today’s news … Wednesday, March 19, 2014

today’s news and information gleanings from here and there!

Quote for today“As more Americans remodel existing homes, rather than move to new ones, they’re maximizing not only their renovation budgets but also their entire property.” – From this USA Today article, “Remodelers turn to paint, porches to update home exteriors.”

scenes seen

  • Almost all of Columbia’s councillors, the mayor, borough manager and codes officer sat in on last night’s open discussion and presentation about the Historic North Third Street Project. Justin Evans, chairperson of the Planning Commission and member of the project’s steering committee, introduced the project and related its relevance and the importance of having a community-embraced plan.

looking north

  • On October 25, 2013, Columbia news, views & reviews wrote: “The chairman of Columbia’s Planning Commission was on the town hall program of presenters the other night. He stated that Columbia would be on the receiving end of funding totaling $180,000 from the Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership (LHOP). He said that the team of folks he’s working with is in the process of identifying the area of town that will benefit from the funds. An August 13 newspaper article at the LHOP Website says: “A committee is in place in Columbia to select a list of available properties for rehabilitation.” When a citizen attending the meeting asked which part of Columbia will be benefiting from the funding program, the chairman declined to say, though more than a few citizens have told Columbia news, views & reviews that properties in the 300 to 500 blocks of Third Street have been defined.”
  • The project focuses on the three blocks north of Chestnut Street – the 200, 300 and 400 blocks of North Third Street that are a “gateway” to the borough from US Route 30.  The photo above looks north on Third Street from Chestnut Street. Evans introduced Doug Phillips, a celebrated architect from Brownstown, who showed a PowerPoint presentation narrating his ideas about changes and improvements that could improve the three block area with minimal resources. The minimal resources appeared to resonate with many of those in attendance.


  • Phillips stressed that architects as he work hard to recreate the type of architecture that abounds in Columbia. He relayed that, as a child who came to Columbia with his father to fish, he thought “rich people” must live in Columbia. He suggested that the houses along the designated Historic Third Street area represented the kinds of homes that could send inviting messages to people who want to move to Columbia. His minimal resources included “plantings, porches and paint” suggestions.


  • Columbia’s housing stock is quite varied and interesting. The above homes on the first block of North Third Street are just two of those styles.
  • “Why not include the 500 block?” Where are all the poles, lines and dangling lines left by Comcast? What about all the rental properties? Who’s going to insure that codes are met and satisfied? What about (financial) assistance for the homeowners? These and other questions were posed throughout the meeting. Columbia news, views and reviews will be following up with more about the Historic North Third Street project meeting in coming days. In the meanwhile, you can take a look at who owns which properties on the identified North Third Street block by clicking here. Be advised that the property list includes North Third Street properties in Columbia and other Lancaster County municipalities. You will have to click on the property listing to be sure; you will recognize the names of several corporate landlords, e.g., Summit Street Properties and BHI Properties.


  1. I heard the missing wall cap at the River Park is in a safe place waiting to be re cemented to the wall.
    Here is a plea for all to help with care & maintaining this beautiful RP area. We need to be diligent in recognizing and reporting vandalism.

    • Sure hope that’s the case, Casper. This is the second time a cap’s been knocked off; someone told us that it’s skateboarders. If that’s the case, why aren’t the expensive spy cameras capturing images of the culprits and why aren’t these culprits being held accountable? The borough’s got a very expensive “recognizing and reporting system” that’s not being held accountable for recognizing and reporting.

  2. I appreciate your daily news and keeping us abreast of what goes on in and around Columbia. However, with all due respect, could you please remove my property address as I am not a beneficiary of this project. Thank you

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