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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Planning Board considers Inner Arbor Plan


    This Thursday November 20th at 7 p.m. the Howard County Planning Board will continue to hear residents comments on the proposed Inner Arbor Plan.  This is a continuation of the hearings they held two weeks ago.  The number of residents wanting to comment was so large that they decided to postpone any decisions until they heard all the comments in this additional meeting.
   According to a report in the Baltimore Sun:

    "The plan will be developed in seven phases. The first phase of the development, which is funded by a county grant of $1.6 million, will build an outdoor amphitheater, called the Chrysalis, east of the concert venue. It is envisioned that the shell-shaped amphitheater, which will be made out of a lightweight fiberglass, will be used by both Merriweather operators and the Trust.

    The second phase includes building a pathway and elevated boardwalk over a natural stream bed and swale from the corner of Little Patuxent Parkway and South Entrance Road to the Chrysalis. That phase requires extensive stream restoration, which costs approximately $500,000. McCall said the Trust plans to develop the first two phases in tandem.

     Future phases, which could take between one to two years each to complete, include a glass and mirrored guest services building called the Butterfly; a children's playground inspired by circles, called the Merriground; a 300-foot-long floating seating area called the Picnic Table; and the Caterpillar, an 800-foot-long, 15-foot high tube -– which will be landscaped with potted plants and green artificial turf –- dividing the park and the concert venue.

    It also includes creating a new access point and parking for the park called "Free To Be Drive," which is phase seven and likely will be the last development."

    The development of the Inner Arbor plan has been a long awaited addition to Town Center to increase the utilization of Symphony Woods by the community.  The development has not been without controversy with the original plan developed by Cy Paumier being substantially altered in the new plan.  For a good summary of this controversy a link to Frank Hecker's blog is the best one I have read.  


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