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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.

Please Save the Date: RCHCA Meeting 7:30 PM Tuesday April 12th

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

Dear neighbors,

The next meeting of the Rock Creek Hills Citizens’ Association will take place on Tuesday, April 12th, at 7:30 PM, in the large activity room of Grace Episcopal Day School, at 9411 Connecticut Ave.

Topics 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 neighborhood signage
– Update on covenants
– Update on Villages of Kensington
– RCHCA budget update
– Election of officers
– Other business

Please let any Board member know if you have other topics for discussion at the meeting.

A full written notice of the meeting will be mailed to all households in Rock Creek Hills, and distributed via email to this listserv.

With best regards,
Jim Pekar,
RCHCA President

AUTUMN MEETING NOTICE: Mon., Oct 26, 2015 @ 7:30

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THE RCHCA AUTUMN MEETING will be held on Monday, October 26, at  7:30 pm at the Grace Episcopal day School, 9411 Connecticut Avenue in the multi-purpose room.  There will e an update on the construction of the middle school at Rock Creek Hills Park, the possible incorporation of Rock Creek Hills, the Halloween parade and party, the Village concept, and a Treasurer’s report.  No voting is anticipated.  The President’s Message and meeting details will be posted on this site when available.

By | From the RCHCA Officers, Meetings | No Comments

Dear neighbors,

The Fall Meeting of the Rock Creek Hills Citizens’ Association will take place at 7:30 PM on Monday, October 26th, in the Multipurpose Room of Grace Episcopal Day School, at 9411 Connecticut Avenue.

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

RCHCA Fall Meeting (& beavers!)

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Dear neighbors,

In spite of today’s heat and humidity, it’s September and we’re looking back at Labor Day, so the Summer must be over. We’re working with Grace Episcopal Day School (our usual meeting venue) to find a date in late October for a meeting of the RCHCA. Here is a draft agenda for that meeting (please let me or any Board member know if you have other items we should cover):

1. Park update & outlook;
2. Potential incorporation of Rock Creek Hills;
3. Halloween parade & party;
4. Update on Villages of Kensington <http://villagesofkensingtonmd.org>;
5. Treasurer’s report.

If you have not done so, please may I ask you to pay your RCHCA dues of $40? You can do this by sending a check to your Treasurer, Ms. Maria Marzullo, at 9801 East Bexhill Drive, Kensington, MD 20895, or per the “Instructions for Online Dues Payments” at
<http://rchca.org/communications/online-directory/>

Election of officers would take place at our January meeting; as of this writing it appears that all members of your Board are willing to serve another term.

And finally, speaking of Labor Day, each morning of the three-day weekend I walked to the Kensington Parkway bridge over Rock Creek, and I can report that the beavers are back! You can see them at <http://goo.gl/rwE3Zx>.

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

RCHCA meeting: Tuesday, March 3rd, at 7:30 PM

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Dear neighbors,

The Rock Creek Hill Citizens’ Association’s annual meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 3, at 7:30 PM, at Grace Episcopal Day School, 9411 Connecticut Avenue.

The agenda will include an update on the status of the pending conversion of Rock Creek Hills Park, a discussion about the wind-down of the related litigation, election of officers, a treasurer’s report, a short presentation on developing land use, transportation, and parking issues, and an update on the development of an intergenerational Village program in our community.

We are deferring until early February the more detailed announcement and newsletter, in order to be able to include the latest information on the park situation, including, if possible, any plans that the Board of Education may submit to the Planning Board as part of the Mandatory Referral process. We will let you know as soon as we hear that such plans have been filed.

This year’s dues are $40 and should be mailed to Ms. Maria Marzullo, at 9801 East Bexhill Drive, Kensington, MD 20895, or can be paid at the March 3rd meeting. Only dues paying members are eligible to vote at the meeting.

With best regards,
Jim Pekar
President, RCHCA

Notice of Next RCHCA General Meeting: Monday 9/22 @ 7:30 pm

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

Dear neighbors,

The Autumn Meeting of the Rock Creek Hills Citizens’ Association will take place at 7:30 PM on Monday, September 22nd, in the multipurpose room of Grace Episcopal Day School, at 9411 Connecticut Avenue. The primary topic of the meeting will be review of the plans submitted by Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), to the Montgomery County Planning Board, for construction of a middle school on the site of Rock Creek Hills Park.

