Rose Hill Civic Association
P.O. Box 10891
Franconia, Va. 22310


December 17, 2002

RE: 1260-SD-01-1 Tax Map 82-3 ((13)) A-1 Highland Estates

Gursharan S. Sidhu
Department of Public Works & Environmental Management
Environment & Facilities Review Division
Suite 535
12055 Government Center Parkway
Fairfax, VA 22035

Dear Mr. Sidhu:

Thank you for providing a copy of the first-submission plan for the above-referenced proposed development in the Rose Hill Community. We previously had received a copy of the geotechnical exploration report by Law Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc. from Morris Construction Company.

As you are aware, the Rose Hill Civic Association is deeply concerned about development on problem soils (marine clay) within our community and the general area of Southeastern Fairfax County. After reviewing the information we have been provided, numerous questions have arisen. We invite responses the County, Law Engineering and Morris Construction Company.

Additionally, we note that additional geotechnical information is to be part of the second submission. We would appreciate receiving that information when it is available.

The geotechnical exploration report proposes, and the plan includes, a large number of pilings reaching almost 40 feet in the ground in order to stabilize the site for development. Apparently, the pilings are being used to make development on the site possible.

We would like to know how those pilings will protect the neighboring properties on Roundhill Road, Climbhill Road and Saddletree Drive. Development on contiguous vacant property can have a deleterious effect on existing homes. In Rose Hill, many homeowners already experience structural damage because of marine clay without the added pressure of new construction. The weight of the proposed new construction no doubt will increase the pressure on existing homes.

We also note that two storage ponds for stormwater runoff are proposed on Outlot A adjacent to existing the western border of the property. The introduction of additional water in this area could cause the marine clay to shift in such a way to threaten existing homes. We see no evidence in the geotechnical evaluation of an assessment of potential damage to existing homes.

Moving right along, we note that a large amount of soil removal and replacement will be required on the site. The construction entrance is located on Maryview Street. We would appreciate receiving an estimate of the truck traffic necessary to move and replace the dirt. We also are concerned about traffic generated by deliveries of building materials and workers.

Traffic generated by the construction will directly affect residents on Maryview, Bee Street, Willowood Lane and Rose Hill Drive. We respectively request that a way be found to access the construction site via Highland Street from Telegraph through the existing pool property. Since the pool is a financial beneficiary of the proposed new development, it seems only fair that the membership share in the disruption to the community during construction.

The use of pipestem lots (3& 4) and an irregularly shaped lot (10) appear to us to designed to maximize density. We would prefer to see a plan that is more sensitive to the environment and the neighbors. There are no pipestem lots in Rose Hill. If the plan is approved, the pipestems and lot 10 should be deleted.

Finally, we call everyone’s attention to the provisions of Section 2-308 of the zoning ordinance that deals with development on problem soils such as marine clay. The ordinance limits development in areas where high levels of marine clay are evident. Recently, the County Attorney and the Zoning Administrator, responding to a request by the Rose Hill and Virginia Hills civic organizations regarding Section 2-308 and its applicability to previously zoned property specified that previously zoned property that has not yet been subdivided is subject to the provisions of the ordinance. The Highland Estates proposal fits those parameters.

Thank You,

Carl L. Sell, Jr.
Rose Hill Civic Association

cc: Supervisor Dana Kauffman
Stephen L. Morris, Morris Construction Company
Law Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc.

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