CA Board Working Session Summary 2018-07-12

This is not an official meeting minutes.

Open Space and Facility Services Update

–many ongoing/completed projects.

Discussion on annual charge rate for FY 2020

There was a discussion on the annual charge rate. The staff recommends keeping the annual charge rate at 0.68 dollar per 100 assessed dollars. I am advocating lowering the rate a little bit because I am concerned about more than 10% budget increase over four years.

Advisory Committee Report:

  1. Senior Advisory Committee: Sharonlee Vogel
  2. International Multiculture Advisory Committee: Valerie Montague
  3. Watershed Advisory Committee: Deborah Wessner
  4. Tennis Advisory Committee: Leo Bruette
  5. Art Center Advisory Committee: Doug Satteson
  6. Golf Advisory Committee: Keith Heilveil
  7. Health and Fitness Advisory Committee: Jessica Rennenkampf

Strategic Initiatives for President/CEO for Fiscal Year 2019

Milton Matthews proposed his own five strategic initiatives.

  1. Facilitate Development of and Gain Board Approval of a New Five-Year Strategic Plan for Columbia Association (CA).
  2. Open Lines of Communications and Develop a Working Relationship with Cedar Realty Trust, Inc., Primary Owner of the Oakland Mills Village Center.
  3. Implement Upgrades and other Improvements to CA’s Website, which may include the Development of a New Website.
  4. Provide the Board with an Updated Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan.
  5. Identify and Attend an Executive Level Professional Development Training Session, with a Focus on Growing my Knowledge to Anticipate and Execute the Requirements of Nonprofit Leadership.

Zoning 101 and Howard County Rezoning

The Columbia Association board took a three-hour zoning 101 lesson from Jeff Zyont this Saturday morning. I learned a lot.

ZONING 101 by Jeff Zyont

At the same time, Howard County is going to rewrite the zoning law. This change may have a huge impact to our county in the future. Attached is an assessment for our county’s zoning regulation.  More details could be found at

HoCo 2018 Rezoning assessment


CA Board Meeting Summary 2018-06-28

Chairman’s Remarks:

oncoming meetings for Columbia Association related

July 4, 2018

Fireworks at Lakefront

5:00 PM

July 7, 2018

Chrysalis Kids: Grandsons, Jr.

10:00 AM RR

July 8, 2018

CA’s Second Sunday Swim (free access with Columbia Card)

(See Pool Schedules)

July 12, 2018

CA Board work session

7:00 PM (note time change)

July 17, 2018

Volunteering Made Easy

6:00 PM RR

July 17, 2018

Columbia Solar Cooperative information session (OM)

7:00 PM

July 17, 2018

Aquatics Advisory Committee meeting (HR – see web site)

7:00 PM

July 19, 2018

Senior Advisory Committee meeting

2:30 PM

Resident Speakout:

Brian England, on behalf of Guilford Business Group, asked CA to join them to proceed commercial covenant enforcement, instead of waiting for the county rezoning process to be finished( the timeline for the county wide rezoning process is uncertain).

Chris Alleva, proposed a building alteration process. The process is for building alterations without a change of use to the Architectural Committee. Demolition of a building or in some circumstances a. change in use requires an amendment of the Final Development Plan, Comprehensive Plan and the Preliminary Development Plan. Amendments to these plans are reviewed under those provisions in the commercial and industrial architectural guidelines.

Ginger Scott: talked about flood damage on the Fairway Hill Golf Court, whether CA staff informed the board about the risk or not, recommended CA reevaluate the whole golf court area.

Board Action:

  1. The board sent board resolution indemnifying CA Team Members on the 401(k) Plan Investment Committee back to CA staff for further clarification. The board has concern of “gross negligence”.
  2. The board approved an updates to the Board Reimbursement Policy.
  3. The board approved resolution allowing Residents to Speak on Any Topic at Board Work Sessions.

Board Discussion:

  1. FY 2020 Draft Budget Schedule
  2. Two Closed Meetings related to Business Transaction

Columbia Association FY 18 Annual Report( The Village 2018-07)

Columbia Association’s FY 18 Annual Report

By Chao Wu
This is a simple version of the annual report. You can find CA’s official annual report at shortly.
This article will be published on The Village, July 2018 issue.

During fiscal year 2018 (May 2017 to April 2018), Columbia Association (CA) accomplished many of the goals that were set by the board in 2017. This article recaps the report written by CA board chair Andy Stack.

