For those who don’t know Russ Swatek, he is a well-mannered, soft-spoken gentleman. He is a former CA Board member (Long Reach), and clearly loves Columbia.
Between the CA news release about the Inner Arbor concept plan and the CA Board meeting last Thursday, Russ put out a nineteen point statement (aka Russ Swatek's memo) that has been widely circulated among Columbia’s conspiracy class.
I found one of his nineteen points particularly interesting (emphasis mine):
Start new 16-step approval process: The new plan being proposed is radically different both in scope and in location from the previous Planning Board approved plan. If CA proceeds with this new plan it should (and “should’ should be ‘must”) start at the beginning of the 16-step Downtown development approval process. That process was crafted to provide the community with opportunities to provide comments and recommendations about proposed development, and should not be circumvented. In addition, if CA manages to circumvent this process it will set a very bad precedent.
An example of how this legislation is now adversely affecting the community: CA is now unnecessarily delayed from using state-granted funds to develop a "Central Park" at Symphony Woods that would help preserve the trees and provide for all residents' enjoyment. This state money may not still be available when CA finally gets building permits for simple grading and path construction. The coalition's Alan Klein, a candidate for council seat now held by Ms. Sigaty, has often advocated for Symphony Woods Park and believes we must proceed with this tremendous community asset.