I read with interest the Aug. 1 article "Dispute between neighbors, garden center widens," and was disappointed to see that it characterized the "dispute" as being between one local homeowner and River Hill Garden Center owner Steve Klein.
The article failed to mention that Howard County Council members Courtney Watson, Jen Terrasa and Calvin Ball also expressed concern over the proposed development (during the July 1 County Council work session). Additionally, in a July 22 letter to the Howard County Council, the River Hill Village Board of Directors indicated that it was "appalled" by the proposed development and that it "…emphatically re-affirms the position of the 2009 River Hill Village Board that opposed rezoning of this property from residential (R-20) to B-1."
Mr. Klein is quoted as saying, "The community we represent is greater than one or two or three neighbors that happen to live behind us ... we're not going to allow a few people to affect the entire county." Despite Mr. Klein's attempt to paint this as a few neighbors with a personal agenda, the fact remains that traffic impact on Route 108 will be significant, particularly along the stretch leading to the Clarksville Elementary and River Hill High schools. All residents of River Hill will likely see increased traffic congestion as a result.
I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Klein that the community in question is more than just a few adjacent homeowners. For this reason, I have sent an email to Mr. Klein requesting that he hold a second pre-submission meeting to outline his development plans in more detail. This will allow more of the community to hear Mr. Klein's intentions first-hand.