Inside Columbia Association

I always want to make sure CA has a well-balanced budget, maintaining the fiscal health of the organization while making the necessary expenditures. During fiscal year 2018, the CA board approved the annual charge rate without any increase and maintained limited borrowing. The board has built a long-term plan by allocating $20 million yearly in capital funds for several years to help deal with overdue and necessary repairs and improvements required for CA’s facilities.

We are continuing to maintain and improve our facilities and environment. In FY18, there was a large amount of funding allocated to the Swim Center, Ice Rink, and Athletic Club. We continue to clean our lakes and ponds, reduce stream erosion with watershed improvement projects, and improve pathways and bridges.

CA opened a new indoor tennis facility in Long Reach and converted the old Tennis Bubble in Owen Brown for outdoor tennis and pickle-ball. A major renovation at the Athletic Club is currently underway.

The board and CA staff actively reviewed and discussed options for assuming responsibility for handling commercial covenants in Columbia . We reviewed and discussed potential enhancements to the Lakefront Plaza. The Board wants to ensure that our master plan takes into account Howard Hughes’ proposal for the redevelopment of the Lakefront Core area.

Within Howard County

The board worked with the developer and with Howard County on the redevelopment of the Long Reach Village Center. CA presented testimony before the Planning Board and the Zoning Board in support of this crucial effort to enhance a village center.

CA participated in Howard County’s Phase 1 land use/development regulations review process. Phase 1 set the stage for Phase 2 which will focus on rewriting the actual land use regulations. This will have a major impact on the future redevelopment of Columbia. We want to make sure Columbia continues to be a planned community.

The board followed developments regarding the new Cultural Center in Downtown Columbia, the Crescent area in Downtown Columbia, the Hickory Ridge Village Center, the Lakefront Core area, and other proposed developments in and around Columbia.

Bigger Community

The board established a new Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee. The committee recruited environmental experts across the county and just held its first meeting. With their help, we want to make sure Columbia continues to be conscious about reducing energy waste and improving the environment.

CA helped to celebrate Columbia’s 50th birthday with great success. More than 85 great events were held and many community members were highly engaged. I attended many events with my family and I am glad Columbia continues to be a diverse and vibrant community.

We established a new sister city, Liyang, China for Columbia after three-year’s planning work. I believe connecting people and building friendship will provide a better vision and network for Columbia and Howard County residents.

I am looking forward to your feedback and please enjoy your summer.

Chao Wu, PhD

River Hill Representative to Columbia Council and Columbia Association Board of Directors

Email: Website:

Disclaimer: This letter only represents Dr. Chao Wu’s personal opinion. It does not represent River Hill Board of Directors nor Columbia Association’s Board.

Interview with Baltimore Sun reporter

I was interviewed by Baltimore Sun’s reporter Janene Holzberg sometime ago over the  phone. As I said before, we would love to connect people and build friendship. I wish this is the first step and we can do more.

The article is out today online:  Columbia poised to add China’s Liyang as sister city

Connecting people and building friendship

Connecting people and building friendship. That is the exact reason why I have been working with CA’s program manager Laura Smit and our residents Hui Dong, Jun Han to explore a sister city relationship between Columbia and Liyang of China since Oct. 2015.

The Liyang Sister City Committee of Columbia Association took its official name on Tuesday 6/12/2018. We are promoting culture exchange, high school students exchange, tourism and many more between Columbia, Howard County and Liyang, China.

Congratulations to all China Sister City Planning Committee members. Thanks a lot for your great and continuous work. It is tremendous work.

Congratulations to all delegates who made the trip to Liyang last year, including CA board members Alan Klein and Dick Boulton, Delegate Eric Ebersole , former long time Delegate Liz Bobo and Howard Council member Lloyd Knowles, Marcy Gitt ( Liyang Sister City Committee Vice Chair), Barbara Kellner ( former Columbia Archive Director), Laura Smit and many more. Unfortunately our great reporter Len Lazarick did not get the visa.  It was a successful trip.

I am looking forward to many opportunities for these two great cities to work together.

Connecting people and building friendship. Liyang China

Columbia Association Board Is More Active Than Ever (The Villager 2018-06)

By Dr. Chao Wu
This article is published on June 2018 issue of “The Villager” of River Hill Community Association.

Columbia Association board starts a new fiscal year without little change. We have the same board chair and vice chair. However, CA board is more active than ever.

