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Town of Chevy Chase
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10/8/2021 3:11:11 PM
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Weekly Town Updates -- October 8, 2021

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Town Council Requests Resident Feedback

Should the Town Contribute Funding to the Farm Women's Market Project?


At its meeting on October 13, the Town Council will discuss the County's request for financial support for the Farm Women's Market project.  On September 20, Town residents received an update on the project from EYA, Bernstein Management Corporation, and the County's Department of Transportation. (Links to materials from the September meeting, including a sketch plan of the project, are at the end of this message.)  The project would refurbish and expand the Farm Women’s Market and result in a much-needed expansion of park and green space for the benefit of the Town and Bethesda.  Most of the surface parking lot directly behind the Market would become a park, as would the entire parking lot between Leland and Walsh streets, and a new underground garage would be constructed on the Market site. 

The Town Council's discussion at the October meeting will be a session for expressing preliminary views.  There will be a further process, when the Town Council will request more resident input, before a decision is made.  However, we ask all residents to submit their initial views in advance of the October 13 Council meeting.  We want to hear from as many residents as possible in response to the following questions:

  • Should the Town support this project, and, if so, how much financial support should we provide knowing that a material contribution would be in the millions of dollars?
  • What are these parks and an expanded Farm Women's Market worth to the Town in terms of green space, possible amenities such as a playground, dog parks, a water feature and an amphitheater, the proximity of enhanced opportunities for food shopping and dining, and the revitalization of retail along Wisconsin Avenue?
  • Is a material contribution worth the avoided risk of future development on these lots that would bring high rise development next to our Town?
  • How much of our Town reserves – over $10 million – might we be comfortable committing, given other uses we may also wish to consider for funds? And might we also use a portion of our ARPA money for the green infrastructure components of this project?
  • Given the competing priorities for County funds and the resistance by many in the County to spend for amenities in our area, what level of leadership does the Town want to provide so that this vision becomes a reality?
  • What conditions might the Town attach to a contribution to ensure we receive the value we pay for?

Residents are encouraged to send in comments to the Town Office at townoffice@townofchevychase.org.

Farm Women's Market Open House and Listening Session

Councilmember Ericson will host a second listening session on Tuesday, October 12 at 7 p.m.  Residents may use the following Zoom link to join the meeting:

Join Online
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3016547144?pwd=NnJvS1BpM3ZkSFA4bXBwbWZhWVM2UT09
Meeting ID: 301 654 7144
Passcode: 6547144

Join by Phone
(301) 715-8592
Meeting ID: 301 654 7144
Passcode: 6547144

Meeting Materials:




4-H Redevelopment Update


In September, the buyers of the 4-H property, Galerie Living and Community Three, made a presentation to Town residents to introduce themselves, explain their partnership and respective organizations, review projects they have previously developed, and discuss their anticipated timeline for redevelopment of the 4-H property.

Moving forward, and while a specific redevelopment plan is being prepared, we expect to engage with the buyers to seek accommodation of our Town objectives and concerns, which will be drawn from the May 2021 resident survey, resident comments received to date, and further consultations that will be held with residents during this period.  On September 30, the Town sent a letter to the contract purchasers outlining the Town's primary interests to be considered as plans are developed and discussions proceed.

Upon completion of a proposed site plan - a process that could take several months - Galerie Living and Community Three will be asked to present their plan to the Town in an open session for further public comment.  We encourage all residents to listen and participate as we learn more about the redevelopment plans for the 4-H property.




Council Approves Policy for Allocation of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funds


In September, the Town Council discussed the distribution and use of ARPA funds.  The Council agreed to retain the funds and adopted a policy for the allocation of ARPA funds, as proposed by Councilmembers Ericson and White.  At its October 13 meeting, the Town Council will hear a presentation and discuss a request for ARPA funds from Wonders Early Learning at Leland.  More information about this request is included in the October Council meeting agenda.  Any allocation of ARPA funds will be subject to a public hearing.




Community Coalition Letter on Council Redistricting


On October 1, a coalition of Chevy Chase municipalities sent a letter to Montgomery County’s Commission on Redistricting expressing a united view that the Commission, as it considers options for creating the new Councilmember districts for the County, will decide that our municipalities remain in the same district that includes Bethesda and Friendship Heights.  The Commission is drawing up the boundaries for the newly established 7 districts that will elect County Councilmembers in 2022, as compared to the current 5 district Councilmembers. (The number of at-large Councilmembers remains unchanged at 4.)  The Commission will meet on October 13 to choose 2 redistricting maps that residents may comment on during the Commission's Public Comment Session, which is tentatively scheduled for October 20.  The maps will be posted to the Commission’s webpage located here.  The Commission is required to complete its work and submit its plan and report to the County Council by November 15, 2021.  Within thirty days after receiving the plan of the Commission, the Council is required to hold a public hearing on the plan.




