Stormwater Management Project on Hold

The State Highway Administration (SHA) has been working on a stormwater management project at the intersection of MD 32, Cedar Lane, and Grace Drive for at least 6 months. This project (#AX-7665282R) is part of a larger SHA project occurring at multiple locations. The purpose of the project is to fulfill the goals of the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Program as part of the restoration efforts for the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The local portion of the project includes the enlargement of the pre-existing stormwater management pond and the removal of many trees and a significant amount of dirt. SHA initially expected the construction of this new facility to take two months. However, issues arose during construction and it is currently on hold.

SHA’s contractor ran into solid rock as they began to excavate and expand the original stormwater management facility. This was unanticipated. Based on the borings taken when the construction plan was developed, they expected the underlying rock to be softer, with more sand, enabling easier removal. When the contractor began to hit the rock during construction, they tried to dig through it, creating the tall pile of large boulders now visible on site. However, this approach was unsuccessful, and the project was placed on hold until a revised storm-water management design can be developed.

In the meantime, SHA’s contractors have taken measures to limit further degradation of the site and maintain the quality of the water running off the site and into the Middle Patuxent River. Per Roy Fletcher, SHA’s Construction Manager, the measures comply with current environmental regulations. The large, corrugated, black plastic pipe is temporarily catching the water from the existing stream which enters the property on the western side of the site, at the base of the hill formed by the MD 32 on ramp. This temporary pipe drains into the storm drain located on the opposite side of the enlarged facility, close to the intersection of Grace Drive and Cedar Lane. To minimize the impact of sediment flowing from the site into the basin and storm drain, all ex-posed soil has been mulched with straw as required. While this project is on hold, SHA and their contractors have moved on to do similar work at other locations. As of the publication date of the November newsletter, the association has been unable to confirm whether a new design has been approved and when construction will re-start.

Association’s Traffic & Safety Committee Seeks Members

Dave Dalpe is a member of the Board of Directors and the new chairperson of the association’s Traffic and Safety Committee. After learning about some of the local development projects and hearing from residents having concerns, he is eager to re-activate the group. Speeding through River Hill’s neighborhoods, the noise from MD 32 and the impact it has on the quality of life for residents, and pedestrian and bike accessibility are some of the topics that the committee is expected to tackle. The committee will be responsible for researching the issues, educating residents, and advising the board as it develops the association’s positions on transportation and safety matters.

Volunteers are needed to serve on the committee. If you are concerned about traffic and safety in the community or have expertise that you can contribute, then let us know you are interested in being a part of the effort. An organizational meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 3 at 7 p.m. at Claret Hall. Residents who are willing to volunteer on the committee are encouraged to attend. Please RSVP to the village manager at or by calling 410-531-1749. Are you interested in helping but unable to come to this first meeting? Please notify the village manager and your name and contact information will be passed along for follow-up.

Plans to Redevelop Ruby Tuesday Site Modified

Revisions to the plan to redevelop the former Ruby Tuesday site were shared at the association’s October 7 Board of Directors meeting. Martin Swaggard, Core States Group, on behalf of client JP Morgan Chase, presented the new site plan. Modifications included the division of the site into two parcels, one for the bank branch and associated parking and the other retaining the Ruby Tuesday building with parking. Chase Bank is expected to sell the restaurant parcel. In response to comments received at their June 3 presentation to the village board, a building entrance and associated ADA compliant connections to the existing sidewalk along MD 108 had been added to meet the county’s Clarksville Pike Streetscape Plan and Design Guidelines. Exterior finishes were also modified to improve the visual connection to the village center. The Board of Directors questioned the use of blue awnings and signage and recommended that fabric awnings not be used due to maintenance concerns. The board also discussed the need for on-going property maintenance.

Next steps: JPMorgan Chase needs to obtain approval from Kimco Realty and Giant. The project will then be submitted to and reviewed by Howard Hughes Corporation (HHC). HHC has architectural control in the village center. A community pre-submis-sion meeting must be held prior to the submittal of plans to the county’s Department of Planning and Zoning. In advance of the pre-submission meeting, the site will be posted with an announcement of the date and location. The association will also notify residents of this meeting using our various communication tools. Stay tuned.

The plans shared on October 7 are available for view below or in person by contacting the village manager at 410-531-1749 or

Chase Bank Plans

Adopt-A-Hydrant Program

In an emergency, every second counts. Fire hydrants that are blocked, concealed, or difficult to access due to snow, ice or other obstructions can impede emergency fire response.

Fire engines carry a limited amount of water, so one of the first tasks upon arriving at a fire is to locate a water supply from the nearest hydrant. Hydrants covered in snow can be difficult to locate and uncovering them can waste valuable time needed during the fire fight. Keeping them clear can mean easier access to water and more time doing what really matters — fighting fire.

Your help is needed! In the event of winter weather, you are encouraged to clear a three-foot area around the hydrant and ensure there is a path to the roadway, so the hydrant is visible and easily accessible. Exercise caution when clearing around the hydrant. Be cautious of vehicle traffic nearby. Do not stand in the street and be careful not to slip and fall out into the roadway.

To participate in the Adopt-A-Hydrant program, simply fill out and submit an online application. Applications are available at After registering, a crew from the participant’s closest fire station will deliver an “adoption certificate” identifying their hydrant.

**Important note; fire hydrants are the property of the Howard County Bureau of Utilities — so please do not paint, personalize or change the appearance of the fire hydrant. **