October 2017 Newsletter

Zoning Update and the Latest Happenings

GHCA leadership continued to be engaged in this process by participating with the leadership of HCCA and CCWHC in a meeting with DPZ and Clarion Associates on July 25th. We were able to highlight our initiatives to DPZ and the Clarion consultants hired to evaluate HC development regulations. Our agenda included:

  • Amend the cluster and DEO provisions to promote less-dense, well-designed, attractive subdivisions.
  • Amend the Conditional Use Process itself and the most troublesome conditional uses such as funeral homes, landscape contractors, and nursing homes.
  • Strongly object to and note the illegal PSA expansion in Fulton and Clarksville (200 Acres) in order to prevent any such last-minute subterfuge in the future.

GHCA attended and testified at the legislative hearings that appeared headed toward allowing industrial mulching in our RR Zone and the RC further west. Our position: “Industrial-scale mulching and composting production is an inappropriate use in rural, residential Howard County — PERIOD.” We pointed out that the DPZ in the previous hearing had floated a list of amendments/modifications that certainly should be adopted by Council. It appears that this issue has a good chance of being resolved positively and that the issue of weak zoning enforcement has been spot-lighted so that might be corrected as long as citizen insistence does not wane.

Erickson Senior Living: Early last summer, Erickson Senior Living hosted a well-attended informational meeting regarding their plan to develop Limestone Valley Farm, at 108 and Shephard Lane into one of their expanding roster of facilities. All reports indicate these are well-managed communities ad fill a need for our aging populace. However, anyone who travels this intersection knows how horrendous the traffic back-up can be here. Erickson is ready to devote considerable money, attention and engineering to this situation. But will it solve the problem or only add to it? We will be monitoring plans and will keep you apprised.

Speeding at the Crossroads Despite the serious accident of June 11 and our appeal to the HCP, No action yet. We will be following up to get the HCP focused where it will do the most to protect the Crossroads.

Hi-Land Farm Some will remember GHCA fought the illegal landscape contractor a few years ago, and supported Scott Shearer in fending off questionable list of zoning violations. All who know Scott, especially his neighbors, know him to be a model “farmer” and neighbor. A meeting attended by the heads of DPZ, the adjacent neighbors, HCCA, GHCA and other supporters resulted in the withdrawal of a second set of purported violations. Scott wishes to thank all his supporters, and we commend Director, Val Lazdins, Dep. Dir. Amy Gowan, and Geoff Goins, Chief of Enforcement for their prompt and fair resolution of the issue.

“Picnic in the Park” & Summer Concert?

Sorry to say, this was rained out — Maybe next year?

Those that responded shared in the leftover food. 

50 + Expo Explore preparedness, information and education as they relate to healthy aging at Howard County’s 19th annual 50+EXPO on Friday, October 20, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Wilde Lake High School. Admission is $1 and free parking and shuttle transportation are available from the lower level Sears parking lot at The Columbia Mall.

This year’s 50+EXPO features over 160 vendors and exhibitors. Attendees to the 50+EXPO can take advantage of free flu vaccines and free health screenings at the onsite health fair. Back by popular demand, the Capitol Steps return to the Jim Rouse Theatre for one show at 11:00 a.m. Tickets are available while quantities last; a $5 donation is requested per ticket.

For more information and a full schedule of the day’s events, visit the website. https://www.howardcountymd.gov/50plusexpo.

New 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:

 Membership Renewal Time: As is our custom, renewals or new memberships received After October 1st. are credited to the current and the coming year (2017 and 2018). We need to double our numbers and clout . 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.

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