River Hill Board of Directors
February 6, 2017
Opening (Agenda 1):
Michael Cornell, Chair, called the Board meeting to order at 8:37 p.m. The following members were in attendance: Robert Choi, Harjeet Jandu, Mavourene Robinson, and Richard Thomas. Council Member Chao Wu and Susan Smith, Village Manager, were in attendance. Mr. Zagnit arrived at the meeting at 8:40 p.m. Board Member Liyan Zhang and Jennifer Zhang, Student Member, were absent. A list of attendees is on file with the Minutes.
Approval of the Agenda (Agenda 2):
Mr. Wu made a motion to approve the agenda with the addition of item 6C. Donation Request. Mr. Thomas seconded the motion. The motion passed (5-0-0).
Resident Speak out (Agenda 4):
Richard Smith, representing Clearview Estates and Linden Linthicum United Methodist Church, spoke about the River Hill Square re-development project. He expressed the willingness of these groups to work with the Association e.g., a work group, to advocate on behalf of the community. Mr. Smith was responsible for coordinating the opposition to the variance request for the previous garden center re-development project.
Reverend Gayle Annis-Forder, Pastor, Linden Linthicum United Methodist Church, spoke about the River Hill Square re-development project. She expressed concerns about existing safety issues at the Linden Linthicum Lane/MD 108 intersection and the impact of the proposed project. She cited the need to maintain the sanctity of activities at the Linden Linthicum Cemetery and church and the impact of the project on Hilltop Child Care Center.
Alan Schneider, Clarksville Pike, spoke about the River Hill Square re-development project. He suggested involving, a coalition of churches (PATH), Sierra Club, State delegation, and the Howard County Citizens Association and working to get the Clarksville Pike Design Guidelines to have more weight. He suggested, for a more accurate picture of the number of accidents on MD 108, obtaining the police reports for the accidents having no reported injuries should be counted as these are not included in State Highway Administration counts.
Frank Cockrell, Linden Linthicum Cemetery, supported the comments made by others and mentioned involving the Howard County Ethics Commission.
Steve Grippando, Linden Linthicum Lane, spoke about the River Hill Square re-development project. He expressed concern about safety and the need to improve safety for the community’s children.
Todd Crooks, Sunlit Water Way, spoke about the River Hill Square re-development project. He cited the need for improved pedestrian and cycling safety, the safety of Clarksville Elementary School students, and the need for continuity of sidewalks and bikeways. He also spoke about enforcing good design practices.
David Elsaesser, Whistling Winds Walk, spoke about the River Hill Square re-development project and noted the need for berms and landscaping to minimize the impact to the rear and sides. He mentioned that the plans to date do not add road capacity, no additional through lanes are included. He also mentioned that George Miller, SHA, had confirmed that the developer is negotiating with Limestone Valley Farm to move Sheppard Lane to the south. He expressed concern that this will make the angle of the intersection worse. He noted that the County traffic study had recommended a light at Linden Linthicum Lane.
Darmesh Shah, Trackless Sea Court, spoke about the River Hill Square re-development project. He noted that it is already impossible to take his children to evening activities at Clarksville Elementary and River Hill High Schools.
Administrative Items (Agenda 4):
Mr. Thomas made a motion to approve the January 9, 2017 minutes. Mr. Jandu seconded the motion. The motion passed (4-0-2).
River Hill Square Development (Agenda 5A):
The Board discussed providing additional written input to the Development Advisory Panel (DAP) for the meeting on February 8. It was the consensus of the Board to reiterate the points made in their December 12, 2016 correspondence and to incorporate comments made during Resident Speak Out. It was the consensus of the Board to have Ms. Robinson, Mr. Jandu, and Mr. Cornell finalize the correspondence to the DAP. Ms. Robinson will attend the DAP meeting on behalf of the Association.
Village Elections (Agenda 5B):
Mr. Cornell mentioned that he will not be running for the Association’s Board of Directors again. Mr. Wu mentioned that he will be running again for the Columbia Council Representative position. Mr. Wu made a motion to appoint Mr. Cornell as Chair of the Election Committee. Mr. Zagnit seconded the motion. The motion passed (5-0-1, Mr. Cornell abstained).
The Board discussed modifying the Association’s by-laws to cancel elections when the positions are uncontested. It was the consensus of the Board not to pursue this change.
The Board discussed modifying the Association’s by-laws to permit online voting. Mr. Zagnit made a motion to add the recommended by-law changes to the ballot. Mr. Thomas seconded the motion. Mr. Cornell made a motion to table the vote to allow time to obtain feedback on whether the absentee voting process can be modified to allow multiple votes per household when a member is voting by absentee ballot. Ms. Robinson seconded the motion. The motion passed (3-1-2). The Board asked Ms. Smith to have the attorney review this and draft the appropriate language. It was the consensus of the Board to approve via email the changes in language to permit online voting and modifying absentee voting. This will enable the ballot questions to be announced in the March newsletter.
Cell Tower – Grace Drive (Agenda 6A): Discussed the February 16 pre-submission meeting for the addition a of a cell tower adjacent to the Grace water tower. Mr. Jandu noted that if a cell phone is more than 200’ tall then it has to be registered. The Board requested that Ms. Smith follow-up with Chesapeake Realty Partners to obtain their views on the cell tower as its installation will have greatest impact on the proposed Simpson Oaks development. Ms. Robinson will attend the pre-submission meeting on behalf of the Association.
FY18 Budget (Agenda 6B): Ms. Smith shared CA’s feedback regarding village requests.
Donation Request (Agenda 6C): It was the consensus of the Board to table the request for a donation to the River Hill High School Post Prom Party until a request is received from Atholton High School.
Manager’s Report (Agenda 7A):
A written report is on file with the original minutes. It was the consensus of the Board to not provide input on the County’s Capital Budget at the Planning Board meeting on February 16. Ms. Robinson will draft the Association’s input on the County’s transportation priorities and circulate for review. Harjeet Jandu volunteered to represent the Association at Columbia’s 50th Celebration kick-off event to be held on March 19.
Board Chair’s Report (Agenda 7B):
Mr. Cornell distributed a letter dated February 3, 2017 from the Baltimore Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America regarding changes made to the membership eligibility requirements. A copy is on file with the original minutes. The Association is the chartering organization for Boy Scout Troop 618.
Council Representative’s Report (Agenda 7C):
Mr. Wu mentioned that he recently met with Cub Scout Pack 702 and shared information about Columbia’s governance and the Columbia Association’s (CA) environmental programs. He noted that as part of CA’s FY18 operating budget discussions the Inner Arbor Trust is requesting $75,000 from CA, the Downtown Partnership is requesting $200,000, and pond maintenance is expected to cost $3.9 million. The Chrysalis will open on April 22.
Liaisons/Student Member (Agenda 7D):
Board Speak Out (Agenda 8):
Adjournment (Agenda 9):
Mr. Thomas made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 10:37 p.m. Ms. Robinson seconded the motion. The motion passed (6-0-0).
Minutes submitted by: Susan M. Smith, Village Manager
Minutes Approved: March 6, 2017