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Newsletter of the Rose Hill Civic Association
October 2005

President’s Message

RHCA Plans to Honor Long-Time Residents

At its September meeting, the Rose Hill Civic Association (RHCA) discussed ways to honor residents who have lived continuously in Rose Hill since their homes were built. For some, that is more than 50 years.

Although the precise method of honoring our long-time neighbors has not been finalized, we are in the process of identifying those who qualify. If you or a neighbor is an ‘original,’ please give one of the officers a call. Since Rose Hill was built in various sections, some have lived here longer than others. Our criterion includes those who have lived continuously in the same house since it was built. In all cases, that will be 40 years or more. We’re talking about the original purchasers, not the kids who grew up here and either stayed or came back! Some will have passed away, but we’d like to recognize them posthumously.

[Note from the editor: Speaking of kids that grew up here, Bonnie Dickerson, daughter of our long-time resident Connie Beatty, died of lung cancer on Thursday, October 13. RHCA extends its condolences to the family during this particularly difficult time.]

If you have a suggestion as to how the long-time residents should be honored, please pass along your idea. One idea is to place a marker at the foot of the historic monument on Rose Hill Drive at the library.

The idea surfaced with the passing of Twila Noble, our long-time member who lived at the corner of Rose Hill Drive and Apple Tree Drive. Twila had two pair of stone geese outside her door that were always dressed for the weather or a Redskins’ game and served as a welcome to our community. In discussing ways to remember Twila, we also wanted to honor her long-time friends and neighbors. We knew she would want it that way.

We’ll start publishing a list of those to be honored in next month’s Rambler. Hopefully, we’ll be able to erect the marker by the Spring of 2006. We’ll also be asking for a small donation along with your 2006 dues to cover the cost.

Meet Our New Principal

Terri Czarniak, the new principal at Rose Hill Elementary School, will join us at our October 25 meeting. Ms. Czarniak will introduce herself and answer questions. She also has a program that same night at the school but has graciously agreed to come over an visit with us. Rose Hill Elementary is fast approaching its 50th anniversary and since we have some experience with that type of event, maybe we can join in the effort. It may interest you to know that Linda Nichols distributed some leftover RHCA 50th anniversary shirts to the school staff and they were a big hit! Join us at the October meeting on Tuesday, October 25, at the John Marshall Library and meet our new principal. The meeting begins at 7pm and Ms. Czarniak will join us about 7:15.

Library Beautification

If you haven’t yet done so, stop by the library and take a look at the new landscaping and planting in the garden facing Rose Hill Drive. And, if you made a contribution to the library beautification fund along with your 2005 dues, take a bow and pat yourself on the back. RHCA provided $250 to buy plants, bulbs, and mulch last Spring. Recently, we provided an additional $150 for Fall planting. All of the money came from specific donations. The money went to the Friends of John Marshall Library and the Friends paid for the items. Carol Dickerson of the Friends was the organizer, overseer, and chief gardener on the project. She plans to work from 9 to 11am on Saturday, October 29, and would appreciate a few helping hands. Join me in the garden!

Vote on November 8

Don’t forget to go to the polls on Tuesday, November 8, and vote for your favorite candidate. Rose Hill precinct votes at Rose Hill Elementary School and the polls will be open from 6am to 7pm. Statewide races for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General are on the ballot, along with the House of Delegates seat for the 43rd District. Also on the ballot is a $246,325,000 bond referendum for our Fairfax County schools. The program includes $63 million for a major renewal project at Edison High School. Of historical note, Edison opened in 1960 with 42 classrooms at a cost of $2.6 million! In recent years, bonds have upgraded and expanded Rose Hill Elementary and Mark Twain Middle School. Now it’s Edison’s turn. Whatever your political persuasion, I urge you to support this bond issue. Our schools are constructed and renewed through long-term bonds or mortgages, just like our homes. Because of Fairfax County’s Triple A bond rating, the interest is very low. Although the majority of us do not currently have kids in school, we all benefit because one of the reasons for our constantly rising property value is the excellence of our schools. See you at the polls.

