Columbia Council Rep Report

CA Board Work Session February 8, 2018

These notes reflect Nancy’s viewpoint only.

The official minutes of the Columbia Association Board meetings can be found on the CA website at: 

Nancy encourages you to send her your comments on her notes. Please reply to her directly at [email protected] 

Columbia Association Board of Directors Work Session

February 8, 2018


Resident Speakout

  • Phillip Dodge, Downtown Partnership Executive Director, provided information to the Board about the partnership.
  • Joel Hurewitz, Harper’s Choice resident, talked about the Erickson plan to build in Clarksville and budgeting for the Lakefront.
Chairman’s Remarks

Date   Activity Time

2/10/18 MD Society of Portrait Painters Reception (Art Center) 2:00 pm

2/12/18 HOCO Land Use Regulation Assessment (County)   2:30 pm

2/12/18 HOCO Land Use Regulation Assessment (OMHS)    7:00 pm

2/15/18 CA Board Work Session (if needed)    7:30 pm

2/20/18 CA Board Candidates Information session 7:00 pm

2/20/18 Solar cooperative Information session (Owen Brown)    7:00 pm

2/22/18 CA Board meeting   7:30 pm

2/24/18 CA Board Candidates Information session    10:00 am

2/27/18 Home Garden seminar (Kings Contrivance)    7:00 pm

3/6/18   Excite Columbia begins (3 sessions in total)    6:30 pm (RR)

RR – Registration Required

President’s Remarks
  • The new CA Community Planner, Jessica Bella, was introduced.
Work Session Topics:  Overview of the Proposed Erickson Development Community – Clarksville, MD
  • The new community is proposed for approximately 62 acres of land across from the River Hill Village Center.   The parcel is along Rte. 108 and Shepard Lane.  1,200 independent living spaces and 240 unites in nursing care will be built in 3-5 stories buildings.  The developer is proposing a dog park and other community spaces and amenities. There are five acres dedicated to public use space. Also Erickson is planning to create substantial traffic improvements and signals at this location. This is not part of the general plan.  The plan needs to go to the Planning Board for approval.   The Zoning Board which is composed of the members of the Howard County Council, will need to make the final determination.  Sewer and water would need to be brought to the property.
  • Shepard Lane is a “scenic” road.  The changes that are planned will improve the road and will be coordinated with neighbors on Rte. 108.  It will become a safer intersection at Shepard Lane.   The community will be gated to provide security for the residents.   The gate will be set back from the 5 acres so the public can access it the amenities for the community.
  • After going through the county process, it is expected and hoped that actual construction will begin in 2021 or 2022.
  • Besides the tremendous need in our community for additional CCRC space, the Erickson presenters explained how the Howard County General Hospital will be greatly relieved because the new facility will have onsite 24/7 doctor and nurses on site.   As the community grows, the fastest growing demographic of the population is seniors and the need is increasing continually.
  • Renee DuBois, Chair of the River Hill Development Committee, said the RHCA is very happy with the current plans.  Ms. DuBois felt Erickson did a good job building out the paths, the streetscape and providing amenities on their property for the community.  This new plan will make Columbia more multi- generational.
Inner Arbor Trust and Pathway
  • Dennis Mattey, CA Director of Open Space and Facility Services, discussed the Symphony Woods pathway.  It has been changed a bit to add a pathway going all the way to Little Patuxent Parkway near the Columbia Central Library corner.  The pathway will be ADA compliant.  There is also a plan for there to be about 1,000 trees in the woods.  Ultimately the trees will be filled in and it will become a more fully developed park.  The parking lot to the west of the park will allow access to the exiting multi use pathway and from that people can access the Chrysalis.  There is also the handicap lot south of the Chrysalis.
  • Board Work Session on the Proposed Draft FY2019 and Conditional FY2020 Budgets

Category 1 projects – the must do projects.

Category 2 projects – the board must approve.

Category 3 projects – capital budget and minor expenditures which don’t require Board approval.

  • There was further discussion about the cost of the ponds.  CA spends millions of dollars in each budget to maintain the ponds.  It was suggested that a cap be put on the cost of expenditures on the ponds.   This work is done on projects that need repair.  Ponds are an important part of the overall enhancement of the environment and the costs are part of maintaining Columbia.  Eventually the costs will moderate in the next few years.  The County will take over the maintenance of several of the ponds.  CA is repairing them so the County will take responsibility for them.  As the process is completed, costs will be reduced.

The Board went through the Category 2 projects for further explanation or questions.

  • There have been a number of requests for more pickle ball.  Two of the courts at Owen Brown will be looked at as possible pickle ball courts.  This is yet to be determined.  The other three courts at Owen Brown will be tennis courts. Racquet ball courts at Supreme have been lined for pickle ball.  Lines are painted also at the indoor tennis center.  One tennis court can be lined to hold two pickle ball courts.  There will be six dedicated pickle ball courts at Owen Brown.
  • There is currently $100,000 in budget for drafting plans for the Lakefront in FY2019.   Also, there is $250,000 in FY20 to create changes to the Lakefront. I, for one, would like that money to not be considered in the budget until the impact of HHC’s plans for their development of the lakefront area are fully understood.  The budget will be discussed again at the February 22 meeting.  Then the Board, after the discussion, will vote on the final budget.  If you would like your voice heard on any issue, please feel free to email me with your concerns.

There was a request for a “Welcome to Columbia” sign.  There are plans for new village signs but there is concern that the signs are not what the Board had hoped. We will learn more in the not too distant future.

Winter is slowly coming to an end.  Stay warm and safe.  Spring is on its way.


Nancy McCord

[email protected]