Spring Meeting: May 24, 2012 & Note from RCHCA President, John Robinson

By | Board Correspondence, From the RCHCA Officers, Meetings

May 11, 2012

Dear Members,

This is the May 24 meeting update that was promised you in my prior e-mail and on the post card I hope that most of you received. First, the Rock Creek Hills Citizens Association spring meeting is confirmed for May 24 at 7:30 at Grace Episcopal Day School on Connecticut Avenue. The meeting is in the all-purpose room as follows.

Administrative Matters

First, we will discuss possibly raising the annual dues by $5 for calendar year 2013. The dues levels have been the same for almost seven years and $5 dollars would be significantly less than the rate of inflation. This increase is to be used for our ongoing regular activities such as the mailings, meetings, the Mother’s Day Picnic, Halloween Parade, landscaping maintenance, and the like.

Second, use of the post card plus electronic newsletter and the website saved some $700 for this one meeting. We will discuss using this format in the future except where the Board concludes that written notice of the issues is required, such as by-law changes. This meeting’s experience suggests that post card notice with supporting website and email notice is sufficient to establish the meeting date once this is a well-known practice.

Third, I will inquire at the meeting whether the winter and spring meeting should be combined to put us on a six month meeting schedule with special meetings as required. The most difficult events we have faced over the last 16 months have never coincided with our three meeting schedule. Given the realities of the electronic age I leave this for your consideration, but do not feel strongly about it. It is your time that is involved.

School Site and Litigation Update

As most know, on April 17 the Montgomery County School Board again selected our local park, Rock Creek Hills Local Park, as the site for the B-CC Middle School #2. The School Board did so despite the limitations of our park as a school site, including its size, projected enrollment growth, and probable construction cost. While we are of course concerned with the implications for our community, it is important to emphasize that there are educational, budget, and recreation issues that transcend our immediate concerns and would affect many outside our community. The School Board’s decision was particularly troublesome because the Planning Board Chair expressed a willingness to cooperate and work with them to select a site of mutual benefit that would best fit the needs of both the school and park systems.

Based on the instructions at our last meeting, RCHCA will file an administrative appeal shortly with the State Board of Education. We see no basis for the School Board’s decision that would destroy a valuable recreation resource. Because we will be handling this internally based on prior experience, we expect the cost to be minimal.

A second issue is more complicated and would require the use of outside counsel with expertise in land use issues. We have consulted two land use attorneys and have confidential memos from both that indicate a strong cause to challenge the relevant state agency, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). It is DNR’s practice that would make Rock Creek Hills Local Park available to the School Board when there is no statutory basis for DNR’s position.

It is the conclusion of the lawyer we would retain that there are meritorious grounds to bring an action. If RCHCA prevails, the School Board would have to replace the land and all the facilities with a 13 acre site elsewhere in the surrounding community before it could take action to reclaim Rock Creek Hills Local Park. This is what we believe Maryland law requires of the School Board and this would be difficult for it to do.

Any action would be in two phases. The first is an action in local court to challenge DNR’s practice as not supported by law. While our prospects are good, this action will require complete participation by the Kensington community. If our community comes together to save the integrity of our neighborhood and the heart of this community, Rock Creek Hills Local Park, and the valuable attributes that this green space brings to our neighborhood, then we will have a good chance of success. We are asking for contributions per household of $250 (and welcome higher or lesser amounts) to fund the first phase of the litigation against DNR. If a second phase is needed, an appeal, we will examine the basis for any appeal before moving forward with any additional litigation.

Remember that funding for the DNR litigation is a voluntary contribution. Any funds received will be placed in a separately designated account and will not be commingled with our normal operating funds. Nor will operating funds be used henceforth to support this DNR litigation. The amount of each contribution will be recorded on a spread sheet and if there are any surplus funds, they will be refunded pro rata to the households making the contributions. The check for funds should be made to the Rock Creek Hills Citizens Association and be mailed to 9616 Old Spring Road, Kensington, MD, 20895.

