Garden Center Requests Setback Variance

The owners of the River Hill Garden Center (RHGC) are pursuing development of the property with plans to add retail and service oriented uses such as restaurants and a bank. The owner, Stephen Klein & Associates, LLC has petitioned the County for a variance that would enable access to the property at the Sheppard Lane signal light and accommodate widening of the roadway in front of the property. The Association’s Board of Directors established an advisory committee to provide recommendations and also solicited input from the Master Plan Committee (MPC) on this matter. The Howard County Hearing Examiner is scheduled to hear the case on December 12 at 6 p.m. at George Howard building at 3430 Court House Drive, Ellicott City, with possible continuation on December 16.

After considering the input of the property owner, the MPC, and the advisory committee, the Village Board has decided not to support the  variance petition. The Village Board does not believe that the petitioner has adequately demonstrated that the criteria needed for a variance to
be approved have been met. Additionally, the Association has repeatedly expressed concerns to the County regarding development along MD 108 and the impact on traffic, pedestrian and bike accessibility and safety. The Association has repeatedly requested that the County conduct a  omprehensive analysis and develop a comprehensive plan for MD 108 in the section between Trotter Road and Guilford Road. Therefore, the Village Board does not support the RHGC variance request until other alternatives are considered to remedy the problems in the Clarksville-River
Hill corridor.

Representatives appointed by the Board will be submitting testimony at the December 12 hearing. Others in the community who wish to express their views are encouraged to attend and testify.

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