DAP Summaries on River Hill Square & Clarksville Erickson Living

I am sharing two Design Advisory Panel summaries for two Clarksville developments here: One for River Hill Square ( River Hill Garden Center) and Erickson Senior Living ( across River Hill Garden Center)

  1. River Hill Square DAP Summary River Hill Square 2017-12-13 FINAL
  2. Erickson Senior Living DAP Summary 2017-12-06 DRAFT FINAL

 

Where Does CA’s Money Go

Where Does CA’s Money Go?

This article is published on the January 2018 issue of  “The Villager”.

In this issue, I am writing to show how costly it is for the Columbia Association (CA) to maintain and fix its current facilities.  This article partially responds to the question I heard during the holidays, “Where does CA’s money go?” Many residents see their annual charge continuing to increase and the gym membership is more expensive than ever.

As a CA board member, I want to make sure the association is spending its money wisely. CA has an annual budget of approximately $70 Million. Besides our human resource costs (the organization has around 270 full-time employees and 700 part-time employees), the Association must continually make capital improvements that come at a cost.

In June 2016, the CA board was presented with a 5-year capital improvement plan. Based on recently conducted facility assessments, the plan estimated the following replacement costs (in 2016 dollars) for 7 buildings:

Athletic Club replacement                  $24M

Ice Rink replacement                          $16.5M

Art Center replacement                      $3.3M

Stonehouse replacement                     $6.5M

The Other Barn replacement              $4.5M

Teen Center replacement                    $3.5M

Maintenance Facility replacement     $11.5M

As an alternative to full replacement, the report also identified needed improvements, upgrades, and repairs for each of these buildings. Ultimately, the CA board only approved funds for improvements to the Ice Rink (FY18) and the Athletic Club in (FY18-19). The proposed FY19/20 budget finishes this work and starts improvements for the Art Center and Stonehouse. In addition to these facilities, CA still has the Supreme Sports Club, Slayton House, Kahler Hall and many other facilities which need upgrades and repairs.

Five Year Capital Spending Budget

The 5-year capital improvement plan estimated that the following capital budgets were needed just to maintain, repair, and upgrade existing facilities:

FY2018           $23.2M

FY2019           $19.6M

FY2020           $17.8M

FY2021           $16.5M

FY2022           $17.5M

These budgets do not include things like dredging Lake Elkhorn, the rental of CA’s headquarters building, or construction of any new facilities. Over the next ten years, the organization needs $5M just for pond management. Using this information, a priority list was established and the CA Board budgeted money for the Ice Rink and Athletic Club. In FY19/20, we plan to spend $4.7M on the Supreme Sports Club. Into the foreseeable future, CA will continue to have multi-million-dollar capital requirements to repair/upgrade/maintain our facilities and associated items. Any decision to construct a new facility will require additional capital funding and as well as operating funds.

Renovation or New Construction

Of course, when presented with the costs of fixing/repairing/upgrading a facility, the CA Board should look at whether a replacement would be more cost effective. In fact, when considering how to proceed with the Hobbits Glen Clubhouse and Owen Brown Tennis Bubble, the CA Board decided that replacement made better economic sense. Therefore, a new Hobbit’s Glen Clubhouse was built, and a new indoor tennis facility is under construction in the Village of Long Reach.

Happy New Year and I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Chao Wu, Ph.D.

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

Email: superbwu@gmail.com Website: http://www.chaowu.org

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.

 

2018-1-The Villager Cover

River Hill Tot Lot Upgrade

http://www.villageofriverhill.org/funding-requested-for-tot-lot-improvements-in-river-hill/

The River Hill Community Association’s Board of Directors remains committed to improving children’s play spaces in River Hill. Based on feedback obtained from residents in September, the Association in October formally requested that the Columbia Association (CA) include capital funds in the FY19/20 budget to upgrade two tot lots in the village with more modern play equipment. The goal is to update one tot lot in each neighborhood—Pheasant Ridge and Pointers Run.

While awaiting approval on project timing, CA recommends that the River Hill community proceed with determining which two tot lots to upgrade, which should be slightly larger in size, centrally located, and have the highest utilization.

We welcome your thoughts and suggestions on the tot lot upgrades and on possible locations. Please e-mail feedback to Dalia Shlash, River Hill Board Member and Open Space Liaison, to dalia.shlash@gmail.com with your suggestions on potential locations no later than January 1, 2018. A community meeting to discuss site selection and upgrade timing will be held on January 18, from 6–7 p.m., in the Board Room at Claret Hall.


In my opinion, one candidate of the tot lots for upgrade is between Indian Summer Drive, Summer Sky Path and Distant Thunder Trail.  I would love the upgraded tot lot including a cover to prevent too much sunshine and rain and some benches to sit down when needed.

Please see the attached photo for location:

one_tot_lot_candidate

one_tot_lot_candidate_zoom

 

Pre-Submission Meeting Minutes for Erickson Senior Living at Clarksville

This is the minutes of the first pre-submission meeting for Erickson Senior Living at Clarksville. The development is called Erickson Living at Limestone Valley.

River Hill Village Board has presented our feedback to the Design Advisory Panel too.

