The Village has undergone several changes since the last measurable snowfall in 2022. The real estate market increased our home values by double digits, prompting many of our neighbors to sell their homes to new and often first-time homeowners. HCPSS passed Policy 5200 changing the distance our young children walk to school and necessitating the use of streets and pathways not previously utilized for this purpose. Lastly, the Columbia Association has had leadership changes in the office of the President and Open Space. The convergence of all these changes were suddenly spotlighted when the snow gods brought a winter wonderland to the Village of River Hill in mid-January. Snow blanketed the Village, not once, but twice. The inclement weather caused streets, sidewalks, and pathways to be difficult to traverse for pets, seniors, and students forced to walk up to two miles to class.
Safety is the responsibility of all of us. We are a multi-generational community with a growing population of retired family members, as well as young children. Preventing broken bones, head injuries, and bruises from falls is each of our responsibilities. Residential lots abut streets in the front, along the side of the property, and in the rear. If sidewalks are in any of these areas, it is your responsibility to shovel the snow on these sidewalks.
Clear Your Sidewalks
Howard County does not remove snow on any residential sidewalks. The property owner of any lot (including townhouse and condominium associations) abutting a sidewalk in a public right-of way is responsible for removing snow from the sidewalk within 48 hours after the snow fall. (Howard County Code, Section 18.402(h)(1)). If a property owner has not removed the snow within the 48-hour timeframe, you may want to contact your neighbor and ask if they need assistance. Residents may be physically unable to shovel snow and be hesitant to ask for help. As a last resort, call the Howard County Police Department Non-emergency Number at 310-313-2200 to report a violation.
Do Not Park Along Cul-de-Sacs
Parking along the inner circle of cul-de-sacs is always illegal, but during a snow emergency, snowplows cannot plow your circle if there is insufficient clearance for the equipment.
Where to Go for More Snow Information
• Howard County Snowplow Tracker: www.Howardcounty.md.gov/public-works/snow-removal
• State Information: https://chart.maryland.gov/
• School Closings: www.hcpss.org
• Claret Hall Office Closings: www.villageofriverhill.org.
Remember, the Village office is available for inquiries. Contact us at email@example.com or call 410-531-1749. Together, let’s ensure that everyone has the information they need for safe and enjoyable snow days.