Section III Update

Many of you have noticed increased activity in the 22 acres known as Rose Hill Section III. A Special Exception approved by the Board of Supervisors in the Summer of 2004 sets the maximum density at 45 lots. Previously, the site was zoned for 59 lots. Christopher Consultants, the engineer in charge of developing the overall plan, has been doing additional testing and drilling in an effort to come up with a site plan that will meet with County approval. They also have been working on a tree save plan that is required by the terms of the 45-lot approval. Emad Saadeh, the geotechnical engineer who is working on the marine clay aspects of the plan and who is acting as the owner’s representative, reports that the team is close to finalizing a plan to be submitted to the County. We have invited Emad to our meeting on November 22 to bring the community up-to-date and answer your questions. He has accepted the invitation. In the meantime, remember that nothing has been approved and no clearing of the site or pre-development activity can take place until it is. The development plan approved with the Special Exception sets parameters for development. Now the group must prove it can be accomplished given the serious soils, slopes, and water runoff problems associated with the site. As always, keep me informed if you see any activity on the property that you don’t understand or think may be illegal. You will recall that we were able to resolve some major erosion and water runoff problems last Spring because we worked together. RHCA will demand that any development on Section III will be in accordance with the terms and conditions we negotiated in 2004.

More Development

Last month, we reported on three potential developments in our community. Now there are four and the new one is right in my backyard! A company from Rockville, Maryland, proposes to build four houses on a vacant parcel that fronts on Telegraph Road, is behind houses on Rose Hill Drive and Cottonwood Drive, and adjacent to a home on Telegraph Road. It is crossed by an easement for storm sewer and another for water and is 100% marine clay. A preliminary development plan has been submitted to the County. A preliminary plan sets up the development parameters and is followed by detailed engineering. Since this site includes marine clay, it will be subject to geotechnical review. At present, storm water traverses the site in an open ditch that has significantly eroded over the years, including loss of square footage from mine and other neighboring lots. We have asked the County to explain how the erosion will be contained and our property restored. Under the proposal, one house would be located behind the Rose Hill Drive properties and accessed by a driveway to Telegraph Road. The other three will face the Cottonwood Drive properties and would be accessed by one driveway from Telegraph Road near the first house as you go down the hill on Telegraph Road from Rose Hill Drive toward Split Rock Road. I will be monitoring this development if it proceeds through the County process. Like most sites in Rose Hill, the County engineers have first-hand knowledge of the marine clay problems. I have a copy of the plan and am in the process of showing it to my neighbors who are affected. If you’d like to see it, give me a call at 703.971.4716.

Franconia History Day

Singers from Rose Hill Elementary will be part of the program at the Fourth Annual Franconia History Day on Saturday, November 5, at the Franconia School. The program, which runs from 11am to 3pm, is sponsored by the Franconia Museum. The program is designed to highlight the history of the Franconia area and will include pictures and artifacts from our local past. There will be a new display concerning Ward’s Corner, the combination gas station, theatre, and country store which was located at Franconia Road and Old Rolling Road (where the Crown Station now stands). The Fairfax County Police also will have an interesting display. The popular books, Franconia Remembers Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, will be on sale, as well as a calendar featuring old-time local pictures. And, because the hours correspond with lunch, there will be a concession stand. All of the food and drink will be fresh, however. The Franconia Museum is rapidly moving toward a permanent display site in the Franconia Government Center. Rose Hill is an integral part of Franconia’s history. Come to the History Day and learn more about your community and its surrounding neighbors.

Ordinance Changes

The County is working on numerous changes to the Zoning Ordinance that would affect communities like Rose Hill. Three proposals are of particular concern. They will allow the County to modify the lot size, lot width, and height limitations. Those modifications could make it much easier for a speculator to buy houses in older neighborhoods like Rose Hill, tear them down, and construct huge new homes. That can be done under today’s rules, but the lot size, lot width, and height restrictions limit the size of the new house. There have been several meetings around the County with County staff outlining the proposed changes and inviting citizen comment. I have raised a red flag about the three proposals outlined above because they could threaten the character of Rose Hill and other neighborhoods. There eventually will be public hearings before the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors on these and other proposed changes. Give me a call if you want more information. On another front, you may recall RHCA’s concerns about the County allowing double stacked lots (one directly behind the other) with each having public street frontage. In this case, the yard in front of one house is frontage for the house behind and the house facing the street has frontage in front of a neigh-boring house. Sounds ridiculous, but that’s what the County currently allows. It recently was the subject of a front-page article in the Washington Post. This is a subdivision ordinance issue and is currently under review. We will renew our objections. Again, give me a call if you desire additional information.

