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Newsletter of the Rose Hill Civic Association
March 2002

President's Message

Neighborhood Watch Important to Keep a Community Together

As you may have read, the government is turning to Neighborhood Watch programs across the nation in an effort to help fight terrorism. Here in Rose Hill, we are blessed to have scores of individuals who donate their time to keep our community safe. Many have been doing so for a number of years.

Our goal is to fight crime and protect our homes, not spy on our neighbors. However, we need to be on the lookout for unusual behavior that may signal illegal activity. One thing we all can do is know our neighbors and communicate with each other.

As the weather improves, I ask each Rose Hill resident to make a special effort to know their neighbors. Then, if we have a question, we will know whom to ask. If you are planning a gathering at your house that will bring visitors parking in front of your neighbor's homes, let the neighbors know what is going on. If you are conducting business or holding services or meetings in a residential neighborhood, you need to be aware of the laws governing such activities. Freedom to assemble does not allow you inconvenience or disregard the rights of your neighbors.

Our Neighborhood Watch does a great job is helping the police protect our community. We are indebted to those residents who donate their time for this important effort. If you can spare a few hours, call Woody Betts, our Neighborhood Watch coordinator, at 703-971-0520. Your neighbors, your Association and your community will appreciate it!

Election of Officers

As mandated by our Constitution and Bylaws, the Rose Hill Civic Association will elect officers for the one-year period beginning at the close of Tuesday night's meeting at 7 p.m. at the John Marshall library. We encourage candidates for any office to come to the meeting and present their program to the members in attendance. There is a vacancy for treasurer, and so far only one person has offered to handle that important job. If you would like to serve your community, this is a great chance to become involved as an officer of the Association. Even if you do not wish to run for office, and have suggestions as to how the Association should operate, this annual meeting is an excellent chance to let others know about your ideas.

Upcoming Speakers

Delegate Tom Bolvin has accepted our invitation to speak to the Association in May. Therefore, we will hear from all our current elected representatives at the state and local level during the next three months. School Board member Chris Braunlich will be with us on April 23; Delegate Bolvin will join us on May 28; and Supervisor Dana Kauffman will be our speaker on June 25. The Association does not meet in July and August. If you have any suggestions for speakers this fall, please contact the Rambler editor or any of the RHCA officers

Rose Hill Covenants

The original covenants for Rose Hill and Rose Hill Park remain in effect. In an effort to keep everyone informed, especially the new residents, they are being printed in this month's Rambler. Please note the language prohibiting front-yard fences. Without a majority vote to do so, the Civic Association is not in the business of policing the covenants. We do, however, feel strongly that the covenants should be made available to each resident so inadvertent additions, etc. in violation often covenants can be avoided. As we understand it, those items forbidden by the covenants, if installed, could result in a civil action by a neighbor or group of neighbors. The covenants are included with the land records of Fairfax County. Each purchaser should have received them at the time of settlement. Many have reported they did not receive them, or do not have them, and that is the reason for printing them in the Rambler. Please take the time to read the covenants so you will not make an inadvertent mistake.  (View the Rose Hill Covenants)

Development update

As mentioned in the February Rambler, the county has expanded the limitation to development on marine clay to being rezoned or property that previously had been zoned. Heretofore, the ordinance was interpreted to cover only property that was subject to rezoning. Unfortunately, the county zoning administrator and the county attorney have determined that property legally subdivided into individual lots was exempt from the limitation. Since it was subdivided in the 1960s, Rose Hill Park Section III falls into the latter category. Your Association believes that land zoned more than 35 years ago when little was known about marine clay should NOT be protected from today's rules. We have asked the Board of Supervisors to expand coverage of the ordinance to properties such as Section III. Development of the Highland Park pool property will be subject to the ordinance if the area of marine clay covers more than 30 percent of the site. We will keep you informed.

NOTICE!

Spring officially is here and most Rose Hill residents will be busy sprucing up their property in anticipation of the annual Rose Hill Beauty Contest. A committee of RHCA members will be looking at the community in April and May, deciding which properties will receive the coveted "Rose Hill Beauty 2002" yard signs. If you would like to serve on the committee, or wish to nominate your property or a neighbor's, please do not hesitate to get in touch with any of the RHCA officers. We welcome suggestions because we usually miss someone. A tip from a neighbor will set us straight! Believe it or not, we already have received tips as to properties we may have missed last year. We do not want to miss anybody, so please help by either serving on the committee or nominating a property.

