River Hill Square Project Moves Forward

River Hill Square, LLC met with the County’s Design Advisory Panel (DAP) in December 2017 to review their revised design plans to redevelop the River Hill Garden Center property. On January 24, the developer held a pre-submission meeting to review these plans with the community. The next step in the process is for the developer to submit the Site Development Plan (SDP) to the Department of Planning and Zoning (DPZ) for review by the Subdivision Review Committee.
Changes made to the plan since the developer’s first presentation to the DAP in February 2017 include:
  • Moving buildings closer to MD 108 and reducing the amount of parking along the road frontage;
  • Increasing the green space along MD 108;
  • Anchoring development with two stand-alone buildings (one of which is proposed to be a bank) closer to MD 108;
  • Expanding the width of internal sidewalks, adding landscaping, and using special paving in pedestrian areas and crosswalks;
  • Improved architectural character and use of building materials such as glass, stone, metal, and some brick; and
  • Improved pedestrian connections, including a proposal to connect at the rear to the Columbia Association pathway that runs behind Whistling Winds Walk and connections into the center from the multi-use pathway which runs along the frontage.
In December, the DAP agreed the architecture, site plan and materials were substantially improved when compared to the original plan. They did recommend design improvements to make the plan more consistent with the Clarksville Pike Streetscape Plan and Design Guidelines. Some of these recommendations were addressed by the developer at the January pre-submission meeting. The developer stated plans to:
  • Enhance the Main Street with special paving, plantings, and lighting;
  • Keep all lighting on site a lower scale
  • using poles 14 – 16’ tall, use indirect lighting, and shield light fixtures from residential areas so that all light remains on site;
  • Retain as much of the existing, treed buffer along the two rear sides as possible, add additional landscaping where able, and retain or replace the existing fencing with fencing of a similar style and height.
Although the DAP recommended a re-evaluation of the parking to determine if the buffer between the project and the adjacent neighborhood could be expanded, no parking spaces were eliminated in the plan presented to the public. The current plan includes 241 parking spaces, which is 3 more than the minimum required by the County based on the project’s size and type.
At the pre-submission meeting, members of the community commented on the impact of the project. Due to the elevation of the site, which is higher than the properties to the rear, lighting continues to be a concern. Nearby residents asked for more evergreen screening and inquired about enhancing the berms to minimize the impact. Members of the River Hill Community Association’s Watershed Advisory Committee inquired about the stormwater management plans including use of permeable pavement, rain gardens, and native plant materials. Tony Miceli, Chair of the Association’s Traffic and Safety Committee, expressed concern about the right out exit and inquired whether it can be removed. Anticipated issues include delays caused by merging vehicles and the hazards caused by exiting vehicles crossing multiple lanes to turn onto Sheppard Lane.
What are the next steps? Anyone who provided their names and addresses/emails at the pre-submission meeting (and anyone unable to attend the meeting who contacts the developer/petitioner requesting to be added to the list) will receive copies of the minutes from the January 24 meeting within 30 days. In addition, everyone on the list will receive notice of the actual SDP submission within 7 days of filing.
Citizens may request a meeting with a staff member of DPZ to review the initial SDP submittal after the plan has been formally submitted to DPZ. In addition, once the SDP is submitted, DPZ will upload data and information to its website (“Search Development Plans and Public Meetings” web application): at
Once River Hill Square, LLC files their SDP with the county, the Subdivision Review Committee will review the plan to ensure all regulations are complied with. It is highly likely that the developer will be asked to make further revisions before construction can proceed.
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