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By Alisa Samuels and Alisa Samuels,Sun Staff Writer | July 12, 1995
Tired of late night beer parties, vandalism and other illegal activity at four tot lots in Columbia's Hickory Ridge village, its board has asked the Columbia Council to make it easier for police to patrol and make arrests in the privately owned areas."
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July 13, 2012
In a letter July 5, a writer complained that CA planned to plant trees in open space to reduce mowing. He viewed this as a reduction of open space and a violation of his right to live near grass maintained by CA. I disagree. Getting rid of grass to plant trees will: a) reduce maintenance costs, b) lower the use of greenhouse gases required to mow, c) reduce the use of herbicides and pesticides required to keep that monoculture looking like a golf course, d) reduce runoff into streams and the Chesapeake Bay (including runoff of those chemicals)
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NEWS
By Erik Nelson and Erik Nelson,Staff Writer | July 12, 1992
The children of Clary's Forest can slide, swing and ride horsies now that the engineers, surveyors and draftsmen have been paid.After the Columbia Association spent four years and about $40,000, the county Planning Board last week approved site-development plans for the last pair of six tot lots in the Hickory Ridge village neighborhood.Until 1988, building a playground in a Columbia neighborhood took about three weeks of planning and a $50 building permit, said Denis Ellis, land development manager for the Columbia Association, which builds the tot lots.
NEWS
By Tyrone Richardson and Tyrone Richardson,Sun reporter | September 13, 2006
Owen Brown Village officials are seeking the assistance of a third party to help organize a public forum to discuss what should be done with the Lake Elkhorn tot lot, a village official said. Neil Dorsey, chairman of the Owen Brown Village Board, said the panel will meet with members of Howard Community College's Mediation and Conflict Resolution Center next month. "We wanted a third party to facilitate the meeting," said Dorsey, who has not selected a date for the forum. "This takes away concern people may have that if I was running it or somebody else on the board was running it, it would be biased or directional, and we don't want that.
NEWS
January 9, 1997
THE THREE-YEAR DISPUTE over plans to build a tot lot in River Hill's exclusive Pheasant Ridge II community should give Columbia residents and Columbia Association officials more incentive to find recreational outlets for teen-agers. Unfortunately, energy instead may be expended on a court fight to oppose a small playground.Columbia's 146 tot lots are both convenient places for young children to play -- often while their parents meet -- and meccas for teen-aged drinking, swearing and vandalism.
NEWS
By Kathy Curtis and Kathy Curtis,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | February 11, 1998
THIRD-GRADERS at Pointers Run Elementary School have added their voices to the discussion of tot lots in the village of River Hill.The students, members of two social studies classes taught by third-grade team leader Teri Salmons, presented their suggestions for three proposed tot lots at a village board meeting last month."
NEWS
September 9, 1997
PEOPLE OFTEN feel disconnected with government because they don't feel it does things that matter to their lives. This feeling can pervade even well-run administrations if they don't communicate with those they serve. Baltimore County Executive C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger appears to grasp that.Last week, Mr. Ruppersberger met with community leaders in the southwest and southeast parts of the county to update them on what has been done to improve these areas since he made revitalization of older neighborhoods a priority in his 1994 campaign.
NEWS
By Laura Cadiz and Laura Cadiz,SUN STAFF | February 17, 2003
When an emergency or crime is happening in Columbia's open space, there's one significant problem -- none of it has an address. That can make it difficult for a police officer to find a specific location along the suburb's nearly 90 miles of pathways. The Columbia Association wants to make the process easier by numbering each of the town's more than 160 tot lots along the pathways -- indicated by a sign posted at the playgrounds -- and coordinating with the county police department through a global positioning system program that would show each location.
NEWS
By Dan Morse and Dan Morse,SUN STAFF | August 16, 1996
Like the Energizer bunny searching for a place to play, the controversial tot lot project in Columbia's River Hill village keeps going, and going, and going.Opponents of the lot vow to challenge the Howard County Planning Board's decision this week permitting construction of the play area near the backyards of several angry residents.The board's decision, reached Wednesday night, was the latest bureaucratic round in the case, which is more than a year old."It's really divided our community," said Blair Ewing, who lives in the new Pheasant Ridge subdivision.
NEWS
By Shanon D. Murray and Shanon D. Murray,SUN STAFF | January 3, 1997
A nearly three-year bureaucratic saga about a proposed tot lot in Columbia's River Hill village closed another -- but maybe not final -- chapter last night.The Howard County Board of Appeals voted to uphold an earlier decision by the county's Planning Board to approve a tot lot in the village's exclusive Pheasant Ridge II community -- pleasing more than half of a neighborhood of 49 homes that is deeply divided by the proposal.Opponents of the plan said last night that they probably would file a civil lawsuit against the county to force it to move the children's playground, which would include swings and a slide, farther from their back yards and a wetland area.
NEWS
By TYRONE RICHARDSON and TYRONE RICHARDSON,SUN REPORTER | August 21, 2006
The drowned boy's mother was anguished - and impatient. For months, Columbia Association officials had gone back and forth on what to do about the playground where 23-month-old Alex Ferrera wandered away to his death in Lake Elkhorn, and still the lot was unfenced and open to children. "Your beautiful lake took my son and swallowed him and took his breath away," an emotional Cathy Ferrera told the homeowner association's board of directors in May, at one of a seemingly endless series of meetings on the issue.
