Kensington Water Main Replacement Mtg Recap

By | From the RCHCA Officers | No Comments

Dear neighbors,

Here is a report on last Thursday evening’s water main meeting, as prepared by Rick Bond & myself:

WSSC has hired EBA Engineering, Inc., to design the replacement of about three miles of water mains in our neighborhood (as specified in the map & address list shared earlier). These mains are 60-80 years old, and are the cause of our not infrequent “brown water” incidents. The new mains will have a lifespan in excess of 100 years.

Work is scheduled to begin in Spring of 2017, and to end in Spring of 2019. Normally scheduled work will take place between 8 AM and 4 PM, Monday through Friday – there may be some occasions when work must be conducted in “off hours”.

During construction, temporary water service will be provided. Water shutdown periods of up to 8 hours may take place; if longer shutdowns are required, then bottled water will be provided to the affected homes. 48 hours advance notice will be provided of any shutdowns. They provided advice regarding dealing with “brown water” (which may happen off and on during the work) – running the cold-water bathtub tap in the highest bathroom to clear “brown” is advised, as tub facets, unlike sink facets, do not have strainer filters that can get clogged.

We can sign up now for mobile notification of relevant shutdowns via the WSSC Customer Notification System link at

No parking will be permitted on streets with “active” construction. All roads will be accessible at all times, however there may be temporary closures or delays, e.g., when bringing in big pipes.

New water mains will be placed under the pavement (not on county rights-of-way contiguous with front lawns, where some mains are now located). “Service lines” from the mains to homes will be replaced – either to the home (if you have a water meter inside your home – which is rare), or to the “curb box” (which is a circular piece, about 6″ in diameter). Older houses may have a galvanized pipe running from the curb box to the home; we were advised to consult a plumber (always best to get multiple bids) regarding updating that with copper pipe. The service life of those galvanized lines, like the service life of the original water mains, is over; they may leak, and it’s less expensive to replace the pipe before having to pay a surprise bill for a big water leak that you didn’t know about until you got your three-month water bill.

Some trees will be taken down where the trees compromise the piping; we are awaiting an estimate of how many.

After the work is done, affected roads will be resurfaced, and yards restored. Work will be done in 3-4 “phases,” each of which must be substantially complete, before the contractor moves on to the next phase.

The WSSC representatives were very courteous, willing to answer questions, and to work with our community. Project staff are:
Wanpin Lee – Project Manager – phone 301-206-8532
Kevin Lethbridge – Construction Manager – phone 301-206-7339
Stephen Billingsley – Contract Manager – phone 301-206-7363
Brandon Stewart – Customer Advocate – phone 301-642-1712
Joseph Danquah – Design Engineer – phone 240-547-1127

As the time grows closer to construction, they will be willing to have another meeting with the community.

With best regards,
Jim Pekar
President, RCHCA

P.S. Here’s one of our neighborhood’s youngest residents, with her mother, early Friday:

Notice of WSSC Community Meeting July 21, 2016

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

Dear neighbors,

Please see forwarded email below.
As our listserv does not handle attachments, I’ve put the two files provided – a list of addresses, and a map – on dropbox, where you can find  them at:

With best regards,
Jim P.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Joseph Danquah <>
Date: Wed, Jun 22, 2016 at 3:02 PM
Subject: RE: Kensington Water Main Replacement- Community Meeting July 21 ,
To: Jim Pekar <>
Cc: “Lee, Wanpin” <>, Matthew Pasowicz <>, Mary Mell <>


Attached, you will find the list of homes/properties that will be affected by Kensington Water Main replacement work including Work area map . We would like to know if *Rock Creek Hills Citizens’ Association* will be able to communicate with residents on our behalf to attend community meeting on July 21, 2016. We prefer it this way because associations know their communities better and are able to communicate with them the way they know their communities. Below, I have provided an invitation message to the residents. Please let me know if it can be done.


*Message of invitation to residents*:

Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) invites you to a Community Meeting on Thursday, *July 21, 2016 from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm* at the *Kensington Park Retirement Community *(*3620 Littledale Rd, Kensington, MD 20895*). The Community meeting is being held to provide an overview of the water main replacement project planned for the Kensington neighborhood, and present you with an opportunity to ask questions. For more information or questions, please call the WSSC at *301-206-8532 * and speak *to
Ms. Wanpin Lee.*

*Joseph Danquah, PE*| Project Manager

EBA Engineering, Inc.

*d.* 240.547.1127 | *c.* 410.940.8918 |

14405 Laurel Place, Suite 300 | Laurel, MD 20707 |

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:

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 – 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)

REMINDER: RCHCA meeting 7:30 PM on Thursday, June 2nd

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

There has been a room change for tonight’s meeting at Grace Episcopal Day School at 9411 Connecticut Ave. Instead of using the Multipurpose Room, we will be meeting in the Library.

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: <>. 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 (Erica) (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 <>.

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.”


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.


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.


The 2015 Rock Creek Hills directory was distributed to all households last year. To access the online directory go to: You will need a username and password to login. If you do not have a login, you may email Sam Hoxie (, 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,


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,, under the communications tab at the top of the website.


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

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