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At its October 13 meeting, the Town Council discussed a possible financial contribution to the parks creation project as part of the redevelopment of the Farm Women’s Market site. The Council unanimously agreed to propose contributing 25% of the public funds needed for the park project, up to a maximum of $4 million, and discussed conditions related to this contribution. (As of June 30, 2021, the Town had an unrestricted fund balance of over $10 million.). The Town Council will hold a public hearing on this proposal at its November 10 meeting.
The parks project includes the cost of constructing an underground garage behind the current market and the creation of parks above that garage and on the lot between Leland and Walsh streets. It does not include the refurbishment and expansion of the Farm Women’s Market building or land, which is being financed separately by the developers and fees collected from other development in Bethesda. It is expected that the County will be the primary source of public funds for this project. The project also will receive a $7 million payment from the developers for the right to build a seven-story building on a portion of the lot behind the current market. The total cost of the park project has not been finalized, but it could be in the range of $20 - $25 million, which, after subtracting the contribution from the developers, would leave $13 - $18 million in public funds to come from the County and Town.
At the October meeting, the Council also discussed proposed conditions related to the contribution, including the commitment of funds by all parties to build both parks in their entirety; establishment of the parks in perpetuity; a community engagement process by the developers and the Parks Department on park amenities; Town involvement in ongoing decisions regarding the regulations and programming of the parks; and County/Parks Department responsibility for ongoing maintenance of the parks.
The Council agreed to communicate this proposal to Town residents, invite further public comment this month, and hold a public hearing on the proposal in November. In September and October, the Town held three listening sessions to hear from residents about this proposal and to answer questions.
Last month, 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 buyers outlining the Town's primary interests to be considered as plans are developed and discussions proceed. And on October 5, the Town’s real estate advisors and Town staff met with the buyers to discuss process issues and the content of the Town’s letter in more detail. At this meeting, the purchasers informed us that they intend to develop conceptual plans and to present those plans for our review later this fall.
We encourage all residents to listen and participate as we learn more about the redevelopment plans for the 4-H property.
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 heard a presentation and discussed a request for ARPA funds from Wonders Early Learning at Leland. The Council agreed to schedule a public hearing on this request at its November 10 meeting. More information on the request will be included in the November Forecast newsletter.
Eligible Uses of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funds
The Town Council asked our Town Attorney for guidance regarding legitimate uses of ARPA money, as set out in the Treasury regulations and commentary. The Council would like to share this memo with residents. We also hope this will be responsive to a request we received from a resident, who asked that such a memo be made available so that residents considering ideas for how these funds might be used would also be aware of what programs or projects might or might not be legitimate.
On October 20, the County’s Commission on Redistricting selected its preferred boundary map for the newly established 7 districts that will elect County Councilmembers in 2022, as compared to the current 5 districts. (The number of at-large Councilmembers remains unchanged at 4.) The map reflects that the Town and other nearby Chevy Chase communities will remain in the same district that includes Bethesda and Friendship Heights, as was requested in a letter to the Commission from a coalition of Chevy Chase municipalities. 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.
At its October 13 meeting, the Council approved two ordinances related to climate and environmental protection. The Council approved an amendment to the Town’s Urban Forest Ordinance to add 11 species to the list of trees protected under the ordinance. The Town’s Climate and Environment Committee recommended expanding the protected tree list for several reasons, including broad community interest in maintaining a healthy tree canopy and protecting additional native trees. The Council also approved an ordinance to adopt the County’s Pesticides Law. The ordinance applies the County’s law in the Town and prohibits homeowners and contractors from using synthetic pesticides for cosmetic purposes on lawns. The Town’s Climate and Environment Committee also recommended that the Town adopt this County law because restricting the use of pesticides protects local waterways and promotes a healthier environment for ourselves, our pets, and pollinators. The Climate and Environment Committee plans several activities to publicize the pesticide ban, and the Committee has already begun to educate Town residents on alternative ways to maintain and beautify their lawns.
