August 31st  Weekly e-Newsletter for the Village of Harper's Choice.
Discover Downtown Columbia 5k

Featuring Live Music & Festive Post Race Activities

The race starts at the Columbia Mall and weaves through Symphony Woods across the Merriweather Post Pavilion stage and past other Downtown Columbia landmarks before ending at the beautiful lakefront. 

Click here for flier.
Click here to register.
50th Birthday Finale Anticipates Future

OPUS 1, a bold festival mixing art, music and technology to create an immersive, multi-sensory experience, is set for Saturday, October 7, from 4-11 p.m. in Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods.  The one-of-a-kind event is the finale of Columbia's six-month 50th birthday celebration and is free and open to the public of all ages. 

The transformational festival will include large scale art installations, mesmerizing music performances and treetop projection mapping.   Eleven activation areas will encourage exploration, interactivity and a sense of discovery.  

Curated and produced by Wild Dogs International, OPUS 1 is the first part of a three-year project, bringing art and cutting-edge culture to the area.  It is being presented by The Howard Hughes Corporation. 

"OPUS 1 allows us to tell the story of the next phase in the city's cultural evolution," said Executive Vice President John DeWolf.  "We are committed to providing an opportunity where art, music and technology can flourish in an extraordinary way."

For more information, click here and reserve your tickets here.
Construction on US 29 Pedestrian Bridge

Construction on the pedestrian bridge that crosses US 29 in Columbia will begin on Tuesday,  September 5, weather permitting. The project will replace the bridge's existing fence, install new lighting and improve security features. It is expected to be completed by late November.
During the duration of the project, the pathway from the Stevens Forest Road trailhead to the bridge will be closed. A section of pathway on the west side of US 29 leading to the bridge will also be closed.
For pedestrians and cyclists whose transportation needs will be impacted by the temporary closure of the bridge, these are the following solutions:

Complimentary Regional Transportation Agency (RTA) bus passes valid for bus service between the Oakland Mills Village Center and Downtown Columbia. To obtain your complimentary pass, contact the County's Office of Transportation at 410-313-4312 or via email.
CarpoolNow, a smartphone app to help people find a carpool.
A signed bike route using the Seneca Drive bridge.
Periodic single-lane closures and shifts along US 29 are expected to occur in off-peak weekday hours. Please be advised and expect some delays. Additional information about the US 29 pedestrian bridge project is available online.
Popular Art From Company's Collection on Display 

Selections from The Rouse Company/The Howard Hughes Corporation Art Collection will be on exhibit at the Howard County Center for the Arts, 8510 High Ridge Road in Ellicott City, September 1 - October 13. The collection has been in storage since the extensive renovation of The Rouse Company headquarters where the art works were displayed for decades.  The iconic building  today houses Whole Foods Market and Haven on the Lake.
On September 6, from 6:30-9 p.m., a reception open to the public will include lively discussions and presentations reflecting on art's role throughout Columbia's past, present and future.  Former Rouse Company employees will serve as guest docents, reminiscing and sharing insights about the collection.  Featured artists Vicki Scuri, Mary Ann Mears and Rodney Carroll, all of whom have been commissioned to produce art for Downtown Columbia, will take part in casual Q&A sessions, and William Cochran of Cochran Studio will talk about the transformational role of public art in cities across the county and the future possibilities for public art in Columbia.

The exhibit is supported, in part, by L. Earl and Mary T. Armiger Foundation Fund, a fund of the Community Foundation of Howard County.  The reception on September 6 is sponsored by The Howard Hughes Corporation.
Exploring Columbia On Foot, Outdoor Walks

 Walks will begin at 10am. Registration is not required.
  • Thursday, Sept. 14, Harper's Choice - meet at Hobbits Glen Pool (11130 Willow Bottom Drive)
  • Thursday, Oct. 12, Downtown Columbia - meet at Lakefront Plaza (10275 Little Patuxent Parkway)
  • Thursday, Oct. 26, Hickory Ridge - meet at Hawthorn Center (6175 Sunny Spring)
Hope for Recovery: Understanding Mental Illness
Presentation by: National Alliance on Mental Illness of Howard County (NAMI HC)

Monday, September 18, 2017 6pm-8:30pm
Kahler Hall
5440 Old Tucker Row, Columbia, MD 2104

Today, we know so much more about how to identify and treat mental illnesses. Unfortunately, the stigma surrounding mental illness prevents many people from seeking help early. This presentation will discuss what mental illness is and will seek to dispel the myths and stigma surrounding mental illness. We will also provide information about resources available in our community.

