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From the RCHCA Officers

Notice of planned subdivision nearby

By | From the RCHCA Officers | No Comments

Dear neighbors,

We’ve received a letter from a developer who is planning a subdivision on Saul Road, on the other side of Connecticut Avenue, near Holy Redeemer Catholic School.

You can read the letter here:
<http://rchca.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Norton-Land-Design-Public-Meeting-Notice.pdf>

Per the letter, the developer is inviting the public to a meeting at 7 PM on November 30th, at Christ Episcopal Church, at Franklin & Connecticut.

With best regards,
Jim Pekar
President, RCHCA

P.S. In case you needed another reason to support the Rock Creek Hills covenants, please note that they prevent the subdivision of lots in our community.

Transportation Safety & Improvements in Rock Creek Hills

By | Board Correspondence, From the RCHCA Officers, Traffic & Safety | No Comments

Dear neighbors,

In accordance with votes of the membership at the October 24th general meeting of the Rock Creek Hills Citizens’ Association, we have written to the Montgomery County Department of Transportation regarding transportation safety and improvements in Rock Creek Hills. Our letter may be found at:
<http://rchca.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/RCHCA_MCDOT_20171109.pdf>

With best regards,
Jim Pekar
President, RCHCA

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.

This Friday (7/21): Student-Welcoming Yard-Sign Pick-Up Back-Porch Happy-Hour!

By | From the RCHCA Officers, Neighborhood Notices, Silver Creek Middle School, Social Events | No Comments

Dear neighbors,

If yours is one of the 22 homes that directly face Silver Creek Middle School, then we’ll drop off a “we’re glad you’re our neighbor” yard sign for you this week. If your home does not directly face the school, then you are welcome to come over this Friday (7/21/17) to pick up a sign, drop off a check, and maybe stay for a cold drink. There are only enough signs for the first 28 people; everyone else can buy ’em online (see [previous post]).

With best regards,
Jim P.
9723 Kingston Road (corner of Saul)
See you on the back porch (over the garage) from 5–7 PM.

P.S. A recent Washington Post story speaks to the importance of providing a welcoming environment for students: <https://goo.gl/8G5ZZa>

“We’re Glad You’re our Neighbor” signs…to Welcome Silver Creek Middle School Students & Staff

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

Dear neighbors,

To welcome Silver Creek Middle School students (& staff) with “we’re glad you’re our neighbor” yard signs:

1. Homes directly facing the school will receive a yard sign, with a letter explaining that the sign was purchased by the RCHCA at a cost of $9.99, and an envelope addressed to your Association Treasurer. We hope that residents will display the sign, and we would be delighted if you would send a check to your Association.

2. If your home does not directly face the school, then you are hereby invited to stop by our back porch on Friday, July 21st, to pick up a sign and drop off a check for RCHCA. There will only be enough signs for the first 28 people. (Twenty-two homes face the school, and we had to order 50 signs to get that price). We are at 9723 Kingston Road, at the corner of Saul Road. Unless the weather is awful, or until the signs run out, we’ll plan to be out on the porch (over the garage) from 5–7 PM.

(Contributions over and above the cost of the signs are very welcome! Your dues & contributions are the only source of support for your Association, which works to preserve and enhance your quality of life.)

3. Everyone else can order signs online:
• Signs from https://www.welcomeyourneighbors.org/ are $21.95 each or $73.95 for five, so you can save $7 apiece by partnering with four neighbors.
• Single signs are $17.99 from Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XDVZD6J/ (as of this writing).

4. Residents who are not on this email listserv will receive information about the signs, and how to order them, via first class mail; it will be included in a mailing announcing the Autumn meeting of your Association, which will be scheduled soon.

I’m sorry if this sounds complicated. The proposal to welcome students with these signs was met with a lot of enthusiasm, but no volunteers (to run a more-centralized “Girl Scout cookie” ordering/distribution system).

The first day of school will be Tuesday, September 2nd (the day after Labor Day); teachers will be on site the week before (starting Monday August 28th).

Thank you, and hope to see some of you on the 21st of July.

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

Welcoming the students of Silver Creek Middle School

By | From the RCHCA Officers, Neighborhood Notices, Silver Creek Middle School | No Comments

Dear neighbors,

What can we do to welcome Silver Creek students?

We could put up “we’re glad you’re our neighbor” yard signs
<https://www.welcomeyourneighbors.org/download-pdf>
especially in yards facing the school and along bus and walking routes.

Wouldn’t that make a nice sight, on opening day?

Please, what do you think? (If there’s enough interest we could to try to get costs down below $15 per household by arranging for bulk purchase or printing.)

Thank you.

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

Silver Creek Middle School it is!

By | From the RCHCA Officers, Silver Creek Middle School | No Comments

Dear neighbors,

I am grateful to Laura Dennis for her leadership in having the Rock Creek Hills Citizens’ Association officially adopt Silver Creek through the Rock Creek Conservancy Stream Team program, and to Fern Shepard for representing our community on MCPS’s school naming advisory committee.

As we look ahead to the school opening in August, I believe that we should focus on making the school staff & students feel welcome, and on the safety of students who will be walking to the new school.

With best regards,
Jim Pekar

WSSC public meeting on Rock Creek Hills Water Main Project: Monday 7 PM at Kensington Park Library, 4201 Knowles Ave.

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

Dear neighbors,

WSSC will hold a public workshop on the Rock Creek Hills Water Main Project on Monday, March 27th, from 7 to 8 pm, at the Kensington Park Library, at 4201 Knowles Ave.

You may recall that WSSC is preparing to undertake two water main replacement projects in our neighborhood. Rock Creek Hills resident hydrogeologist Chris Muffels merged the two WSSC water main project maps, so that the combined coverage of the two projects can be seen on one map:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/rohja91fjw6tqlc/WSSCMapCombined.pdf

(Of course, this graphic is provided as a courtesy, and while it is accurate to the best of our knowledge, it cannot be guaranteed correct, and we accept no liability, etc.)

The following were provided by WSSC:
• Map of “Kensington Parkway” project : <https://db.tt/bJbOUmwf>
• List of address covered by “Kensington Parkway” project : <https://db.tt/Mghsx4zq>
• Map of “Rock Creek Hills” project: <https://goo.gl/fpGPVg>
• Summary of “Rock Creek Hills” project: <https://goo.gl/VfGkAR>
• General brochure on water main replacement: <https://goo.gl/3QEDcI>

Our report on WSSC’s July 2016 public meeting on the Kensington Parkway Water Main Replacement Project may be found at:
http://rchca.org/2016/07/25/1596/

With best regards,
James J. Pekar, Ph.D.
President, Rock Creek Hills Citizens’ Association

Middle School Construction Updates

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

Dear neighbors,

As you may know, the new middle school is on track to open this August. Here are some updates from today’s onsite construction meeting (with thanks to Rick Bond & Hill Carter for their attendance):

1. Google maps has aerial imagery of the site from last July that can be viewed in 3D (however the 3D view does not work on the Safari browser); see <https://goo.gl/EdA67E> (Or search on 3701 Saul Road, Kensington, then choose satellite view, then – if you’re not running Safari – choose 3D.)

2. The gas line hookup, which will impede Saul Road traffic near the lower entrance for most likely one day, has been postponed until next week.

3. A big “sand filter” delivery (this item will be part of the school’s storm water management system), which will impede impede Saul Road traffic near the lower entrance for two or three days, will take place later this month.

4. The “green roof” delivery, which will require delivery of an estimated two dozen big truckloads of plant material, will take place in April.

With best regards,
Jim P.

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