Category Archives: River Hill

New Clarksville Retirement Facility Project Proposal from Erickson

Clarksville Continuing Care Retirement Community Proposal Announced
On Thursday, June 15, 2017, Erickson Living will be hosting a community discussion regarding its proposal to locate a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in Clarksville. The meeting will be hosted at The Gathering Place, 6120 Day Long Lane, Clarksville, MD 21029 beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The proposed CCRC community is intended to be located on the west side of Route 108 (Clarksville Pike) near Route 32, between the Freestate Gas and Sheppard Lane and will contain approximately  60 acres of land on two parcels  (Tax Map 34, PAR  185 and a portion of Tax Map 28, PAR 100).  Across the River Hill Garden Center, besides Free State Gas Station.

Representatives of Erickson Living will be sharing information such as:

  • What the Erickson CCRC model is and the vital need for expanded housing opportunities for the aging members of our community.
  • The potential impacts, benefits and opportunities of an Erickson Living CCRC.
  • Potential enhancements and efficiency of traffic flow along Route 108 through Clarksville.

For more information, Erickson has shared the following website:

By the way, I have been hearing praises for Erickson from many people and would love to see their detailed plan.
River Hill Community Association

We are Neighbors and Friends (The Villager 2017-06)

We are Neighbors and Friends

The article is published at River Hill Villager, 2017-06 issue.

There is an old Chinese proverb that says, “neighbors nearby are better than relatives faraway”. That is so true in today’s world since more family members are scattered around the globe. Instead, many families have been neighbors for more years than they have live with or near parents and other relatives.  At a difficult time, or for convenience, a friendly neighbor can often offer greater help than a relative not in the area.

I am writing this article  following two of my experiences in the neighborhood. The first  experience is an example of a not so friendly situation. A family sought my help because their neighbor always parked their car along the curb in front of their home. River Hill’s Covenants do not address areas within the public rights-of-way and the location and manner in which the vehicle parks is not illegal and therefore there is no action the police can take  However, the parking of the car did cause difficulty for the family when backing out from their garage and there appears to be enough space in their neighbor’s driveway to park which adds to their frustration. Though the family talked with their neighbor, they were unable to resolve the issue and asked for my assistance. I tried to mediate and have not succeeded yet.  In another example, some neighbors are very friendly and considerate. I know of two neighbors who both have dogs. They set up regular play-dates for their pets. When one neighbor has a vacation, the other neighbor takes care of their dogs and cats, and vice versa. This level of cooperation is a tremendous help to each resident and to their pets.

We are now living in a more compact world and in Howard County, Columbia, and at in the villages we are dedicated to creating a more walkable environment which will lead to more interactions with each other. The most important element of  a good neighborhood is our neighbors and our connections to one another.

This concept can also be extended to land development. Adding a wall to reduce sound disturbance or a fence to avoid light pollution are soft and friendly measures developers can take to give consideration to residential neighbors. Improving traffic conditions around commercial development as early as in the design phase as possible will increase acceptance from the neighborhood as well. Surely, some residents do not want any changes in their neighborhoods and the surrounding area; but, most our residents are reasonable and ask no more than necessary to protect their peaceful existence. Their concerns should be respected and honored.

We are neighbors and have the potential to be friends.  If we cannot be friends, at least, we can be considerate of our neighbors. A greeting, a smile, or offering to help with kids or pets are ways we can assist each other. Let us embrace our neighbors.

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.

Seeking Teens for River Hill Association Committees

River Hill Community Association is currently seeking high school students interested in serving on the association’s Student Member of the Board of Directors and the Teen Advisory Committee (TAC). Both committees provide opportunities for teens to learn more about our community, interact with a variety of residents, develop leadership skills, and build on individual interests and strengths while having fun.

The committee is crucial to the success of many of the association-sponsored events including Halloween, Breakfast with Santa, and Independence Day Parade. This year, the TAC organized the very popular Claret Hall Cook-Off.

Applications for youth interested in serving for the
September 1, 2017-August 31, 2018 term are available at Claret Hall and also on the association’s website at

The Village Board will appoint members of both committees following an application and interview process.

The deadline for applications is May 31, 2017.

For more information, contact the Village Manager, Susan Smith, at 410-531-1749 or at

CA Board Review of 2016-2017 Fiscal Year

The following is what CA board chair Andy Stack shared with the board members and CA staff. With his consent, I am sharing it here for your reference too. I would like to thank Andy for his great leadership. I also thank Michael Cornell for his great leadership in River Hill Village board in the past several years and he left the board this year.

CA Board Review of 2016-2017 Fiscal Year

Since we have only a few days left in our fiscal year, I thought I would give the Board a final update on the Board tasks for FY-2017. I want to thank you for the work you have done throughout the year. It was a productive year.

