Newsletter of the Rose Hill Civic Association
November 2006

President’s Message

Time Is Running Out On Rose Hill Reserve

The Special Exception approval for the development of Rose Hill Reserve, the 22-acre undeveloped parcel west of Rose Hill Drive and Cottonwood Drive and north of Carriage Drive, expires on December 21, 2006. If it is not extended by the Board of Supervisors, the zoning will revert to the 59-lot plan approved back in the mid-1960s.

Supervisor Kauffman has asked the Rose Hill Civic Association for its input should a request for an extension be received from the owner of the property. As a result, RHCA will discuss the issue in-depth at its meeting at 7pm on Tuesday, November 28, at the John Marshall Library. A vote will be taken and it will be transmitted to the Supervisor’s office. Persons who own property bordering Rose Hill Reserve or who are interested in the development and its impact on our community should attend this important meeting.

Rose Hill Reserve is a 45-lot subdivision with buffers between it and the contiguous properties as part of numerous conditions negotiated by RHCA on behalf of concerns that came out of more than two years of discussion of the application. Those conditions are available on our website, Click on Rose Hill Reserve on the website’s main page and read the conditions as approved by the Board of Supervisors. Copies also will be available at the November 28 meeting.  (Direct link to Conditions)

Unlike a rezoning, a Special Exception does NOT change the zoning category. Rose Hill Reserve remains zoned R-3, but is subject to a development plan that is 14 houses less that what was originally approved. Should the Special Exception not be extended and the property reverts to its original 59-lot layout, there will be NO public hearings. The County staff will make the determination as to the viability of any plan put forth by the owner. The 59-lot plan does not include any buffers and has entrances off Wayside Place, Split Rock Road, and Haystack Road. The 45-lot layout has access at Wayside Place and Rose Hill Drive only.   

It should be noted that the County has already approved a soils report submitted as part of the site plan for Rose Hill Reserve. However, a site plan has not been approved as of this writing. The soils report outlines how development will take place on marine clay, which underlies the site. The site plan details what mitigating features will be incorporated so that houses may be built in the area.

Please plan to attend this important meeting on the future of the large undeveloped parcel in our midst. The property is already zoned, so the question is HOW, not IF, any development will take place. The biggest problem for the owner and developer is to convince the County that it can safely build on the site. RHCA’s goal is to ensure that whatever happens, adjacent property owners are protected.  


RHCA Membership Drive
Kicks Off This Month

Since we don't publish in December, the membership drive for 2007 begins with this issue of The Rambler.  You'll find a membership form on  (Direct Link to RHCA Membership Form) Please fill it out, include your check, and either bring it to the November meeting, or mail it to RHCA at Box 10891, Alexandria, VA 22310.  Membership is voluntary and no one will knock on your door asking you to join.  Your only notice will be through The Rambler or via email.  In addition to the membership dues of $10, we ask for contributions to continue the seasonal plantings at our entrance sign at Rose Hill Drive and Franconia Road. We also ask for contributions to help fund our support of area organizations such as Koinonia, the Edison All-Night graduation party, and the annual Christmas Eve dinner for the police and firefighters on duty in our area.  Contributions are extremely important to our continued success.   For example, last year's bill to print The Rambler was more than the amount we received from membership alone!   Our biggest plus when dealing with the County is numbers, so add your voice to the chorus!


Special Request

Please provide, reconfirm, or change your email address during our current membership drive. 

Calling Out The Crooks

Once again, a telephone tip has led to the police cracking a case in the Rose Hill area. A few months ago, a telephone tip led to the arrest of a Lorton man who had exposed himself to two young girls on Rose Hill Drive. Just a few weeks ago, a call to Crime Solvers resulted in the arrest of a Woodbridge man for the robbery of the Rose Hill BB&T bank at 5203 Franconia Road. He also was charged with robberies at the Wachovia Bank at 6300 Richmond Highway on October 25 and 31.

Since 2005, the Crime Solvers tip line has received information that resulted in arrests for 16 bank robberies, 10 of which were in Fairfax County. Fairfax County Crime Solvers program is operated by a board of business leaders who work to assist the police in the fight against crime. The tip line provides an anonymous way for citizens to report criminal information. Callers are paid $100 to $1,000 if it leads to an arrest and indictment. Call Crime Solvers at 1.866.411.TIPS (8477). Callers never have to give their name or appear in court.

