Kensington Parkway Water Main Replacement

By | From the RCHCA Officers | No Comments

Dear neighbors,

We’ve been contacted by EBA Engineering, contractors for WSSC, about plans to replace water mains in our neighborhood.

They’re planning to hold a community meeting to present and discuss this project. The meeting is tentatively scheduled for the 21st of July.

They’ve provided a map showing the affected areas. You can see the document at:
https://www.scribd.com/doc/312865854/Kensington-Key-Plan

I will keep you updated as we hear more from EBA.

With best regards,
Jim Pekar
President, Rock Creek Hills Citizens’ Association

RSVP: can you join the party on Sunday?

By | Social Events | No Comments

Hi party goers,

Please RSVP (reply to Erica only – ericahertzweiss@gmail.com) if you can come to the Neighborhood Spring Fling on Sunday, May 15 (Kensington Cabin Park from 4-7pm), and let me know how many guests we can expect from your group. We’d like to get a sense of how much food to order from Moby Dick House of Kabob.

We’re also excited to have our hometown band, the Super Lucky Elephant with Jon Watkins on-hand to play for us!

“Stuff” to bring to the party:

– picnic blankets to sit on, chairs, your Frisbee, lawn toys (dare we say bug spray -?)
– a pot-luck dish to share
– lots of sunshine please!

We hope to see you there,

– Erica, Randi & Jennie
(your neighborhood party planing team)

Please save the date: RCHCA meeting 7:30 PM on Thursday, June 2nd

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Dear neighbors,

At the April 12th RCHCA meeting, there was support for convening another meeting in the near future, in order to address concerns regarding plans by the State Highway Administration (SHA) to build a creekside salt barn (see below) at the Connecticut Avenue cloverleaf of the Capital Beltway, as well as concerns regarding ongoing utility work and its impacts on homes & yards. Accordingly, we have scheduled a RCHCA meeting for 7:30 PM on Thursday, June 2nd, at Grace Episcopal Day School on Connecticut Avenue.

A proposed agenda for this meeting is:

I. Hydrology of Rock Creek Hills
1. Silver Creek & Rock Creek
2. Middle school: Environmental impact
3. Salt barn project: Environmental impact
4. Rain gardens & tax credits

II. Construction Disruptions in Rock Creek Hills
1. Middle school construction
2. Gas line replacement
3. Sewer line replacement
4. Possible replacement of water mains
5. Possible installation of sidewalks
6. Salt barn project

Regarding SHA’s proposed salt barn:
• Two weeks ago, RCHCA member Jim Chambers (a retired federal fisheries biologist) and I wrote and submitted an Op-Ed to the Washington Post. It was not accepted or published, but you can read it here: <https://www.scribd.com/doc/310619291/Earth-Day-2016>. We stand by what we’ve written there; however:
• Analysis by John Robinson, RCHCA past-president and former Associate Director of the Montgomery County Planning Board, indicates that RCH residents & RCHCA lack standing to take legal action to block the project. We plan to review this finding with a land-use attorney.
• Analysis by Chris Muffels, RCHCA member and professional hydrologist/hydrogeologist, indicates that SHA’s plans provide for state-of-the-art protection of Rock Creek, enabled by the relatively large size of the site, and that alternative sites considered by SHA are located near homes that appear to draw their drinking water from wells (and thus would presumably be worse places to locate such a facility).

Thanks to the many of you who devoted a recent rainy Saturday morning to cleaning up Silver Creek! Thanks to Laura Dennis, who worked with the Rock Creek Conservancy to have our community “adopt” Silver Creek, for organizing the cleanup!

I hope to see you on June 2nd.

With best regards,
Jim Pekar
President, RCHCA

May 15 – Save the Date: Neighborhood Spring Fling!

By | Social Events | No Comments
Dear Neighbors,

Please SAVE THE DATE for our Annual Neighborhood Spring Fling!
(Formerly known and loved as the Mother’s Day Party)

Date: May 15

Time: 4pm – 7pm

Place: Kensington Log Cabin Park (Kensington Parkway)

Enjoy food & music – bring pot luck dishes to share – play games in the park – All RCH residents are welcome

See you there!