Update on Thrive Montgomery 2050 


NEW: On October 4, the County Council's Planning, Housing, and Economic Development (PHED) committee held its fifth work session on the Thrive Montgomery 2050 (Thrive) Draft Plan. The PHED committee discussed comments and change recommendations to the Draft Plan for two chapters - the Design, Arts & Culture and Transportation & Communication Networks.  Click here to read the County Council's Staff report. The next PHED work session is scheduled for Monday, October 11 when the committee will discuss Affordable & Attainable Housing and Parks & Recreation for an Increasingly Urban and Diverse Community. The intent is for the PHED Committee to complete its discussions on October 18 and send the Draft Plan to the full County Council for consideration.




How the County's Attainable Housing Proposals Affect Town Lots


NEW: The Planning Staff released an interactive tool so that residents can better understand which lots could be impacted by the County Planning Board Attainable Housing Proposals.  Residents are encouraged to zoom in on the map and select the layers that correspond to the current Planning Board recommendations (i.e. Red Line 1-mile Buffer, Purple Line 1-mile Buffer, Corridors 500 Feet Buffer, CR Employment Zones 200 ft. Buffer, CR Employment Zones 300 ft Buffer, Parcels: Priority Housing District, AHOM Parcels: 200 Feet Buffer, AHOM Parcels: Abut Corridor). 

On October 7, the Planning Board continued its discussions by reviewing the Attainable Housing Optional Method (AHOM) recommendations, including standards for existing Moderately Priced Dwelling Units (MPDU) and allowing townhouses and small apartment buildings to be built on properties whose lots are on Connecticut Avenue or "adjacent" to properties zoned for commercial development or properties that are within 300 feet of properties zoned for commercial development.  Click here to read the Planning Staff report.  

On October 21, Planning Staff will present its "Loose Ends" recommendations for affordability, displacement, trees, parking, subdivision of lots, pattern book, and suggest catalyst policies.  The Planning Staff is planning to propose two additional changes that are of particular interest to the Town.  They are allowing quadplexes to be bigger than "house-scale" if they contain an affordable dwelling unit and reducing on-site parking requirements from 2 parking spaces per dwelling unit to ½ per dwelling unit.  Finally, on November 4, the Planning Staff will present the full report to the Planning Board along with any applicable Zoning Text Amendments (ZTAs) that might be sent to the County Council for consideration.

While the Town does not have the zoning authority to regulate the types of residential buildings that can be built within the Town or the subdivision of lots, it does have the authority to regulate setbacks (front, rear, and side), building height, mass, lot coverage, impervious surface, parking, water drainage, and tree canopy.  

Residents Encouraged to Comment on Prospect of Building Multi-Family Housing By Right in the Town 

Because both initiatives, Thrive and the Attainable Housing recommendations, are slated to be voted on by the County Council this fall, the Town Council wants to hear from you soon. Residents are encouraged to email their questions, concerns, and suggestions to townoffice@townofchevychase.org




Columbus Day Holiday


The Town office will be closed on Columbus Day, Monday, October 11. Household trash and yard waste will be collected as usual. 




13th Annual Thanksgiving Dinner Baskets Fundraiser

October 1 to October 30


The COVID-19 pandemic has created hardship for many families throughout our county.  According to Manna Food Center, food insecurity has nearly doubled since the onset of the coronavirus.  The Town’s Thanksgiving effort is more important that ever.  Here’s how we can help 100 MCPS families this holiday season.

Drop off/mail a check payable to YMCA-YFS or Giant or Aldi gift cards to Georgia Guhin (4006 Rosemary Street, Chevy Chase, MD 20815) October 1 - 30.  If you would like us to pick up your donation, please contact one of us below.  Your donation will help purchase a $75 food card for each of the 100 families.  Additional funds raised will go toward extra gift cards.  100% of your donation will support MCPS families in need.  The YMCA is not able to accept online donations for this special project.  You will receive an acknowledgement of your donation from the YMCA.

Have questions?  Send an email to Georgia Guhin at gbguhin@gmail.com; Bridget Hartman at bridget@hartmanjr.net; Katie Vita at katie.vita@gmail.com; or the Town Office at townoffice@townofchevychase.org.




Discussion and Desserts with Jeffrey Selingo

Monday, October 25, 7:30 p.m., Town Hall and via Zoom


Journalist and higher education expert Jeffrey Selingo will discuss his newest book, Who Gets In and Why: a Year Inside College Admissions.  From the author’s website: “Published in September 2020, it was named among the 100 Notable Books of the year by the New York Times.  It takes readers on a journey through the selection process from inside three admissions offices (Emory, Davidson, and the University of Washington), revealing what really matters to the gatekeepers and how the ultimate decision is often based on a college’s priorities.”  The book will be available for purchase.  This event is sponsored by the Community Relations Committee.

RSVP to townoffice@townofchevychase.org or 301-654-7144 and indicate whether you want to attend the event in person or obtain a Zoom link.  Space is limited for this event.  Montgomery County regulations require masks to be worn when not eating or drinking. 




Fall Book Club Meetings

Monday, November 1, 7 p.m. 


