Electronic Newsletter of the Rose Hill Civic Association
Summer 2003

This electronic version of The Rambler is designed to keep our on-line Community informed during the Summer months of July & August.  Information will be added to this Newsletter as it becomes available.  The formal version of The Rambler will resume in September.

President's Message

Highland Estates Update and Alert

Despite the protests of the Rose Hill Civic Association, Fairfax County’s Department of Environmental Management and Public Works has indicated it will soon approve the construction of 10 houses on a portion of the Highland Park pool site bordering Maryview Street, Climbhill Road, Roundhill Road and Saddletree Drive.

Because of the presence of shrink-well soil known as marine clay, the developer proposes the installation of more than 60 24-inch drilled shafts be placed six feet apart and 38 feet deep across the rear of the property (closest to Roundhill, Climbhill and Saddletree) in order to maintain the weight of the new houses and roadway.

Although the County staff agrees the calculations provided by the developer indicate the shafts will be sufficient to hold the spoil, it can offer no guarantees to neighboring homeowners. This came a response to a direct question by RHCA as to what guarantee neighboring property owners have against a potential landslide or damage to their foundations caused by shifting soil on the pool property.

The County staff says that under the law it must approve the development if engineering data shows that the soil can be stabilized enough to bear the weight of the new houses. What if the tests are wrong? Again, no guarantees.

Supervisor Kauffman agrees with RHCA’s position and is trying to be helpful. It all boils down to whether or not the County will run the risk of a lawsuit in this case.

In another disturbing aspect to this case, the developer appears to be taking liberties with the Zoning Ordinance in order to increase density. The Ordinance calls for 80 feet of frontage on a public street in the R-3 district. The developer of Highland Estates proposes to ‘double stack’ houses in two locations with each of the four lots (Lots 2-5 on following map) having frontage on the public street. Imagine a house directly behind yours with part of its front yard sharing the street frontage in front of you.

We have provided a drawing along with this memo in an effort to show you exactly what is being proposed. Wonder how the new owners will know where to start and stop cutting grass?

HighlandEstatesMod_small.jpg (33306 bytes)

R.C. Fields, Jr. & Associates

Plat Map
Highland Estates
Lee District
Fairfax County, Virginia
July 31, 2002 - Sheet 17 of 17

As far as RHCA is concerned, this is simply a ruse to increase density. The framers of the 80-foot frontage ordinance never intended for lots such as this to be legal.

There is one other odd-shaped lot, (Lot 10 on above map) again designed to meet the frontage requirements of the Ordinance. We also are showing you the outline of this lot.

RHCA believes the County should immediately cease approving these ‘double-stack’ and odd shaped lots that obviously are intended only to increase density.

Reduction of this development from 10 to seven lots would lessen the impact on the neighbors on Maryview, Climbhill, Roundhill and Saddle Tree.

If you agree, please call Supervisor Kauffman’s office at 703-971-6262 or e-mail him at leedist@co.fairfax.va.us.

Note: Those of you who live near rose hill section iii, proposed development between driftwood drive and telegraph road and proposed development on may boulevard should be aware that some of the same issues are possible in your back yard!

Another development proposal for Rose Hill Park Section III

RHCA has been approached by the development team of Ken Thompson and Diane Cox Basheer concerning a proposal to construct homes on the undeveloped portion of Rose Hill Park that roughly borders portions of Cottonwood Drive, Carriage Drive, Rose Hill Drive, Silo Road, Winston Place and Split Rock Road.  Over the summer, Thompson and Basheer have been meeting with members of RHCA to explain their proposal. They have not as yet submitted a plan to the County. If a plan is submitted, a presentation will be scheduled at a RHCA meeting this fall. 

The undeveloped Rose Hill Park Section III currently is zoned R-3, the same as the rest of Rose Hill, and is platted for 59 lots. Originally, the section called for 63 lots and four homes have been built on a cul-de-sac of silo Road. The section never was developed because of dangerous soil conditions known as ‘marine clay.  Alleged recent advances in technology have prompted several homebuilders to attempt to put together a plan that would merit approval by the county.

For many years, RHCA has opposed development on the property because of potential damage to existing and potential homeowners. Because the property is zoned and platted, there no public hearings necessary for approval if a developer can satisfy the County staff that technical and engineering issues are successfully resolved.  However, the Thompson and Basheer proposal would require a rezoning of the property and afford RHCA and the community a greater opportunity to comment. RHCA already has told Thompson and Basheer that it cannot support the proposal as presented because of density and environmental issues.

If you have any questions, please give me a call at 703-971-4716.

New Chesapeake Bay Regulations

      On July 7, 2003, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors adopted amendments to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance and other county ordinances and regulations to implement changes to the state's Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Designation and Management Resolutions. The result is an increase in the extent of Resource Protection Areas (RPA) throughout the County. RPAs are the corridors of environmentally sensitive land that lie alongside or near the shorelines of streams, rivers and other waterways. The remainder of the land in Fairfax County has been designated as a Resource Management Area (RMA). If you are planning additions or other expansion, sheds, fences, etc. you need to be aware of these new regulations. Two articles on this subject are available on the County's website at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes. The shorter of the two articles will be printed in the September Rambler.

Carl Sell

Civil War Bus Tour

MosbyTour_small.gif (15973 bytes)The 23rd Annual Mosby’s Confederacy Spring Tour sponsored by the Stuart - Mosby Historical Society will take place on September 27, 2003. The tour Leaders will be Don Hakenson & Gregg Dudding.  The tour will depart Truro Rectory in Fairfax at 8:30 am and return around 5:30 pm.  The tour will include Mosby’s Tree, Miskel’s Farm, Herndon Station, Mosby’s Rock, Laura Radcliff’s grave, Frying Pan Church and more!   Cost for Members $35, Non Members $40.  Reserve your seat by sending us your name, address and phone number at Dhakenson@cox.net or Wdudding@cox.net.  Or, Contact Don Hakenson at 703-971-4984. Make checks payable to: Don Hakenson 4708 Lillian Drive, Alexandria, Virginia 22310. Visit our website at: www.hakenson.net

2003 Back to School Nights: 

The Rose Hill Elementary Back to School Night is Thursday, September 11 at 7 p.m. Residents with children at the school
should plan to attend and the rest of of us need to plan our activities to avoid the traffic jam!  Mark Twain's BTSN is Wednesday, September 24 and Edison's is Tuesday, September 30.

The next delivery weekend is September 20-21, 2003.

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 me at 703-924-7192. Artwork can be sent to marty-williams 2000@yahoo.com in tiff or jpeg format or hardcopy mailed to P.O. Box 10891, Alexandria, VA 22310. Checks made out to RHCA should be included with ads and sent to the P.O. Box.

Marty Williams

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