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From the RCHCA Officers

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

WSSC Announced Additional Water Main Replacement Work

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

Dear neighbors

You may recall that at the October meeting of our Association, we cautioned that if your home was not part of the WSSC’s upcoming “Kensington Parkway” Water Main Replacement Project, then that did not necessarily mean that you’re not getting a new water main, because WSSC was preparing to announce a second water main project in our neighborhood, to be dubbed the “Rock Creek Hills” Water Main Replacement Project.

We have now received a map showing the areas that are to be affected by this second project, which covers portions of Everett, Littledale, Haverhill, Old Spring, East Bexhill, and Calvend, and is scheduled to begin in September 2017, with completion in Fall of 2018.

See:

We will have an update on this at our March 6th meeting.

Again, the new info here is the map of the Rock Creek Hills Project, at <https://goo.gl/fpGPVg>.

With best regards,

James J. Pekar, Ph.D.
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

Salt Barn public meeting tomorrow night (Monday, 5 December).

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

Dear neighbors,

Tomorrow (Monday, 5 December) from 7 to 8:30 PM at Grace Episcopal Day School, 9411 Connecticut Ave., the State Highway Administration (SHA) will hold a second public meeting regarding their plans to build a hazardous materials storage and transfer depot (so-called “salt barn”) at the Connecticut Avenue cloverleaf of the Capital Beltway, overlooking Rock Creek, across from Kensington Parkway. A presentation will begin at 7:30 PM.

Tomorrow’s event is not a formal decision-making meeting. The next meeting that is part of the official process will be Mandatory Referral review at the Montgomery County Planning Board, which will be scheduled when SHA’s submission (which you can view at <https://goo.gl/k8WyjX>) is complete.

For what it’s worth, my main question at this point is: Does it have to be bright red?

The Planning Board is charged with determining: “…whether the nature of the proposed site and development, including its size, shape, scale, height, arrangement and design of structure, is compatible with the surrounding neighborhood and properties…” In order to meet that guidance, you’d think that you’d make your huge-thing-in-the-woods either brown or dark green, so it would fit in.

My guess is that the reason it’s bright red (in the SHA submission to the Planning Board) is because it’s supposed to be a “barn” – you know, a happy place where Farmer McDonald keeps his cows and chickens! Only here, on a low rise beside the creek, there won’t be a farmer, or cows, or chickens – just 10,000 tons of salt, 20,000 gallons of brine, 10,000 gallons of magnesium chloride, & 6,000 gallons of diesel fuel.

Persons interested in learning about SHA’s plans are encouraged to attend tomorrow’s meeting.

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