Internally, CA board members had some unofficial, offside board meetings which never happened before. We discussed how we could improve the board meeting process. We will not restrict the topics in resident speakout. We will disclose closed meeting minutes in a timely manner with more transparency. We will push for our staff more responsive to both board questions and residents’ concerns. We will consistently evaluate the membership structure and we continue to improve the energy efficiency.

Externally, CA board will be more outspoken in the development around Columbia. The board is against the current Royal Farm Gas Station along Snowden Parkway because it does not fit Columbia vision. The board will take classes on land use and zoning. We will provide valuable feedback to the county council on the undergoing zoning regulation changes. We want to make sure Columbia, as a planned community, will stay as planned with a good future to come. We will enforce our commercial covenant with stronger will. Unregulated development will destroy the quality of life many of us are enjoying now.

We need our residents get engaged too. Recently, I got tagged on Facebook for some lawn mowing issues in a non-CA property. I immediately forwarded that to our open space director and he immediately contacted the relevant parties to address the issue. Eventually the lawn was mowed although it took a few days. I would say as long as you express your concerns with me or the board, I will try my best to help you get the problems to the right hand in CA. It may not result in the way you want, but we listen to you and value your feedback.

The worst part is indifference from our resident. We need hear from you and need help from you too.

Chao Wu, Ph.D.

River Hill Representative to Columbia Council and Columbia Association Board of Directors

Email: Website:

Disclaimer: This letter only represents Dr. Chao Wu’s personal opinion. It does not represent River Hill Board of Directors nor Columbia Association’s Board

Summary of CA board meeting 2018-05-10

This meeting is the first meeting for FY 2018-2019.

Resident Speakout:

Brian England: talked about New Town zoning, “Guiding Principles for the 21st Century Planned Community of Columbia, Maryland”, Patuxent Self Storage development, commercial covenant enforcement, Royal Farms gas station problem (more monopoly, not compatible with county plan), parkway versus boulevard (DPZ term). DPZ should come up with a new CSP ( comprehensive sketch plan), they just ignore it. The CSP is an overview of what is allowed and CSP is missing unfortunately.

Jervis Dorton: commercial covenant enforcement problem, asking CA to stand up and enforce covenant, especially in industrial parks. One example, new gas station setback is 10 yards, in the past, the setback is 40-50 yards.

Board Agenda

  1. There is no change of board members this year from all 10 villages.
  2. Board Chair Election: Andy Stack is the chair and Dick Boulton is the vice chair.
  3. Board member sitting in the Audit Committee, Risk Management Committees and several advisory committees.
  4. Representative of Columbia Association to Inner Arbor Trust: Lin Eagan and Janet Evans.
  5. Discussion on the Royal Farms Gas Station Development. The Columbia Association Board voted to ask CA staff to develop a strategy to oppose the current Royal Farms Sketch Development Plan again.
  6. Discussion on how to release closed meeting minutes in a timely manner. I added a clause to release closed meeting minutes. I believe any info which can be open should stay open in CA.

Against Industrial Mulching in residential areas in HoCo

I expressed my opposition to the industrial mulching at residential area in HoCo and also shared my expectation on school construction (high school 13 at Mission Road, another high school 14 at Elkridge, elementary school at Turf Valley) Thursday night at the Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman’s Town Hall meeting, organized by Howard County Citizen Association,

I have been watching this debate for a while. The height came in the same night when I testified in front of county council for tighter APFO last year. The mulching bill was before APFO. It was a lengthy debate for the mulching bill such that I testified on APFO around 11:30PM.

I have been seeing the debate of the future of Howard County. I read the Plan Howard 2030 and discussed it with others. I talked to many concerned residents how our future will look like. Certainly I don’t like industrial development in residential areas. We have our zoning law which governs the exact problem.

Columbia Association board will also actively participate in the DPZ’s process of formulating a new zoning regulation in the following years. The New Town zoning which governs Columbia provides a good way to plan our development and guarantee a better quality of life and economical development .

The HoCo APFO website is a place for great resources

Enhance Columbia’s Community Centers(The Villager 2018-05)

Enhance Columbia’s Community Centers

This article will be published on The Villager of River Hill Village Association, May 2018 issue.

During the Columbia Association (CA) Board work session on Thursday, April 12, 2018, many community members came to testify on the importance of Columbia’s neighborhood centers in their daily lives.

