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September 2022:At its September 19 meeting, the Town Council finalized a list of “Binding Elements” that have been submitted to the Planning Department and the developer as proposed conditions for County approval of the developer’s rezoning application. These conditions include limitations on the scale of the development, restrictions on use (such as preserving the woods and limiting the amount of commercial space), and other requirements. In addition to the binding elements, the Town will negotiate a Declaration of Covenants with the developer to address items specific to the two parties, including a construction management agreement and potential public use of the Corso facilities. The existing Declaration of Covenants establishing the 81-foot setback along Thornapple Street remains in effect.
At its September meeting, the Council also discussed and agreed to a send a letter to the developers with some additional points that we do not believe need to be covered in proposed binding elements or in a separate list of items for a declaration of covenants, but that we would like them to consider as they continue design of the project.
At its September 19 meeting, the Town Council will finalize a list of “Binding Elements” that the Town will propose as conditions for County approval of the developer’s rezoning application. The Council has reviewed and considered all resident comments received to date.
__________Draft “Binding Elements” and ImagesThe Town Council, with assistance from the Town's 4-H Committee and legal counsel, has developed a proposed list of “Binding Elements” that the Town will propose as conditions for County approval of the developer’s rezoning application. These conditions include limitations on the scale of the development, restrictions on use (such as preserving the woods and limiting the amount of commercial space), and other requirements. Please review these, and we invite your comments. We also will be discussing this draft with the County Planning Department.
In early August, the Town received and publicized numerous three-dimensional images that show the height and massing of the proposed buildings from all adjacent streets, with and without vegetative cover.
September 10 “Walkinar”The Town will host a “Walkinar” of the Corso property on September 10 at 10 a.m. (with a rain date of September 11 at 1 p.m.) to allow residents to understand the development plans and pose questions to the developers. Particular focus will be on the plans for forest conservation easements and the proposed storm water management system. Representatives from the County Planning Department also will attend. The event will start at the north side of the Corso property along Thornapple Street and proceed through the west and south sides of the property.
September 12 Town ForumOn September 12 at 7 p.m., the Town Council will host a Town Forum to receive resident feedback on the proposed redevelopment. The forum will be held in the Town Hall and by Zoom video conference.
We encourage residents to review the proposed binding elements and images and provide feedback to the Town Council at the Town Forum or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Following the receipt of resident feedback, the Council will finalize our proposed set of conditions to submit to the developer and the County Planning Department.
August 2022:On August 3, the developers of 7100 Connecticut Avenue (the former 4-H property) provided the Town with additional three-dimensional images that show the height and massing of the proposed buildings from all adjacent streets, with and without vegetative cover. We encourage residents to review these images and provide feedback to the Town Council at email@example.com.
At the request of the Town Council, the Town’s 4-H Committee, with advice from legal counsel, is currently developing a list of “Binding Elements” that the Town will propose as conditions for County approval of the developer’s rezoning application. These conditions could include limitations on the scale of the development, restrictions on use (such as preserving the woods and limiting the amount of commercial space), and other requirements. Following review by the Council, the Town will share this draft list with residents and solicit comments. We also expect to hold a Town Forum on this matter in early September and will provide the developers our final set of proposed "Binding Elements" following that event.
July 2022:On July 21, the Council discussed the redevelopment of 7100 Connecticut Avenue and the Town’s request for additional information from the developers, including three-dimensional images of the height and massing of the proposed buildings, without vegetative cover. Mayor Rush noted that the 4-H Special Committee is drafting binding elements for the Council’s review. The Town will propose binding elements as conditions for County approval of the rezoning application, and the binding elements may include restrictions on use and building type and specific development requirements. The Council also discussed Town resident engagement to be undertaken in September.
June 2022:On June 23, the developers of 7100 Connecticut Avenue responded to the Town's letter requesting additional information regarding the redevelopment of the former 4-H property, including information about the height and massing of the proposed buildings. Links to this information are below.
The Town Council is reviewing the submitted materials to determine if they address our questions, and the Council will solicit resident input. The Town's 4-H Special Committee has reviewed these materials and provided feedback to the Town Council.
On June 2, the developers of 7100 Connecticut Avenue presented an updated concept plan for redevelopment of the former 4-H property (see video and slideshow). The developers considered the Town’s April 15 response to the initial redevelopment plan and revised the plan to incorporate this feedback. Residents are encouraged to review the updated plan and provide feedback to the Town Council by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following the February 17 presentation of the concept plan (see video and slideshow), the Town Council collected feedback from residents and from the 4-H Special Committee and discussed the proposed plan at a Town Council work session on March 9. On March 16, the Town submitted a set of questions to the owners of 7100 Connecticut Avenue regarding the concept plan. And on March 25, the owners provided responses to these questions, which address matters such as building height, density, number of units, and shared amenities.
The Town Council also developed a draft response to the concept plan, which followed the outline of issues that we set out in our letter of September 30, 2021. We encouraged residents to review and provide feedback on this draft response by emailing the Town Council, completing a Town survey (the survey closed on March 28, and the results are available here), and speaking during a Town forum on March 30. On April 6, the Town's 4-H Special Committee submitted comments to the Town Council on the draft response. And on April 7, the Council held a work session to finalize the Town's response to the initial concept plan.
Thank you for your comments and participation as we respond to the redevelopment plans for 7100 Connecticut Avenue.
The 4-H Center property, located at 7100 Connecticut Avenue, is a unique 12.28-acre parcel within the Town of Chevy Chase. The Town has had a long standing and cordial relationship with the 4-H Center, as evidenced by the following documents: (i) a Memorandum of Understanding that governs various matters regarding the use of the site; and (ii) a Ground Lease and Development Agreement that gives the Town the right to maintain a garage on the site until 2028. In addition, a Declaration of Covenants from 1968 establishes an 81-foot setback along Thornapple Street (the location of Thornapple Street and the 81-foot setback in relation to the 4-H Center property is depicted on this subdivision plan). The Town has certain regulatory authorities over all development within the municipal Town limits, including a building ordinance, an urban forest ordinance, and a water drainage ordinance.
In April 2021, the Town Council approved a policy statement that established opportunities to be sought and issues to be addressed to guide the Town’s engagement with prospective bidders and the seller. And, in September 2021, the Town sent the new owners a letter that outlines the Town’s key interests in the redevelopment.
Friends and neighbors came together both informally and formally to share their concerns, solutions, and general ideas about the 4-H Conference Center property that was listed for sale on March 18, 2021. This report is a summary of approximately three months of communication among the residents of the Town of Chevy Chase.
To encourage dialogue, the Town of Chevy Chase reached out to the community in a variety of ways. First, there were, and continue to be, touch points such as 4-H committee meetings, listening sessions, a town forum, a walkthrough of adjacent backyards, and meetings with neighboring residents.
Second, the Town Council and the 4-H Committee have endeavored to track preferences through an online survey (raw data in Excel file), which was launched on May 17, 2021 and completed by 464 residents. Residents have also come together to express their ideas through four letters and twenty-seven emails. There was no consensus; however, there were many preferences and recommendations articulated.
Many residents joined listening sessions, participated in the town forum, opened their backyards, met with the Town Council, signed on to letters, sent emails, and completed the survey. Any form of communication is welcome, and we hope it will continue!