Columbia Council Rep Report

CA Board Work Session June 13, 2019

Columbia Association Board of Directors

Work Session – June 13, 2019 (Click here to view the agenda & background material.)


Resident Speakout

There were no residents signed up to speakout.

Work Session Topics:  Easement Requests – Roslyn Rise and Horse Center Hydrant

Dennis Mattey, Columbia Association Director of Open Space and Facility Services, discussed two easement requests – one at Roslyn Rise and one at the Horse Center for a hydrant.

Work Session Topics:  Update on CA’s Website

Laura Sitler, Columbia Association Chief Marketing Officer, showed the Board proposed changes to the website.  There have been problems with speed, confusion and difficulty in finding information. There is also the goal to make the website a source for community information. It will make it easier for the Villages to include their information for events and link the Village websites.

User experience hasn’t been good and needs to improve.   Organic search options must be improved.   ADA compliances also have to be considered.  Content and messaging is too long.  There are paragraphs rather than bullet points. Information must be made more immediate. There are plug-ins that let us know compliance has been achieved.  The site needs to be mobile optimized.  It is difficult to register for a class while on a mobile device.

There are three phases:
Phase one is assessment.  This was done last fall.
Phase two is recommendations and feedback, including community surveys and CA staff surveys. This took place 4th quarter FY2019.
Phase three is implementation which will take place first and second quarters of FY2020 (August or September).

The Board was given a tour through the proposed new website.   Once the new website is up and running there are plans to maintain the information updated and continual improvements.

Work Session Topics:  Capital Projects and Open Space Updates
The bridge at Fairway Hills has been replaced with a beautiful new and more secure bridge.  There is a lovely new Boardwalk that goes to the bridge.

There is a refurbished tot lot on Goldamber Garth.   Other major improvements are happening in various locations, including the Columbia Gym and the Athletic Club.  At the Athletic Club, there has been work to insulate the yoga room so there should be a lower noise level or no noise at all from above.

Symphony Woods appearance has improved greatly.  The damage isn’t as bad as in past years because of work that has been done there.  There is very little damage.  CA is doing its great work for the community by keeping this park as beautiful as we want it to be.

CA participates in Greenfest.  Also, CA team members worked in a pollinator garden and helped with the plant exchange in Wilde Lake.

Work Session Topics:  Discussion of the Most Recent Development Tracker
Jessica Bellah, Columbia Association Community Planner, took Board members on a tour of what is happening development-wise in and around Columbia.  This information can be found in the Board meeting packet which is posted on the CA website.

There is concern that even adding an additional lane on Little Patuxent Parkway will not improve the traffic flow.   It is being monitored.  At this time, it is not known what the decision will be to help move the traffic.
It was finally realized that development of an urban area in a suburban community is creating conflict.

Work Session Topics:  CA Board Work Plan/Strategic Initiatives for FY2020

The Board needs to decide what the priorities are for the year, i.e. neighborhood centers, membership, CBA, lakefront changes, etc. A facilitator was hired to help the Board determine the topics.  There was lengthy discussion about what the Board wants to work on this year.  Each Board member gave three topics to cover and then the Board voted on the topics.

The Board came up with 10 topics and then came up with a variety of information needed to make final decisions to move forward with each topic.

The Community Benefit Association (CBA) was discussed.  If a majority of the Board chooses to move forward with the CBA then it will be determined at the next meeting.  In that case, the process for moving forward will be developed.   If the process moves forward, then it will include the Villages and the entire community so everyone who is interested can provide input about how this would proceed.  A decision about dropping it or moving forward will be made in two weeks.  Stay tuned.

Work Session Topics:  Stakeholders’ Dinners – Dates for dinners; format; and composition

The Board will schedule dinners again this year.  There will be dinners with elected officials, Village managers and chairs and a business group.  The Board hopes to also do another event (i.e. lunch or dinner) that may be a bit different.  There are many groups in the community. It would be a good way to reach out to other groups that don’t generally get together with CA Board.

Columbia’s 52nd birthday is being celebrated this year!

Please feel free to contact me with your concerns or questions at:  [email protected]

Warm regards, Nancy