The discussion on neighborhood centers has been in the pipeline for the Board’s agenda for a while, although the roll-out was a little rough. CA can definitely improve communications. Last year, the Board identified strategic initiatives for the President/CEO for Fiscal Year 2018 and asked staff to review the 14 neighborhood centers. They were asked to use 14 criteria, which included the cost and benefits of maintaining the buildings. Recommendations for each center were required, including The Meeting Room in River Hill which is adjacent to the outdoor pool. The results of this analysis were presented on April 12.

For the past several years, CA has been assessing its facilities and this neighborhood center study and staff recommendations will be used by the CA Board to help make decisions. These assessments are focused on costs for repair, upgrades, and maintenance. However, costs are not the sole consideration, community usage rates and significance to the community are important factors too. CA staff will work with each individual village to get more information on the usage of each neighborhood center and its contribution to the community. During the public testimony, when I heard that one co-op nursery school in Columbia only charges $220 dollars monthly for a 4-year old, I immediately felt the school serves the community well since I also feel daycare is expensive. I truly appreciate the services they provide.

Consolidations and renovations to the existing neighborhood centers may be needed. For example, the American Disability Act (ADA) automatically kicks in when CA has to renovate/fix some community centers. This adds to the cost of a seemingly simple improvement. In some cases, the current footprint of the building is a little small to be a viable neighborhood center. CA may need to find new ways to address renovation or maintenance issues under these types of scenarios.

I believe CA should enhance, even build new neighborhood centers, and provide valuable services to our residents. Each village’s success is part of CA’s success.

Chao Wu, Ph.D.

River Hill Representative to Columbia Council and Columbia Association Board of Directors

Email: Website:

Disclaimer: This letter only represents Dr. Chao Wu’s personal opinion. It does not represent River Hill Board of Directors nor Columbia Association’s Board

National Gun Violence Awareness Day Proclamation

It is kind of shame we could not stop the continuous mass shooting around the country. More than ever, every parent now has a fear of their children’s safety at school.

CA board approved the following proclamation during last week’s board session on 4/26/2018. Please join their effort ( Moms Demand Action of Howard County) to advocate gun violence awareness. There was a Baltimore Sun report on them (Ruth Hughes, leader of the Howard County section of Moms Demand Action, said in the meantime children are being “literally caught in the crosshairs.”):

CA national gun violence awareness day


Official Liyang-Columbia Sister City

The Columbia Association Board unanimously approved the fifth and latest Sister City Liyang, China during 4/26/2018 board meeting. This begins a new era for Columbia to connect with a fraction of the most populous country in the world.  Liyang is a city with rich culture, education, tourist and economical development ( or .

We are connecting people and nurturing friendship. Sharing two videos here:

1: Liyang, China. This video was shown at CA board meeting working session 4/12/2018.

2: Liyang, China: Nanshan Bamboo Sea


The following banner was shown during Columbia Sister City Festival in the Columbia Mall last weekend.

Liyang China



Presentation related to Patuxent Trail and Patuxent Self Storage

Recently many people are aware of the Patuxent Self Storage which will negatively impact the Patuxent Trail along Guilford Road ( or old Guilford Road). More than 2500 people petitioned on this issue online.

According to the DPZ director, basically there is no much CA and the DPZ can do. It is M1 zoning. They don’t request land easement with CA. Now, the county government proposed a multi-modal trail in that section to reduce potential safety concern.

I was thinking maybe if our stakeholders approached the issue and the developer earlier, it may lead to a different outcome. Then another problem is that when many residents know this development, it is already in a later stage for development. As a CA board member, I even did not know much about this since the developer did not engage with CA on this project.

The county should build a more proactive system to inform our residents about the developments near the home and their community. I believe many residents just want to make sure new developments can integrate into the community. For example, having the entrance for the Patuxent Self Storage facility designed on the Guilford road, not on the Patuxent Trail.

We love our long, beautiful trail system in Columbia and Howard County.

Here I am sharing two documents for you to read. They were presented to CA board on 4/26/2016.

Guilford 3 29 18

Patuxent Trail at Guilford Rd DDM (1)


CA board meeting summary of 2018-4-26

Resident SpeakOut:

Ingrid Pyne : Oakland Mill Village, worked for(former employee) the Spa at the Haven on the Lake,  talked about the legal dispute between CA and the Still Point Spa.

Jeff Dumber: talked Patuxent trail, the newly proposed Guilford Self Storage place will negatively impact that.

