Kenny Kan, Board Chairperson, called the regularly scheduled meeting to order at 7:03 p.m. on November 18, 2013, at Claret Hall, 6020 Daybreak Circle, Clarksville, MD 21029. Members present were Kathy Chavers, DengFeng Liu, Dipper Wettstein, and Liyan Zhang. Susan Smith, Village Manager, was present. Melissa Bradshaw and Jenny Chu, Tiffany Kan and Michael Cornell were absent. A list of attendees is on file with the Minutes.
Approval of the Agenda (Agenda 2):
Mr. Wettstein made a motion to approve the agenda as submitted. Ms. Chavers seconded the motion. The motion passed (5-0-0).
Administrative Items (Agenda 3):
Ms. Chavers made a motion to approve the Minutes from the October 7, 2013 meeting. Mr. Wettstein seconded the motion. The motion passed (5-0-0).
Grace Drive Development Plans (Agenda 4):
Mr. Oh introduced Mike Bradley, with GF Columbia, LLC the contract purchaser, and other members of the development team. GF Columbia will be developing the 66 acre parcel on Grace Drive and are preparing to enter into the rezoning process in early 2014. They will be requesting the Community Enhancement Floating (CEF) – Residential zone.
The concept plan was shared and currently includes 100 Single Family – Detached homes and 105 Single Family – Attached (townhouse) homes. They intend for the project to be in keeping with the suburban nature of the area and will transition from the Grace campus with the townhouses. The project will maintain the required buffers from streams and the Middle Patuxent River. Although a traffic study has not yet been conducted, they anticipate that the majority of traffic will utilize access from Cedar Lane. The approval process will require Zoning Board approval and review by the Design Advisory Panel and the Planning Board. Provided the approval process goes as expected, they anticipate sales beginning in winter 2015 with a 5 year build out period. The team expects that the development will send children to Pointers Run Elementary, Clarksville Middle, and Atholton High Schools. The project will include improvements for pedestrian and bike accessibility.
The development team has scheduled a meeting with immediate neighbors on Thursday, November 21 at the Robinson Nature Center. They anticipate additional opportunities for public input as the project moves forward. The Board invited them to return for a future Board Meeting once the project is further along.
Resident Speak Out (Agenda 4A):
Wendy Sarney, Quiet Night Ride, stated that she prefers residential development to office buildings. She inquired about the amount of excavation that will be needed. Per the developer, most earth will remain on site.
Dan Morton, Hazel Thicket Terrace, inquired about the number of phases in the development. Per the developer, there will be 6 – 8 phases, 20 – 30 lots per phase. Work will begin toward the rear of the property and move toward the road frontage. The townhomes will be similar to those under construction at the Simpsonville Mill project.
Saed Rahwanji, Quite Night Ride, expressed concern about the traffic that will be generated. He noted that the number of trips per day will increase considerably and that 50% will travel through the Pointers Run neighborhood to get to the River Hill Village Center. He also expressed concerns about the speed at which vehicles travel on Grace Drive and explained that there have been numerous accidents at the traffic circle with Quiet Night Ride. The representatives from GF Columbia expressed a desire to address these concerns and indicated that they will examine methods to slow traffic e.g., use of pavers, entrance signage.
Covenants and restrictions, pathway connections to Pointers Run, open space amenities, and the potential for annexation to the Village of River Hill were discussed.
River Hill Garden Center Variance Petition (Agenda 5A):
Robert Runser, Chair, reviewed the Master Plan Committee’s (MPC) input regarding the variance petition. Mr. Kan made a motion to approve the letter drafted by the Master Plan Committee as testimony and to appoint Robert Runser to speak on behalf of the Association at the hearing on December 12. Mr. Wettstein seconded the motion. The motion passed (5-0-0).
Melissa Purdue and Frank Nezu presented the River Hill Garden Center (RHGC) Committee’s input regarding the variance petition. Mr. Kan made a motion approve the letter drafted by the RHGC Committee as the Village Board’s testimony and to appoint Frank Nezu to speak on behalf of the Village Board at the hearing on December 12. Mr. Zhang seconded the motion. The motion passed (5-0-0).
River Hill Garden Center Variance Petition (Agenda 5Ai):
David Elsaesser noted that he had spoken with Mr. Clark, the owner of the property directly across from the RHGC, and explained that a portion of the property closest to MD 108 is not included in agricultural preservation. Mr. Elsaesser provided the Board Members with a packet of supplemental information.
County Design Guidelines Initiative – Master Plan Committee (Agenda 5B):
Robert Runser provided an update on the MD 108 Design Guidelines project.
Maryland Common Ownership Community Managers Act (Agenda 5C):
Ms. Smith informed the Board of the likelihood that the Maryland Common Ownership Community Managers legislation will be reintroduced in the upcoming session of the General Assembly. Ms. Smith recommended the Village Board formally request CA lobbying support and when appropriate send letters to the General Assembly requesting that the villages be excluded from the legislation.
The Board reviewed a draft letter to the CA Board. Mr. Wettstein made a motion to approve the letter as drafted. Mr. Liu seconded the motion. The motion passed (5-0-0).
Mr. Wettstein made a motion that, when appropriate, the Board sends a letter to the General Assembly requesting exclusion of the Columbia Villages from the legislation. Mr. Zhang seconded the motion. The motion passed (5-0-0).
Manager’s Report (Agenda 6A):
A written report is on file with the original Minutes. Mr. Kan made a motion for the Association to join the Better Choices Coalition and the Howard County Unsweetened campaign. Mr. Wettstein seconded the motion. The motion passed (5-0-0).
Mr. Kan made a motion to approve the September 16, 2013 Minutes as amended. Mr. Wettstein seconded the motion. The motion passed (5-0-0).
Board Chair Report (Agenda 6B):
Mr. Kan thanked Mr. Wettstein for his efforts on the RHGC issues and coordinating the committee. Mr. Kan noted that the Halloween Event had gone well with an estimated 1,000 attendees. Mr. Kan recommended that the Board establish a separate committee to focus on the Simpson Woods development project. Mr. Wettstein made a motion to form a committee to focus on the Simpson Woods development project. Mr. Liu seconded the motion. The motion passed (5-0-0). Ms. Chavers agreed to lead the group and to work with Ms. Bradshaw. The committee will be advertised in the December newsletter.
Liaisons/Student Members (Agenda 6C):
Mr. Wettstein reported that he is now serving on CA’s Aquatics Committee. He noted that the re-purposing of a pool had initially been left out of CA’s Draft FY15/16 Budget and that as of now $400,000 has been added back for an Engineering Study in FY16. Mr. Wettstein also reported that the Watershed Committee is moving forward and working with staff to create a Watershed Committee website and that the Committee is working on plans for projects.
Mr. Wettstein volunteered to attend the Simpson Woods Meeting on November 21. Schedule permitting, Ms. Chavers will also attend.
Board Speak Out (Agenda 7):
Adjournment (Agenda 8):
Mr. Liu made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:07 p.m. Mr. Zhang seconded the motion. The motion passed (5-0-0).
Minutes submitted by: Susan M. Smith, Village Manager
Minutes Approved: December 9, 2013