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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

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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

2016 Spring Newsletter & Notice of April 12 Meeting

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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 <http://goo.gl/4aQ7ip>.

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.”

Officers

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.

Covenants

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.

Directory

The 2015 Rock Creek Hills directory was distributed to all households last year. To access the online directory go to: https://www.atozdirectories.com/home/login.php. You will need a username and password to login. If you do not have a login, you may email Sam Hoxie (hoxiesam@gmail.com), 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, rchca.org.

Email

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

Party

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 ericahertzweiss@gmail.com

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.