Carl Sell

Crime Alert

On Monday, September 26, around 4pm, a man entered the BB&T bank located in the Rose Hill Shopping Center, 5203 Franconia Road, and displayed a handgun. The suspect demanded money, the tellers gave him an undisclosed amount of cash, and he fled. A dye pack exploded as the man fled and he left some of the cash near the bank. Nobody was injured. The suspect is described as a Hispanic or black man with a light complexion, between 20 and 30 years of age, about 5' 7" tall, and weighing approximately 145 pounds. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a blue and white plaid shirt, sunglasses, and a black baseball cap. If anyone can provide further information on this crime, they are asked to call Fairfax County Police at 703.691.2131 or Crime Solvers at 703.691.8888 or 1.800.673.2777.

Neighborhood Watch is out during the evenings, but needs your help during the day. Rose Hill is a relatively crime free neighborhood, but we need to stay alert since criminal activity will multiply if thieves think no one is watching. Be safe, call the police if you see anything that is not normal activity in your neighborhood. If you have some time, sign up for Neighborhood Watch. Contact Woody Betts, 703.971.0520 or rosehillwatch@aol.com. Your neighbors will thank you!

Rose Hill Showcase of Home Renovations

On Saturday, November 12, from 1-5pm, Rose Hill residents will open their renovated houses for this first-ever showcase. Tour the open houses on your own to see what the owners have done and get ideas for your own home. Architects and contractors/builders may be available to answer questions.

If you would like to have your renovated house included on the tour, please contact Beth Kohm at 703. 338.4876 or bethk@rotojunkie.com.

Prepaid tickets are $5 per person for RHCA members, $10 for non-members. Checks should be made payable to RHCA and mailed to P.O. Box 10891, Alexandria, VA 22310 by November 7; after that, contact Beth (above). All tickets will allow entry into all the houses being showcased. Invite your friends from other areas who are considering their own renovations or those who just like to see other houses! 

Around Rose Hill

Any Day. Give Blood—the Gift of Life. Inova Woodburn Blood Donor Center, 3289 Woodburn Road, Annandale, VA. Monday thru Friday, 8am-8pm; Saturday, 9am-5pm. Help save up to three lives in just one hour! Blood donors are needed year round, and especially type O donors. For more information or to make an appointment to donate at a donor center or community blood drive, call 1-866-BloodSaves (866.256.6372) or visit www.inova.org/donateblood. Thank you for helping save lives in our community!

For a great calendar of local events:  www.funside.com

Mature Operator's Driver Improvement Program (MODIP). The Fairfax County Police Department offers residents 55 years of age and older enrollment in the MODIP. This eight hour course, which provides safe driving information, is sanctioned by the American Automobile Association (AAA) and is presented by certified Fairfax County Auxiliary Police Officers. Upon completion of this course, drivers are eligible for the Virginia State-mandated insurance premium reduction (check with individual insurance carriers for the amount). The classes are normally held the second Saturday of each month at the Franconia District Station. The next seminar is scheduled at the Franconia District Station, located at 6121 Franconia Road, from 8am to 4pm on November 12. Registration is required and can be done by contacting the MODIP reservations line at 703.924.6588. The fee for this course is $10 per person for books and materials.

 Library

HEAR, HEAR! Last winter we introduced a new service that allows you to download recorded books off the Internet and listen to them on your computer. We've now expanded that service with more books from a new vendor.  Now you can listen to bestsellers, how-to guides and business books at home, work or in your car with our newest collection of eAudiobooks from OverDrive. You can download these recorded books from the Internet and listen to them on your PC, laptop, or portable device that plays Windows Media Audio files (version 9.0 or higher). You can also burn OverDrive eAudiobooks onto CDs to listen to in your car, or upload them from the CD to your iPod or other MP3 player for your own personal use. You'll need a library card to use OverDrive eAudiobooks. You can check them out for three weeks and renew them once, and you can have six eAudiobooks out at a time. To see what we have, go to (be sure to put the whole URL in your browser): http://fairfax.lib.overdrive.com

 Prescription Drug Program.  A Social Security Administration representative explains the new Medicare benefit. Adults.  Saturday, November 12, 1pm.

New Courtyard. Have you seen the new Edison courtyard?!? The courtyard, due to be completed and opened to students and staff by the end of October, will be an awesome space for classes to meet, for students to get a breath of fresh air between classes, and for school groups to use for other academic activities. Notable design features include a pond, giant chess board, tiered classroom seating, and a 5' stainless steel water wall (see the design drawing below). Much thanks goes out to Pat McGettigan for his continued support of Edison and the current courtyard evolution!

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 703.924.7192. 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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