1.    Elect CA Board Chair and Vice-chair  MAY —– COMPLETED

2.    Elect Inner Arbor Representatives   MAY —– COMPLETED

3.    Appoint CA Board members to Audit and Risk Management Committee   MAY —– COMPLETED

4.    Determine schedule for service on Board Operations Committee    MAY —– COMPLETED

5.    Approve appointments to Village Architectural Committees    MAY/JUNE —– COMPLETED

6.    Approve CA President/CEO’s FY-2017 goals/objectives       JUNE/JULY —– COMPLETED (BOC approved goals on August 29th)

7.    Approve IRS form 990       SEPTEMBER —– COMPLETED

8.    Review FY-2016 Audit and FY-2017 financial reports    JULY, SEPTEMBER, DECEMBER, MARCH —– COMPLETED (The FY-2016 Audit and the First Quarter and Second Quarter reports and Third Quarter reports were reviewed by the Audit Committee and Board); the Board approved the FY-2018 budget in February

9.    CA President/CEO’s Mid-term Evaluation     NOVEMBER —- COMPLETED

10. Approve FY-2018 budget     JANUARY/FEBRUARY —- COMPLETED

11. CA President/CEO’s yearly evaluation & bonus decision   APRIL ——–COMPLETED (The Board reviewed the results of the evaluation and discussed the evaluation with the CA President/CEO at the end of April)

12. Implement new membership/pricing structure —– approved new membership structure & pricing which is currently being implemented by CA staff; Implementation is goes into effect on 1 May 2017; CA staff has provided a timeline of the communications planned to roll out the new membership/pricing structure; staff is being trained to handle the new membership structure; CA Board approved new pricing as part of the FY-2018 budget approval; communications have gone out to our members, the villages, and the general public; web site has been updated; now the Board will monitor the impact of the changes when it reviews the dashboard.  —- COMPLETED

13. Pond Study     JULY/SEPTEMBER —– study was presented in September; Board discussion and vote scheduled for January; CA staff presented a priority list of ponds to be addressed and strategy for addressing the ponds; Board discussion occurred in January and Board concurred with strategy; Board decided no formal vote was required  —- COMPLETED

14. Five-year rolling Capital Budget (Facilities maintenance)   JUNE/JULY —— Board received briefing in June, will continue as part of the budget process; Board approved the FY-2018 capital budget which was based upon the facilities assessments  —- COMPLETED

15. Enhance CA’s influence in planning and development of Columbia  —– Board approved position on affordable housing; continue to monitor redevelopment of Long Reach and Hickory Ridge Village Centers as well as the ongoing study of the Oakland Mills Village Center; RFP for Long Reach is available; Kimco presented plans for Hickory Ridge to the DAP in December; Oakland Mills study results presented in November; CA staff researching issue of commercial covenants; work on this topic will continue throughout the year; sent letter to Howard County state delegation regarding Merriweather Post Pavilion noise issue; new Welcome Center project has been canceled; County released RFP for Long Reach Village Center; Councilwoman Mary Kay Sigaty gave CA Board an overview of the Downtown Columbia Affordable Housing and TIF legislation; Kimco discussed the village centers they own with the Board in March; final Oakland Mills Village Center study were presented to the community in March; CA Staff continues to follow the proposal to create an Innovation District in Gateway; Kimco plans for redevelopment of Hickory Ridge Village Center were approved by County’s Design Advisory Committee; in March DPZ presented an overview to the Board of the process to revise the County’s development guidelines; County announced that a developer has been chosen for the Long Reach Village Center; CA staff continues to work with Howard Hughes Corporation on the issue of commercial covenants; Chrysalis (new amphitheater in Symphony Woods) was dedicated and opened to the public; CA staff continues to follow the development in the Crescent area and the new proposed cultural center in Columbia; on a monthly basis, CA staff continues to update the Board concerning developments affecting Columbia   —— Task will continue into the next fiscal year

a.    Affordable housing in Downtown Columbia

b.    Redevelopment of Long Reach Village Center

c.    Redevelopment of Hickory Ridge Village Center

d.    Commercial covenants

e.    New Town Zoning

f.     New Welcome Center

16. Develop an implementation plan to attract and retain young adults (CA facilities) ——- Task will be held over to the next fiscal year

17. Columbia’s 50th Birthday Celebration   MARCH/APRIL  —–  In November, Board received status report; kickoff occurred in March; many activities planned for the next several months  ——- Task will be held over to the next fiscal year as the Birthday celebration continues into September 2017

With your help, we accomplished a lot this year.  Please inform your villages of all our accomplishments. People need to be aware of the good work the CA Board has done. Thanks.

Andy Stack

2017 and 2015 River Hill Village Election result

I will serve my second term on the Columbia Association and river Hill Village Board. I will miss Michael Cornell for his leadership and great mentor during my first two years at Columbia Association.
River Hill Community Association
  Election Results

Thanks to everyone who came out to vote today.
The quorum was met. Here are the final results:

Quorum: 34
Absentee Votes: 4
In Person: 100
Total Votes: 104

River Hill Village Board (May 1, 2017-April 30, 2019):

Richard Thomas 91
Dalia Shlash 80
One open position on the Association’s Board of Directors remains. This seat will be filled by appointment on May 1.
River Hill Council Representative (May 1 2017
April 30, 2019)
Chao Wu 103
Ballot Questions to Amend the Association’s By-Laws – All Proposed Amendments Passed
In Favor     Opposed
#1                                           82                  12
#2                                          81                   13
#3                                          77                   16
2015 River Hill Election Results

Many, many thanks to everyone who came out to vote on Saturday! Here are the results:

Quorum:                     53 

Absentee Votes:          0

In Person:                   80

Total Votes:                80 

River Hill Columbia Council Representative (May 1, 2015 – April 30, 2017):
Chao Wu                     80

River Hill Village Board (May 1, 2015 – April 30, 2017):

There were no candidates for the three open positions on the Association’s Board of Directors. These three seats will be filled by appointment after May 1.