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Please Save The Date! RCHCA Autumn meeting Tuesday, October 24th

By | From the RCHCA Officers, Meetings | No Comments

Dear neighbors,

Please save the date for the Autumn meeting of the Rock Creek Hills Citizens’ Association, in the Multipurpose Room at Grace Episcopal Day School, 9411 Connecticut Avenue, at 7:30 PM on Tuesday, October 24th.

As of this writing, anticipated agenda items are:

• School safety
With the new school open, concerns have arisen about the safety of students walking to school in roadways that are increasingly trafficked with vehicles. These concerns will intensify as the school reaches capacity. We will provide an update on possible approaches to enhancing pedestrian safety.

• Permit parking
With the new school open, concerns have arisen about the availability of street parking in front of homes close to the school. These concerns will intensify as the school reaches capacity. As discussed, the County provides a mechanism whereby residents can request permit parking; see notes on remarks by RCHCA Vice President Hill Carter at <https://goo.gl/TFgBZa>. An update will be provided at the meeting.

• Environmental update
With school construction (almost) finished, we have asked the Planning Board and Parks Department to restore and stabilize the Silver Creek stream valley, and to improve pedestrian routes on Parks Department land. An update will be provided at the meeting.

• Covenants update
Shirley and Carlos Domenech reside at 9608 Kensington Parkway. The covenants pertaining to that lot state that “No line fences or walls of any kind shall be erected …. except … such fences … as may be approved by the Continental Life Insurance Company, Inc.” and “No … structure of any kind … shall be constructed… unless, and until, complete plans and specifications… shall first be submitted to and approved by the Continental Life Insurance Company, Inc.” (Note that Rock Creek Hills Covenants, Inc., inherited the covenant enforcement authority of the Continental Life Insurance Company.) However, in August 2016, Shirley and Carlos Domenech built a fence, including a (partial) front-yard fence, without submitting the required request for authorization. The absence of front yard fences is a positive aesthetic characteristic of our community. Furthermore, an unauthorized front yard fence could serve as a “slippery slope” precedent leading to the proliferation of many more front yard fences and other violations of the covenants, harming property values. Accordingly, Shirley and Carlos Domenech were repeatedly asked to reconfigure their fence, in order to eliminate the front yard portion. These requests were not productive. Shirley and Carlos Domenech, per their request, were then invited to make a presentation regarding this matter at the most recent (March 2017) general meeting of the RCHCA. Following that meeting, the RCHCA Board, in their capacity as the officers of Rock Creek Covenants, Inc., and consistent with the vote of the membership at the previous (October 2016) general meeting of the RCHCA, referred the matter to counsel. We have asked the court of appropriate jurisdiction to order Shirley and Carlos Domenech to remove their unauthorized fence. An update will be provided at the meeting.

• Nominating committee
RCHCA Past President John Robinson has agreed to chair a Nominating Committee, whose purpose is to nominate members to stand for election as officers at the Winter meeting (to be held in January or February). RCHCA members Winnie Holbrook, Fern Shepard, and Gary Ditto have volunteered to serve on this committee. We are soliciting additional volunteers to serve on this committee; if you are interested, please inform any Board member. Your Association’s President, Secretary, and Treasurer do not wish to stand for re-election.

If you have any additional agenda items, please bring them to the attention of any Board member.

A full announcement of the meeting will be emailed on this listserv, posted at rchca.org, and sent to all homes via first class mail.

We look forward to seeing you at the meeting! We’ve got more “we’re glad you’re our neighbor” signs (see <https://goo.gl/MMfFks>) and will bring them to the meeting in case you’d like to bring one home. The cost to the Association was $9.99; if you’d like a sign, then please bring a check.

With best regards,
Jim Pekar
President, RCHCA

P.S. We inquired about holding the meeting in Silver Creek Middle School, but were told that ongoing after-hours construction will keep us from being able to hold meetings there until the next (2018-2019) school year.

RCHCA NEWS UPDATE

By | From the RCHCA Officers, Meetings, Newsletters | No Comments

Dear neighbors,

I hope to see you at the RCHCA meeting next Monday, March 6th at 7:30 PM at Grace Episcopal Day School, 9411 Connecticut Avenue.

You should have received in the mail a copy of the RCHCA newsletter, which can also be found online at: <http://rchca.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/RCHCASpring14NewsFINAL.pdf>

Please note, here are three updates since the newsletter went out:

1. ROCK CREEK BEAVERS
   It is still Winter, but Spring is in the air, and beavers are in the creek.
   Photos at <https://goo.gl/photos/BYGaedg6Enz4GntQA>

2. SILVER CREEK CLEANUP
   There will be a cleanup of Silver Creek on Earth Day.
   April 22nd, 9 AM to Noon (check-in starts at 8:30 AM).
   This will be discussed at the meeting.
   See flyer at <https://goo.gl/jvx3jK>

