Howard delays vote on Columbia overhaul
After a flurry of last-minute amendments that capped four months of deliberation, the Howard County Council delayed its vote Monday night on a deal that will guide the development of downtown Columbia over the next 40 years. The council moved its vote on the package, which includes competing plans to incorporate affordable housing and a $90 million public financing deal, to 7 p.m. Wednesday. The tax increment financing deal earmarks future tax revenues from the downtown development to pay back county bonds and other costs associated with the new development. In testimony submitted to the council late Monday, Howard Hughes Corp. objected to several amendments proposed by council members. The developer will transfer its ownership of Merriweather Post Pavilion to a local nonprofit if the TIF and affordable housing bills pass without any “material changes,” according to a summary of an agreement.