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Hickory Ridge Requests Funds for Park, Bocce Courts

Community Association wants to build 3-acre park complete with a gazebo and bocce courts.

 

A 3-acre lot next to Hickory Ridge’s Village Center may become a park with a gazebo, two picnic pavilions and bocce courts, if approved by Columbia Association.

Representatives of the Hickory Ridge Community Association pitched the plan to CA’s board of directors at their meeting on Thursday night.

“We want to continue to draw people to the center,” said Joan Lancos, land use liaison for Hickory Ridge, on Friday. “It’s a positive use, we weren’t looking for a big structure, we would just like to have a CA presence at the Village Center.”

In an artist’s rendering presented to the board, the park would consist of two picnic pavilions, a lighted gazebo, a small playground, a chess area and two bocce courts surrounding a multi-use play field, all of which would be encircled by a pathway.

The total cost of the park’s construction is estimated to be $1.4 million, according to a letter written by Hickory Ridge’s village manager, Jessamine Duvall, to CA. That cost would be spread out over two CA budget cycles—$800,000 included in the Fiscal Year 2014 budget to develop the site and build bocce courts, the play area and a majority of the pathway. The other $600,000 would be added to the Fiscal Year 2015 budget to finish the pathway, create a chess table area and build the two pavilions, according to Duvall’s letter.

“The proposed ‘Gathering Place’ at the Hickory Ridge Village Center includes amenities that would benefit not only the residents of Hickory Ridge, but all residents of Columbia,” wrote Duvall.

Lancos said CA recommended adding the bocce courts during the planning process and that a budding league, written about in Explore Howard, would be interested in using the courts.

Currently, Howard County is home to two bocce courts at Cedar Lane Park, but those courts are smaller than regulation courts and may need to be resurfaced, according to Explore Howard.

CA board member and local blogger Tom Coale wrote on Friday, “I am hopeful that this project can be incorporated, and honestly believe it will be.”

What do you think of the plan for the park? 


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stephen feldman November 09, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Of course simply allowing a park with benches trees and flowering shrubs is out of the question? There hasnt been enough poorly planned, over-dense development in the once semi rural Hickory Ridge Cedar Lan area? And the potential number of bocce players is what? Who knew the denizens of Little italy of old had arrived en masse in Hickory ridge? Perhaps we could start to tear down some of the faux Scots buildings that already raise similarties to the slums of Glasgow(albeit at inflated prices) and create field for bagpipes and hurling?
Jessamine Duvall November 12, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Mr. Feldman, I encourage you to stop by the village office to look at the plan and discuss it with me. The proposed park follows the recommendations of our Village Center Community Plan, which was developed by a committee of Hickory Ridge residents. The goal of this project is to provide amenities for all village residents to use while also ensuring the health and vitality of the shopping center. Please know that this project will have minimal impact on surrounding residences. Please call our office at 410-730-7327, and I will be happy to speak with you about your concerns.
Goldie December 07, 2012 at 12:53 AM
Ms. Duval...are you and this committee of residents *seriously* suggesting that bocce courts will encourage the vitality of the village center? I'm sure you have statistics to back this up?
Paul Lynner January 08, 2013 at 08:39 PM
I completely agree with Mr. Feldman and have voiced my opinion in emails to CA executives of which I got a canned response. I've also written a letter the Flyer that was run several weeks ago. I'm finding hard to imagine a bigger waste of taxpayer money. This definitely needs to be rethought.

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