Columbia Council Rep Report

CA Board Work Session June 14, 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

June 14, 2018


Resident Speakout

Chris Alleva said parking enforcement in Guilford Industrial Park has addition enforcement now.

Joel Hurewitz spoke about work session rules, the agendas and minutes and public records.

Tom Scott spoke about the Fairway Hills Golf Course damage.  In 1984, the course was renovated.  This course sits in a flood plain.  He suggests that a 9 hole course would have been a smarter choice.  The flood plain continues to cost a lot of money due to damage from flooding.  Tom suggests when the budget is created it is done in a manner that allows the courses to make money. Based on Tom’s information both courses are working at a loss.

Chairman’s Remarks

Columbia Festival of the Arts begins tomorrow evening. Everyone is encourage to attend.

Work Session Topics:

Discussion of the Most Recent Columbia Development Tracker

The Development Tracker helps keep the Board and residents informed about what changes are taking place in and around Columbia.

The Board gets a summary of what the development is and the zoning issues.  Also the public meetings are listed so we know where the process is for each change in the area.

Some development doesn’t require public meetings, but then the Board will be informed of applications submitted for approval.

Once plans are submitted to the county, included will be the SDP or site development plans, the subdivision plans, sketch plans, final plans, environmental concept plans (ECP) Waiver Petitions.

The tracker will be changed a bit to assure the Board and residents can see which projects have the greatest impact on Columbia.  The tracker is pretty comprehensive and can be very helpful.   Please feel free to check it out on the CA website:

 Capital Projects and Open Space Updates

Dennis Mattey, Columbia Association, Director of Open Space and Facility Services, informed the Board of the current projects and those recently completed.  There are a lot of projects that CA has successfully completed to help improve the amenities in the many facilities.

The bridge at Fairway Hills was destroyed in the last flood.  It was brand new.  CA is looking at reengineering the new bridge and other possibilities for the course itself.

The Swim Center roof is off and work needs to be done on this part of the Swim Center.

The Athletic Club has been mostly demolished.  Wilde Lake Park near the barn has a new tot lot.  Be sure to stop by with the children and enjoy it.

Overview of CA BOD Members’ Legal Responsibilities

CA is a non- stock corporation under Maryland law. It is a not for profit corporation under 501(c)(4) of the IRS, i.e. social welfare organizations.

Directors must act with care, attend board meetings, and participate in the decision making functions of the board.   Members must read reports, financial statements, and can rely on information from other professionals both within and outside of the organization.

There was discussion about whether or not it is a conflict of interest if one who sits on the CA board runs for another elected office as well.  There were several who voiced concern about this and at the least an appearance of a problem.

 Encroachment on CA Property (IMPORTANT INFORMATION)

CA’s primary goal is to maintain property lines.  Prior to this, property lines were only inspected when a neighbor complained.  Now with new technology, CA has initiated a program to remove all encroachments and regain the property owned and maintained by CA.  It was suggested to now include the property boundaries with compliance letters so people can be assured they won’t be told to remove a deck or room or garden after living in a property or buying a property that people thought were free of such issues.

The property lines are now + or – 3 feet.  Depending on how far into the property line the issue is, there will be various means of remediation.   If structures were built on CA property, they must be removed immediately.

A letter of compliance does not mean that a property does not encroach on CA property.  Without a survey, there is no way to know if a deck, room, fence, etc. are properly placed on the property.  A letter of compliance does not mean the house and all parts are where they should be.  If one buys a house and finds something, i.e. deck, fence or room, are where they should be or not be, as owners, people are responsible for their property line.   Bottom line, CA is claiming its property back.

So, if you have built a deck, added a room, or made any exterior change to your home, be sure you have a survey and that whatever you choose to add will be only on your property.

The GIS technology is available from the County for anyone to use.

Currently fifteen homeowners in WIlde Lake have received letters about encroachment.  Depending on how extensive the encroachment is, it may not need to be removed until the property transfers title, i.e.  is sold.   If it is a major encroachment, it needs to be removed as soon as possible.  If there are questions as to whether or not the encroachment is major or minor, you should contact Sean Harbaugh at CA Open Space at [email protected].

Allow Residents to Speak on Any Topic at Board Work Sessions

The Board will vote to amend the governing document to allow residents to speak about any topic at work sessions rather than sticking to the work session topic.

It was suggested that the Board look at the governing document to see if there are other changes as well.  That will take a longer time so it may be done at some point in the future.  However, the resident speak out will be changed at next meeting.  Everyone seems to be in favor of that change.

The question of streaming the board sessions was discussed.  The Board did not reach a conclusion.   The possibility of a podcast or some means of recording the work sessions will be explored.

Feel free to contact me at the email address below my name.

Enjoy the warm weather.   Please remember to VOTE!  Early voting is taking place now.  Primary Election Day is June 26!

Nancy McCord

[email protected]