Rollingwood Welcome Sign Project


JUNE 2015 – Permits Secured!

It has been a very productive spring, as we finally secured all necessary approvals from Montgomery County. We are beginning work with our sign fabricator to finalize details. We anticipate installation in the coming months. When the schedule is firmed up, we will share updates as soon as we have specific information.

Since the March update, we received:

Right-of-Way Permits – This process involved pulling tax maps, aerial and site photography, a site plan, gateway sign diagrams, and a notarized “Declaration of Covenants.” The Declaration specifies certain agreements with the county. The Declaration had to be filed in the land records at the County Courthouse, necessitating two in-person trips to the Department of Permitting Services and one to the courthouse.

Variances — In April, Fritz Hirst appeared before the Montgomery County Sign Review board to petition for a variance for each of the three signs. A variance is required because our proposed signs are more than eighteen inches off the ground as provided by county code. This process also involved tax maps, aerial and site photography, a site plan, sign diagrams, and individualized notification to households near the proposed sign locations.

Sign Permits – Once the variances were secured, RCA had to obtain sign permits. This process involved tax maps, aerial and site photography, a site plan, and sign diagrams.

MARCH 2015 – Site Selection & Permitting

RCA is pursuing permits from Montgomery County to install signs in three locations along Beach Drive. Once permits are secured, RCA will direct our sign contractor to fabricate and install the signs. We will provide additional timeline information as soon as we have it. After several years of planning and regulatory process, we are finally approaching project completion.

Three signs are proposed at the following locations:

Download (PDF, 125KB)

The permitting process involves two regulatory approval phases. A right-of-way permit is needed in order to place a sign in areas adjancent to roadways where it can be visible to pedestrians and motorists. This approval has been secured. The right-of-way permit was a fairly laborious process involving land record research and notarized documents that had to be filed with the Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services and with the land records at the Montgomery County Courthouse.

A sign permit is also required. In our case, this is a two-step process. Montgomery County code stipulates that neighborhood gateway signs should be no more than 12 inches off the ground. Because our signs exceed that amount in order to have proper visibility, a variance is required before we can apply for a sign permit. A hearing on our variance application is scheduled for 8:30 a.m., April 13th, 2015, at the Stella Werner Council Office Building, 1st Floor Auditorium, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, MD. We will apply for a sign permit following the variance process.

Location 2A large sign is proposed on the grassy triangle at the intersection of Leland Street and Beach Drive. Given the availability of public land at this intersection and the prominece of this location, the “Leland Triangle” will host the principal gateway feature:

Sign - Large 2
Locations 1 & 3 – Two smaller “post” signs are proposed at the end of Woodbine Street and Wyndale Road. Additional signs of this nature could be installed at other entry points.

 Post Sign


FEBRUARY 2013 — Preliminary Site Selection

RCA is currently working with Montgomery County officials to help identify potential sign locations.  As a first step in this process, we surveyed each border crossing. Photos are included in this presentation.

Rollingwood Borders — Part One
Rollingwood Borders — Part Two

NOVEMBER 2012 — Final Logo Design

This month, a poll was conducted among RCA members to select the final design for the neighborhood welcome sign project.  After eighteen months of coordination, design work, and communication with the community (including on the website, newsletters, and at RCA meetings and social events), three alternatives were presented.  We are happy to report that the winning design is “Option 2 — The Tree.”

This design received a resounding 70 votes, compared to 47 votes for the the “Leaf” design and 23 votes for the “Three-Pronged Leaf” design.

The tree design endeavors to tell a story of Rollingwood as an established, well-rooted community.  The tree form is a classic element, suggesting the traditional character of our community.

Next steps . . .

We will now begin the process of considering sign material and siting options.   Several government agencies have specific rules for sign design and placement within the public right-of-way.  Safety is the preeminent consideration.  Local transportation and permitting departments play a determining role in sign material, installation, and placement.  RCA will continue to work closely with Rollingwood residents throughout this process.  We anticipate permitting and community outreach will take considerable time to complete, especially since state and federal authorities govern some of our bordering streets.

MAY 2012 — Initial Logo Design

Three alternatives for the neighborhood signage project were presented at RCA’s annual meeting on May 22nd, 2012.  Similar to signs prevalent in communities throughout our area, the goals of this project include:

  • Help to further strengthen a sense of place and community among residents.
  • Identify Rollingwood to the outside community.
  • Distinguish Rollingwood among the numerous other Chevy Chase sections, each of which have different names.
  • Encourage visitors to respect traffic laws by alerting motorists to the unique presence of our community.

RCA’s board worked with a local graphic designer to develop three alternatives for consideration by the membership.  The fundamental design goal is to capture who we are as a neighborhood.  This gave rise to a traditional, yet updated look endeavoring to convey Rollingwood as an established community with long-standing roots.

Each of the three alternatives include a classic, crisply updated font.  The “rolling R” in Rollingwood suggests the hilly nature of our community.  “Chevy Chase” is included so as to associate Rollingwood with the greater Chevy Chase community.  “Est. 1933” identifies Rollingwood as a well-established neighborhood.  (Our search of the land records reveals 1933 as the earliest subdivision plat adopting the term “Rollingwood.”)  The oval shape and simple border distinguish the sign from other markers.  The green colors associate with natural elements of our community.  Finally — and for your consideration and feedback — three different versions are presented, each depicting a different natural element associated with Rollingwood (click to enlarge):

“The Leaf” — This pleasantly simple leaf design most closely resembles the logo in use by the Rollingwood Citizens Assocation for more than ten years.  The leaf design endeavors to connect with natural elements in our community.

“The Tree” — This design endeavors to tell a story of Rollingwood as an established, well-rooted community.  The tree form is a classic element, suggesting the traditional character of our community.

“The Three-Point Leaf” — This design is a variation of the leaf motif.  The three-point leaf suggests an ivy or tulip poplar, both common throughout Rollingwood.

Send us your comments!

We want to hear from you! Please send us your comments on the design options by using the form below.

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Fritz Hirst, RCA President, listens to feedback on the community signage concept during RCA’s 2011 annual meeting on May 16th

MAY 2011 — Concept Presentation

At the 2011 annual meeting in May, the RCA board presented the concept of designing and placing neighborhood “welcome signs” at key points along Rollingwood’s boundaries.  Such signs are common throughout Chevy Chase and our community at large.  Some potential benefits include:

  • Helping further strengthen a sense of place and community among residents.
  • Identifying Rollingwood to the outside community.
  • Distinguishing Rollingwood among the numerous other Chevy Chase villages and subdivisions, each of which have different names.
  • Encouraging visitors to respect traffic laws by alerting motorists to the unique presence of our community.

RCA members gave feedback to the board, indicating broad support among attendess to take the next steps.  Accordingly, the board is going to secure local talent to develop preliminary designs and will seek further input from the community regarding design and placement of the potential signs.  This project can be underwritten with existing RCA funds.

Here are examples of signs in neighboring communities (click photo for full view):