The River Hill Community Association (RHCA) Board of Directors (BOD) is responsible for overseeing the Association’s operations, establishing Association policies, and advocating on behalf of the community. The BOD generally ensures that the Association is working to enhance the quality of life for the owners and residents of the Village of River Hill. During FY23, Jim Kirk served as the BOD Chairperson, assisted by Vice Chair Kevin Bruening. Also serving on the BOD were Jian Ni, Janet Munro, and Muyiwa Odeniyide. Eric Greenberg served as River Hill’s Columbia Council Representative and ex officio Board member for the year. Day-to-day operations of the Association are performed by a paid leadership team.
Informing The Community
The Association’s offices are located at Claret Hall, 6020 Daybreak Circle, Clarksville (in the River Hill Village Center). The offices are open to the public Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Claret Hall is also open to the public during meetings of the Board of Directors and its committees. Association staff are available during these times to respond to residents’ questions, concerns, and requests. A variety of information is available for residents online, including Architectural Guidelines, Exterior Alteration Applications, Village of River Hill Legal Documents, and The Villager.
The Association uses multiple tools to communicate with residents with The Villager being the most popular. The Villager is a monthly newsletter delivered by carriers who live in the community. The carriers in FY23 were Adam and Connor Hawthorne, Jonah and Josie Just, Samantha and Sean Smole, Isaac and Lucas Chiang, Caris and Liam Luke, Sayyeed Mohammed, Nitesh Parikh, Eden Clemmer, Benjamin Chen, Lysbeth Lukin, Julia Windsor, Sasha Patel, Ari Berkowitz, Garrett Donnelly, and Noah Vilk.
The Association also maintains a website: www.villageofriverhill.org along with a Twitter (now X) account @RHCAClarksville, three Facebook pages: www.Facebook.com/RiverHillCommunityAssociation, www.Facebook.com/ClaretHallMD, and www.Facebook.com/WatershedCommittee, and an Instagram account: @villageofriverhill. Lastly, residents are strongly encouraged to sign up for Association email blasts through Constant Contact which can be done by visiting the Association’s website and entering your email address in the “Stay Informed” section of the sidebar.
Involving the Community
The Association continually seeks to involve and engage members of the community. Residents serve on the Association’s Board of Directors, committees of the Board, and volunteer at special events throughout the year. The Association offered the following community events and programs in FY23:
• Block Party grants
• Food on the 15th year-round collection
• Master Gardener Seminars
• Independence Day Parade
• River Hill Pool Party
• Prepare for Success School Supply Donation Site
• Haunted Hallow’s Eve (in conjunction with the River Hill merchants and Kimco Realty)
• Dunkin’ with Santa (in conjunction with Dunkin’ Donuts and Michelle Boucher, KW Lucido Agency realtor)
• CA Open Space Appreciation Luncheon
• School’s Out Bingo
• Village Election Day
• Sip ‘n’ Paint
The Association makes space available for rent at the Meeting Room (located next to the River Hill Swimming Pool) and Claret Hall. Columbia lien payers, military, and nonprofits receive a 10 percent discount on the rental rates, and the buildings are rented for a variety of social events and meetings.
The Association is committed to involving residents of all ages. There were two Student Members of the Board of Directors, Jennifer Gao and Arthur Wang. The Teen Advisory Committee (TAC) is key to meeting this objective. The TAC members contribute countless hours to support Association sponsored events, making them a success. The members of the TAC during FY23 were Eric Key, Emily Dong, Hallie Goldstein, Rahul Goyal, Elinor Tu, Andy Davis, Alexandra Ni, Sydney Lynott, and Grace Li. The TAC’s School’s Out Bingo raised funds in support of Best Buddies and The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. RHCA continues to support local youth by continuing to charter Boy Scout Troop 618. Michael Cornell, a former Columbia Council Representative and RHCA Board member, serves as the Chartering Organization’s representative.
River Hill’s Traffic and Safety Committee focused on obtaining noise barriers along Rt 32 and curtailing speeding vehicles throughout the Village. Jim Kirk and Janet Munro were especially focused on these quality- of-life issues for the Village. Throughout the year, the Association continued to support local organizations with in-kind and monetary donations made to Boy Scout Troop 618 and The Village in Howard.
Improving the Community
The Association continuously works with residents, Howard County, Columbia Association, and other organizations that are integral to benefiting the community. These efforts take many forms by providing community input on local development projects, and enforcement of the Association’s Maintenance Covenants and Architectural Guidelines. The Board of Directors and the Traffic and Safety Committee also advocated for vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle amenities.
The Architectural Committee (AC) ensured that the Village’s covenant process ran smoothly, and changes were made to the Architectural Guidelines to generate a more environmentally friendly community. The following members of the community served on the AC: Jim Kirk, Karen Smith, Debbie Trapuzzano, Ilona Mallon, Sarah Rohbin, Amy Wheeler, and S. Jennifer Zhai. In FY23:
• 171 Exterior Alteration Applications were reviewed by the AC and final decisions were made.
• The Covenant Advisor processed 54 requests for Letters of Compliance.
• The Association received 57 complaints; the majority were residential property maintenance issues. When appropriate, complaints are referred to the responsible departments within Columbia Association, Howard County Government, Kimco Realty, and Maryland State Highway Administration.
• Exterior Alteration Applications were mostly for tree removal and maintenance requests for material or color changes. Other Exterior Alteration Applications included patios/decks and water remediation projects.
What Lies Ahead
The Association was in the fourth year of a five-year management contract with Columbia Association. The contract allows the Association to manage Claret Hall and the Meeting Room and retain the rental revenue to fund Village operations. The contract defines the operational relationship between CA and the Villages and structures the financial reporting requirements. The management contract will be renegotiated during FY24, with the intent of providing long-term certainty for the Association.
What can River Hill’s residents do to help? Let the Association know what is important to you. Share your concerns and ideas with the Board of Directors and staff. Participate in programs the Association offers, or volunteer in some capacity. The doors of Claret Hall are open, and we invite you to stop in and visit. Let us know what your vision is for the future of the Village.