Your Rock Creek Hills Park Update in Two Parts: Litigation & ‘Mandatory Referral’

Dear neighbors,

Here is an update on Rock Creek Hills Park, in two parts:

Our “petition for writ of certiorari” has been submitted to the Maryland Court of Appeals (our State’s highest court). Our understanding is that it is likely to take several months for the Court to decide whether to take our case.

We continue to believe that the merits of our case are strong and that the transfer of the park land is unlawful. If we prevail, then the park would be preserved, and the damage already done would be remediated.

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) has submitted building plans to the Montgomery County Planning Board for “Mandatory Referral” review (a general overview of Mandatory Referral is available at <>). Groundbreaking for construction remains scheduled for July of 2015.

The Planning Board has posted the MCPS submission at <>. There’s a lot there – correspondence, reports, plans – and the website does not appear to be available 24/7, so for your convenience we’ve reposted the site plan at <>, the architectural drawings at <>, and the “preliminary forest conservation plan” at <>.

The Planning Board will hold a Mandatory Referral review hearing on Thursday, July 17th (time to be announced). Please note that this review is advisory; MCPS can disregard the Planning Board’s advice. Planning Board staff may be willing to meet with us in advance of the hearing, so that our concerns can be reflected in their report; we are working to schedule such a meeting, and will keep you informed.

Please note that this Mandatory Referral process assumes that a school will be built on the site of the park, and tries to minimize impacts and get the best outcome. This is simply not the right venue to argue about the inadequacies of the site or the unlawfulness of the land transfer. Making such arguments to the Planning Board would be counterproductive.

In Closing:
Thank you for your support of litigation seeking to uphold the law and preserve the park. As you may know, three Rock Creek Hills attorneys have devoted countless hours of their time at no charge, which has substantially lowered costs; however, ongoing litigation has ongoing costs. As of this writing, we need to raise $12k for legal fees. Please recall that the site of the park fails to meet almost all of the official middle school site evaluation criteria (see <>); please look at just what MCPS is proposing (for example consider the profound loss of trees shown at <>); please consider renewing your support. Checks payable to “RCHCA” with a memo noting “litigation fund” may be sent to your RCHCA Treasurer, Ms. Maria Marzullo, at 9801 East Bexhill Drive, Kensington, MD 20895, or contributions may be made online at <>. Thank you.

Sincerely yours,
Jim Pekar
RCHCA President