We are making some changes to the Town of Chevy Chase Book Club.  We will meet on Mondays rather than on Sundays and schedule about 6 weeks in between meetings.  Join us on Monday, November 1 at 7 p.m. to discuss The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw.  These prize-winning short stories explore the secrets of nine black women navigating the mess of real life within the strictures of the church.  Funny but poignant.  We are hoping to meet in person in November, with location to be announced.  If you want to join in, email townoffice@townofchevychase.org to receive the event information (or the Zoom link).  This event is sponsored by the Community Relations Committee.

Save the date for the Town of Chevy Chase Book Club’s next meeting on Monday, December 6 at 7 p.m.  We will be reading A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.  




What's Happening @ Chevy Chase at Home?


Stop Wasting Money on Your Utility Bill -- Thursday, October 14, 2021, 2 p.m. until 3 p.m.
Montgomery Energy Connection will discuss the two main ways to keep money in your pocket. Hosted by Chevy Chase At Home. Register to receive the Zoom link here.




2021-2023 Parking Permit Renewals 

New Instructions for Decal Placement


The extension of the 2018-2020 parking permits will expire on September 30, 2021.  Parking permits are issued only for cars belonging to residents who live on a street within a designated permit parking area.  A permit parking map is available on the Town website.  

If you are renewing permits or registering vehicles for the first time, simply complete the form on the Town website under Quick Links.  If registering for the first time, you must provide a copy of the car registration and proof of residency (if the car is not registered at a Town address) with the completed form.  If you need assistance, please contact the Town office at 301-654-7144.  In addition to parking permits, one guest permit will be issued per household.  Residents may request a second guest pass.  

There will be a change in the placement of parking permits in the coming term.  The parking permit should be permanently affixed on the left rear (driver’s side) bumper of the vehicle so as to facilitate the frequent checks made by the Town’s parking enforcement officers.  The guest permit should be placed on the dashboard of the visitor’s car and retrieved after the visit.  Vehicles that do not display the most recent decals or guest passes will be ticketed.




Town Council Approves Office Reopening Plan


The Town Council has approved an office reopening plan that will provide dedicated, in-person assistance to residents while also allowing Town staff the opportunity to continue to telework on selected days.  In October, staff will be available in the office on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  Town office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  There may be a staff member to assist you on other days, but please contact the Town office in advance to schedule a time.  Residents can contact the Town office at 301-654-7144 or at townoffice@townofchevychase.org.




New Gas-Powered Blower Regulations


The Town Council has approved new regulations of gas-powered blowers.  The regulations are in response to resident concerns about noise and other impacts of this type of landscaping equipment.  Specifically, they 1) expand quiet hours during which the use of gas-powered blowers is prohibited (gas-powered leaf blowers may not be used before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m. on weekdays and before noon or after 6 p.m. on weekends and holidays) and 2) implement a ban on the use of gas-powered blowers from January 1 through October 14, effective in 2022.  The regulations exempt gas-powered snow blowers and sprayers and do not include a total ban of gas-powered blowers.  Montgomery County noise regulations also remain in effect in the Town.




Battery-Powered Blower Rebate Program


The Town Council has approved a rebate program for battery-powered blowers and related equipment that is intended to reduce the noise from landscaping activities.  Residents may request a rebate for half the cost of the purchase of a battery-powered blower, batteries, and chargers, up to a maximum rebate of $200 per household.  The equipment may be purchased by a resident or by a contractor for use in landscaping activities on the resident’s property.  The Council approved $30,000 to fund the program in this fiscal year.  More information about the program and an application form can be found here.




Climate & Environment Tip of the Month

Healthy Lawns Without Synthetic Chemical Pesticides


  • Mow your lawn or have your contractor mow your lawn with the mower set as high as possible, thus allowing your grass to grow high and shade out weeds.
  • Use a mulching mower, returning the resulting finely chopped grass clippings to your lawn, where they will greatly reduce any need to apply fertilizers.  
  • Consider aerating and overseeding your lawn in late summer/early fall.  Now!
  • Apply any fertilizer consistent with the MD State fertilizer law (e.g., no application between November 15 and March 1).
  • If you want to use a pesticide for cosmetic purposes, use an approved and appropriately labeled organic substance.
  • For the future, consider reducing the size of your lawn, converting some or all to more ecologically diverse and productive vegetation.

More information on organic lawn care and approved organic pesticides is available on the County’s website.  The Climate and Environment Committee also is planning an event to inform and assist with organic lawn care.




Stay Informed


Residents are encouraged to connect with the Town through the Town Crier email alert system and with fellow residents through the private Town Neighbors listserv.  For information on how to join the Town Neighbors listserv, please email townneighbors+owner@groups.io.  Both resources offer an important way to stay informed and in touch.




Important Phone Numbers


Click here for a list of important phone numbers.  In case of emergencies, always call 911.




Upcoming Meetings & Events


Click here to view the Town calendar.


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Weekly Town Updates are now available. Contact the Town Office at 301 -654-7144 or townoffice@townofchevychase.org for more information.

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Weekly Town Updates are now available. Contact the Town Office at 301 -654-7144 or townoffice@townofchevychase.org for more information.