You can see the site plan at <http://goo.gl/DV26Xi>, the architectural drawings at <http://goo.gl/5Jdz7B>, and the “preliminary forest conservation plan” at <http://goo.gl/ZNLf2U>. The Planning Board has posted the full MCPS submission at <http://goo.gl/Yhhv72>.

As you may recall, the Planning Board’s “Mandatory Referral” hearing, for review of these plans, was originally scheduled for July 17th. In late June, the hearing was rescheduled to September 18th, because MCPS had decided to study revising the site design, in order to respond to concerns from Planning Board staff regarding tree loss and excessive retaining walls; the Planning Board expected new plans to be submitted by MCPS in late July or early August. However, as of this writing, the Planning Board has not received new plans from MCPS, the September 18th hearing has been cancelled, and no new date has been given for the hearing. Under these circumstances, it is reasonable for us to review the plans that have been submitted. We will be assisted in this by Ms. Amy Lindsey, Senior Planner, Montgomery County Planning Board, and we have invited MCPS to send a representative.

The meeting will also include:
• an update on our new online directory;
• a treasurer’s report.

At the last meeting of our Association, the membership asked your Board to report on the subject of accessory apartments for rental purposes in Rock Creek Hills. The Board did so electronically on July 18th (see <http://goo.gl/02DRcF>), and via first-class mail to all Rock Creek Hills households soon after. If members have questions about this matter, there will be an opportunity to discuss them at the meeting.

[I note that it would not be appropriate for us to discuss pending litigation seeking to preserve Rock Creek Hills Park, the transfer of which for construction appears to be unlawful, at a meeting to which we have invited representatives of the Planning Board and the Board of Education.]

If you have any other matters you would like discussed at the meeting, please advise me or any Board member at your earliest convenience.

I hope to see you on the 22nd of September!

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

Meeting Reminder–This Thursday, May 29 @ 7:30

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Dear neighbors,

Hope to see you at the RCHCA meeting this Thursday May 29 at 7:30 PM in the multipurpose room at Grace Episcopal Day School on Connecticut Avenue. Please come at 7:15 if you’d like to help set up!

The agenda will include a presentation on our covenants, how they are administered, and a review of the recent submission of a request (since withdrawn) for approval of an accessory apartment for rental purposes. Although the withdrawal of the apartment application makes the matter moot, it is still appropriate to discuss, especially as the (former) applicants have asked for an opportunity to address the meeting. Others can follow, with all presentations limited to five minutes unless extended by the chair. There will also be an update on neighborhood security, the status of park-related matters, a Treasurer’s report, and new items that may be raised by the members. If you have any such concerns, please provide them at your earliest convenience.

If you’ve paid your 2014 dues, then thank you. If not, then please consider renewing your support for your community: Dues are $40 per household; checks payable to “RCHCA” may be sent to our Treasurer, Ms. Maria Marzullo, at 9801 East Bexhill Drive, Kensington, MD 20895. Or, bring a check to the meeting! We ask that those speaking at the meeting have paid their membership dues.

Thank you, and see you Thursday!

With best regards,
Jim Pekar
RCHCA President

Notice of Spring RCHCA Meeting: May 29, 2014 @ 7:30 pm

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Dear Members,

Just a reminder that the spring meeting of the Rock Creek Hills Citizens Association will be held on May 29 at 7:30 at Grace Episcopal Day School on Connecticut Avenue.  The newsletter was mailed on Thursday May 15th and should been in your mail box.  You can also find it posted on the Rock Creek Hills Citizens Association website at rchca.org if the mail failed you.  Please focus on the sections on the covenants and the matter of accessory apartments in preparation for the meeting.

Jim Pekar sends his regards from Milan.

Yours,

John M. Robinson

ORIGINAL POST:

The Rock Creek Hills Citizens’ Association Spring meeting will be held on Thursday, May 29, at 7:30 PM, at the Grace Episcopal Day School, 9411 Connecticut Avenue, in the Multi-Purpose Room. The agenda will include a presentation on our covenants, how they are administered, and a pending request for approval of an accessory apartment for rental purposes. There will also be an update on neighborhood security, the status of park-related matters, a Treasurer’s report, and new items that may be raised by the members. If you have any such concerns, please provide them at your earliest convenience. This issue of the Association newsletter will be printed and mailed to all members, in addition to the standard printed meeting notice.

Visit our Meetings page for more information as it it becomes available.