– The RCHCA Party Planning Crew –

(P.S. – If you’d like to join the party planning crew or just help that day – please do!! – email ericahertzweiss@gmail.com (Erica) orrandihersh@yahoo.com (Randi))

 

2016 Spring Newsletter & Notice of April 12 Meeting

By | Meetings, Newsletters, RCHCA Biz | No Comments

Rock Creek Hills Citizens’ Association – Annual Meeting – April 12, 201

The next meeting of the Rock Creek Hills Citizens’ Association will be held on Tuesday, April 12, at 7:30 PM, at Grace Episcopal Day School, 9411 Connecticut Avenue. The agenda will include:

• School construction update
• Pedestrian safety now & following opening of the new school in August 2017
• Street congestion & streetscape concerns following opening of the new school
• Aesthetic mitigation of impacts associated with the new school
• Update on boundary study (to determine which elementary schools feed into the new middle school)
• Update on WSSC work
• Update on gas line work
• Update on condo development at Kensington Parkway at the Beltway
• Proposed “salt barn” at Beltway
• Update on neighborhood signage
• Update on covenants
• Update on Villages of Kensington
• RCHCA party at Kensington Cabin Park in May!
• RCHCA budget update
• Election of officers
• Other business

President’s Message

The magnolias and camellias are in fragrant bloom, and innumerable robins are bouncing along, so it feels like Winter is over. However, this Spring does feature heavy construction on the former site of Rock Creek Hills Park. (Construction started October 13, 2015 on the new middle school that is scheduled to open in August of 2017.) Members of your RCHCA board, joined by Rock Creek Hills resident Rick Bond, A.I.A, an architect with expertise in large facilities construction, have been meeting onsite monthly with Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) and their contractor, Dustin Construction, to provide a means to share and address concerns. The plans for the building have changed since earlier plans were submitted for “mandatory referral” review. On March 18, 2016, MCPS posted a “flyover” animation of the current plans on their webpage for this project at <http://goo.gl/4aQ7ip>.

As I wrote last Autumn: “Although our efforts – to direct the new school to a more suitable site, to enforce a proper land use review, to defend the park, and, most recently, to minimize traffic impacts and environmental damage – did not succeed, they should be a source of pride. I am proud of our community’s sustained engagement on behalf of these goals, and the measured tone with which they were pursued. At this point, we need to focus on the changes the new school will bring, and on working together to seek best outcomes. I have always respected the range of opinion among neighbors, and I appreciate your support regardless of where you stood on the specific issues involved.”

Officers

The current officers have all agreed to serve for another year to provide continuity as construction progresses and to complete the updating of a number of administrative issues. The current officers & board members are: Jim Pekar, president; Hill Carter, vice-president; Maria Marzullo, treasurer; Jill Gallagher, secretary; John Robinson, past-president.

Covenants

Because of turnover, we are again mentioning covenants. In the last year we have, as far as we know, no material issues of compliance. And, we are pleased to note an uptick in inquiries from real estate brokers. Please, if you sell you house, make sure the listing agent is aware of the covenants and the restrictions they impose.

Directory

The 2015 Rock Creek Hills directory was distributed to all households last year. To access the online directory go to: https://www.atozdirectories.com/home/login.php. You will need a username and password to login. If you do not have a login, you may email Sam Hoxie (hoxiesam@gmail.com), include your name and address and she will email you your username. If you do not have computer access, please mail to 9711 E. Bexhill or call Sam 301-942-0743 with any new information. More information and links to access the real time, updated online directory may be found on our website, rchca.org.

Email

The Rock Creek Hills Citizens’ Association e-mail network, rchcanet, is for families of Rock Creek Hills. We urge everyone with email access to sign up for this, as it will allow information about the neighborhood, planned events, etc., to be easily disseminated to everyone in a timely manner. This communication forum is not intended to replace any existing communications. The instructions on how to join are posted on the RCHCA website, rchca.org, under the communications tab at the top of the website.

Party

Planning is underway for a party to take place on a Sunday afternoon in late May in Kensington Cabin Park. To volunteer to help out, please contact Ms. Erica Weiss at ericahertzweiss@gmail.com

Treasurer’s Report & Dues for this Calendar Year

As of publication the RCHCA checking account has a balance of $1,103 and the RCHCA savings account a balance of $7,089. Thus funds for operations are $8,192. Dues for the year 2016 are $40 and should be sent to Maria Marzullo at 9801 E. Bexhill Drive, Kensington, MD 20895.

Please Save the Date: RCHCA Meeting 7:30 PM Tuesday April 12th

By | From the RCHCA Officers, Meetings, Neighborhood Notices | No Comments

Dear neighbors,

The next meeting of the Rock Creek Hills Citizens’ Association will take place on Tuesday, April 12th, at 7:30 PM, in the large activity room of Grace Episcopal Day School, at 9411 Connecticut Ave.

Topics include:
– School construction update
– Pedestrian safety now & following opening of the new school in August 2017
– Street congestion & streetscape concerns following opening of the new school
– Aesthetic mitigation of impacts associated with the new school
– Update on boundary study (to determine which elementary schools feed into the new middle school)
– Update on WSSC work
– Update on neighborhood signage
– Update on covenants
– Update on Villages of Kensington
– RCHCA budget update
– Election of officers
– Other business

Please let any Board member know if you have other topics for discussion at the meeting.

