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Newsletter of the Rose Hill Civic Association
September 2005

President’s Message

The Developers Are Everywhere, Or So It Seems in Rose Hill

More drilling in Rose Hill Section III, activity on the hill between Driftwood Drive and Telegraph Road, and rumors about development on Rock-A-By Lane...it seems the developers won’t be happy until every piece of vacant real estate in Rose Hill sprouts more houses.

The latest proposal for development involves more houses on the properties between Driftwood and Telegraph Road. The property is also bordered by Climbhill Road and Thornwood Drive. RHCA has written to Supervisor Kauffman to voice concern about (you guessed it) building on marine clay which covers most of the site.

More than a year ago, RHCA was able to defeat a proposal to allow development that would connect Driftwood and Telegraph Road. Therefore, any new development would have to access either Telegraph or Driftwood, exclusively. There will be NO new traffic.

Just as school began its Fall term, the developers showed up with drilling equipment for more testing on Section III, the 20-acre-plus parcel west of Rose Hill and Cottonwood Drives and accessed by Wayside Place off Rose Hill Drive as well as Split Rock Road. It seems to those of us who live nearby that development will soon become impossible because the property will look like a piece of Swiss cheese because of all the drilling.

The owner and his engineers obviously are trying to obtain soils information that will help persuade the County to approve a site plan. So far, dating back almost 35 years, they haven’t been able to do so. Given the rapidly increased land value, they apparently intend to try to throw enough money at the problem until it is solved. Good luck!

To refresh your memory, RHCA has voiced concerns about some houses proposed to be built on marine clay on steep slopes behind Winston Place and others in marine clay with a high water table and springs behind Rose Hill Drive and Cottonwood Drive. They are part of a 45-house development plan approved a year ago. That was a decrease from the previously-approved 59 home sites.

A speculator has bought property on Rock-A-By behind Bee Street and between Rose Hill Drive and Willowood Lane. The property has a narrow easement to reach Bee Street, but it doesn’t meet road standards. The property is currently reached off Lark Lane.

RHCA will be keeping an eye on all these developments. No plans have yet been submitted to the County on any of them. Neighbors should continue to report activity on property nearby so we can keep up-to-date.

Telegraph Interchange Update

Because there were a number of questions raised about the new Telegraph Road/Beltway interchange, we have invited someone with the answers to brief us at the September 27 meeting. Alex Lee, the community relations manager for the consultants working on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge project, has agreed to attend and give us an update. As we heard in June, there are some major improvements proposed for the Telegraph interchange because of cost savings on other elements of the project. Alex visited us and gave an outline of the bridge project some time back. He will get us up-to-speed on the new interchanges in Virginia and update the schedule for bridge, one span of which is scheduled to open next year. The meeting begins at 7pm at the John Marshall Library.

Remembering Twila

The passing of long-time resident Twila Noble this summer brings up the need for an appropriate memorial to folks like her who helped make Rose Hill a great place to live and raise families. Twila lived at the corner of Rose Hill and Apple Tree Drives for 50 years. She and her husband, Essie, moved there in January of 1955. He passed away on Christmas Day, 1992. For many years, Twila had two statues of geese by the front door and dressed them in garb to anticipate the weather and victory for the Redskins. For the last few, there were four geese gracing her front walkway. Twila and the geese are gone, but the memory lingers. It’s up to us to make sure her legacy is never forgotten. We will be discussing ways to memorialize Twila and other residents who lived in Rose Hill for 50 years. One suggestion is to place a marker at the base of the Rose Hill historical sign at the Library. It would include the names of those original residents who lived here for 50 years. We will start our September meeting by observing a moment of silence in honor of Twila, Helen Hass, and Lew Messinger, RHCA members who passed away since we last gathered in June. If you know of others who should be remembered, please let us know. Go to MyRoseHill.com to read more about Twila’s life in Rose Hill.

Parking on Grass Can be Costly

Since you probably won’t notice them, The Rambler is showing you the new signs warning against parking on the grass strip between the sidewalk and the road along Rose Hill Drive. One sign is on the even-numbered side where the strip begins near the apartments. The other is on Rose Hill Drive near Telegraph Road on the odd-numbered side of the street. They are reminders that it is illegal to park on the grass strip. The land belongs to VDOT, not the individual property owners. We do greatly appreciate the efforts of the individual property owners who keep the grass mowed and the trash picked up. The strip gives our "main street" a boulevard appearance and enhances the value of our entire community. Violators who park on the strip could receive a ticket. Several have been issued and RHCA would rather you be forewarned of that possibility before it happens. The police aren’t patrolling the strip, but they will issue a ticket if they see chronic offenders. RHCA supports the effort to keep our main street from looking like a parking lot.

On another front, individual homeowners are reminded that it is County law that NO more than 25 percent of the front yard can be used to park cars even though it is private property. If you have a double driveway, you are about at the limit. It is a zoning violation that could result in court appearance. So, be safe rather than sorry. Finally, cars without valid tags, county and/or inspection stickers cannot be parked in plain view on private property. They are subject to towing by the police the same as if they were on a public street.