Richard Brigs,  talked about the Patuxent Trail, negatively impacted by the proposed Guilford Self Storage.

Harry Dunbar, democratic county executive candidate, asked to keep neighborhood centers.  The Rouse vision and spirit should be kept.

Keith Heilvel: support beer on Fairway Hill Golf court

Ken Walsh:  talked about the debate whether beer cart should be allowed on Fairway Hill Golf Court

Chris Alleva: Guilford Self Storage was zoned on M1(was zoned in 1948). NT zone is allowed for better control.  Commercial covenant enforcement issue.  Zoning capability sometimes is handled as administrative power which is not right. Zoning power should be handled legislatively by the county council.

Jerry Hukman, talked about Patuxent trail problem.

Ruth Hughes, Moms Demand Action of Howard County( each county has one moms club in Maryland), advocating reducing gun violence.

Ginger Scott, against selling beer on the cart.  She mentioned an old and outdated law from the liquor board (1996-1-17).

Joel Hurwitz, talked about Guilford road development issue,  sign issue,

Lewis Shipp: 79 houses around Fairway Hill Golf Court, 2/3 of people bought the house when the golf court would be built.

Jen Hayashi:  support selling beer at Golf Court

Bill Harrls, Vice chair of green committee of Columbia Association, support selling beer

Whitney Schreiber. talked about her concerns with neighborhood center closing.

Nicole Huber, talked about her experience about community center. Community center is as important as supreme court to serve different residents.

Peter Barners, talked about Patuxent trail. 2500 people signed a petition to change the Guilford Self Storage entrance to the Guilford Road side.

Christiana Rigby, on Kings Contrivance board, CA should work with the village together on the discussion of Guilford Self Storage.

Kelly Zwada, Wilde Lake, talked about valuable contribution from the community center.

Bob Sumers, enjoy living close to the golf court.


Board Chair remarks: CA got an energy start award. Athletic Club will be closed on April 29th.

Board Vote:

  1. The Board approved Liyang as Columbia’s fifth sister city unanimously ( Gregg is absent)
  2. The Board approved selling beer on the cart at Fairway Hill Golf Court unanimously ( Gregg is absent).

Board Discussion:

  1. Patuxent Trail at Guilford Road: There is not land easement request from the developer with Guilford Self Storage.
    1. From DPZ director Valdis Lazdins: It is outside parcel. It is not New Town Zoning such that basically the developer can do anything they want. CA has no leverage on them. County government has few leverage on that either. The old Guilford road was used by previous owner to access his property. The county government proposes multi-modal trail along that section of trail (estimated cost 200k. From David Lee, the County has some left-over money available for this proposed multi-modal trail already).
    2. Jen Teressa, council woman, talked about her ideas how to change some laws.
  2. National Gun Violence Awareness Day Proclamation.  The board voted to waive the 3-reading requirement for this motion and proceeded to approve this proclamation.




Columbia Development Tracker 2018-04

This development tracker is created by CA staff. More historical development status can be found at

I always keep a close eye on this tracking because our schools are facing an overcrowding issue and residents complaint about lack of infrastructure support. I am listing major housing development here.

By the way, the newly proposed 375 units located at the intersection of Leishear and Gorman Road has not been included here yet. This development will have a huge impact

Near Dorsey Search

Dorsey Overlook The owner of property at the NE quadrant of the intersection of Route 108 and Columbia Rd is proposing to build a 133-unit, age-restricted apartment on 4.5 acres.

Near Tow Center

PB 435/FDP-DC-L-1 Downtown Columbia, Lakefront Core Neighborhood, Phase1

The property owner is seeking approval of the FDP, NCP, NDG, and NIP for Phase 1 of the Lakefront Core Neighborhood including 509 dwelling units and increased net new retail and office development, two community commons, the lakefront connection, the Lakefront Neighborhood Square, and a network of public and private streets.

Near River Hill

GPA 2018-01-Erickson Living Petition to amend the General Plan to revise the Planned Service Area (“PSA”), Growth Tier Maps, and Designated Place Types for Howard County.

The petition is associated with the project is known as Erickson Senior Living at Limestone Valley and a zoning change proposal to create a CEF-M district for the purposes of developing 1,200 independent living residences and a care center with 240 beds on approximately 61 acres located in Clarksville, MD in the vicinity of Clarksville Pike and Sheppard Lane.

A revised concept plan was submitted in February 2018.

