I was fortunate last night to be able to attend the Howard County Design Advisory Panel meeting to review the Inner Arbor plan. It was a very interesting and informative meeting, and I hope to be able to blog about it in much more details—especially since it answered many of the remaining questions I had about various elements of the plan. For now though I’ll simply note that the panel unanimously approved the plan as submitted. The major substantive concern raised was whether the paths in the central part of the park were quite wide enough to handle the anticipated pedestrian traffic, especially during Wine in the Woods and major events at Merriweather Post Pavilion. The panel asked the design team to take a second look at that.
The panel members varied in the extent to which they expressed their opinions on the plan, but I think it’s fair to say that their opinions were pretty favorable overall. Rob Hollis was one of the most enthusiastic; it’s worth quoting from his comments:
First of all, wow! I’m very impressed with the scope of the presentation, the variety, the thought that’s gone into every component of this. … We’ve never seen anything this intense, this well put together. … The way in which you’ve put this team together is a flashback to the 60s: You’ve brought in talent from the outside to let a vision out. … People from everywhere know about Columbia for what this vision was [that was] set forth many years ago. I think this park is a microcosm of that. … It’s sort of a tribute to Columbia, and a tribute to your team. It’s great!
Since I’m just an opinionated blogger and have zero pretensions to journalistic objectivity, I feel no compunction about appropriating Rob’s words to express my own thoughts about the evening: “Wow! … It’s great!”