Newly Proposed Affordable Housing of Robinson Overlook at River Hill

Newly Proposed Affordable Housing of Robinson Overlook at River Hill

This was presented to River Hill Village board on July 9th, 2018.

Tonight, the Wode Cooper Development, with the Howard County Housing Commission, is proposing 48 housing units at 7410 Grace Drive, Columbia, MD, 21044. The location is at the corner of Cedar Lane and Grace Drive, between Grace building and Robinson Nature Center. Note this is different from the Simpson Oaks’ development plan along Grace Drive uphill.

Woda Cooper Development (CJ Tyree), formed in 1990, have over 300 projects in 15 states. They build, own and manage properties. This project costs around 20 million dollars.

Howard County Housing Commission (Peter Engel) facilitated the development of around 800 affordable units in the county. This is their new project, partnering with Woda Copper.

Back-to-Back stacked units

48-unit rental townhouse/apartment

  1. 8: 1-bedroom (718sf)
  2. 19: 2-bedroom (962 sf)
  3. 21: 3-bedroom(1398 sf)
  4. Amenities include community room, computer lab, and tot lot.

Financing through low-income (62,000 a year income) housing tax credit, administered by Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).

JC believe this stacked type of housing more appealing than apartment.

Mixed Income Structure

  1. 30% AMI targeted units = 9 . , annual salary of 20K for 1 bedroom
  2. 40% AMI targeted units = 6
  3. 50% AMI targeted units = 6
  4. 60% . AMI targeted units = 22
  5. Unrestricted income units = 5

Timeline

  1. May 2018, submitted tax credit application
  2. August 2018, begin county entitlement process
  3. September 2018, receive tax credits
  4. July 2019, Receive building permits, begin construction
  5. August 2020, Complete construction
  6. December 2020, Complete leasing

Join Team Wu’s Independence Day Parade

Please join us to celebrate the great moment. Please email me at chaowu2016@gmail.com. We will meet at 9:00 AM on July 4th, Pointers’ Run Elementary School and Clarksville Middle School.

   http://www.villageofriverhill.org/sights-and-sounds-of-summer-19th-annual-independence-day-parade-is-local-highlight/

As always, this year’s parade will be held on July 4 beginning at 9 a.m. The parade stages in the parking lots at Pointers Run Elementary and Clarksville Middle Schools, travels the length of Great Star Drive, and ends at Signal Bell Lane at the 5th District Fire Station. It is not unusual to see chairs set up along the route early in the morning in anticipation of this community tradition. There are many great things about River Hill’s Independence Day Parade. The kids might say it’s the candy and trinkets or the opportunity to ride a float or march with their friends. Of course, who can forget the Lawn Chair Marching Dads and the blasting sirens of the fire trucks. The presence of our elected officials and veterans of our nation’s wars honor our democracy and remind us of the sacrifices made on its behalf. We can all agree that each Independence Day our diverse community is fortunate to have the opportunity to think about what it means to be an American and to celebrate our freedom.

Our team needs your help to celebrate Independence Day as founding father John Adams envisioned in 1776, with “pomp and parade”! 

I have joined the parade each year since my daughter was two years old. It is fun and aspiring.

Please email me at chaowu2016@gmail.com. We will meet at 9:00 AM on July 4th, Pointers’ Run Elementary School and Clarksville Middle School.

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 https://www.columbiaassociation.org/about-us/policies-statements/financial-reports/columbia-association-annual-report/ 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: 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.

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: 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

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: 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

Overview of Approved CA FY2019-2020 Budget (The Villager 2018-03)

Overview of Approved CA FY2019-2020 Budget

The article is published on The Villager of River Hill Community Association, 2018-03 issue.