For more information, contact Melanie Jeffers at 410-730-0770 or email
Online Registration: Saturday, September 23rd Red Ribbon Yard Sale

To register your street for the September 23, 2017, Red Ribbon Yard Sale click,   here. All streets in the Village of Harper's Choice participating must be registered by Wednesday, September 20th. Stop by Kahler Hall by September 20th to pick up your red ribbon!
Please call 410-730-0770 or email us with any questions.
Owen Brown Lakefest

Save the Date: 2017 Columbia BikeAbout
Saturday, Sept. 23 at 9:30am

The annual Columbia BikeAbout will be held Saturday, Sept. 23, with riders setting out from the dock at Lake Elkhorn. The new 10-mile route winds through neighborhoods in Owen Brown, Oakland Mills and Long Reach. In celebration of Columbia's 50th Birthday, the theme of the BikeAbout is "appreciate the past and imagine the future." 

Along the route, riders will get the answer to why our power lines for the most part are underground, insight into the origin of some of Columbia's unique street names, visit a cemetery that pre-dates Columbia, and discover early attempts to manage stormwater and how technology has changed current practice.

Young families will be guided around Lake Elkhorn, which will be filled with fun facts about Columbia and some fun things to do. Following the ride, participants have the opportunity to refuel and have fun at the Owen Brown Festival, which begins at noon.

To register, click here.
Save the date: Experts to discuss enhancing Columbia's older neighborhoods on Oct. 25

Columbia's 50th Birthday hasn't just been about celebrating the past, but about imagining the future as well. An important part of that is to focus on the community's older neighborhoods, many of which date back several decades.

What are the needed policies and tools to help these neighborhoods remain attractive and economically vibrant? Columbia Association's (CA) next Community Building Speakers Series event seeks to answer this question.

"Enhancing Columbia's Neighborhoods: Learning from Best Practice" will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 7pm at the Owen Brown Interfaith Center, 7246 Cradlerock Way, Columbia. Advance registration is not required but is appreciated. Register online at .

The event will feature Paul Brophy and Mark Sissman, two noted experts with deep roots in Maryland, to help frame both the challenges and the opportunities for renewing older neighborhoods. These neighborhoods still offer a good quality of life and are more affordable - but may be in danger of decline unless steps are taken to improve investment conditions. Brophy and Sissman will discuss best practices to address the community's aging housing stock and sustain strong neighborhoods.

Brophy is a principal with Brophy & Reilly LLC, an Ellicott City-based consulting firm specializing in economic development, neighborhood revitalization, and the management of complex urban redevelopment projects. Prior to consulting, Mr. Brophy served in city government and also served as past president and co-CEO of the Enterprise Foundation, founded by Jim and Patty Rouse. Brophy has worked with community groups and local governments around the nation to improve communities and neighborhoods.

Brophy has been a senior adviser to numerous universities and organizations and is currently an adjunct professor at Georgetown University's School of Urban and Regional Planning. He is co-author/editor of four books: On the Edge: America's Middle Neighborhoods (2016); Neighborhood Revitalization: Theory and Practice (1975); Housing and Local Government (1982), and A Guide to Careers in Community Development (2001).

Sissman is the president of Healthy Neighborhoods, a Baltimore community development nonprofit organized by financial and philanthropic institutions to improve selected neighborhoods through a number of programs and services. Results have included higher sales prices, growing investment in home remodeling and increased levels of community involvement in these neighborhoods. Prior to his service with Healthy Neighborhoods, Sissman was Baltimore's deputy housing commissioner, a banker and a key player in the redevelopment of the Hippodrome, the $70 million world-class performing arts center. He also served as past president of the Enterprise Foundation's Enterprise Social Investment Corporation.

