Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman's first nomination to the Planning Board prompted months of debate, but his second nomination went off without a hitch.
After rejecting Kittleman's first Planning Board nominee, Savage Community Association president Susan Garber, in July, County Council members approved Delphine P. "Tudy" Adler to the Planning Board this month.
Adler, a resident of Clarksville, is a Realtor for RE/MAX Advantage in Fulton. Before embarking on a real estate career, she and her husband co-founded Steven H. Adler Big & Tall Men's Apparel, a retail business that grew into a chain with 23 stores in seven states and Washington. The couple sold it in 2005.
Adler has served on the Realtor Political Action Committee, the PlanHoward 2030 task force, the Howard County Community College Foundation Board and Kittleman's transition team, where she was on the public safety/fire and rescue task force.
She replaces board member Josh Tzuker, the most recent chair of the Planning Board. Thursday, board members voted to elect Bill Santos as the new chair and Phil Engelke as vice-chair.
Adler was appointed to a five-year term, and will serve until May 2020, or until the county executive appoints a replacement.
—Amanda Yeager, Baltimore Sun Media Group
Royal Farms standing debate goes to special appeals court
Attorneys on both sides of a dispute over whether a Royal Farms gas station and convenience store should be allowed direct access onto Snowden River Parkway in Columbia took a piece of the debate to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals Tuesday.
The court focused in on the issue of standing; specifically, whether the Howard County Board of Appeals erred in its decision not to hear local business owners' arguments against the access point.
Owners of an Exxon gas station across the street from the proposed development and an auto repair shop in the same industrial park argue that allowing Royal Farms direct access onto the parkway will worsen traffic and chase away their customers.
In September, Board of Appeals members decided to dismiss the business owners' case for lack of standing, the legal term for the right to challenge a decision. According to minutes from that hearing, board members determined the new access point onto the parkway would not cause safety issues or drive down property values; therefore, they concluded, the businesses had no special right to appeal the county's decision to grant the access.
Katherine Taylor, an attorney for the business owners, argued the Board of Appeals "has denied appellants the opportunity for a meaningful hearing on the merits of their claims.
Barry Sanders, an attorney for the Board of Appeals, defended the board's decision: "It's important for the board to decide are the properties properly before them, and I think that's what they did," he said.
A decision is expected from the Court of Special Appeals within the next few weeks.
A portion of Scaggsville Road will be renamed Buch Way, taking the name of the family that owns the property bordering it and has a business office on the road, the Howard County's Planning Board decided Thursday night.
The 400-foot stretch of road, bounded to the west by the Maple Lawn community and to the east by the Cherry Tree shopping center, is getting a name change so it's easier to find, according to Buch Construction Senior Vice President of Operations Jeff Chi.
The Scaggsville Road address, where a Buch Construction office is located, is "not clear enough for the mail delivery," Chi told Planning Board members, who voted 4-0 to approve the change. Board member Erica Roberts was absent. Buch Construction has plans to build a 283-unit apartment building to the north of the site, according to plans submitted to the county.
With a recent decision to demolish a county-owned building at 9335 Old Scaggsville Road, the Howard County Department of Public Works has scheduled a public meeting from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 23 to discuss the project.
The meeting will be in the Savage Mill Room at the North Laurel Community Center on 9411 Whiskey Bottom Road in Laurel.
According to the county, the building was purchased in 2013 with the intent demolish to improve the sight distance at the intersection of Old Scaggsville Road and All Saints Road. Public works staff will be available at the meeting to explain the proposed project, such as the environmental and historic assessments, as well as the next steps.
Association begins accepting scholarship applications
The Columbia Association has begun accepting applications for the 2016 Maggie J. Brown Spirit of Columbia Scholarship Award, recognizing graduating high school seniors for their community service.
Scholarships of $2,500 will be awarded to up to six students, the association said. To be eligible, students must live on Columbia Association-assessed property or have a parent/guardian who works full-time on or owns Columbia Association-assessed property. Students must also be graduating in May/June 2016 from an accredited public, private or parochial high school, with a minimum of a "C" cumulative grade point average. According to the association, Columbia Association employees, board of directors members or family members of the employees or members are not eligible.
To apply, go to ColumbiaAssociation.org/Scholarship. Applications must be submitted by March 15, 2016.