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Newsletter of the Rose Hill Civic Association
February 2002

President's Message

Keep Up With Your Community at www.MyRoseHill.com

Thanks to Jim Sapp of Haystack Road, the Rose Hill Civic Association now has a web site on the Internet! If you missed The Rambler, you can call it up on the web site. Need to check the by-laws or covenants? Looking for school or county information? The latest announcements from RHCA? All that and more is on the web site.

Take a look at the web site and give us feedback as to what others features you think would be of benefit to the community. As they say in cyberspace, our site is "under construction" and we're looking for a few more good ideas.

Encourage your friends and relatives around the world to keep up with your community by visiting our web site. They can tell if you won the Rose Hill Beauty Contest or the Holiday Decoration Contest. They'll also learn a little about the history of the community you call home.

We are continually looking for ways in which Rose Hill residents can interact with each other. The web site is yet another vehicle, joining our school, library, park, and shopping center, that can help us become better neighbors.

Thanks to Jim Sapp for taking the time to make our web site a reality!

Section III Update

After an extensive study, Carr Homes recently told RHCA that it has decided NOT to execute a contract with the owners of Rose Hill Section III. As reported in last month's Rambler, Carr Homes did numerous borings on the property to determine the feasibility of building on marine clay. Apparently those studies led Carr Homes to the determination that development would be very difficult, if not impossible. The property is zoned R-3 (three units per acre) and is platted for 63 lots. However, recent comments from the county staff indicate that considerably fewer lots could be built on the property (see item on Telegraph Road study), assuming a site plan is approved. Carr Homes is the second homebuilder within the last six months to fail to ratify a contract to purchase the property after a study period. A few more borings and the 20-plus acres will look like a piece of Swiss cheese! Since this no doubt won't be the last effort to develop the property, we'll keep out eye open for others. Please report any activity on the property to RHCA.

Your Neighbors' Names Are Listed, Are You on the RHCA 2002 Team?

Elsewhere in this month's Rambler you will find a long list of those who have joined the Rose Hill Civic Association for 2002. If your name isn't listed, the check must either be in the mail or we made a mistake, right?

The Association accomplishes a lot with very little money. The dues are only $10 per year. That pays for The Rambler, the Directory, the cell phone for Neighborhood Watch, the Rose Hill Beauty signs, the Holiday Decoration Contest certificates and helps support several worthy community causes. We also are asking for contributions toward maintaining the flowerbed at the entrance sign at the intersection of Franconia Rd. and Rose Hill Dr. It costs $600 per year to clean, fertilize and plant seasonal flowers. We will continue the program as long as there are adequate contributions.

By the way, if you are a member and didn't receive a directory at the January meeting, they will be available again on Tuesday. The first printing totaled 100. We will revise and update for the next printing in time for the March meeting. If you find a mistake, please let us know.

Upcoming Speakers

Starting Tuesday night, we have a schedule of speakers lined up for four of the next five RHCA Meetings. On Tuesday, a representative of the Franconia District Police Station will update us on drug and gang activity in the Rose Hill area. If there are youngsters in your house, you might encourage them to come along and hear what the police have to say about these two important subjects. In March, we will hear from Ted Jonas on behalf of the Friends of John Marshall Library. Also in March, there will be RHCA elections (more on that in a subsequent item). In April, we will hear from Chris Braunlich, the Lee District representative on the Fairfax County School Board. In June, Supervisor Dana Kauffman will visit us. We hope to line up Delegate Tom Bolvin for May. As always, RHCA meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month with the exception of July, August and December.

Holiday Decoration Contest Update

While transcribing Vice President Dacales' copious notes concerning award winners in the 2001-2002 Holiday Decoration Contest, the President made a major error! Despite the fact it was clearly marked on the notes, a major display was overlooked. The Campbells at 6402 Cottonwood Drive should have been listed as having one of Rose Hill's most outstanding displays. If you recall the house near the corner of Cottonwood and Rose Hill Drive, you'll certainly agree. The Campbells have their certificate and now have the recognition in The Rambler they so richly deserve. Also, we had the wrong name for the residents of 6311 Saddle Tree Drive. The Masons were responsible for that outstanding effort. And, this time we'll try to spell the McDougalls name right! They live at 6211 Thornwood Drive and had an outstanding display. Finally, we still don't know who lives at 6203 Thornwood, 6402 Maryview and 4511 Lark. Give us a call so we can mail you a certificate with your name on it!