I am attaching two documents here for people of interest:

1) Erickson Meeting Minutes 11.8.2017 PSCM Minutes

2) River Hill Village Board Feedback to DAP on Erickson Development

December Community News Update (The Villager 2017-12)

December Community News Update

This article is published on the River Hill Community Association “The Villager” 2017 December issue.

Columbia Association Side

At the request from many community members, the Columbia Association (CA) Board of Directors recently affirmed the Paris Agreement on climate change and remains committed to clean energy. I am glad that CA has been a pioneer for environmental protection and clean energy adoption. I hope this act will encourage individuals in our community to take steps to reduce their personal carbon footprint by doing such things as walking more and maintaining reasonable room temperatures. Walk our walk, not talk our talk.

Other recent CA Board highlights:

  • Held a discussion on New Town Zoning with Howard County DPZ and Consultants;
  • Discussed and approved the new and simpler Assessment Share for the Columbia villages;
  • Discussed the village associations’ contingency fund (around half million dollars) and decided the funds will be distributed among the 10 villages (each village gets 5%) and CA (gets 50%).
  • Discussed and approved a 20% Cap on Cash Reserves for the villages.
  • Discussed major capital projects and new operating initiatives received to-date in the Proposed FY 2019 and Conditional FY 2020 Budgets

School System Side

Many community members have kept an eye on or become involved in the school redistricting process since summer. The Board of Education made the final decision on attendance areas for the 2018-2019 school year on November 16. Here is how the River Hill area is impacted:

  • Pointers Run Elementary will receive Polygon 127 from Clements Crossing Elementary.
  • Clarksville Middle School will receive from Lime Kiln Middle School Polygons 117, 118, 120, 123, 126, 127, 296, 1117, 1120, 1123, 1296.
  • High school overcrowding will be mitigated by the JumpStart Program and Direct Enrollment Program. River Hill High School will receive students from other crowded high schools.

Happy Thanksgiving! Be prepared for the cold winter and enjoy the happiness of the holidays.

Chao Wu, Ph.D.

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

Email: chaowu2016@gmail.com Website: http://www.chaowu.org

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.

Photo: The big tree inside the Mall of Columbia.

Erickson Pre-submission Meeting Update on 11-08-2017

 Here are a few highlights from the meeting:
  • Balloon Test – 12/2 (this will be the 2ndtest, once I have info on the time I’ll share it with you and also send it out via the listserv).
  • If the project is approved, they expect it will take 6 – 10 years to reach buildout. The sales center will be constructed first, then the road improvements will be made, a couple of initial buildings constructed, the rest of the buildings will be built on demand.
  • They made a few modifications to the concept plan based on input received to date:
  • Reduced surface parking for employees;
  • Added a community/public playground (off of the Linden Linthicum Lane ext);
  • Added a dog park (off of the Linden Linthicum Lane ext);
  • Relocated private garden areas to be in the same vicinity as above.
  • Multi-use shared pathway was extended across Sheppard Lane and onto SHA land at the corner.
  • The incorporation of the properties into the Planned Service Area (PSA) must occur before the Zoning Board approved the zoning change to CEF-M. This is a legislative change amending the County’s General Plan. The two processes will run in parallel. Anticipated schedule (subject to change):
  • Design Advisory Panel (DAP) Review – December 2017 (rumor mill has it as 12/6 but I have not received a formal announcement). Public can provide written comments only. Public may attend meeting; but, observe only.
  • Planning Board Review (January/February 2018) – for CEF and General Plan amendment – Public comments accepted written/in person.
  • County Council legislative session for General Plan amendment (Spring 2018) – If they approve the expansion of the PSA and the zoning change is not approved, then the zoning on the properties will revert back to the current zoning.
  • Zoning Board Hearing on CEF-M zoning Change (Spring 2018)
  • Deb Jung, who is running for County Council, questioned whether Erickson would pay property taxes. Evidently some of their facilities are non-profit, and Erickson just manages them e.g., Charlestown. It isn’t clear right now how they plan to operate Limestone Valley.
  • A question was asked about whether any of the units will be “affordable” housing. CEF zoning requires that 10% be moderate income units; however, they could pay a fee in lieu so they could be built elsewhere. So, this is still TBD.
  • Concerns were raised regarding traffic and adequacy and noise impact of emergency services. The discussed the employee schedules being off-peak and the limited number of resident drivers despite the number of units (.16 trips/day per unit). They stated their facilities average 3 trips/day for emergency services. The traffic improvement have been approved in concept by SHA and DPW. Their analysis shows that the Sheppard Lane intersection will change from service level F in a.m. and F in p.m. to B in a.m. and C in p.m. Their traffic study assumed traffic resulting from the redevelopment of the River Hill Garden Center property as well as the Enclave at River Hill development on Guilford Road/MD 108. They estimate the proposed traffic improvements will be a $4-5M investment by Erickson.
  • Richard Smith, LLUMC & Clearview HOA Pres, raised the issue that their proposal opens up opportunity for redevelopment of River Hill Garden Center.
  • Matt Brenner, River Hill resident, originally opposed the project. I spoke with him afterward and he seems to have “come around” and is no longer in opposition given the addition of the playground and dog park.

 

This is a summary from our River Hill manager. She summarized it from several village board members who attended the meeting.