RHCA cooperates with the police by broadcasting information via the Internet to residents of the community who have provided their email address. We collect email addresses during membership drives and promise never to transfer the address to a third party and use it only for announcements and information that are of community interest.

Housing Enforcement Change

Starting January 1, the Zoning Office will take over code enforcement of building maintenance and overcrowding from the Health Department. Hopefully, this change will help us clean up the mess at 4612 Roundhill Road. That property has been an embarrassment to both the County and our community for more than five years. Although the Health Department has condemned the property and forced the owner to make some cosmetic repairs to the roof, the building basically is falling down. It still sticks out like a sore thumb. If you aren’t familiar with the property, ride by and take a look. Imagine if you had to live next to or near such a property. We already have asked the Code Enforcement Officer to make this property public enemy No. 1 in Rose Hill. We’ll keep you advised as to the progress. Hopefully, zoning will be able to provide a permanent solution to this program where the Health Department and Blight Abatement haven’t. Code Enforcement will also look into overcrowding complaints, and there are a few in Rose Hill. The County recognizes that over-crowding and boarding housing have mushroomed in recent years and it is trying to get a handle on it. An additional Code Enforcement officer has been added to the team responsible for the Lee, Mount Vernon, and Springfield Districts, making a grand total of eight. Boy, are they going to be busy! In addition, the County is planning to make sellers disclose zoning violations and will begin to police real estate advertisements that encourage overcrowding. RHCA suggests that all properties in Rose Hill that may be in violation of zoning requirements, maintenance problems, or overcrowding take note of this new campaign. Your Association supports this effort. In fact, we are, no doubt, one of the many reasons for the changes, and we will report violators!

Let There Be Light!

The County has forwarded a request to Dominion Virginia Power to install one new light and upgrade four others at the intersection of Split Rock Road and Telegraph Road. The new light will be installed on Split Rock near Telegraph Road. The light at Split Rock and Greendale Road will be upgraded, as will three lights on Telegraph near the intersection with Split Rock. This intersection is one of the darkest in the community, making it an attractive stopping point for those engaging in criminal activity. The new lights will also make it easier for motorist to see the intersection as they approach on Telegraph Road. We have asked the County to take a look at another potential area for lighting upgrades. If you have any other candidates, please give me a call, and we will pass them on to the County. We don’t promise 100 percent success, but at least we’ll get them evaluated and in line for future upgrades. 

Christmas Holiday Lights

Once again, RHCA will be recognizing those homes in the community that are decorated and lighted for the Christmas holiday season. A panel of judges will be looking at all the streets in Rose Hill during the holiday week. Please leave your lights on until at least 9pm so you aren’t missed as the judges make their rounds. In order to make sure no one is missed, please nominate any house on your street that you think deserves recognition. Email or call any of the officers with your nominations. All of the winners will be listed in the January Rambler with the most outstanding receiving certificates. Rose Hill celebrates the holidays with a large number of outstanding displays. In fact, many people come to our community at Christmastime just to enjoy the lights. Let’s not let them down!

Election Results

Although everyone knows the overall results, it’s up to The Rambler to provide you with the Rose Hill precinct tally. First, 2,091 of the 4,051 registered voters in Rose Hill precinct took part in the election. That’s a little more than a 50 percent turnout. Rose Hill is the second largest precinct in Lee District. Pioneer precinct, located in Springfield on the east side of Interstate 95, is the largest in number but didn’t have quite as good a turnout percentage as Rose Hill. In the race for the United States Senate, Jim Webb attracted 1,125 votes in Rose Hill as compared with 763 for George Allen and 27 for Glenda Gail Parker. In the race for the Virginia 8th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, incumbent Jim Moran had 1,104, challengers Tom O’Donoghue 770, and Jim Hurysz 33.

The marriage amendment to the Virginia Constitution was the closest race. The yes voted edged the no votes by 984 to 885. Both other constitutional questions passed handily. The one involving the incorporating of churches got 1,264 yes votes as opposed to 546 no votes. The tax exception for economic development passed 1,214 to 601. The County park bond passed 1,339 to 496, and the bond for upgrading police and court facilities was approved 1,398 to 429. The Rose Hill precinct includes the community of Sunnyridge to our north and east, the North Village of Kingstown, east of Van Dorn Street behind Edison High School and everything between the Shopping Center and Edison. Next year’s ballot will include local elections for District Supervisor, School Board, House of Dele-gates, State Senate, Sheriff, and Clerk of the Court. No doubt there will be sizable bond referendums for schools and transportation, or both. 