Be Alert for Scams

There are a number of scams circulating that, if successful, could wipe you out! One is a "Jury Scam." You get a call from a "court official" informing you that you failed to report for jury duty. After you say you were never notified, you are asked for confidential information ‘so the matter can be cleared up and a warrant for your arrest will not be issued.’ Obviously, this is a fraud so hang up and notify the police immediately. Numerous other scams are centered on relief for hurricane victims. Arrests of people soliciting funds for Hurricane Katrina victims under false pretenses already have been made in Fairfax County. If you want to help, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and religious organizations are your best options. Most genuine organizations are too busy helping the victims to call asking for your contributions. In any event, be very careful before you give your Social Security number, date of birth, credit card number, etc. to anyone.

Apologies, Updates, Etc.

An apology to the Kims at 6205 Thornwood Drive. Their home earned the designation as a Rose Hill Beauty but we didn’t deliver a sign because we didn’t have them listed as a member. Turns out the Kims had joined early in the year but we didn’t get them recorded on the list of members. We double checked, and sure enough, it was our fault. The sign is now in front of their house. Since the June newsletter, we have added Barbara Digman at 6217 Blossom Lane to the membership list and provided her house with a Beauty sign. That makes it a clean sweep as all four houses on Blossom Lane were selected as ‘Beauties.’ And, we have added Carole Guzzetta of 6407 May Boulevard and Sally & Bill Dankers of 6511 Carriage Drive to the membership rolls.

Special Thanks

The June Rambler included information about the Upright family that was displaced by a fire last March. Thanks to those who have contributed to a fund set up by RHCA to help the family get back on its feet. We have heard from Rebecca Bagdasarian on Driftwood Drive, Robert Brown on Apple Tree Drive, Dennis Dzierzawski of Thornwood Drive, Monica Reed on Rose Hill Drive, and the Sells on Cottonwood Drive. If you wish to help, drop a check to RHCA, Box 10891, Alexandria, VA 22310, and mark ‘Fire Relief’ in the memo space. If you have any furniture you care to donate, call Marty Williams at 703.924.7192.

MyRoseHill.com

I often hear praise from other community leaders concerning our excellent website, MyRoseHill.com. In fact, many say they use our website as the standard when building or improving their own. We are indeed fortunate to have such an informative website thanks to former resident Jim Sapp. Even though he now lives in the mountains of Colorado, he continues to serve our community by maintaining the site. It keeps him in touch with all his friends in Rose Hill. While he doesn’t consider it a burden, we at least would like to get Jim some help and eventually find a replacement. If you’d like to help, go to the website and communicate directly with Jim about how you can help.

—Carl Sell

Update From Gloria Upright

I spoke with Gloria recently and found out she has settled into an apartment in Lake Ridge, subletting from a soldier in Iraq. She is very thankful for the contributions made by her neighbors here in Rose Hill after the fire demolished her house last March. Those donations included a bed so she doesn’t have to sleep on a mat. Her granddaughter is unable to go to Edison High School for her senior year because she lives so far away, but she is adjusting. Plans for rebuilding the house on Rock-a-By should be complete within the next few months. Gloria can still be reached via cell at 703.963.3372.

—Marty Williams

Crime Alert

A break-in and theft in the 6300 block of Willowood Lane, a car theft in the 6300 block of Cottonwood Drive, and suspicious activity at the corner of Saddle Tree and Willowood Lane, all within several days, prompts RHCA to remind all residents to secure their property and be on the alert for potential criminal activity. In addition, the police report a rash of break-ins to outside sheds and carports in the Franconia-Springfield area.

The break-in on Willowood Lane occurred when thieves entered a carport side door, which had visibility from the street obstructed by a freezer. This happened between 8am and noon. Police are investigating. Around the corner on Cottonwood Drive, a 1999 Lexus was stolen from a residence. Police do not think the events are related.

Several days later, an alert homeowner noticed a suspicious pickup on Willowood Lane. The vehicle took off when the homeowner went to get the license number. The homeowner followed, got the number, and called police. The pickup belonged to a company in Virginia’s Tidewater area. The homeowner then discovered an open shed door on the property. This incident also happened in broad daylight.

All residents are reminded to keep their shed and carport utility rooms locked, as well as all outside entrances to the house. Take a minute to make sure all your window locks are working properly. Close your garage door when you are not at home or will be away from it for more than a few minutes. Ask your neighbor to keep an eye on your house if you are going to be gone for several days.

If you see ANY suspicious activity or notice strangers in the neighborhood, call the police. If you think a crime is being committed, call 911. The police non-emergency number is 703.691.2131.

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!

—Carl Sell and Norm Cherkis

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!

Editor Seeking Calendar Assistance

Since I have no children at either Twain or Rose Hill and their websites are not up-to-date, I’m seeking to receive information from a parent with a child at both/either school to help with The Rambler’s calendar. Please email me at marty@fabrications.us if you would be willing to help out with a once-a-month email or if you know of a staff person at either school willing to help. Make sure to put Rose Hill or Mark Twain Calendar in the subject line so I don’t delete it. Thank you. —Marty Williams

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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