July 2017 Newsletter

Zoning Update and the Latest Happenings

Business Rural Crossroads, (BRX): County Council voted unanimously to repeal BRX, and Alan Kittleman signed the bill immediately. It takes effect July 5, 2017. We thank Stu Kohn for the support of HCCA, Ted Mariani of CCWHC, and all those in  Highland  who joined in the effort to remove this potential threat to our community.

Review of Zoning and Development Regulations, Update: The phase I assessment continues as Clarion Associates gathers input from government and citizen sources. Last month DPZ reported over 500 comments received. GHCA leadership continues to be engaged in this process through periodic meetings with DPZ. You can participate by attending meetings on July 24 or 25 and by filling out the survey here: Howard County DPZ, Deadline is July 10 for survey.

Speeding at the Crossroads: Shortly after 8:00 pm on June 11 Garland Brian, traveling west on Highland Rd., was attempting a left turn into his driveway. Behind him a SUV was waiting. Speeding west on Highland Rd. a young man in a sedan approached. Rather than try to stop he passed the SUV just as Garland turned left. He bounced off Garland’s left front truck tire and hit the utility pole in front of the Brian property. The crash sounded like an explosion from1/4 mile away. His vehicle was totaled and power and cable lines were cut. Neighbor Sean Hefferon, reports that the car did a complete 180. All the air bags deployed saving the driver from serious injury. GHCA has previously requested that the HC Police enforce the 30 mph limit on this road and 35 mph on 108. No action yet. Maybe now?

Thanks to Terri Westerlund for the hundreds of flags planted in the Highland area. She makes it easy for us to display our patriotism. Happy Birthday, Terri!

Picnic in the Park & Summer Concert

Schooley Mill Park, Hall Shop Road, Highland

Friday, July 28, 2017

GHCA Members’ Picnic: starts at 6:00 PM in the Community Room **

HC Rec & Parks’ Concert is 7:00 – 8:30 PM

featuring

"Panama Rex" band

The Panama Rex Band leaves audiences inspired by their rhythmic grooves that often cross genre boundaries. Its all about the "jam band". A combination of the drums, phenomenal slide guitar, precision of a seasoned jazz saxophone, the crafted bass lines, and the passion of an inspired vocalist/guitar player, create a sound that doesn’t have people describing it as "Jimmy Buffett" but as " The Ultimate Jam Buffet Band "

Details to follow soon

Membership Special Appeal: I ask every current member to bring at least one neighbor to our next meeting and to join; we need double our numbers and clout in 2017. Please join or rejoin GHCA. The Membership is $25 for the calendar year. Now more than ever your participation and membership is needed to support the continued efforts of GHCA to represent your interests before Maryland/Howard County government, development interests, and community events.

To join GHCA, click here.

April 2017 Newsletter

Zoning Update and the Latest Happenings

Business Rural Crossroads, (BRX) A public Council hearing to repeal BRX will be held April 19 at 7:00. The DPZ, the Planning Board recommend repeal. Council Members Fox and Sigaty sponsored the bill. We expect approval. TestimonyBRX170419 sent to Council. We encourage you to email in support and attend the hearing if possible: 3430 Court House Drive
Ellicott City, MD 21043

DPZ announces Review of Zoning and Development Regulations

"Howard County Planning and Zoning (DPZ) has begun a Development Regulation Assessment, to include review of the zoning code, as well as regulations, policies and manuals related to land development.  The project will occur in two phases: phase I is an assessment of the development regulations and phase II is the drafting of a new unified development code or sets of codes. Clarion Associates, a national land use-consulting firm based in Denver, has been retained as the county’s consultant for phase I of this project. Clarion will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the current regulations and provide an outline for new zoning, subdivision, and land development regulations based on public and stakeholder input, technical analysis, and national best practices."

GHCA leadership will be engaged in this process, and has already made contact with Don Elliot, Director of the project. It is expected that Phase 1 will take 12-14 months.

