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Newsletter of the Rose Hill Civic Association
October 2002

President's Message

November 5 Ballot Includes Bond Issues, Sales Tax Hike

State and local bond referendums will be included on the ballot in the upcoming November 5 election along with races for the United States Senate, U.S. House of Representatives and the 39th Virginia Senate District, which has been moved to Northern Virginia to our area as part of a redistricting plan that recognizes our population growth

And, of course there is the much-debated proposed half-penny increase in the sales tax that proponents say will help solve our transportation problems and opponents contend is just another tax increase that will not solve anything. Perhaps no issue in recent history has attracted such strange allies. On the pro side are many politicians, business groups, developers and citizen groups. On the con side are environmentalists, smart growth advocates, politicians, the no-tax crowd and citizen organizations.

For example, the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce is helping lead the fight in favor of the referendum while our local Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce is opposed. Those of you who have been around for awhile will recall that in 1986 the state raised the sales tax by one-half cent to pay for transportation. This year's proposed hike will apply to Northern Virginia only and all the money is earmarked for projects in Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax County, Fairfax City, Falls Church, Manassas, Manassas Park, Prince William County and Loudoun County. There is a similar referendum in the Hampton Roads/Tidewater area.

In the U.S. Senate race, incumbent Senator John W. Warner is being challenged by Independents Jacob G. Hornberger, Jr., and Nancy B. Spannaus. Warner, a Republican, has no Democratic opponent. In the battle for the Eighth District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, incumbent Democrat James P. Moran, Jr., squares off against Republican Scott Tate of Arlington and Independent Ronald V. Crickenberger.

In the 39th Virginia Senate race, Jay O'Brien, a Republican member of the Virginia House of Delegates, is up against Democrat Rosemary Lynch. The 39th District includes precincts in the Lee, Mount Vernon, Springfield and Braddock Districts in Fairfax County and the Occoquan and Coles Districts in Prince William County. Lynch is campaigning for the sales tax hike while O'Brien is opposed.

We all are being bombarded by information concerning the sales tax hike and individual races, so the Rambler will concentrate on the other important issues on the ballot.

We have invited speakers on both sides of the sales tax issue to appear at the Oct. 22 meeting at 7 p.m. at the John Marshall Library. Also, information will be presented on both the state and local bond issues and the state constitutional questions. Delegate Tom Bolvin has agreed to join us and help explain the state issues. If you have questions or just want information, plan to attend your Civic Association meeting.

There are two state bond issues and two Fairfax County bond issues on the ballot. The Commonwealth is seeking voter approval for $900 million in expenditures for community colleges, four-year colleges, universities and museums and $119 million for three new state parks, 11 existing parks, 10 new natural areas and eight existing nature preserves. In Northern Virginia, George Mason University would receive about $80 million for classroom construction and other building renovations. Northern Virginia Community College would receive $35 million for at least one new building at each campus as well as renovation projects throughout the system.

Fairfax County has authorized bond referendums in the amount of $60 million for public safety facilities and $20 million for acquisition and development of public parks. In both cases, some of the bond proceeds will be used to repay the County's General Fund for temporary financing.

The public safety bond money would be used to construct a communications center and an emergency operations center as well as renovation of court facilities and construction, reconstruction enlargement and equipment of fire and rescue stations.

The Fairfax County Park Authority has earmarked $15 million for acquisition of additional land and $5 million for development of existing parks.

Voter approved bond funds must be used for the purpose stated on the ballot and cannot be transferred to another purpose by the local governing body.

None of the bond issues would result in a tax increase as long as the Commonwealth and the County continues the fiscal policies that have resulted in a Triple A bond rating from Wall Street. Both enjoy low rates for public improvement loans that, given the recent fall in interest rates, could be even more attractive.

The first proposed state constitutional amendment would allow the State Supreme Court to consider claims of actual innocence by convicted felons in the cases and manners provided by the General Assembly. This has to do with the introduction of DNA evidence after a conviction. The second would allow localities (rather than the General Assembly) to exempt property that is used for charitable purposes from taxation.