We will discuss this matter at our May 24 meeting, but if you support the proposed action against DNR it would be helpful to know the extent of support and your contribution in advance. All contributions and commitments regarding the proposed DNR litigation are confidential and inquiries should be made to the undersigned at You do not need to be a member to support the proposed litigation, but you do need to be a member to vote at the May 24 meeting.

I thank you for your past sympathies and support and hope to see you at the meeting.


John M. Robinson


By | B-CC Middle School / RCH Park, From the RCHCA Officers, Meetings

Dear Members:

The RCHCA spring meeting will be held Thursday May 24 at 7:30 in the
all-purpose room of Grace Episcopal Day School. You will also receive
shortly a post card to this effect. The agenda includes a further discussion
of school site selection issues and related litigation matters, which will
be a voting item. We will also discuss and vote on a possible small
increase in the dues. Other matters will be entertained from the floor if
time permits. Remember that your dues must be paid if you want to vote.

There will not be a newsletter for this meeting because we have no
newsletter editor. The President’s message and other details regarding the
meeting will be posted by e-mail and on our website at no less
than two weeks before the meeting. If you are willing to take on the
newsletter, please contact me. The Board would be most thankful for help
with this three times a year task.


John M. Robinson

Nominating Committee’s call for Nominations for RCHCA Officers @ the March 15 Elections

By | Meetings, RCHCA Biz

As co-chair of the nominating committee, this [post] is a call for nominees
from our membership to become RCHCA officers for calendar year 2012. The
election will take place at our annual meeting which will be held on
Thursday, March 15, at 7:30 pm, at Grace Episcopal Day School. In keeping
with tradition, a potluck dinner will be held at 6:30 pm, preceding the
annual meeting. Further details about the meeting will be in the forthcoming

We have four officer positions that need to be filled, and all of the
current officers have agreed to stay on another year if elected.
Nonetheless, the nominating process is an open one. If anyone wishes to
place his or her name in contention for any of the officer positions, please
contact me ( or Sam Statland,, my nominating committee
co-chair. In addition, candidates may be nominated from the floor at the

The four officer positions are:

. President

. Vice President

. Treasurer

. Secretary

The duties of officers, as well as the activities of the various RCHCA
committees, are described in our community directory, and in the bylaws as
posted on our website: Hope to see you on March 15.

Joe Rosenberg,

Past President and Executive Committee member

Next Meeting Date Changed to March 15, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.

By | B-CC Middle School / RCH Park, From the RCHCA Officers, Meetings, RCHCA Biz

To our members –

The meeting date for the Rock Creek Hills Citizens Association has been
changed to March 15 at 7:30 to accommodate any delays in the ongoing site
selection process for the BBC Cluster Middle School Number 2. Sandra van
Bochove has been keeping your apprised of these meetings, but I would
mention three specific matters here.

First, the Planning Board will be offered a chance to comment on the site selection before  the Superintendent makes his recommendation.

Second, the County Council has had a staff member who is familiar with the issues in  attendance at all of the Site Selection Advisory Committee meetings. We will advise the  County Council of our concerns immediately after the Site Selection Advisory Committee makes its recommendation because at that point we will have most of the relevant information available.

Third, MCPS has taken the position that there are no barriers to the conversion of RCHP to a site for the school. At this stage we continue to pursue public open spaces issues at the state level through various channels pending a response.

Finally, as previously announced, the March 15 meeting will address the school site selection issues and the election of officers. If you wish to make any nominations, contact Sam Statland or Joe Rosenberg. Please call me if you have any interim questions or concerns.

— John Robinson

Email from John Robinson, President RCHCA: Change in Meeting Schedule, Reminder on SSAC Meetings

By | Board Correspondence, From the RCHCA Officers, Meetings, RCHCA Biz

Dear Rock Creek Hill Residents –

This e-mail contains several fairly important announcements about RCH
related matters that will over the next two months.

