On August 3, Kimco Realty presented a revised plan for redevelopment of the Hickory Ridge Village Center. After receiving comments on its previous plan at several large community meetings and nineteen small group meetings, Kimco hired a new design team. Major concerns with the first plan included the addition of apartments to the site, location of the retail buildings, village green space, pedestrian access and safety, parking, access to the proposed Columbia Association park, schools, and traffic. Kimco stated that it believes the new plan addresses many of the concerns and also substantially complies with the Village Center Community Plan passed by the Village Board in 2011.
The new plan retains all five entrances to the village center: the right-in only from Cedar Lane (while adding a right-out only), the three entrances from Freetown Road and the entrance from Quarterstaff Road. The vehicle circulation within the center would be slightly adjusted. The existing Giant building and the stores that surround it would remain and some additional retail would be added to that building. A new retail space would be built in the area where the bank drive-thru currently exists. A bank structure with drive-thru would be built in the parking lot close to Sunrise. Merchants in the existing smaller building would move to the new retail spaces. The old building would be torn down and replaced with a smaller retail building parallel to the newly built structure. A roadway with wide sidewalks and angle parking on either side would go between the two new retail buildings and lead to the large parking lot that would be created where the current small retail building is located. A large village green with seating and possibly a play space would be created between the Giant building and the newest retail building. The newest building would be four-sided with storefronts facing the green, the original driveway, the new drive aisle and the new parking lot.
The large parking lot between the Giant building and Cedar Lane would be replaced with a four story 230 unit apartment building with an interior parking garage to serve the apartments. There would be additional retail on the first floor of the apartment structure. The road separating the Giant building and the apartment building would be pedestrian-friendly with angle parking and wide sidewalks. The design of the apartment building would include setbacks, dormers, and mansard roofs to visually reduce the bulk of the structure. The building would be 45 feet tall which is the same height as Sunrise Assisted Living at the village center. Market rate would be charged for the rental apartments which will be upscale with high end finishes, and would include mostly one and two bedroom floorplans. County regulations do not require it, so no affordable housing is planned in the building.
The Howard County process for redevelopment of a village center requires that Kimco hold an additional Pre-Submission Community Meeting which will likely take place at the end of September. Afterwards, the proposal will be presented to the Howard County Design Advisory Panel for recommendations. The project will be submitted to the Department of Planning and Zoning later in the fall. DPZ will notify the Village Board which will develop a Community Response Statement based on input received through a village-wide survey it will conduct after the Pre-Submission meeting. DPZ will review the technical aspects of the project, consider the recommendation from the DAP, the Village Center Community Plan (approved in 2011) and the Community Response Statement from Hickory Ridge Board, and formulate its Technical Staff Report. The Planning Board will then hold a public meeting after the first of the year to review all the material and take community input on the proposal. The Planning Board will issue its own recommendation on the project which goes to the Howard County Council sitting as the Zoning Board for a final decision. The Zoning Board will hold a public hearing in the spring of 2017 to take additional community input before making its decision. If the project is approved, it will take another year to get building permits issued. Kimco noted that the final completion of the project will not take place until 2022.
Find additional information about process and previous meetings on this website. To view the entire August 3 PowerPoint presentation, please visit a new website set up by Kimco at www.hickoryridgedevelopment.com.