At the same time, your Association will be on the lookout for zoning, health, and junk or untagged vehicle violations this spring. We will be reporting violations to the zoning administrator, the Health Department and the Police Department. If you feel there is a property on your street that needs attention, please do not hesitate to call. All comments will be kept confidential. And, if you know you have a violation on your property, please help your community by addressing it this spring. Rose Hill is a great looking community and we aim to keep it that way!

Updated Directories

Updated copies of the 2002 Rose Hill Directory will be available for members of the Association ONLY at the March 26 meeting. IF you cannot make it to the meeting, ask a neighbor to pick it up for you. Failing that, give us a call and we will try to see that you receive one within a reasonable time. We are trying to save postage, so your cooperation will be appreciated. If you received an earlier version and would like to trade it in for the update, please so at either the March or April meeting. As you can tell by the For Sale signs (that quickly turn into Sold signs), we are experiencing quite a turnover here in Rose Hill and are trying to keep the directory up to date

-- Carl Sell

Friends of John Marshall Library to Be Featured at March Meeting

We are pleased to have Ted Jonas from the Friends of John Marshall Library speak to us at the March 23rd RHCA meeting. The Friends are community volunteers who support the library by working to fill the gap between library needs and public funds that are available to meet those needs. Current budget cutbacks has made the role of the Friends all the more important.

Libraries across Fairfax County are supported by Friends groups. The John Marshall Friends are a fairly young group, but are very active and productive. Their achievements include:

  • Renovation of the children's area of the library and sponsorship of entertaining and educational programs for the community's children.
  • Purchase of new computer equipment for library staff;
  • New furniture for the library;
  • On-line Public Access Catalog terminals;
  • Dedication and maintenance of the courtyard garden (who hasn't enjoyed this beautiful garden?);
  • Underwriting magazine subscriptions;
  • Annual appreciation luncheon for library volunteers;
  • Book sales, an important source of funds for Friends activities.

It is hard to imagine our library without these contributions. Some of the future plans include:

  • Specially designed lighted shelves for new fiction and nonfiction areas;
  • A continuing variety of children's programs;
  • Public speakers on timely issues.

Everyone is invited to the April annual meeting of the John Marshall Friends to hear master (and organic) gardener Beth Smith's presentation, "Landscaping for Wildlife". The meeting will be held at 7:00 pm at--where else-- the John Marshall Library.

The Friends of John Marshall Library make a difference in the quality of our library service. Plan to come out Tuesday to hear more from Mr. Jonas

LAST CALL FOR 2002 MEMBERS!

This March issue for the Rambler brings to a close our membership campaign for 2002. If you have already joined, we thank you very much. If you have not, a membership form is printed on p. 5 in the Rambler. Fill it out and send, along with a check, to RHCA, P.O. Box 10891, Franconia, VA. 22310.

We will print the final list of members in the April issue of the Rambler. Even if you have already joined, check the list in this month's Rambler to make sure we have everything correct.

Several people have asked why we do not canvass the community door-to-door in order to sign up members. The answer is simple: We do not have the volunteers available to cover the entire community. And, even if we did, the current officers are apprehensive about sending people door-to-door. So, if you are waiting for someone to ask you to join, that is not going to happen. Take pens in hand and send us a check!

Your dues helps pay for the printing of the Rambler (it is delivered by volunteers), printing of the directory, the cell phone for the Neighborhood Watch, the Holiday Decoration and Rose Hill Beauty programs, Friends of John Marshall Library and several other worthy area organizations. Your donation in addition to the annual dues of $10.00 helps maintain the plantings at the Rose Hill entrance sign at the corner of Franconia Road and Rose Hill Drive. We will continue the maintenance of the flowers, etc., as long as we have adequate donations.

Directories are available to members of the Association ONLY.

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Thanks to everyone who contributed to the new landscaping at the entrance to Rose Hill from Franconia Road.  As of this writing, the daffodils are in full bloom.

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