1. The first meeting of the new site selection advisory committee (SSAC)
for the new BCC cluster middle school is tomorrow, January 11, 2012 in the
cafeteria of BCC High School from 7 to 9 p.m. The other meetings are also
on Wednesday: January 25, February 8, and February 27. Our lead
representative is Sandra van Bochove, who will be providing you with
periodic updates as the SSAC process moves forward. John Robinson is the
SSAC alternate.

2. Election of Officers for 2012 – Sam Statland (
and Joe Rosenberg ( are serving as the nominating committee. The current officers have agreed to serve for 2012, but
additional suggestions are welcome and should be provided to either Sam or

3. 2012 Annual Meeting – The annual meeting is normally held in late
January. However it has been postponed until a rescheduled date of March 8
to accommodate that new SSAC process. As noted, the last meeting of the new
SSAC is February 27. At that point we will know where things stand on the
selection of the site for a new middle school. The March 8 date provides
time for some slippage in the SSAC process and for a summary of the results
to be e-mailed to our members. There would also be a full presentation at
the meeting if the issue is still a matter of concern. There will be no
official report at that date, but we would be in a position to move forward
in response to any initial selection decision resulting from the February 27
SSAC meeting. If a further postponement is necessary I will advise you, but
at present we hope to avoid multiple meetings during the winter season. The
proposed slate of officers for 2012 will also be presented for action at the
meeting. At this point we do not contemplate any other substantive actions
at the annual meeting. However if the middle school matter is resolved to
our satisfaction, the agenda could be expanded.

In closing, my thanks again for all the time that a number of our residents
have committed to RCH matters over the last 12 months. I look forward to
seeing you at the annual meeting and at our several annual social events.


John Robinson


By | Meetings, RCHCA Biz


The post card received on or about Tuesday September 20 INCORRECTLY stated that the date for the rescheduled RCHCA meeting.  The rescheduled RCHCA meeting is MONDAY OCTOBER 3 as correctly stated on the website notice.  Please revisit the site regularly to check on any updates regarding this important meeting and its agenda.


The RCHCA meeting scheduled for September 20 has been postponed until Monday, October 3 at 7:30.  The new meeting will be at Grace Episcopal Day School,  9411 Connecticut Ave. in the multi-purpose room, at 7:30 p.m.  The agenda is unchanged and will focus on an update and a vote regarding the proposed use of the Rock Creek Hills Local Park for a new middle school for the BCC cluster.  This unfortunate postponement was caused by the School Board’s failure to complete the feasibility study for the proposed middle school by September 8, 2011.  In addition to the middle school issue, we will be discussing  the security issues raised in the Fall 2011 Newsletter.There will be additional information provided in the near future so please monitor both the RCHCA website and RCHCAnet to stay abreast of events.

Special Meeting Regarding Proposed Middle School Location in Rock Creek Hills

By | Meetings, RCHCA Biz

Special Meeting Regarding Proposed Middle School Location in Rock Creek Hills • Tuesday, May 17, 7:30pm-9:30pm • North Chevy Chase Elementary School • 3700 Jones Bridge Road, Chevy Chase

There will be a special meeting of the Rock Creek Hills Citizens Association to address the Board of Education’s April 28, 2011 decision to conduct a feasibility study of whether to build a new middle school in Rock Creek Hills at the site of our local park, Rock Creek Hills Local Park. A vote will be taken on this important matter and the result will be forwarded, with Board comment, to the appropriate County officials. The board staff will attend. There is substantial disagreement on this matter. Those opposing the proposed school emphasize what will likely be the loss of virtually all recreational facilities, the probable limitations to buffering, and the possible problems with traffic circulation and staff parking. Those supporting the construction point to the benefits for neighborhood children from walking to their school or from having a much shorter bus ride compared to the alternative of a new school in the Rosemary Hills area in east Silver Spring. In accordance with the covenants, only RCHCA residents, with current, paid dues may vote at this meeting. The Board has no position in this matter and will abide the decision of our members.