is what you want, you attack him for breaking a campaign pledge.

If Ulman sticks with the height restriction, then he is blindly pandering to CoFoBoBo et al, and is making decisions that are bad for business. The end result isn’t what you want, and you attack the guy for that.

Either way, the guy can’t win in your perspective.

That reader is correct.  This is a no win situation for Ken Ulman.  He played politics with a hot potato in order to get elected and he knows it.  What he does on this issue will be a real test and show of his character.

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3 Responses to “Going Forward On the Tower?”

  1. observer said

    I am personally against the tower, because I believe it would be out of place in Columbia, and because I believe the Office of Planning and Zoning and the planning board failed the public on this one by caving into political pressure. I think Ken was completely wrong to say he would block the tower, this was nothing more than an act of desperation and a shameless campaign ploy. Now, I believe he has to let it go, any attempt to block the tower from the county will certainly result in a lawsuit and really cost the taxpayers. This is what happens when poor decisions are made up front without fully studying the consequences, you end up with a mess down the road. Put this one in the same column as Comp Lite and leave the developer alone to make his money. He jumped through all of the hoops and played by the rules and deserves better treatment than what he is getting. What kind of message does this affair send to people who want to do business with or in the county?

  2. $1.6 Billion, according to the last administration, will bypass small businesses and be put into the slot machines. This, in itself, is bad.

    Where will the VLT’s (slots) go? Into the racetracks, of which 2 are owned by Magna Entertainment, a Canadian Company. Those who own racetracks don’t need to be subsidized. Under my plan, the PDF (purse dedication fund) will still be funded.

    The VLT’s and central computers should be bought, not leased, and management should be done in State.

    Proposed was:
    1) Leasing the VLTs @ 10%
    2) Leasing the central computers @ 5%
    3) Farming out the Management @$200,000,000, according to the “Sun”.

    $160,000,000 VLTs
    $ 80,000,000 Computers
    $200,000,000 Management
    _______________________
    $440.000.000 Leaves the State each and every year.
    X5 Economic Multiplier
    ___________
    $2,200,000,000
    X.125 (Total Taxes)
    ______________
    $11000000000
    4000000000
    2200000000
    ______________
    $275,000,000.XXX We lose this amount in taxes each and every year, while exporting $440 Million.

    Think of terms of paying rent for your house, paying somebody to do your shopping, cooking, laundry, landscaping, etc. This would break this average man. So is Maryland going down the tubes fiscally.

    I don’t think I have to mention what’s been happening to our Country’s Dollar once we started with NAFTA exporting our money. Our dollar is going to continue to shrink.

    Roy Schwartz
    200 Belmont Forest Ct. #201
    Timonium, MD 21093
    410-252-2404
    410-292-3030 (cell)
    lsch86@aol.com

    P.S. This needs tweaking, but please call.

  3. cindy vaillancourt said

    I would also prefer not to have the tower (as currently configured) on this site — and though I believe that when an individual or a company does follow the posted rules etc, then if changes need to be made in the interest of the common good, then the “injured party” ought to be compensated for the loss/cost —

    — but the project does not HAVE to go forward simply to preserve some theoretical “predictability”.

    As I have said before, going forward with a bad decision JUST because it was already made is just childish and silly.

    that said – the most bothersome thing for me (apart from the size the building and its’ likely effect on the area) is that in spite of the developers assertion that everyone should be convinced by now that the project was approved appropriately — I don’t think we can say that, and I do not yet believe it.

    The merits of the questions have not really been heard -as far as I can tell the review decisions have focused on our old friend “standing” and technical questions of legal process.

    So, while it may be true that opponents have been “losing” so far — the actual questions of whether everything was done properly have not been answered ….. and more importantly whether the tower will make Columbia better or worse has not been effectively vetted.

    cindy v.

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