On Thursday, February 22, the Columbia Association’s (CA) Board of Directors approved the FY2019 and Conditional FY2020 Budget. In FY 2019-2020, the annual charge rate will be $0.68 of every 100 dollars of the assessed value of the property with a 3.5% cap. I made a motion to bring down the annual charge rate to $0.65 (around 4.4% decrease) which failed. I will continue advocating for a lower annual charge rate in the future. I believe many residents are negatively impacted by this high annual charge fee due to the cap being increase from 2.5% to 3.5% and the continued rise of property values in our community. The membership fee also keeps climbing up each year. I believe that by lowering the cap, Columbia residents will have more disposable income to purchase CA fitness memberships that will offset the loss of assessment share income.

I made a motion to remove approximately $200,000 dollars in funding for village sign replacement since a majority of villages do not like the new sign design. This motion passed. During the budget process, the Board had a lot of discussion on the membership fee, construction of modular houses for Columbia Horse Center, maintenance of CA bridges and tunnels, the outlook for Haven on the Lake, and funding to the Inner Arbor Trust for pathway construction in Symphony Woods. An overview of the approved budget is given below.

Total FY19 budgeted revenue and annual borrowings are $81,798,000. The breakdown by source is provided below ($000’s):

Interest and other $972 (1.2%)
Borrowing $7,316 (8.9%)
Commercial Annual Charge $14,160 (17.3%)
Residential Annual Charge $26,296 (32.2%)
Community Services Programs, $4,775 (5.8%)
Sport and Fitness Income, $28,279(34.6%)

In FY19, the $81,798,000 will be used in the following ways (000’s):

Sport and Fitness Programs and Facilities: $29,371 (35.9%)
Contingencies/other $506 (0.6%)
Administrative Services $2,289 (2.8%)
Village Community Associations $5,411 (6.6%)
Community Services Programs $7,827 (9.6%)
Capital Expenditures $20,000 (24.5%)
Debt Repayment $1,895 (2.3%)
Board of Directors $1,002 (1.2%)
Open Space Management $13,497 (16.5%)

Major capital projects (greater than $500,000) approved for FY19 and FY 20 include:

Columbia Swim Center – Phase III Renovations $1,225,000
Watershed improvement projects $710,000
Athletic Club – Phase II Renovations $5,000,000
Columbia Gym – HVAC $600,000
Horse Center – Facility Assessment Survey Items $655,000
Supreme Sports Club Renovation $4,700,000
Haven on the Lake – Site Renovation $1,000,000
Slayton House-Theater Renovations $515,000
Columbia-Wide HVAC Systems $600,000
Columbia-Wide Watershed Stabilization $850,000
Columbia Wide Ponds Dredging and Repairs $846,000
Lake Elkhorn Planning and Dredging $1,090,000
Equipment and Vehicles $800,000
Sport and Fitness Facilities and Equipment Upgrades $550,000
Columbia-Wide Bridge Replacement $615,000
Columbia-Wide Pathway Renovations $1,000,000
Aquatics- Hawthorn ADA-Complaint Wading Pool $500,000
Headquarters Building –Reserve for Deposit $1,100,000
Stonehouse – Full Building Renovation $750,000

To view more information on CA’s FY19/20 budget, visit: www.columbiaassociation.org/budget.

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.

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.

School Redistricting Forum

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a37db3b1-631b-43c5-93dc-afbd524c22b9.jpg River Hill
Commun
ity Association
6020 Daybreak Circle, Clarksville, MD 21029 410-531-1749 FAX 410-531-1259
eac2d15a-262d-49e5-a4d0-561262562c6d.gif School Redistricting Forum
Friday, September 8
6:30 p.m. at Claret Hall The River Hill Community Association will sponsor a community forum
for residents of the Village of River Hill only
to discuss the proposed school redistricting and formulate a plan to provide feedback to the
Howard County Public School System.

Limited seating. Attendees must pre-register by calling
410-531-1749 between these hours:
Today (9/1) 4-5 p.m.
Saturday (9/2) 9 a.m.-noon
Sunday (9/3) 9:30 a.m.-noon
and during regular business hours next week.