3. COVENANTS: POSSIBLE DISCUSSION OF FRONT-YARD FENCE
   The neighbors who built a fence, including a (partial) front-yard fence, in violation of the covenants on their lot, have asked to address a meeting of the Association.
   By way of background, you may recall that these homeowners submitted, after the fact, an application to construct the fence that they had already built (notwithstanding the fact that, prior to making other renovations to their home, they had sought approval from the Association). In response to this after-the-fact application, the Board, keeping in mind that the language of the covenants is clear; that the absence of front-yard fences is a positive aesthetic characteristic of the neighborhood; that the restriction against front-yard fences has been enforced consistently for decades; and that neighbors have expressed alarm over this fence, declined to approve the fence, and requested, on three separate ocaisions, that the homeowners reconfigure it. The homeowners, however, have not indicated an intention to comply with this repeated request.
   We have now warmly accommodated their request to appear before the Association because we are a friendly community, and because we hope that, by so doing, they might be enlightened as the history of the covenants, the Association’s consistent success litigating to secure compliance with them, and the unequivocal position that the unauthorized fence must be removed.
   To be clear, consistent with the vote of the RCHCA membership at the October 17th meeting, your Board is preparing to take legal action to have the fence removed. This accommodation in no way impedes that effort, nor is it intended to be a debate on the covenants, or a vote on the infringing fence, as neither can be addressed in this manner. Rather, it is an expression of neighborliness and an effort by the Association to enhance understanding so that the parties may avoid wasting time on an enforcement action, the outcome of which is quite clear.

I hope to see you at Monday’s meeting!

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

Next RCHCA Meeting: Monday March 6 2017

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

Dear neighbors,

The next meeting of the Rock Creek Hills Citizens’ Association will be held on Monday, March 6th at 7:30 PM in the Multipurpose Room of Grace Episcopal Day School at 9411 Connecticut Avenue. A full announcement will follow via email, and written notification will be mailed, with ample notice, to all households in Rock Creek Hills. (The mailing will include a request for directory updates, as we plan to reprint the neighborhood directory in the Spring. Anyone with directory updates is encouraged to provide them to Sam Hoxie at <hoxiesam@gmail.com>). [NOTE: you can make your own changes through the atozdirectory login from our website.  If you need a login, please email Sam.  Please include your address.]

As of this writing, agenda items include:

  • Election of Officers
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Environmental Update
  • Construction Update
  • Salt Barn Update
  • Infrastructure Update
  • Covenants Update
  • Middle School Naming
  • Neighborhood Signage

I am pleased to report that all members of your Board have agreed to serve another term in order to provide continuity as we look towards the opening of the new middle school in August.

Please note that only dues-paid members will be able to vote at the meeting. Dues are $40 for the year. You may pay them online (via <http://rchca.org>), in person at the meeting, or by sending a check payable to “RCHCA” to our Treasurer, Ms. Maria Marzullo, at 9801 East Bexhill Drive, Kensington, MD 20895. Your dues are the only source of support for the Association’s activities that seek to preserve and enhance your quality of life in our neighborhood.

Please inform any Board member if you have agenda items for the meeting.

Thank you, and I hope to see you at the meeting, if not before.

With best regards,
Jim Pekar
President, RCHCA

RCHCA Meeting: Monday, October 17

By | Board Correspondence, From the RCHCA Officers, Meetings, RCHCA Biz | No Comments

Please find below a draft agenda for our Fall RCHCA meeting, which will take place at 7:30 PM on Monday, October 17th, at Grace Episcopal Day School.

Please let any Board member know if you have additional agenda item(s). Thank you.

With best regards,
Jim P.

P.S. If you haven’t yet, please consider paying your RCHCA $40 dues for the year. You may pay them online (via <http://rchca.org>), in person at the meeting, or by sending a check payable to “RCHCA” to our Treasurer, Ms. Maria Marzullo, at 9801 East Bexhill Drive, Kensington, MD 20895. Your dues are the only source of support for the Association’s activities that seek to preserve and enhance your quality of life in our neighborhood.

***

Agenda for RCHCA meeting on 17 October 2016

1. Crime & safety
– recent incidents
– tips from the police

2. Traffic & pedestrian safety
– recent incidents
– how to get the County to trim branches to reveal hidden signage
– sidewalk update
– adding crosswalks(s)?
– a walkable route to Forest Glen Metro via Capitol View / Metropolitan Avenue?
– permit parking?

3. Middle School construction update
– stormwater management
– noise concerns
– lighting concerns
– concrete spill into Silver Creek

4. Silver Creek update

5. Gas/Sewer/Water updates

6. Salt Barn update.

7. Update on Rock Creek Hills Covenants

8. RCHCA party on October 30th!
– starting 3:30 PM
– costume parade, burgers, etc.
– volunteers needed

9. Other business.

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 <joseph.danquah@ebaengineering.com>
Date: Wed, Jun 22, 2016 at 3:02 PM
Subject: RE: Kensington Water Main Replacement- Community Meeting July 21 ,
2016
To: Jim Pekar <jjpekar@gmail.com>
Cc: “Lee, Wanpin” <Wanpin.Lee@wsscwater.com>, Matthew Pasowicz < mpasowicz@kensingtonretirement.com>, Mary Mell < mmell@kensingtonretirement.com>

Jim,

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.

Thanks

*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 | Joseph.Danquah@ebaengineering.com

14405 Laurel Place, Suite 300 | Laurel, MD 20707 | www.ebaengineering.com

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

By | Meetings | No Comments

UPDATE:
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: <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