Walkabout Begins Community Conversation

On Saturday, November 13 from 10-11:30 a.m. The River Hill Master Plan Committee (MPC) hosted a River Hill Walkabout to seek community input as it develops a long-term plan and vision for the area. Led by Trevor Greene, member of both the MPC and the River Hill Board, Walkabout participants toured the Village Center, crossed Rte 108 to the Gateway site, and looped around the Ten Oaks Ballroom area before heading back to Claret Hall for a discussion session.

The physical “walking” of our area helped highlight safety issues, under-utilized open spaces, and potential room for improvements. All the while, a range of issues came up and were discussed including creating a sense of place, the need for improved pedestrian connections between the village center and along/across Rte 108, bike accessibility, options for land use and additional cultural amenities, and storm water management. Participants shared their current concerns, and offered valuable advice and insight.

With the advent of new development soon to occur on the Gateway site across Rte. 108, and with the area generally bustling with the promise of future development down the road, it seemed important to create a “voice” for the interests of the greater River Hill Community. Spurred on by the broader ongoing effort underway in other Columbia villages, this led to the decision by the River Hill Board to form the Master Plan Committee.

The MPC believes it is always better to be proactive rather than reactive, and the hope is that creating a master plan for this area will help development occur in a manner which is mutually positive for the residents of River Hill, the business owners in the Village Center and along 108, and all other interested parties.

To follow the ongoing efforts of the River Hill Master Plan Committee and, more importantly, to be a part of your community’s future by lending your voice to the process, please visit the River Hill Master Plan blog at: http://riverhillmas­terplan.blogspot.com. The site offers an introduction to the MPC: some background on its inception, the goals of the group, and its areas of focus.

In addition, on the blog you can find a copy of the MPC Committee Charter, and there will soon be an online “Virtual Walkabout” for those who missed the one last month. Leaving constructive feedback on the blog is encouraged and welcome.
Stay tuned for more opportunities to be a part of your community’s future. The MPC plans to have a Public Workshop sometime in the new year to share its efforts to date and listen to your priorities, concerns and suggestions. For more information, contact the Village Manager at 410-531-1749 or email manager@village­ofriverhill.org.

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