Pre-submission Meeting: April 24 at 6:00pm at River Hill Community Center, Clarksville. The sign appears to be at 12064 Hall Shop Rd. Proposed BR (Business Rural) zone by Mt. Airy Paving. Contact: Thomas Meachum, Atty. 410-740-4600. Contractor equipment and storage is a permitted use.

GHCA Picnic Mark your calendar!  Friday, July 28 is the date for this year’s concert at Schooley Mill Park and the GHCA barbecue picnic and pot-luck supper.  We look forward to seeing your families there for this evening of good food, great music and community fellowship.  Details will follow.

Membership Special Appeal: I ask every current member to bring at least one neighbor to our next meeting and to join; we need double our numbers and clout in 2017.  Please join or rejoin GHCA.   The Membership is $25 for the calendar year.  Now more than ever your participation and membership is needed to support the continued efforts of GHCA to represent your interests before Maryland/Howard County government, development interests, and community events.

January 2017 Newsletter

Welcome to a new year and the latest news from GHCA and the Crossroads.
Let’s take a look back at Association Highlights from 2016:

  • Working with Boarmans’ management, the solar panels received an evergreen screening along Highland RD. May they live long and prosper!
  • By working with the USPS we now have a permanent Postmaster, Ms Cooke.  Have you noticed how great our post office is looking?
  • After years of meetings, petitions, letters, more meetings, workshops and even some legal maneuvers, the dreaded BRX was placed in moratorium and will removed from Highland and the Howard County master plan in 2017. (See more details below.)

Now, looking ahead to 2017, the GHCA initiatives include:

  • Plans to work with the County to amend BR zoning.
  • Vigilance to guard against zoning violations in the community – please alert us to ones we may be unaware of. As we go to press, round two of our efforts to correct one in the Heart of Highland is getting under way. We are impressed with the support and professionalism we are receiving from the Val Lazdin team at DPZ.
  • Addressing the future of the Highland Day festival. We need member input.  Please take a few minutes to complete the attached questionnaire and return via email.

Thank You, Hidden Treasures!

Our meeting on October 13 was devoted to introducing members to a few of the Hidden Treasures of the Highland Area.  We want to again thank:

  • Al and Mae Pong, Pongs’ Orchard,
  • John Lehman, Lehman Associates PD (architects)
  • Jared Gulliford, Earth First Gardens and Green Farmacy Garden.

It was interesting and informative to learn of these rare endeavors thriving under our noses.  We are on the hunt for more treasures to amaze and delight you with at a meeting in 2017.

What’s Next for Highland Day?

We’ve heard directly, and via the grapevine, many missed our festive fall gathering, Highland Day.  As some are aware, the event went on hiatus for 2016 for several reasons, including: the dissolution of the managing organization, HBA, limits on parking, liability insurance issues and safety concerns.  There is much to like about this community tradition, but also tremendous effort and devotion required to produce it.  Should it come back, perhaps re-imagined to accommodate changing conditions? Or should we move on to other opportunities?  The event belongs to the community, so please tell on what you would like and how you might be able to bring Highland Day back to life. To make it as easy as possible, please complete the attached questionnaire in WORD and return it attached to email by January 30.  We will report results in a future email.

GHCA Meeting October 13

Membership Meeting
Thursday, October 13 at 7:00 PM
St. Marks Church

On the Agenda

Hear the latest status reports on zoning issues affecting our crossroads community. What is the status of BRX and BR? What can we do to keep the momentum rolling? Solar farms on Ag Preservation parcels – a marriage made in heaven, or maybe somewhere else.

Highland-area Hidden Treasures: Meet some of the best kept secrets of our community. We are finalizing the list, but did you know:

  • There is a national-acclaimed architect right in our midst?
  • A family is successfully growing citrus fruits in an orchard tucked behind a subdivision?
  • Retired race horses are attending graduate school to prepare for their next careers?
  • Medicinal-quality plants and herbs are being cultivated by a world-renowned botanist within our environs?