Constitution and By-Laws

The revised RHCA constitution and by-laws are being printed in this month's Rambler. The document was updated last year by vote of the Association. The original covenants for Rose Hill will be printed in next month's Rambler. We are printing both documents in The Rambler so everyone in the community will receive a copy. They also are available on the Association's Internet web page at myrosehill.com

Election in March

As dictated by our constitution and by-laws, RHCA will hold its annual election at the March meeting. At this point, there is no candidate for the important post of treasurer. Colleen Quinn has moved and feels she no longer can serve as treasurer. I pleaded with Colleen to stay, pointing out that it is very hard to get good help that will work for FREE. And, frankly, no one should question Colleen's loyalty to Rose Hill, no matter where she lives. She did agree to remain in the post until someone else volunteered, for which we are grateful. Hopefully, someone will surface between now and the election on March 26. If you can spare a few hours a month recording and depositing checks and keeping the books in order, please help us out. As Colleen will tell you, another important job for the treasurer is advising the president, particularly if one of his ideas needs more work!

Telegraph Road Special Study

As reported in last month's Rambler, Supervisor Kauffman appointed a committee last fall to look at planning, zoning and transportation issues in the Telegraph Road corridor between the Beltway and Beulah Street. The idea was to update the comprehensive plan as it relates to density, the environment (including marine clay) and traffic. There are four vacant parcels in Rose Hill that are candidates for development: Rose Hill Section III, the Highland Park pool site, a small parcel on Telegraph between Rose Hill Drive and Split Rock and the property between Telegraph Road and Driftwood Drive. All are zoned R-3, so there is little reason to replan at a lower density unless the County intends to downzone the property. That doesn't seem to be in the cards. Task Force leadership proposed language that would connect the vacant property between Driftwood and Telegraph to Driftwood only. RHCA is opposed to any such connection.

However, a major shift in interpretation of the County zoning ordinance apparently has been realized. The County ordinance includes a density penalty for development on marine clay. Heretofore, the County staff has used the complicated formula to compute density in rezoning cases only. They now agree that the formula should be used to set density for site plans on properties already zoned. For example, it appears Rose Hill Section III would have a density in the low 40s rather than the 63 previously approved. However, we have seen nothing writing, so we'll hold our cheers until then.

The new interpretation came about as the result of questions raised by your Association. Others then added their voices (starting with our friends from Virginia Hills) and the county decided to rethink its position. Virginia Hills, Rose Hill, Wilton Woods and others then worked together to add language to the plan limiting the width of Telegraph from South King's Highway to Franconia Road. We want improvements such as turn lanes, but we want to protect those properties that front on Telegraph from being cut off from using the road. All of the Rose Hill, Virginia Hills and Wilton Woods homes that front on Telegraph would be affected.

The task force meets on Monday night before our RHCA meeting on Tuesday night. A vote on the task force recommendations is on the Monday night agenda. Come to the RHCA meeting on Tuesday night for an update. There will be chances for additional citizen input at the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors public hearings (as yet not scheduled). We hope RHCA's concerns will be incorporated in the task force report.

Graffiti Abatement Program

The Franconia Police District has established a Graffiti Abatement Program, a partnership among the business community, homeowners, renters, the Clean Fairfax Council, the County Supervisor's Office, the Police Department and its Citizens Advisory Committee. Graffiti is a crime, an act of vandalism. If left in plain view, it is an open invitation to more vandals. If you are a victim of graffiti, or see it in the neighborhood, immediately report it to the Police non-emergency number at 703-691-2131. Graffiti in our area will be photographed and investigated by Detective Matt Charron and entered into the Franconia District Station's data base for use as evidenced in future prosecution when the perpetrator is apprehended. RHCA already has made a contribution to this program and wholeheartedly endorses its purpose. Please help us by reporting any graffiti you see in or around Rose Hill. And, if you know of any persons spreading graffiti, give the police a call. Your name will be confidential. If you are uncomfortable calling the police, call any of the RHCA officers and we'll pass along the information.

-- Carl Sell

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