Columbia Association Board of Directors
Work Session, December 13, 2018
Paul Verchinski from Oakland Mills spoke about the electric vehicle council. He is on the council to promote electric vehicles. He believes assessment share players should not have to pay for the electric power at various areas in Columbia. The question is why should they get this benefit?
Geoffrey Howard from Oakland Mills talked about stream erosion. His concerns are about improvements made in his neighborhood. There is impervious path that floods lots and adjacent areas. If the path were pervious it should relieve this problem. There is concern that this is a CA pathway that is impervious and not helping the situation. He asks that CA and their townhome association come together to work on fixing the issues.
Ed Newman from Oakland Mills says that several ash trees near his home were supposed to be removed but have not been removed yet. There are several dead trees on CA property and on the flood plain that need to be removed. In 1971, there was a step over stream that has become a gorge. Nothing has been done about it. He expects it to be flooded this weekend with the expected heavy rains.
John Slater lives in Dorsey Search. He spoke about CA paying for the pathway in Symphony Woods. He is unhappy that there is nothing there. He sees this moment in time to take a course of action and make use of the open bowl area. He wants the IAT to create a revised master plan and use the truck route to form the “living room”.
Chris Alleva, Brian England and Jervis Dorton addressed the East Guilford Industrial Park during the Board discussion of the topic.
Michael Golubersuch is from Owen Brown. He spoke about mechanical dredging from Lake Elkhorn. He is concerned about environmental damage or dead marsh land behind their homes. He asks that CA weigh more heavily the disruption the dredging creates.
George Delaney lives in Oakland Mills and has serious issues with stream erosion. He thanked Ginny Thomas and Oakland Mills Community Association staff for helping mitigate his problems. He is losing land and trees have dropped into the stream. The bank may well collapse because of all the erosion. He is asking for help because this has been going on for over 20 years.
John Klein lives in Vantage Point, Town Center. His background is civil engineering. He looked at the issue of stream erosion. He says there are a number of other solutions than the ones that have been considered. Economically viable options are there to be explored. He said that re-mediating in one area can exacerbate issues in another area.
David Chroniger lives in Owen Brown. He is concerned about Lake Elkhorn dredging. He was upset that they will be closing off the pathway. He would like to change the way the path is handled.
Work Session Topics: Discussion of the Most Recent Development Tracker
The Erickson continuous care facility proposed to be built in Clarksville will go before the Planning Board January 17, 2019. The general plan amendment is expected to be passed by the County Council. There was a recommendation that the area be changed from rural to allow public sewer and water. Nothing has been approved yet. There is a question as to whether there is any enforcement of the community enhancement floating district. The Board expressed concern that the planning for the development of the project is carried out as promised.
There was a request to keep track of what is about to come on line regarding new development in the near future. A property that is completed in December 2019 will come on the tax rolls in FY2021 which is in 2020.
Work Session Topics: Stream Erosion Study
John McCoy and Dennis Mattey made a presentation regarding stabilizing the stream banks. There are approximately 35 miles of streams that flow through open space. Many originate in storm drains. The cause of the problems is due to impervious surfaces. Most streets have streams flowing underneath. The streams meander. No one is responsible for damage caused to another property by water that changes course.
There are some streams that are relatively stable. Some have moderate erosion and some with severely eroding banks…and some extreme situations.
A study was commissioned by CA with the US Fish and Wildlife Stream Survey which did not include impact. There are photos of each site. CA can now get a good feel for what’s happening in our area.
Bank stabilization deals with a specific issue. Stream stabilization is a much bigger picture issue. CA tries not to go over 200 linear feet. It is a simple permitting issue. CA can build it. It is preferable to try to get someone else to pay for it, i.e. the county or the state.
There are a number of projects at costs from $40,000 to $75,000. This is a very costly program.
John McCoy proposed that $100,000 be added to the budget to aid homeowners whose homes are within 50 feet of a stream. The $100,000 would cover costs for about 1 1/2 homes.
Work Session Topics: East Guilford Industrial Park Covenant Enforcement Recommendation
Columbia residents, Brian England, Jervis Dorton, and Chris Alleva have provided a draft of a proposition to eliminate restrictions and create new ones for the Guilford Industrial Park.
Brian England spoke about the Guilford concerns. Five years have passed since this was first brought to the Board. There are a number of property owners in Guilford Industrial Park including CA. The properties are subject to covenants which make them more valuable. The planning changes are a concern. The Board wants to be certain the plans are what are most beneficial to the area.
Jervis Dorton spoke about terminating or modifying the covenants. If terminating, then creating new covenants that would be more practical. CA is the one entity that has a vision of Columbia. Jervis recommends a small committee should do the work of rewriting the covenants. He would like to be included in the architectural committee. Design guidelines are critical for the developer to follow. Without those guidelines there is concern they won’t be administered.
Chris Alleva says the purpose is to supplement the restrictions. Parking has been a big issue. He is asking to clarify the language provided by the CA attorney that will help strengthen the plan to provide these changes to the covenants.
The group needs 50% of the owners to create the changes. Chris says they are close to that number. This is the first step to enhance and improve the industrial parks in Columbia.
What the group is trying to do is to regain the property values. Currently, without enforcement of regulations, values have decreased. Covenants make Columbia what it is and helps maintain values. Commercial brokers tell Chris that because of chaos and parking issues potential tenants aren’t interested. Guilford is no longer a first class industrial park. This groups wants to bring it back to a first class status.
CA wants to know that all the owners in the park have responded and what the owners want.
December Meeting of the CA board followed the Work Session
The Board discussed the metrics to determine how memberships are doing and what dollars are affected. Some members stop paying and when that happens there are various means of dealing with those memberships. CA has become stricter about not allowing use of the recreational facilities if payments aren’t made in a timely fashion.
The Board wants to see what the dollar amount and membership numbers that go beyond the allowed time to pay for memberships.
Clarabridge now demonstrates an effort score. The Board looks at metrics to determine what customers think about CA facilities. How easy or difficult is it to do business with CA?
If effort is hard, the Board should better understand what people are thinking and then work to improve the issue that some think are hard.
Data can now be divided up by the age of the individuals using facilities. The Board can then better understand how varying age groups use and feel about the facilities.
Happy Holidays to one and all. I also wish each of you an especially happy healthy 2019.
Columbia Council Representative from Wilde Lake.