Thoughts on Being a Neighbor to Ellicott City

Rosalyn Williams, Tue, Jun 05, 2018

The recent flooding in Ellicott City was a stark reminder of a couple of things. First of all, that as neighbors, when some are negatively impacted, we are all negatively impacted. Secondly, it underscored the importance of planned development.

The Howard County Citizen’s Association is hosting an event on Monday, June 11th at 6PM that addresses these issues. The event provides an opportunity to 1) get to know some of your neighbors better, including BA Auto Care’s neighbor, Hysteria Brewing Company, 2) to learn how you can help to foster planned, responsible development via the film, :Columbia at 50 – A Bridge to the Future,” and 3) to contribute to the disaster relief fund for Ellicott City — all at the same time.

All of the proceeds from the $5 admission fee will be donated to the Ellicott City Disaster Relief Fund. Plus, attendees will receive the book, “Columbia, A Celebration” and a FREE beer — over a $40 value for just $5.

As a business operating in Howard County, we make it a point to get to know our neighbors. In our current times, when so many transactions happen online, many people think that knowing the people who live or run a business near us isn’t important. And then, something happens that brings us closer together. Unfortunately, it’s usually a tragedy like what’s happened to the Ellicott City Main Street Community. When you know the people behind the headlines, it becomes more than just a news story.

When something so severe happens, it impacts us all here in Howard County. Our governmental resources are redirected to help alleviate the damage. We pitch in to help in the recovery efforts. We try to provide support to the business owners who lost so much in the flood, many of whom are our friends and acquaintances. As a community, we are tied together.

From a planning aspect, we ponder on why something like this happens, and could it have been avoided. Some people chalk it up to climate change, while others point to the massive development that has replaced green space (that can absorb water) with hard surfaces (that can’t absorb the water). And, of course, the flooding isn’t just happening on Main Street. As the increasingly unabsorbed waters rush downhill, it’s flooding basements, toppling bushes and trees, wiping out landscapes.

Of course this flooding isn’t only happening in Ellicott City. Not that long ago, we watched in horror as Houston, TX and surrounding communities suffered immense damage, driven in part by over development and climate change.

It’s so critical that as responsible citizens we get involved to make sure that our governmental leadership is taking the appropriate steps to mitigate and avoid situations like this where ever possible.

Again, on June 11th, the HCCA will be screening the film, Columbia at 50 – A Bridge to the Future , just across the street from BA Auto Care at Hysteria Brewing Company. We hope you will come out. Get to know your neighbors at the Hysteria Brewing Company, and learn how you can help to keep government accountable and help to ensure responsibly planned communities and development are the rule, rather than the exception.

 

About Rosalyn Williams