NEWS
By TYRONE RICHARDSON and TYRONE RICHARDSON,SUN REPORTER | July 30, 2006
When the Columbia Association honored the Owen Brown Village Board's request to display safety design concepts for the Lake Elkhorn tot lot, one model was excluded from the package. But the design, labeled "F," which would fence the entire playground, will be on display at the village community center because the association board voted Thursday night to send it over. In response to the death of a 23-month-old boy who wandered from the playground and drowned in the lake in September, the association board ordered staff members to create safety design concepts -- labeled "A" to "F" -- for the tot lot. Plan "F" was heavily discussed during previous association board meetings and was voted down last month.
NEWS
By TYRONE RICHARDSON and TYRONE RICHARDSON,SUN REPORTER | July 26, 2006
Owen Brown village has set up a display of seven safety options and a comment box for the Lake Elkhorn tot lot to get more community opinion on whether the playground should be fenced, village officials said. "One of the big issues was that people did not know there were other options there," said Neil Dorsey, chairman of the Owen Brown Village Board, adding that residents have told him they knew of only two options - fencing the area or leaving it as it is. "This shows there are many more options than the two."
NEWS
By TYRONE RICHARDSON and TYRONE RICHARDSON,SUN REPORTER | June 25, 2006
The fate of the Lake Elkhorn tot lot is out of the Columbia Association's hands -- for the moment. The association board decided Thursday night to shift the responsibility of whether to put a barrier around the popular Columbia playground to the village board of Owen Brown -- where the tot lot is located. The action followed a 5-3 vote that denied a motion to move the subject to a Columbia Association committee. "I fundamentally don't think it makes a difference at this point, and [the Owen Brown community]
NEWS
By TYRONE RICHARDSON and TYRONE RICHARDSON,SUN REPORTER | June 25, 2006
An Ellicott City resident who was denied a chance to speak at a recent Columbia Association board meeting is complaining that the board broke its usual practice by refusing her access to the "resident speak-out" portion of the agenda. "It seems they are afraid of what I was going to say," said Diane McDonald, a pediatrician who has been active in the debate over whether to fence a Lake Elkhorn tot lot in the wake of a drowning last year. "I don't think they ever banned anybody from speaking out before, and why would they ban a pediatrician is beyond me," McDonald said.
NEWS
By LAURA CADIZ and LAURA CADIZ,SUN REPORTER | June 18, 2006
Soon after a toddler drowned in Lake Elkhorn last fall after playing at the nearby tot lot, a group of residents convened to lobby the Columbia Association board to erect a fence around the play area. But today, after rounds and rounds of board discussion, a commissioned $20,000 study and repeated resident outcry, the playground remains as it was that day -- with no barrier and no clear plan in sight for how the board will address the perceived safety issue, if at all. "This thing could still be going on in September," said board Chairman Tom O'Connor.
BUSINESS
By Donna Peremes and Donna Peremes,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | May 26, 1996
Tot lot: Those are fighting words in some Baltimore-area subdivisions.Over the past few years, disputes about play areas have been disturbing the suburban peace in several area developments. Some residents don't want open space used for tot lots; some just don't want them literally next to their back yards.And some, like Joan Mory of Piney Meadows, an Eldersburg community, feel they were misled when they bought their homes.One morning in July, surveyors began staking out a footpath between her home and that of a neighbor, Tammy Maus.
NEWS
By Greg Tasker and Greg Tasker,Staff Writer | March 17, 1993
Open space areas near planned or existing reservoirs, schools or recreation areas would be given priority for county ownership in a proposal before the Carroll commissioners.County planning officials have drafted a proposed policy to help the commissioners determine whether to accept proposed open space areas in subdivisions. The policy also wouldestablish internal procedures for county staffers to follow during the development review process.Prompting the policy proposal are requests for the county to accept open space areas in subdivisions where homeowners associations no longer want to maintain the property.
NEWS
By TYRONE RICHARDSON AND LAURA CADIZ and TYRONE RICHARDSON AND LAURA CADIZ,SUN REPORTERS | June 16, 2006
After being repeatedly berated by a standing-room-only crowd of angry residents, a besieged Columbia Association board has reversed its decision to close a popular Lake Elkhorn tot lot. The board rescinded its recent decision after the testimony of dozens of residents who were among a crowd of more than 100 that filled the board room and foyer at the association headquarters Wednesday night. The residents made it clear to the 10-member board that its vote June 8 was done in haste and without adequate resident input.
NEWS
By TYRONE RICHARDSON and TYRONE RICHARDSON,SUN REPORTER | June 14, 2006
A 4-foot wooden sign posted near the now-closed Lake Elkhorn tot lot screams: "Don't let C.A. Take Our Playground Away !!!!!" The Columbia Association has posted its own signs, declaring the playground closed after the CA board's directive last week in response to a toddler drowning at the nearby lake last fall. But parents yesterday ignored the signs. Instead, as more than a dozen children played on the equipment, the adults lamented the fate of the popular play area. "Removing the playground is way overkill," Amy McDaniel, who has two children, said of the CA board's decision to close the playground indefinitely as it decides what to do next with the structure.
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