The Community Foundation of Howard County is a cosponsor of this event.

CA's Community Building Speakers Series brings thought-provoking speakers on topics that stimulate us to discuss, engage, and build our sense of community in Columbia. For more information, please contact Scott Templin at 410-715-3166 or
Saturday, October 21 - Shredding Event
Howard County residents can bring up to 3 bags or boxes of paper from 9am to 1pm (or until the trucks are full) to the Long Gate Park and Ride Lot,  5000 Meadowbrook Lane, Ellicott City, MD . This  event  will be held rain or shine.
Covenant Corner

The Covenant Advisor for the Village is here to help residents in many ways; from navigating the submission process for approval of in-home businesses and submitting plans prior to making exterior changes, to their homes, to completing a compliance inspection for the sale of ones' home. We also work with residents to address reported violations of the Harper's Choice Village Covenants. In some cases however, we have to refer residents to County Government, the Police Department or the Columbia Association. Here are some useful numbers to assist you when we cannot:

PETS - Concerns with a neighbor's pet or stray animals, please contact Howard County Animal Control at 410-313-2780.

VEHICLES - Harper's Choice Covenants and Guidelines state that all cars must be legally tagged and operable. The Village staff has no jurisdiction over vehicles parked on county streets. If there is a problem with a vehicle parked on the street, call the Howard County Police non-emergency number at 410-313-2200.

RENTERS - Howard County Rental Housing handles licensing and enforcement for rental property. They can be reached at 410-313-2455.

OPEN SPACE - Residents who have questions or concerns about open space or have observed persons dump yard waste in CA open space, should call Open Space Management at 410-312-6330.

PROPERTY COMPLAINTS - Anonymous complaints are accepted and a site visit will be made to verify the reported violation. We work with the owner to resolve the violation and may seek the remedy of the courts if we cannot get voluntary cooperation. That said, we cannot resolve communication problems between neighbors or get in the middle of property line disputes. The appropriate place to direct calls of this nature is The Mediation and Conflict Resolution Center, housed at the new Howard County Nonprofit Center off Broken Land Parkway. Contact info: 443-518-7693; email:; website:

Reminder: Labor Day Closings

Howard County Government offices, courts, animal shelter, 50+ centers and landfill will be closed in observance of the Labor Day holiday on Monday, September 4. There will be no trash, recycling, yard trim or food scrap pick-up on Labor Day. The County's holiday "slide" schedule will be in effect.

County parks and the Roger Carter Community Center will be open; however, the Cedar Lane and Schooley Mill Activity Rooms, the Gary J. Arthur and North Laurel Community Centers, Kiwanis-Wallas Hall, Meadowbrook Athletic Center, Robinson Nature Center and county historic sites will be closed. The Regional Transportation Agency (RTA) will operate on a "Sunday" schedule. For more information on RTA, call 1-800- 270-9553 or visit

The emergency response centers remain staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For emergencies, call 9-1-1; for nonemergencies, please call 410-313-2200. County offices will re-open at regular business hours on Tuesday, September 5.
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Architectural Committee Meetings

Please check the calendar on our website for the latest meeting dates.
Changes made to the exterior of homes in Harper's Choice require approval of the Village Architectural Committee (AC).
The AC will meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month at 7:30 PM to review applications. 

The deadline to submit applications for approval is two weeks prior to the next meeting date.
Village Board Meetings

The next meeting of the Village Board is scheduled for September 5th at 7PM. Approved Agendas and Meeting Minutes are/will be available on our website.
Keeping You Informed
This weekly e-Newsletter serves as a recap of news and events we share with our community throughout the week via other social media channels. Connect with us on Facebook  and  Twitter  to receive more regular announcements and information from us.
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Village Manager
Facility Manager
Covenant Advisor
Melanie Jeffers
Event & Community Outreach Coordinator

Your Village Board
Village Board Member
Village Board Member
Village Board Member
Erik Avant**
Village Board Member
Alan Klein *
Columbia Council Rep

Village Board Member

* Term expires 4/30/18
** Term expires 4/30/19

5440 Old Tucker Row  Columbia, MD | 410.730.0770 | Email | Website