Simpson Oaks Development Modifications Considered

For years the property located at 7600 Grace Drive, between W.R. Grace and the Pointers Run neighborhood of River Hill, has served as visual buffer for the adjacent homes and provided a spot for deer to graze.  In April 2015, in a measure that was supported by the River Hill Community Association and local residents, the Zoning Board of Howard County granted a request by GF Columbia, LLC to reclassify the property to permit the Simpson Oaks residential development. At this time the zoning was changed to the Community Enhancement Floating – Residential (CEF-R) Zoning District, the Concept Plan was approved, bulk regulations and accessory use provisions were established, and community enhancements such as a bikeway along Grace Drive and a pathway connection to the Robinson Nature Center were conceptually approved.
Chesapeake Realty Partners has since purchased the property and will now develop Simpson Oaks in conjunction with NV Homes. Their Environmental Concept Plan (ECP -15-080) and new layout Sketch Plan (SP-15-007) have been under review by the County for a number of months. The current plans are different from those approved during the re-zoning process and reflect Chesapeake Realty’s development philosophy as well as feedback received from various County agencies during the subdivision review process.
At a community meeting on September 21, Chesapeake Realty provided an overview of the project and the modifications made to date.  The current plan includes construction of 101 Single Family – Detached homes and 83 Single Family – Attached homes, including 101 Moderate Income Housing Units (MIHU). The changes include: relocation of the townhouses, removal of the pathway between the homes on Quiet Night Ride and Simpson Oaks, removal of bioswales on the lots, an increase in the number of larger SF-D lots, a reduction in the number of cul de sacs, and the creation of a park-like area. The developer will meet with the Association’s Board of Directors on October 10 to present the revised plan. These meetings are being held in anticipation of a Zoning Board hearing on November 10 to determine whether the changes made to the plan are significant enough to require the developer to re-start the process.
Members of the community interested in this project are encouraged to attend the Board Meeting.

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