Children will not be permitted at the event.
You will need to provide your River Hill property address when registering.
Identification will also need to be provided as proof of residence to gain entry to the forum on Sept. 8.
Doors will open at 6:00 p.m.

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River Hill Community Association, Claret Hall, 6020 Daybreak Circle, Clarksville, MD 21029
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Busy Fall Agendas (The Villager 2017-09)

Busy Fall Agendas

By Dr. Chao Wu,  This article is published on The Villager of River Hill, September 2017 issue.

The fall is a busy time for everyone, including the River Hill Community Association (RHCA) and Columbia Association (CA). In September, the River Hill Board of Directors (RHBOD) will host a public forum related to school redistricting. There are two proposals in front of the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) superintendent: One is from the HCPSS 2017 Feasibility Study and the other one has been developed by the Area Attendance Committee. The proposals have different impacts on Clarksville Elementary School, Pointers Run Elementary School, Clarksville Middle School, River Hill High School and Atholton High School. The RHBOD wants to use this public forum to channel residents’ redistricting concerns. The RHBOD is holding another meeting with residents in September to explore the potential for a community playground or updated tot lots in the village. The CA Board Operations Committee has finalized agendas for meetings this fall. Here are some highlights:

September:

1. Community Stakeholders provide input for consideration for the FY 2019 and FY 2020 draft budgets.
2. Analyze Village Financials.
3. Discuss Lakefront core design guidelines.
4. Discuss FY 2018 1st quarter financial report (May, June and July 2017). This report will provide the board members with some understanding of the implementation of the new membership structure and pricing.
5. Discuss assessment share committee final report and recommendations.

October:

1. Work on major capital projects, new initiatives and community stakeholder requests, for the proposed FY 2019 and Conditional FY 2020 budgets.
2. Review CA dashboard.
3. Discuss and vote on the Paris Climate Accord, encouraging other entities and our residents to reduce carbon footprints.

November:

1. Meet with Howard County Department of Zoning to discuss New Town Zoning.
2. Overview of CA Open Space and Facilities Services Department.

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.

Some River Hill Redistricting History

From David E. Thalheimer, Clarksville Happenings of Facebook. It is very informative.


Back to the Future (of Redistricting): I wanted to provide a little historical perspective on the current redistricting proposals and discuss the current proposals. The HCPSS presented a Feasibility Study and the AAC is in the process of drafting their own proposal, which will be presented to the Superintendent. The Superintendent will then have his staff prepare a final recommendation to the Board. The Board will look at this recommendation, but may decide to start all over again.

For those who remember, there was a comparable high school redistricting in 2002 that moved many students from the west to the east and was very contentious for the residents of Clarksville/River Hill and the surrounding area. Glenelg HS had water and septic issues that required a reduction in capacity, so many students were redistricted to RHHS. However, because the population of River Hill was experiencing a huge amount of growth at the same time and could not handle the influx of Glenelg students, a large portion of the neighborhood was redistricted from RHHS to Atholton and Reservoir. In 2005, the new Marriotts Ridge HS was built, which then required further redistricting. The new school drew students from RHHS, Centennial, Glenelg, and Mount Hebron.

Now, 16 years later, the pendulum has swung back due to over-capacity in the east and the need for a new high school to handle the growth.

However, until the new high school site is located and funded, we will not be able to design a solid redistricting plan that does not need to be changed within a few years. So, I think that redistricting this year may be premature as it may result in further dislocations. The Board first needs to finalize the plan for a new high school. If you are interested, please see these redistricting news articles from 2002: http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2002-01-31/news/0201310073_1_river-hill-clarksville-hill-high and 2005: http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2004-11-24/news/0411240472_1_hebron-high-mount-hebron-river-hill-high

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: www.ericksonatlimestone.com

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: chaowu2016@gmail.com  Website: http://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.

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
www.villageofriverhill.org.

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
manager@villageofriverhill.org.