A full written notice of the meeting will be mailed to all households in Rock Creek Hills, and distributed via email to this listserv.

With best regards,
Jim Pekar,
RCHCA President

Notes from B-CC Middle School # 2 – First Construction Meeting – 02/03/2016

By | B-CC Middle School / RCH Park, From the RCHCA Officers | No Comments

Hello Rock Creek Hills Neighbors,

Last Wednesday, February 3’rd, 2016 at 7:30 AM:

· Jim Pekar, President Rock Creek Hills Citizens Association

· Rick Bond, A.I.A., a Rock Creek Hills Resident Architect with experience in large facilities construction

· Hill Carter, Vice-President Rock Creek Hills Citizens Association

Met with Seth Adams, Director, Division of Construction of Montgomery County Public Schools, Ray Marhamati MCPS Project Manager for B-CC Middle School #2, and the leads from Dustin Construction for B-CC Middle School #2 at the construction site in Rock Creek Hills. This is the first of what is expected to be monthly meetings to help foster bi-directional communication between the residents of Rock Creek Hills and the firms constructing the new school. The meeting was both productive and informative.

Attached please find our combined notes in bullet-ized form:

· Dustin Construction is aiming for a 1 July 2017 major construction completion date.

· Some remaining work will be conducted while MCPS prepares for the school year.

· MCPS recognizes that, as a new school, this is a unique situation. The project originally had a 24 month duration, which has been subsequently reduced to 18 months.

· Meeting construction completion date is critical, and a 6 day work week has been included for the duration of the project (included in budget).

· Most of the excavation is complete, and truck hauling of dirt will be minimal in the future.

· Funding for the asbestos removal and disposal will come from project contingencies, and will not increase total cost. They acknowledged that communication regarding this issue could have been better, and believe that these meetings will help.

· Dustin Construction is aware of the issue of the overly early start time on the Martin Luther King holiday and stated this should not happen again.

· The designated construction route for construction vehicles is from Connecticut Avenue down Saul Road

o No school construction trucks should be driving through RCH neighborhood streets

· All early morning truck deliveries are supposed to be queued up in a shopping center parking lot, in anticipation of the approved opening times. No trucks are allowed on Saul Road prior to 7:00.

· The last budget approval provided funding for the 12 classroom shell, the decorative finishes and metal railings on the retaining walls.

· There will be “hundreds” of vendors who will work on this project so some vendors may not be aware of the construction start time or designated construction route.

· Dustin started pouring cement last Tuesday and will be pouring cement daily until spring when the steel construction will start.

o Dustin stated they poured 1000 feet of cement last Tuesday alone

· In the spring Dustin will start drilling wells near the retirement home for the geo-exchange system (for the school HVAC System).

o This work will be noisy and Dustin is working on a noise abatement plans.

· The large piles of dirt on the field next to the Retirement Home are there intentionally as a sound barrier.

· MCPS stated they would post new renderings and other documents of the expanded school (with the add-on shell) on the MCPS web site within two weeks

o These documents may be posted under Division of Construction

o http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/facilities/construction/project/bethesdams.aspx

· MCPS has no authority for sidewalks beyond the school site – this is a neighborhood issue that needs to be taken up with Montgomery County Department of Transportation (STEP Committee?)

· The Middle School #2 Boundary recommendation will be made by new Superintendent next fall. Focus will be on balancing “walking” access and diversity. Another issue is the fact that this school is not programmed to have a Spanish immersion program.

· The MCPS Board Of Education will make the final decision on boundaries for the new school by next fall and expects to have the new Superintendent in place by that time

· The first year of operation of the new school will be “unique” as they likely will not pull students out of Westland if they are already attending Westland.

· Construction Gate 1 is at the bottom of the hill; Construction Gate #2 is at the top of the hill.

We hope you find these notes helpful. Please let us know if you have any questions on the first construction meeting or any questions for the future monthly construction meetings.

Regards,

Hill Carter

First Onsite Meeting with MCPS & Contractors 1/28/16-postponed

By | From the RCHCA Officers, RCHCA Biz | No Comments

1/28/16 UPDATE:

At the request of MCPS, the first onsite construction meeting, which was to have taken place this morning, has been postponed due to icy conditions. We will update you on its rescheduling.

Dear neighbors,

This Thursday morning (1/28/16) your representatives from RCHCA are scheduled to hold the first of what are intended to be monthly onsite meetings with MCPS and their contractors. Regular meetings should allow good communications. Please let me know of any issues that you would like us to bring up at this time.

With best regards,
Jim Pekar
President, RCHCA