Annual Report: The Year in Review (May 1, 2021 – April 30, 2022)

The River Hill Community Association (RHCA) Board of Directors (BOD) is responsible for overseeing the Association’s operations, establishing Association policies, and advocating on behalf of the community. The BOD generally ensures that the Association is working to enhance the quality of life for the owners and residents of the Village of River Hill. During FY22, Matt Levine served as the BOD Chairperson, assisted by Vice Chair Adam White. Also serving on the BOD were Kevin Bruening, Eric Greenberg, Harjeet Jandu, Tony Micelli, Janet Munro, Jian Ni, and Dipper Wettstein. Renee DuBois served as River Hill’s Columbia Council Representative and ex officio BOD member for part of the year. Eric Greenberg was appointed to complete the remainder of Ms. DuBois’ term ending April 20, 2022, when she was hired to be the new Village Manager. Day-to-day operations of the Association are performed by a paid leadership team.

Informing The Community:
The Association’s offices are located at Claret Hall,
6020 Daybreak Circle, Clarksville (in the River Hill Village Center). The offices are open to the public Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Claret Hall is also open to the public during meetings of the Board of Directors and its committees. Association staff are available during these times to respond to residents’ questions, concerns, and requests. A variety of information is available for residents, including Architectural Guidelines, Exterior Alteration Applications, Legal Documents, and The Villager.

The Association uses multiple tools to communicate with residents with The Villager being the most popular. The Villager is a monthly newsletter delivered by carriers who live in the community. The carriers in FY22 were Ari Berkowitz, Isaac Chiang, Lucas Chiang, Garrett Donnelly, Eden Clemmer, Adam Hawthorne, Connor Hawthorne, Josh Hernandez, Rishab Jain, Josie Just, Eric Key, Liam Luke, Sayyeed Mohammed, Nitesh Parikh, Sasha Patel, Samantha Smole, Sean Smole, Jack Smoot, Noah Vilk, Julia Windsor, and Tyler Windsor.

The Association also maintains a website: www.villageofriverhill.org; and three Facebook pages: www.facebook.com/RiverHillCommunityAssociation, www.Facebook.com/ClaretHallMD, and www.Facebook.com/WatershedCommittee. Lastly, residents are encouraged to sign up for Association email blasts by texting CLARETHALL to 22828.

Involving the Community:
The Association continually seeks to involve and engage members of the community. Residents serve on the Association’s Board of Directors, committees of the Board,
and volunteer at special events throughout the year. The Association offered the following community events and programs in FY22:
• Cul de Sac Beautification grants
• Food on the 15th year-round collection
• Master Gardener Seminars
• Independence Day Parade
• River Hill Pool Party
• Prepare for Success school supply donation site
• Haunted Hallow’s Eve (in conjunction with the River Hill merchants and Kimco Realty)
• Dunkin’ with Santa (in conjunction with Dunkin’ Donuts)
• CA Open Space Appreciation Luncheon
• School’s Out Bingo
• Village Election Day
• Sip ‘n Paint

The Association makes space available for rent at the Meeting Room (located next to the River Hill Swimming Pool) and Claret Hall. Columbia lien payers and nonprofits receive a 10% discount on the rental rates, and the buildings are rented for a variety of social events and meetings. The Association is committed to involving residents of all ages. The Teen Advisory Committee (TAC) is key to meeting this objective. The TAC members contribute countless hours to support Association sponsored events, making them a success. The members of the FY22 TAC were Trinity Cheng, Jennifer Gao, Hallie Goldstein, Serena Goyal, Rahul Goyal, Eric Key, Maddie Lynott, Sydney Lynott, Elinor Tu, and Arthur Wang. The TAC’s School’s Out Bingo event raised funds in support of the Foundation for International Medical Relief for Children. RHCA continues to support local youth by maintaining the charter of Boy Scout Troop 618. Michael Cornell, a former Columbia Council Representative and RHCA Board member, serves as the Chartering Organization’s representative.

River Hill’s Watershed Advisory Committee (WAC) focuses on educating and engaging residents on efforts to reduce stormwater runoff and erosion, to improve watershed quality. The Chair of the Watershed Committee is Simone Smith and Adam White served as the Board of Directors’ liaison to the committee. Other committee members include Bruce Eberle, Jack Sacchetti, Heidi Hoffmeister, and Chloe Hoffmeister. Throughout the year, the Association continued to support local organizations that are integral to and benefit the community. In-kind and monetary donations were made to Boy Scout Troop 618, The Village in Howard, Atholton High School PTSA, and River Hill High School PTSA.

Improving the Community:
The Association continuously works with residents, Howard County, Columbia Association, and other organizations that are fundamental to benefiting the community. These efforts take many forms by providing community input on local development projects, and enforcement of the Association’s Maintenance Covenants and Architectural Guidelines. The Board of Directors and the Traffic and Safety Committee also advocated for vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle amenities.

The Architectural Committee (AC) and the Resident Architectural Committee (RAC) ensured that the Village’s covenant process ran smoothly, and changes were made to the Architectural Guidelines to generate a more environmentally friendly community. The following members of the community served on these committees: Mohamed Saleem, Karen Jespersen, Karen Smith, Debbie Trapuzzano, Ilona Mallon, Thomas D. Johnson, Jim Munro, Gary Sauers, and S. Jennifer Zhai. In FY22:
• 180 Exterior Alteration Applications were reviewed by the RAC and AC and final decisions rendered.
• The Covenant Advisor processed 102 requests for Letters of Compliance.
• The Association received 96 complaints; the majority were residential property maintenance issues. When appropriate, complaints are referred to the responsible departments within Columbia Association, Howard County Government, Kimco Realty, and Maryland State Highway Administration.
• Exterior Alteration Applications were predominantly for tree removal (33%), followed by maintenance requests for material or color changes. Other Exterior Alteration Applications included patios/decks and water remediation projects.

What Lies Ahead:
The Association was in the fourth year of a five-year management contract with Columbia Association. The contract allows the Association to manage Claret Hall and the Meeting Room and retain the rental revenue to fund Village operations. The contract defines the operational relationship between CA and the Villages and structures the financial reporting requirements. The Management Contract will be renegotiated during FY23, with the intent of providing long-term certainty for the Association.

What can River Hill’s residents do to help? Let the Association know what is important to you, share your concerns and ideas with the Board of Directors and staff. Participate in programs the Association offers, or volunteer in some capacity. The doors of Claret Hall are open, and we invite you to stop in and visit. Let us know what your vision is for the future of the Village.