- The expansion of amenities accessible to the public including a children’s play area, dog park, bocce, and pickleball courts with adjacent parking;
- Enhanced views into the property from MD 108 and the use of the topography to create an amphitheater; and
- The co-location of amenities to create community gathering spaces that will support opportunities for interpersonal and programmatic connections between the CCRC’s residents and the broader Clarksville/River Hill community.
Happy New Year! If there is one thing in life that is constant, it is change. 2018 promises to be a year of more growth in the Clarksville/River Hill area. Here are just a few development-related changes the Association is anticipating as the new year kicks off:
River Hill Square: The retail project planned for the former River Hill Garden Center property will continue to move through the County’s development approval process in 2018. On December 13, the developer presented revised plans to the County’s Design Advisory Panel (DAP). River Hill Square, LLC will hold a second community pre-submission meeting on January 24 at the Gathering Place (6420 Day Long Lane, Clarksville), time TBD, to solicit feedback on the modified plans.
Following this step, the plans will be submitted to the County’s Department of Planning and Zoning (DPZ) for review. This property is zoned for business (B-1) and may be developed as a matter of right, subject to County and State Highway Administration approvals. Therefore, there will be no additional public hearings or meetings. Community members wanting to provide additional input should contact DPZ at 410-313-2350. To view the recommendations made by the DAP on December 13 visit:
www.howardcountymd.gov/Departments/Planning-and-Zoning/ Boards-and-Commissions/Design-Advisory-Panel and click on “Past Meeting Materials.”
Limestone Valley Continuing Care Retirement Community: Erickson Living, LLC’s plans were reviewed by the DAP on December 6. To view the DAP’s recommendations, visit the link provided above. Since then, Erickson has been integrating the comments and making modifications to the plans. They are expected to present revised plans to the DAP in January. Erickson will then file the official petition to change the properties’ zoning to a Community Enhancement Floating zone. The Planning Board will hold a minimum of one public meeting to consider this zoning change and the General Plan amendment needed to expand public water and sewer to the site.
Simpson Oaks: The Preliminary Plan for the Simpson Oaks residential development, located on Grace Drive, has been approved by the County. Chesapeake Realty Partners will submit the construction drawings for the first phase of the project to the County in early 2018.
New Cell Tower: In mid-December, Calvert Crossland, LLC began construction of the new cell tower on W.R. Grace property. The tower will be stacked around January 21. The service providers will be installed, moved over and in service no later than May 2018.
Clarksville Commons: New retailers will continue to fill Clarksville Commons in 2018. In early January, Food Plenty restaurant will open. Food Plenty will be the third restaurant opened by the Victoria Restaurant Group, with the first two being Victoria Gastro Pub and Manor Hill Tavern. Also in early 2018, Victoria and Albert Hair Studio will be relocating to the Commons from their Columbia location. Everett Jewelers will move from the River Hill Village Center to the Commons in 2018. In early February, look for Rick Everett and his team in the small stone building at the front of the complex.
What types of changes can be anticipated? During its review in February 2017, the DAP concluded the initial design plan was not consistent with the Streetscape Plan and Design Guidelines and a “Main Street” development pattern. The DAP expressed concerns about the amount of parking, the need to buffer nearby homes, the robustness of the proposed pedestrian features, and the building forms, materials, and locations. Since then, the Erickson Living at Limestone Valley project has been proposed. The Association is very eager to see how the River Hill Square project has been re-designed and relates to the Erickson project.
Several opponents commented that the project will change the character of the area from a gateway to the more rural western portion of the County to a “mini city.” They questioned whether the proposed development fits in the community due to its size, density, and location adjacent to properties with agricultural preservation easements. Some community members questioned whether there are other locations within the existing planned service area that can accommodate the project. They recommended evaluating these sites before going through the process of amending the County’s General Plan and extending public water and sewer. Others expressed concerns about the financial impact this project will have on smaller CCRCs in Howard County and the adequacy of emergency medical and fire services given the projected increase in population.
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6020 Daybreak Circle
Clarksville, MD 21029