Long Reach

Long Reach Village Center ZB 1121M-Orchard Development

Major Village Center Redevelopment of 18.07 acres with proposed mixed-use buildings with retail, commercial, and office space. Project includes residential townhouses, senior housing, and community space.

Near Hickory Ridge

ZB-1115M Preliminary evaluation for proposed Community Enhancement Floating – Mixed Use (CEF-M) zoning district.

Brightview Senior Living – Columbia is seeking a rezoning of three parcels from R-12 zoning to CEF-M. The site is ~ 6.69 acres, is located at 6680 Martin Road, is adjacent to Route 29 and Martin Road Park, and includes the historic Athol Manor site. The associated development proposal is for 170 Senior Living Residences (80 assisted, 90 independent

Near Kings Contrivance

Case No: BA-17-030C – Conditional Use Case Proposal to build 24 single family attached age-restricted houses at the SW corner of Guilford Road and Eden Brook Drive on the historic Wildwood House site. The Design Advisory Panel reviewed this case in fall 2017 and recommended changes to the site layout and architecture.

River Hill

Simpson Oaks Phase 1 and 2 WP-18-083 (Associated with F-18-060)

The owners submitted an alternative compliance request to reactivate their final plan submission deadline for Phase 2 of their project. The plan consists of 46 single-family detached home lots and 83 town home lots, 12 open space parcels and 8 future residential parcels to be developed under Phase 2 on ~60 acres of land.
The Howard County Zoning Board previously approved a rezoning of the property from commercial to CEF-R.
The DPZ has approved two waiver petitions requesting alternative compliance from requirements prohibiting the removal of specimen trees and a requirement to submit a preliminary plan for Phase 2 of the project.

You can have a look at the document for details :


Columbia’s Sister Cities Show at the Mall

We have four Sister Cities, Cergy-Pontoise, France; Tres Cantos, Spain; Tema, Ghana; and Cap-Haitien, Haiti. Another new sister city from China, Liyang is under the board consideration now.

Ongoing High School Exchange Program

There are three amazing opportunities for Howard County high school students to travel abroad next summer and experience the life of a teen in one of Columbia’s three sister cities: Cergy-Pontoise, France; Tres Cantos, Spain or Cap-Haitien, Haiti.

We are connecting people and building friendship.

Lisa Cameron Schuster shared a valuable picture (from Columbia Flier) when she joined a CA sister city trip to France long time ago.

Summary of CA board work session of 2018-4-12

Resident SpeakOut:

Ruth H. , of Mom Demanding Action against Gun Violence, asked CA to sign proclamation . She talked about Long reach high school reported a bullet in the school this morning, a gun shot in the Columbia Mall.

Lewis Shipp, supporting CA selling alcoholic drinks from cart on the Fairway Hills golf course.

Kith Heilval., chair of Golf and Green Committee, supporting selling beer.

Steve Ronning,  supporting selling beer, with a discount to senior citizens.

Jen Hapashi, whetstone road resident, supporting selling beer.

Bill Harris, five time championship of Fairway Hills Golf course, vice chair of Golf and Green Committee, supporting selling beer.

Shawn Paterniti, support selling beer.

Ginger Scott, against selling beer because of boorish people or behavior.

Chet Fisher, member of Alcoholic Anonymous, talked about possible closing of Longfellow community center.  His organization keeps people sober.

Jonathan Edelson, Oakland Mill Village Chair, talked about closing of neighborhood centers.

Judy Pittmay, of Village In Howard,

Jim Smith, talked about neighborhood centers closing. He is a scout leader.

Bob Foutaine, chair of Harpers’ Choice Village Board, talked about neighborhood center closing.

Jessica Harvey, own a summer camp, great location for a summer camp.

Rebecca Palmquist, president of Wilde Lake Children’s Nursery Co-op. It charges $212 per month for 4-year old. Six co-ops are still running in Columbia.

Amy Gallargher, talked about their service to the community, against closing the community center.

Ed Coleman, Village of Long Reach board member, daycare centers providing a valuable service to the community. Proposing modernizing those centers, increasing energy efficiency, make it cheaper to rent.

Joel Hurwitz, Harper’s Choice village sign issue,  community center closing issue, village management contract issue,

Rebecca Bealli, talked about community center closing.

Kimberly Akers, representing Oakland Mill Nursery co-op, talking about their service to the community.