Odd-Sized Lots

The County is moving forward with an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance that would restrict odd-sized lots that are designed to conform to the frontage needed on a public street. In some cases, lots are stacked one behind the other with the rear lot having street frontage in front of the house on the street. That house then would have frontage in front of the house next door, and so on. Back on August 25, 2003, RHCA complained to the County about such lots being approved in Highland Estates. We viewed the practice as a way to get around the street frontage requirement and maximize density. Go to, click on correspondence, and then open the letter dated August 25, 2003, for clarification. (Direct link to letter) Included with the letter is a diagram that shows exactly how one homeowner can look out the front window toward the street and think all of the lawn is his or her front yard. However, by quirk of the interpretation of the zoning ordinance, looks can be deceiving. If RHCA’s position had been upheld then, there would be two fewer houses in Highland Estates and less land would have been disturbed. Oh well, we’re at least glad that the practice will be limited in the future.

Franconia-Van Dorn Interchange

The County and VDOT are working on plans for an interchange at Franconia Road and South Van Dorn Street. The project proposes a grade-separated interchange by depressing Van Dorn Street under Franconia Road. The project is funded only for design, environmental investigation, and partial right-of-way acquisition. There currently are NO funds available for construction. VDOT and the Federal Government are paying for the current work. Fairfax County is managing the project. Preliminary plans call for an additional lane southbound on Van Dorn from Franconia to Lake Village Drive and an additional lane northbound on Van Dorn from Franconia to the 95 North exit. There will be a raised median from Lake Village to Crown Royal Drive. The latter will change some traffic patterns for Van Dorn Village and Wellington Commons. The Edison High and Brookland Road access points to Franconia Road will be consolidated into one signalized intersection. There are no floodplain or wetlands issues, however, noise attenuation will have to be studied. Over the last 20 years or more, right of way has been set aside for a potential interchange as each new community was rezoned. As a result, only one house (on South Van Dorn across from Edison) will have to be demolished.  Preliminary traffic flow estimates appear to be greatly improved by the construction of this interchange. Now, if we only could get something going at Van Dorn and 95! Without some improvements there and widening of South Van Dorn in Alexandria, we only move the bottleneck farther along the roadway.

—Carl Sell

Please Help!

RHCA could use your help in a variety of capacities: Neighborhood Watch, The Rambler distribution, and advertising sales.
Please contact Marty Williams at 703.924.7192 or Carl Sell at 703.971.4716 if you care to volunteer for one of these roles.
RHCA would really appreciate it!


FCPS Students Eligible for Discounts on Select Microsoft Products

Through a special agreement with Microsoft, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) students and staff members can now purchase select Microsoft products for home and personal use at great discounts. In addition, FCPS adult education students are also eligible to purchase through this program.

Student Select is part of FCPS Technology@Home program. This program seeks to help students, faculty, and staff members with their home technology needs by enabling them to purchase directly from vendors at educational discount rates. With the latest technology, students, faculty, and staff members can make the best use of instructional and administrative resources from home. For more information on available products, pricing, and how to order, go to










Advertising in the Rambler

We have recently received several inquiries concerning advertising in the Rambler. While a listing in the Business Directory is free to Rose Hill residents who own their business, placing an actual advertisement is open to all with rates as follows per month:

Business Card size 3 1/2" x 2" $10
Quarter page size 3 1/2" x 4 3/4" $25
Half page size 7 1/2" x 4 3/4" $50
Full page size 7 1/2" x 9 3/4" $100

Ads may be bought for either one month only, month-to-month, or as many months in advance as desired. Our newsletter is published nine times a year, excluding July, August and December.

Advertising in the Rambler is an excellent way to reach the 700+ homes in our community. In addition, the ads each month are placed on our website. for the world to see.

Anyone interested in placing an ad may call the editor (me) at 703.924.7192. I will need the artwork sent to me either electronically in a .tiff or .jpg format or as a hard copy through the mail. Checks made out to RHCA may be included with ads mailed to me, or sent to our PO Box 10891 for quick access to the treasurer.

Marty Williams

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