Polls will be open at Rose Hill Elementary School from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 5, 2002. Plan to exercise your most precious franchise by speaking your mind on Election Day!

South Van Dorn Extension May Ease Rose Hill Traffic

If previous projections prove correct, the extension of South Van Dorn Street from Kingstowne to Telegraph Road should lessen traffic on Rose Hill Drive. Traffic wishing to go from the Franconia Road-South Van Dorn intersection to Telegraph will have a straight route and won't have to detour through Rose Hill or Kingstowne (via Hayfield Road).

Finally, more than 17 years after it was first approved, the new section of the road is under construction. It is being built by the developer of Kingstowne as part of a proffer (or legally binding promise) made as part of the Kingstowne rezoning. Ironically, most everything has been built in Kingstowne except the road.

Actually, the developer began clearing for construction in the late 1980s but work was ordered halted for environmental reasons that were not readily apparent during the rezoning. Because wetlands were involved in the path of the road, mitigation plans had to be formulated by Fairfax County and approved by the Corps of Engineers. It took years for the Corps to approve a permit and more time to construct new wetlands and stormwater management ponds.

Originally, right of way was set aside in the late 1970s as part of the rezoning for Tartan Village. After Tartan Village was built, it was determined that the new road would come too close to the townhomes so the route was shifted slightly north. The County purchased the area between Tartan Village and Greendale Golf Course in order to accommodate the new alignment of the road, protect the Dogue Creek watershed and provide a site for the Crossroads drug treatment facility. Crossroads currently exists just north of the new road and south of the creek. It has been such a good neighbor that few even know it is there!

Although the developer is building the road, the County has made a sizeable investment in the wetlands mitigation effort. Current Supervisor Dana Kanffman deserves credit for bringing the project to the construction phase to complete the plan originally envisioned and originated by former Supervisor Joseph Alexander and Planning Commissioner Carl Sell.

For many years, the County plan envisioned an east-west connection from Franconia Road to Route 1 through what is now Kingstowne to Telegraph Road, traversing Huntley Meadows Park to Lockheed Boulevard and on to Route 1. However, the Federal Government, which gave Huntley Meadows to Fairfax County, insisted on a condition that the land be used for park purposes only, effectively killing the road plan.

VanDorn.jpg (28668 bytes)Environmentalists tried to block construction of the road from Kingstowne to Telegraph but were unsuccessful although they did delay it for years.

When completed in approximately six months, the four-lane divided road is expected to siphon 30 percent of the traffic off Rose Hill Drive. This estimate was the result of surveys made at the time of the Kingstowne rezoning and it is uncertain if the numbers are accurate in 2002. However, any decrease in traffic on Rose Hill Drive will benefit the community.

Completion of the new road will mean three traffic lights on Telegraph Road within a short distance. The existing lights will remain at South Kings Highway and Lake D'Everaux Circle and will be coordinated with a new light at South Van Dom.

Highland Park Pool Site

As reported at the September meeting, your Association has received a copy of the soils report for the proposed development on the back portion of the Highland Park pool site. As of this writing, we have not received a copy of the site plan, which must be approved by Fairfax County before construction can begin. The most disturbing elements of the soils report are the proposed installation of approximately 60 drilled shafts, 38 feet in depth, across the entire back of the property in order to stabilize the site for development and the fact that all excavated marine clay material must be removed from the site. Since the access will be via Maryview Street, we need to be provided with an estimate of the number of trucks involved. Without the installation of the shafts, the soils engineer deems the site not safe for development. Unanswered is the question is how the proposed development will affect existing houses that border the site. Once we receive the site plan, we will ask the County and the developer to explain exactly how the neighbors will be protected. If you would like to see the soils report, or have questions about the development, please give me a call at 703-971-4716. I will pass them on to both the developer and the County.

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Before they can build, Morris Homes is proposing 60 drilled shafts, 38 feet in depth, across the entire back of the Highland Park property in order to stabilize the site for development.

Map above shows the approximate location of the shafts behind the homes on Roundhill Road and Saddle Tree, and also the approximate extension of Maryview Street.

