River Hill Community Association Master Plan Committee Charter

The River Hill Community Association (“RHCA”) Board of Directors, being fully authorized and empowered under Article 3 of the RHCA Articles of Incorporation and Article 3 of the RHCA Bylaws, and in order to enhance the well being of the River Hill Community by addressing issues relating future development, hereby approves and adopts this Charter to establish the River Hill Village Center Master Plan Committee (“MPC”), to wit:


Article 1: Organization

The MPC shall be a special committee of the RHCA Board of Directors comprised of interested residents and one or more members of the RHCA Board of Directors and shall be generally organized as follows:

a. Name

The River Hill Village Center Master Plan Committee may be referred to as the “RHCA Master Plan Committee” and/or the “MPC”.

b. Members

The members of the MPC shall include no more than ten (10) interested residents of the communities making up the River Hill Community Association, members of communities near to properties within the territorial boundaries of the Village of River Hill, residents of properties near to the territorial boundaries of the Village of River Hill, owners and tenants of business properties within and near to the territorial boundaries of the Village of River Hill, and such other persons as the MPC deems appropriate and necessary. Members will be appointed by the RHCA Board of Directors.

c. Authority

  1. The MPC, under the auspices of the RHCA Board of Directors, shall have the authority to do all acts necessary, subject to the approval of the RHCA Board of Directors, to develop, implement and achieve the objectives and underlying intent of this Charter.
  2. Final authority for the approval and adoption of the recommendations, plans and concepts created by the MPC shall be solely vested with the RHCA Board of Directors.

Article 2: Objectives

The objectives of this Charter and the establishment of the MPC shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

  1. To define, develop and establish a River Hill Village Center Master Plan (herein “Master Plan”) that will serve the best interests of the residents of the Greater River Hill Community Area with respect to future development within and adjacent to the territorial boundaries of the Village of River Hill. The Master Plan, after approval by the Board of Directors, will be submitted to the Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning (DPZ) in order to be made available to the public pursuant to the Maryland Public Information Act. Similarly any changes to the Master Plan must be approved by the Board of Directors prior to submittal to Howard County DPZ.
  2. To define and establish the territorial boundaries of the Greater River Hill Community Area. situated within Columbia, Maryland, Clarksville, Maryland, Fulton Maryland and Highland Maryland, for which future development, in or adjacent to said boundaries, may impact and/or influence the objectives of the Master Plan.
  3. To collaborate with local government entities regarding future development within and adjacent to the Greater River Hill Community Area territorial boundaries which may influence, impact and/or affect the Master Plan.
  4. To collaborate with local businesses and merchants in connection with future development that may influence, impact and/or affect the Master Plan.
  5. To collaborate with local residents in connection with future development that may influence, impact and/or affect the Master Plan.
  6. To collaborate with other adjacent local communities in connection with development that may influence, impact and/or affect the Master Plan.

Article 4: Legislative History and Background

Over the course of the past several years there have been several legislative initiatives related to planning and zoning that have both direct and indirect impact on the global communities known as Columbia, Maryland, Clarksville, Maryland and Fulton, Maryland. The result of these initiatives has included, in part, the enactment of Howard County Council Bills 29-2009 and 59-2009 (ZRA-102) and CB59-2009 (downtown redevelopment). In addition, there have been many new development proposals and projects in the River Hill, Clarksville and Fulton areas which will have an impact on the residents, business owners and property owners in these areas which may affect their personal interest, property interest, health, safety and well being, and their general quality of life including, but not limited to, day-to-day activities. For this reason, the RHCA Board of Directs recognizes the need to be actively involved in the planning process for future development in, around and adjacent to the Village of River Hill.

Pursuant to CB No. 29-209 (ZRA-102), the Howard County Council amended the Howard County zoning regulations to empower and/or allow the owner of any portion of a village center in the New Town zoning district to petition to amend certain approved development plans for the owner’s property; establishing public notice, information, and justification requirements for such petition; establishing standards to be used by the Zoning Board in evaluating and considering such petition; and generally relating to the New Town zoning district. This Council Bill, as amended and enacted, is incorporated by reference herein for guidance in connection with the planning process and future development of the River Hill Community area and the creation of the Master Plan.


Article 5: Responsibilities

Among other things, the MPC will promote collaboration, coordination, interaction and/or communication in pursuit of the establishment and development of the Master Plan, including, but not limited to, other documents and mechanisms that position the community to take an active role in shaping the future composition of property, related improvements and uses in the Greater River Hill Community Area. The MPC will have the authority and responsibility to produce position papers, correspondence, presentations, comments on documents produced by others, interviews, petitions, testimony and such other matters deemed beneficial to the MPC and the RHCA Board of Directors. Specific responsibilities include but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Providing an open forum for the discussion of topics and issues related to future development in the Greater River Hill Community Area.
  2. Coordinating input from key stakeholders, including residents, property owners, merchants, tenants and local/state government officials.
  3. Seeking input from representatives of other local communities and/or Columbia Villages that have developed or are in the process of developing master plans.
  4. Leveraging additional resources and expertise made available by the County, State, the Columbia Association and/or other to be determined sources.
  5. The development of a vision, goals and objectives for the Master Plan.
  6. The creation of a framework, process and timeline to realize the successful creation of the Master Plan.
  7. To collaborate with other committees and working groups that are pursuing common goals of the MPC, including but not limited to the RHCA Traffic/Safety Committee and the RHCA Architectural Committee.
  8. To be a part of and influence any zoning review processes and zoning amendments to be consistent with the goals of the Master Plan and the objectives of this Charter.
  9. To define the local territorial properties that should be included in considerations which are a part of the establishment, development and perpetuation of the master plan.
  10. To establish and promote concepts that will enhance and/or achieve environmental objectives relating to the master plan.
  11. To establish and promote concepts that will enhance and/or achieve sustainable energy resources relating to the master plan.
  12. To define historical aspects of the Greater River Hill Community Area that should be considered in the Master Plan.
  13. The MPC will provide quarterly updates to the RHCA Board of Directors.

Article 6: Amendment and Perpetuation

The RHCA Board of Directors reserves unto itself the authority to amend this Charter and the role, responsibilities and authority of the MPC. Further, the RHCA Board of Directors reserves unto itself the authority to perpetuate this Charter and the master plan sought to be established pursuant to this Charter including all aspects of the master plan.

This Charter has been approved by the RHCA Board of Directors.

APPROVED: 11/1/10

REVISED: 8/20/12