The official minutes of the Columbia Association Board meetings can be found on the CA website at: https://www.columbiaassociation.org/about-us/board-of-directors
Nancy encourages you to send her your comments on her notes. Please reply to her directly at Nancy.McCord@ca-board.org
Columbia Association Board of Directors Organizational Meeting
May 10, 2018
Brian England spoke about New Town zoning (NT) and that it isn’t being handled appropriately by the Department of Planning and Zoning (DPZ). Also he is very concerned about the changes for the worse that Royal Farms will cause if its plan is approved. There were questions about the comprehensive sketch plans (CSP) and what impact that has. The CSPs were lost somehow for this area. There should not be parking overnight in industrial parks but currently cars and trucks are parked there.
Jervis Dorton spoke about working for The Rouse Company for many years. He is very concerned about how the industrial parks are going downhill. There are covenants that HRD is supposed to enforce. HRD is not doing its job. He is asking CA to stand up and take a lead with what is happening in Columbia. He suggests it is incumbent upon CA to take a stand and get to work. The industrial parks that are in bad shape include Oakland Mills with Guilford and Seiling close behind.
Chris Alleva spoke about the importance of getting rid of the trucks and cars parked in the industrial park.
Appointment of Chair and Vice Chair
The Board chose Andy Stack as Chair.
The Board chose Dick Boulton as Vice Chair.
- There was discussion of Village/CA relations. It is appears to be agreed there is an issue that needs to be dealt with. Hopefully a plan can be worked out that will alleviate some if not all the issues.
- Snowden River Parkway can’t be expanded for a while. There are plans to widen Snowden River Parkway from Broken Land Parkway to Route 175. The County will need to buy land in various places and will need easements. There are a number of things that will delay the expansion of Snowden River Parkway any time soon. It will be years away. The breakout project will be to add a third turn lane from Snowden River Parkway onto Broken Land Parkway going south. This change is expected to be done this summer.
- Transportation has been kicked around but there is no plan. The plan to add another lane to total three to turn left will certainly make walkability or bike ability even more difficult. However it was mentioned that there are plans to make Snowden River Parkway a boulevard and to create a more walkable, bike friendly path system. The County also expects to put in cross walks and lights for safety. There is also a proposal to put in a traffic light at Rustling Leaf, but the residents aren’t happy about that.
- Board members are unified in opposing the approval of Royal Farms on Minstrel Way. Snowden River Parkway is beginning to look like Route 1. It needs to be much more carefully considered before more items are added. The traffic is bad already, and it will only get worse with a Royal Farms. There is concern about adding another gas station which could put the one nearby out of business and, potentially, leaving an empty gas station that will become a blight in the area. However, I was a told that there is no consideration given to economic issues, i.e. the loss of a gas station or the amount of taxes paid to the County by a thriving business. In my mind, this makes no sense. Maybe this needs to be discussed with the County as well. Economics play a role everywhere else, why not in determining impact to an area?
- The CA Board needs to determine how it would like to see the Snowden corridor transformed and then say to the County that this is the character that the community wants to see for the area. The CA Board needs to take a position as soon as possible and make clear that CA has a stake in what happens there. Board members want a say.
The Board plans to meet in a retreat where concerns and procedures can be hashed out. A new fiscal year has begun with all the same players in basically the same positions.
I wish congratulations to those who are graduating soon. Happy summer!