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Friends and neighbors have come 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, touchpoints 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!
Thrive Montgomery 2050 (or “Thrive” for short) is Montgomery County’s general plan update. The County Council will hold two Public Hearings (on June 17 and June 29), deliberate on Thrive in July, and will likely vote on its passage in the fall after its summer recess. The Town Council encourages residents to voice their opinions on Thrive directly to the County Council. Thrive promotes compact growth or urbanism, which means increased residential housing in 32 designated “activity centers” and along designated “growth corridors.” The Town is near both an "activity center" (Bethesda) and located along designated "growth corridors" (Connecticut & Wisconsin Avenues).
The intent is to redevelop these 32 activity centers into “complete communities” that would be walkable, contain varied retail and housing options, public facilities, and open spaces. These 32 activity centers would be connected along growth corridors with more public transit options. One of the driving principles of Thrive is the presumption that the County must build 63,000 new housing units by 2040 and that they must be built in existing neighborhoods to avoid sprawl, minimize environmental impacts, and support healthy social interaction. If successfully implemented, Thrive will be transformational for Montgomery County and the Town.
Planning Board Will Deliver Set of Residential Zoning Changes to Implement Thrive
At the same time that the County Council will be discussing Thrive, the Planning Board will have delivered a set of recommendations (that were requested by the County Council) to increase density by changing residential zoning in designated activity centers and along designated growth corridors. Even though these are two initiatives, they are running in parallel and are closely interrelated. Put simply, Thrive is the vision and residential zoning changes are the action.
The Planning Board's recommendations will be to allow duplexes, triplexes, and quadplexes to be built, by right, in existing single-family neighborhoods and even higher density along designated growth corridors on lots that face Connecticut Avenue. County officials acknowledge that these new housing units will not be “affordable housing” but instead will sell or rent at prevailing market rates. Because both initiatives, Thrive and the Planning Board's recommendations, will be voted on by the County Council this fall, it is imperative that residents voice their opinions to the County Council.
Please use your voice and email County Councilmembers about Thrive by June 29.
Councilmember Ericson will host various Emails with Ellen social events where residents can come together to connect, discuss questions, share opinions, and write emails to the County Council about Thrive Montgomery 2050, Montgomery County's general plan update. Emails with Ellen will be held on Monday, June 14 at 5 p.m.; Tuesday, June 22 at 5 p.m.; and Sunday, June 27 at 3 p.m. Please RSVP to email@example.com for a Zoom link.
Have you decided against growing roses because you thought they would be too much work and/or you didn’t want to use chemical sprays? Have you avoided rosé wines because you associated them with the Mateus Rosé you drank years ago? Good news: you can grow stress and chemical-free roses, and you can drink exceptionally good rosé wine. Here’s information on these two informative and fun talks:
Growing Healthy Roses: 5-5:45 p.m.: Master Gardener Carol Edwards will describe favorite, easy-care roses grown without using synthetic chemicals. She will share tips for keeping them healthy without the fuss and bother that so many gardeners assume roses require. Carol, First Vice President of the Potomac Rose Society, has been growing roses in Washington for over 20 years.
Rosés: 5:45-6:30 p.m.: Join Amanda Page, DWS (Diploma in Wine and Spirits), for a virtual tasting and discussion about this style of wine. We are fortunate to bring back Amanda for the 3rd time. Learn production methods and variety of styles that make these wines a refreshing delight. You can order two rosés online from Magruder’s for pickup and receive a 10% discount by using “TCC” as the code. The wines are Chateau L’Escarelle June 21st Rosé ($15.99) and Pala Chiaro di Stelle Rosé ($14.99).
The Zoom link is available here.
Popular demand brings back 2 games for kids -- and adds on a game for adults.
Friday, June 11: Grownup’s game session of Wits & Wagers, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.: This is a team game for up to 20 players. Wits & Wagers is a trivia game that lets you bet on anyone's answer, so you can win by making educated guesses, by playing the odds, or by knowing the interests of your friends. It can be taught in 2 minutes, played in 25 minutes, and accommodates up to 20 people in teams.
Saturday, June 12: Session 1: Spyfall, 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.; Session 2: Code Names, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.: We have arranged for two game rooms for the age range of 8-13 years old. Each session will last one hour, and more information about the games is available on the Town calendar.
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the Zoom link. Please let us know if you are signing up your child (give your child’s preferred game and age) or yourself.
Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream truck will be in the Lawton Center parking lot from 12 to 2 p.m. The ‘not quite back to full size’ Rockville Concert Band will begin playing at 1 p.m. Bring your blankets, folding chairs, a picnic basket if you wish, your water bottles -- and settle down for a small, but happy, 4th of July celebration. The wonderful video of the reading of the Declaration of Independence created last year with lots of help from Scout Troop 255, Town residents and the Community Relations Committee can be viewed here.
Each year in June, the Town Council begins the process of seeking volunteers for the Town’s committees and filling vacancies on the Town’s boards and commission. We encourage you to consider volunteering for one of these bodies so we can involve as many residents as possible in Town affairs.
If you are interested in volunteering to serve on any of the Town’s committees, boards, or commission, please submit a brief note to the Town Office by June 25, 2021. Your correspondence may be submitted by e-mail to email@example.com and should include your name, address, telephone number, e-mail address and a few sentences about why you would like to serve on that particular body.
The Town Council extends a special thanks to all of you who have served on one of these bodies over the past year. The dedication of your time and talents provides an invaluable resource to the Town and continues to strengthen and improve our community.
Now that traffic is beginning to return to pre-pandemic levels, and in response to increased parking-related complaints, the Town has asked police to step up enforcement and issue citations to vehicles not displaying a valid parking permit. All vehicles within a permit parking area must display a purple permit parking decal or guest pass with an expiration date of September 30, 2020. Any resident who lives in a permit parking area and acquires a new vehicle should contact the Town office to request a permit parking sticker and guest pass. For more information, please contact the Town Office at 301-654-7144.
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 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.
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. More information about the program and an application form can be found here.
The Town has resumed support for community block parties that comply with all applicable public health regulations. If residents wish to organize a party with their neighbors, the Town offers a subsidy to cover non-alcohol expenses. More information and the block party application are available here.
As a reminder, in addition to permits for new houses and additions, the Town requires permits for new and replacement driveways, new and replacement fences, walls, pools, and other improvements. The Land Use Committee created a helpful resource to assist residents in determining if a project requires a permit. The Unofficial Land Use Handbook outlines the local rules that govern development activities in the Town of Chevy Chase. It is intended to provide residents with an easy-to-use, non-technical manual explaining the basic Town requirements relevant to construction and landscaping activities on your property.
Please note that this is an unofficial guide, which does not attempt to provide or substitute for the full legal detail contained in the Town code. For the specific and full legal requirements governing development in the Town, please don’t hesitate to contact the Town Staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 301-654-7144.
Only 1 in 5 Town residents is using the free weekly compost service (curbside pickup). The Town uses our tax dollars to pay for it. There's no direct cost to you if you use the service, and no additional cost to the Town if more residents participate. Why not take advantage?
The EPA estimates that in 2018, only 4 percent of wasted food was composted (2.6 million tons). Food waste in our landfills is a major source of methane gas that contributes strongly to global warming. Composting is easy and a great lesson for kids in how to care for our earth.
Visit The Compost Crew's website to sign up for the free weekly compost service. You can compost almost anything that is 100% from plants and animals, including food scraps, coffee grounds and filters, used paper towels and napkins, other paper (though newspaper, cardboard and other relatively clean paper is probably best recycled), cut flowers and small amounts of yard and garden waste, and even wool and cotton fabric. For specific questions about what to compost and how to participate, visit www.compostcrew.com. For further questions, contact Christina Files at email@example.com.
The Town office has received complaints about the improper disposal of dog waste. The Town has installed numerous dog waste stations in Town. A map can be found here. We appreciate your cooperation in addressing this issue.
The Town office has received calls from residents complaining that dog owners do not observe the County's leash law. Please remember that your dog should always be on a leash being held by a person when not in a fenced portion of your yard. Even generally well-behaved dogs off leash can be threatening to pedestrians and other dogs on leash. Please observe this law so that everyone can enjoy walks through the Town with or without their dogs.
Town staff continues on a telework schedule through the end of June. Residents who need to drop off materials to the Town office may use the mailbox located outside the front door to the Town Hall. We will try to process all permits and other applications in a timely manner. Phone calls and email are being monitored and answered as usual.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Both resources offer an important way to stay informed and in touch.
The Town website provides links to official resources for more information on coronavirus preparedness and response.
Click here for a list of important phone numbers. In case of emergencies, always call 911.
Click here to view the Town calendar.