February Newsletter

February 4, 2019                                                                    Volume XVI, Issue I

Best Wishes for 2019

President’s Message

Warm Winter Greetings to all members of GHCA and friends of our beloved Crossroads Community.  We’d all prefer to be snug by the fireside, nibbling on popcorn and sipping something warming while the Polar Vortex swirls around us, but there are some things starting to percolate, which aren’t going to stay on the back burner.  Before anything boils over, we want to share news of happenings in, and quite literally, around Highland.  As always we welcome your input, participation and vigilance.  It DOES take a village! — Charlotte

Zoning Updates

  • The Pre-Submission Meeting was held on the 25th. regarding the Grey Pony Site. We apologize for the lack of notice, but we provide more details below.
  • A pre-submission meeting regarding a 9-lot development on Prestwick Drive will be held on February 11, 2019 from 6:00-7:00 pm located at the 5th District Volunteer Fire Department. It is possible that this revised plan might convert Prestwick Drive into a through street from 108 to Highland road, a highly disruptive and dangerous situation opposed by GHCA since 2002. Highland residents are urged to attend this meeting to get the facts and to renew opposition to a Prestwick Thru-way The address is: 5000 Signal Bell Lane, Clarksville, MD 21029.
  • GHCA did not testify before the Planning Board regarding the Erickson proposal because the Planning Board is nothing more than a rubber stamp operation, and it was a done-deal the minute Council approved sewer and water in their Lame-Duck Session last year. 
  • On May 10th. before the Hearing Examiner, John McDaniel will appeal a DPZ ruling that disallowed the consolidation of two preservation parcels in order to preserve in perpetuity the 45 acres surrounding historic Hickory Ridge. He is hoping to clear up a legal technicality.
  •  Kudos to John for the tasteful design of his first new house along Highland Road. GHCA suggested and John agreed at the pre-submission meeting that although the rear of the houses would face highland road, they would design a fully-finished facade. Note the difference between Hickory Ridge and almost all the recent developments.
  • Industrial Solar is proposed for Broadwater Lane area near Route 32 in Clarksville. 19 of 51 acres (32.4%) are to be covered with solar panels, comprising almost all of the arable farm land. A small horse farm tenant will remain, but there are no written assurances this operation will continue. The maximum allowable percentage is 34%.  The Agricultural Land Preservation Board has approved the plan. The next step is a hearing for a conditional use. Unfortunately, given the enabling legislation recently passed, we can expect more such proposals that do little to preserve farm land. GHCA will likely join with other associations to oppose this use.

The Grey Pony

GHCA leadership was given a presentation by Ed Rudden, Highland resident and CPA who is planning to relocate his practice to the Grey Pony site. Ed forcefully offered his commitment, as a Highland resident and owner of the business proposed for the site, to establishing the building and its site as a noteworthy addition to the Highland community. The 10,000-foot structure will provide some 16 offices and 40 parking spaces behind the building which is sited as close to the road as those buildings in Highland Crossing.  The plan is, to the extent possible, to mirror the configurations of the structures and sidewalks and road-side tree plantings of those at Highland Crossing thus creating the impression of a narrowed roadway. The building façade will be staggered rather than linear, creating the appearance of separate structures more compatible with the look of our rural village of Highland.  The footprint is approximately 45 X 135 and the building is two stories high with a basement, reflecting residential scale.   Paint will be earth tones with white accents, natural stone, locally quarried.  Staircases will be internal to the building and balconies more ornamental than functional, some 18 inches deep. 

Traffic Safety

Despite the fact that we asked the Howard County Police rep at the May 10 meeting to enforce the 30 mph limit through Highland, and install a speed monitoring sign, little if anything has been done. Late last year Mike Bonsel was struck by a car in front of Oaklawn Landscaping. Mike spent weeks in the hospital, and has been unable to make his daily walking trips to Boarman’s. Michelle Jackson filed a complaint with MD SHA about the missing bollards that Used to block the corner of the Boarman lot and the use of the right lane as a speedway around left-turning  cars. Thanks Michelle.

Another danger spot is in front of the Highland Post Office where at least two serious accidents have occurred within a year. Last week while waiting to turn left into the PO, I personally missed being rear-ended by inches by a (distracted?) driver cutting to his right at the last second to zoom around me at about 40-45 MPH.

The Highland Post Office

Member, Steve Thomas continues to work with PO supervisors and Tony at our PO.  Apparently, there have been complaints about delivery. The supervisor said to direct complaints to Ms. Cooke,  dawana.n.cooke@usps.gov. who officially is still the postmaster or Tony. Please copy or email Dan, danielol12832h@gmail.com who will compile them all for follow-up if needed.

The GHCA Website

Please visit our completely re-designed site: GHCA  Chuck Gait will continue to maintain it. Comments and suggestions are welcome: Chuck Gait — Check it out, and take advantage of Pay Pal to renew your membership with just a couple clicks or do it the old way below:

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Mail to GHCA, PO Box 235, Highland, MD  20777

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