Judges Needed

Each year, the Association awards certificates to the property owners in Rose Hill with the best and most creative Holiday Lighting displays. The judging is done between Christmas and New Year's Day. It usually takes about three hours to tour the community by automobile or van and select the winners. If you would like to help, please give one of the officers a call. Or, if you just want to make some nominations on you own, feel free to let us know. The idea is that we don't want to miss anyone who takes the time to add to the Holiday Spirit in Rose Hill. Rose Hill stands out among area communities during the holidays and we want to make sure our "decorators" get a pat on the back. You can help by becoming a judge (we won't tell who you are if you won't).

Sidewalk Courtesy

Homeowners are asked not to block sidewalks in front of their house by parking their vehicles in the area reserved for pedestrians and bicyclists. The sidewalk and the grass area between it and the street belongs to all of us and cannot be blocked by vehicles or other means. We thank all of you who maintain the grass between the sidewalk and the street and remind you that County law requires you to clear the snow during the winter.

Residents on Rose Hill Drive once again are reminded that the large grass strip between the sidewalk and the street belongs to the Virginia Department of Transportation and is not to be used for parking. We thank all of you who help keep Rose Hill Drive, our "main street", looking great.

Community Day Parade

The Franconia Community Coalition's Sixth Annual Community Day Parade will be held on Rose Hill Drive beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday, October 26. Rose Hill Drive will be closed to regular vehicular traffic until the parade reaches Lee District Park about a half-hour or 45 minutes later. Activities will continue at the park until 4 p.m. The parade will begin forming at 12:30 p.m. at the Shopping Center. During the parade, one side of Rose Hill Drive will be kept open for police and emergency vehicles and personnel. Rose Hill residents who use Rose Hill Drive to access their homes are advised to make alternate plans during the duration of the parade. If you are planning errands or expecting visitors that day, schedule them earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon. For additional information concerning the Franconia Community Coalition and the parade, go to myrosehill.com and click on the Coalition's web site.

Missing Sign

Believe it or not, one of the Rose Hill Civic Association's meeting announcement signs disappeared last month. The sign on Rose Hill Drive at Lark Lane was missing when I went to pick it up after the September meeting. I contacted VDOT at the Van Dorn area headquarters, but the state folks said they hadn't picked it up. As usual, the sign was put up the Friday before the meeting, along with the one in the Rose Hill Drive median at the Library. The signs are removed immediately after the meeting or if I forget, the next morning. If you hear anything about our missing sign, please give me a call at 703-971-4716.

Heritage Academy Site Scrutinized by Planning Commission

The Fairfax County Planning Commission held its public hearing on various proposed amendments to the comprehensive plan on October 2, 2002. Included was a proposal to increase the residential density of the Heritage Academy site on May Boulevard from 2-3 units per acre to 4-5 units per acre. The Planning Commission markup, or vote to approve or deny the application, is scheduled for Wednesday, October 23, 2002. Your Association is on record as opposing this increase in density. The site is zoned R-3, the same as the rest of Rose Hill, so residential development can take place at that level. If the Planning Commission denies the application, that is the end of it for this plan review cycle. If the Planning Commission approves the application, or votes to it forward to the Board of Supervisors, another public hearing will be heard as part of the Board's deliberations on Monday, November 18. You can follow the Planning Commission action by tuning in to Channel 16 on Cox Cable on Wednesday, October 23. Call 703-324-2865 for the time of the evening meeting. Or, check our web site at myrosehill.com the following day for the latest information. If you aren't on line, feel free to call me at 703-971-4716. The best way to keep up with all the latest news in our community is to check the web site at least once a week. If you want to be notified immediately when an update is posted, contact Webmaster Jim Sapp at sapp@erols.com.

--Carl Sell

The next Rambler deadline is November 12, 2002.

The next delivery weekend is November 23-24.

 

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. www.myrosehill.com for the world to see.

Anyone interested in placing an ad may call the editor (me) at 703-922-8290. 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.

Elizabeth Lambertson

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