Leah Kennedy, talking about community center closing. The community needs more affordable place for meeting, daycare, etc.

Jo Mapak, 26 years in the co-op. We need have a place for the family connected.  These community centers are key to this idea, because it is affordable.


China-Sister City Presentation

from Columbia China Sister City Planning Committee

“Promoting peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation-one individual, one community at a time.”

Athletic Club Renovation 2018

The staff talked about the six-month transition for this Athletic Club Renovation. 74 out of 81 classes will be maintained.  You can check with for assistance.

Fairway Hills Golf Cart, serving beer or not

There were boorish behavior or boorish people in the golf course, which caused neighbors unease.

Village/Community Center Discussion

There are 14 village/community centers in total in CA.  Many of them are operating under a financial loss. Need more information to make a decision on these centers.




CA’s neighborhood center discussion

CA board will begin to discuss our neighborhood/community centers at 4/12/2018 night’s board work session.  Due to the financial constraints, there is a possibility some community centers will be closed in the future.

Here are some materials from CA staff for the board to review. I am extracting some information here and attaching the backup material for your reference:

  • CA owns 14 neighborhood centers which are maintained jointly with the village associations. The neighborhood centers day to day operations and rental programs are under the purview of the village associations. The neighborhood centers are primarily used as daycares and for church gatherings, and other village rentals.
  • CA construction department staff conducted an evaluation of all 14 facilities to assess major building components, remaining useful life of building systems, and assign value to necessary capital repairs. In addition, ongoing operating income and expenses were analyzed for strategic consideration regarding long term building operations relative to CA’s other operating and capital initiatives.

Dorsey’s Search : 1
Harper’s Choice : 2
King’s Contrivance : 1
Long Reach : 3
Oakland Mills : 3
River Hill : 1
Wilde Lake : 3
Three villages, Hickory Ridge, Owen Brown, and Town Center have no neighborhood centers

Staff recommendation:

CA will evaluate an offset to the village association for operating losses from closing neighborhood centers with additional CA grant allocations. Passive parks will replace the building footprint where buildings are removed

  1. FY20: Demolish Locust Park Neighborhood Center replace with passive park.
  2. Pending: (CA will coordinate with Village Associations)
    •Repurpose Running Brook and Faulkner Ridge for ADA pool bathhouse improvements when current tenant vacates.
    •Replace Stevens Forest and Jeffers Hill Neighborhood Centers with passive park when current tenants vacate.
    •Take out of Service Talbott Springs, Longfellow and MacGills Common, when current tenants vacate
  3. On-going: Maintain Bryant Woods, Dorsey Hall, River Hill, Thunder Hill, Swansfield and Phelps Luck Neighborhood Centers

Item_06(d)_(1)_Memo_Neighborhood Center Strategic Plan

Item_06(d)_(2)_Financial Information

Item_06(d)_(3)_Power Point-Neighborhood Centers Evaluation


You can also get all information at,

CA Board Identifies Possible Focus Areas For FY19 (The Villager 2018-04)

Columbia Association Board Identifies Possible Focus Areas for FY19

This article was published at The Villager of River Hill Village Association, April 2018 Issue.

The Columbia Association’s Board of Directors has been considering what to focus on in the upcoming fiscal year. The Board brainstormed at their March work session and identified topics they believe are most importance to the Columbia Association and Columbia Residents. The topics are varied:

  1. The annual charge rate and revenue,
  2. Declining shares of membership numbers,
  3. Membership types and price, service quality,
  4. Commercial property covenant enforcement,
  5. CA’s role in the downtown development and lakefront design,
  6. Ever increasing maintenance cost on bridges, ponds and open maintenance,
  7. CA’s relationship with each individual village,
  8. CA’s role in the county land development regulations,
  9. How CA is responding to changes and competition from other vendors,
  10. Assessment of what services and programs should be offered by CA versus other entities, and
  11. How CA can better serve younger adults, particularly in their late teens to age 35.

The Board will pick two to three topics within the next month and ask CA staff to focus on them over the next 12 months.

Based on the list above, what issues are most important you? Are there CA-related issues that you believe the Board should consider that are not listed? I look forward to hearing your feedback.

Chao Wu, Ph.D.

River Hill Representative to Columbia Council and Columbia Association Board of Directors

Email:  Website:

Disclaimer: This letter only represents Dr. Chao Wu’s personal opinion. It does not represent River Hill Board of Directors nor Columbia Association’s Board.