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RCHCA October 2013 Electronic Newsletter

By September 19, 2013 No Comments

Dear Members,

This is the electronic newsletter for the fall meeting and the third quarter of 2013. The principal items are an update on covenant matters, the status of matters related to Rock Creek Hills Local Park and its immediate future, our financial situation, and a number of neighborhood activities, including a presentation by the Village. The RCHCA fall meeting will be held Thursday, October 10, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. at Grace Episcopal Day School, 9411 Connecticut Avenue, in the multi-purpose room.

We will update the directory next year and if you are a new resident please provide your name, address, and telephone number (optional) to Landis Fisher at fisherlandis@gmail.com. Contact John Robinson at jmarkrobinson@verizon.net if you would like to help.

2013 Halloween Parade and Picnic

The 2013 Halloween Parade and Picnic will be held on Sunday, October 27, between 12 noon and 3. We will assemble in the parking lot of Rock Creek Hills Local Park and parade to the Statlands’ house at 3500 Saul Road. Our thanks to Marilyn Emery for arranging this annual event and to Sam and Ann Statland for making their lot available.

Covenants

The RCHCA Executive Committee has made significant progress on covenants matters. With three small historical exceptions, all fence and accessory structure issues previously called to its attention have been resolved. At this point there are no home based businesses that the Committee is aware of that have employees or have customers or clients regularly coming to a Rock Creek Hills residence. Residences are reminded that only single family houses are permitted in Rock Creek Hills and that all fences and exterior improvements to a house or ancillary structures require the Board’s approval.

The Executive Committee will continue to monitor the proposals now before the County Council that would modify the County zoning code in several regards. In addition to the accessory apartment issue, these include home based professional services and the keeping of animals other than the more conventional pets such as cats and dogs.

The Executive Committee has received several anonymous calls or complaints regarding possible violations of the Rock Creek Hills covenants. The Committee will not act on such calls. First, we believe that homeowners are entitled to know the source of any dissatisfaction if it becomes necessary to begin an enforcement action. Second, such an action is possible only if there is supporting testimony by the immediately adjoining and opposing neighbors. We will keep the source of any concerns confidential during an initial investigation to minimize conflict and to facilitate informal resolutions. If there is merit to the concern and it is resolved informally, all information will remain confidential.

Vince DeCain remains our lead covenant officer for approval of plans that are subject to the covenants and contact point for concerns. His email address is Decainvf@aol.com.

Rock Creek Hills Local Park Update

The Board of Education has begun its preliminary design review for the proposed middle school to be constructed on Rock Creek Hills Local Park. The meeting schedule and locations were previously circulated on RCHCAnet and will be posted on the website. The next meeting is September 25 at 7:00 at North Chevy Chase Elementary School on Jones Bridge Road. The appellate litigation is in its preliminary phases, having been timely filed with the Court of Special Appeals, the first tier appellate court. We have prepared a digest of the record and reached agreement among the parties on the exhibits to be used during briefing. The Court of Special Appeals has not provided a briefing schedule. That Court normally takes one and a half to two years to act after the trial court issues its final decision, which was on May 8, 2013.

Financial Information

The general operating fund has been separately maintained as a reserve for such matters as the maintenance of the RCHCA covenants, meetings, minor regulatory and tax expenses, and community activities. As of September 17, 2013 our general checking and savings totaled $19,736. Ordinary operating expenses for 2013 so far have been $3,392 against ordinary income of $8,250. The Rock Creek Hills Local Park litigation fund has a balance as of September 15 of $1300 and payment due counsel of $2550. An updated report will be provided by Maria Marzullo, our new treasurer, at the meeting. The Board requests that you renew, or join, our membership. The annual dues of $40 per household will be used only for the general community activities mentioned above. Please mail your dues to Maria Marzullo, 9801 East Bexhill Drive, Kensington, MD 20895.

Finally, please give some thought to a new RCHCA president in 2014. I have served for three years and some new blood should take over. I hope you will attend the meeting.

John M. Robinson
President, RCHCA