The village of Hickory Ridge has requested $1.4 million from the Columbia Association board to build bocce ball courts and a park in a vacant lot adjacent to the Hickory Ridge village center.
Village Board chair Miles Coffman said the plan will provide a variety of benefits to multiple age groups of Columbia's population.
"We think it will give us multi-generational use, and it will help bring activity to the village center," Coffman said at the CA board meeting on Thursday, Nov. 8. "It's not just for youth, it's not just for adults. We feel this would be an important addition, not just to our village, but all of Columbia."
Gregg Schwind, the CA board's representative from Hickory Ridge, said the plan proposes funding in two phases.
The village is seeking $800,000 out of the fiscal year 2014 budget that Coffman says will be used primarily for site development, pathways, bocce courts and one gazebo pavilion.
The following year, the village will request the remaining $600,000, which Coffman said will go toward the main pathway, a chess table area and a large pavilion.
Scwind added that the land is the last piece near the village center that can be developed, and emphasized the plan will be more than just bocce courts.
"This is going to add a decent size park next to our village center that is going to offer, not just paths, not just grass, but a gazebo, a couple pavilions," Schwind said. "It's going to offer much more than bocce, and that's the benefit of our village center."
Currently, the only two bocce ball courts in Howard County are at Cedar Lane Park, and they do not meet regulation requirements.
Those two courts are used regularly by the Howard County Bocce League, which was formed in August.