On October 25 at 6 p.m. via Zoom video conference, the Town Council will hold a public forum to discuss and consider whether to lower the voting age to 16 for residents who wish to vote in Town elections. Several mayors and chairs of neighboring municipalities that have lowered the voting age to 16 will be at the forum to discuss their experiences with doing so. City of Takoma Park Mayor Kate Stewart will present a PowerPoint slideshow at the meeting, and Town resident Andreas Geffert, who made the initial request to lower the Town's voting age, also will make a PowerPoint presentation. There will be an opportunity at the forum for resident questions. Below is the Zoom link to join the meeting.
Join Onlinehttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/3016547144?pwd=NnJvS1BpM3ZkSFA4bXBwbWZhWVM2UT09Meeting ID: 301 654 7144Passcode: 6547144
Join by Phone(301) 715-8592Meeting ID: 301 654 7144Passcode: 6547144
On October 13, the County Council's Planning, Housing, and Economic Development (PHED) Committee held its eighth work session on the Thrive Montgomery 2050 (Thrive) Draft Plan. Thus far, the committee has made some minor updates to each of the chapters of the Draft Plan and received a presentation based on the report issued by the County's Office of Management & Budget (OMB). Click here to read the OMB report, which is required by law to be produced. There is one more work session (which has not been scheduled yet) before the PHED Committee sends the Draft Plan to the full County Council for consideration..
The County Planning Board is operating under the assumption that the principles of Thrive (i.e., compact growth or urbanism) will be passed by the County Council this fall. Therefore, the County Planning Department is currently preparing a Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) to change the zoning in single-family neighborhoods.
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 (if adopted by the County Council). 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, Priority Housing District, AHOM Parcels: Abut Corridor).
Thus far, four decisions have been made by the County Planning Board that would impact residential buildings within the Town.
On November 4, the Planning Board will continue its discussions addressing the issues of affordability, displacement, subdivision, tree canopy, parking, and pattern books that would be provided to builders so that they can be granted permits for building a duplex, triplex, and quadplex without additional oversight by the County.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leaf vacuuming will begin on Monday, October 25. Please rake leaves to the edge of the curb -- not into the street -- for collection. Leaves must be free of debris such as sticks, bottles, and rocks. The Town’s contractor will use battery-powered leaf blowers again this year to help reduce the noise associated with this service. The leaf collection schedule is available here.
If you or your landscape company will be using gas-powered leaf blowers this fall, please follow the Town’s quiet hours schedule and refrain from using them before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m. on weekdays and before 12 p.m. or after 6 p.m. on weekends and holidays.
It’s not too late to donate toward the purchase of food gift cards for the 13th Annual Town Thanksgiving Dinner effort.
Georgia Guhin’s mail slot at 4006 Rosemary Street, Chevy Chase, MD 20815 is open 24/7 for mail and contactless drop-off. Please make checks payable to YMCA-YFS. Send an email to the Town Office at email@example.com if you prefer to arrange for someone to stop by to pick up your donation.
Food insecurity remains a persistent challenge for many families in Montgomery County. Rising grocery prices have only exacerbated the strain on family budgets. Thank you to the many neighbors who have already contributed to the Town’s effort this year to help 100 MCPS families this Thanksgiving season.
Update: This event will be held on Zoom only. There will not be an in-person event.
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.” A link will be provided where the book will be available for purchase. This event is brought to you by the Community Relations Committee.
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-654-7144 to obtain the Zoom link.
On Friday, October 29 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Town streets immediately surrounding Chevy Chase Elementary School will be closed intermittently to accommodate the CCES Color Run/Walk for the Cause.
Portions of Rosemary Circle, Valley Place, Rosemary Street, Meadow Lane, Beechwood Drive and Hillcrest Drive will be closed. During these street closures, Woodside Place residents will have limited access. CCES will provide monitors at each intersection to assist in providing access to residents who live on those streets and to emergency vehicles.
Every year from, November to February, the Community Relations Committee of the Town of Chevy Chase sponsors a Winter Clothing Drive for those in need. We donate to Interfaith Works who distribute to 13,000 income-qualified county residents, including nearly 6,000 children. Please donate clean, gently used, or never worn items: coats, gloves, mittens, scarves, hats, sweaters, pants, and socks. Also needed is waterproof warm winter wear for those who are outside in the cold rain or snow.
Since the Town Hall is still open only part time, the clothing box will be located on the front porch of Marjorie Shaw and Barney Rush, at 6917 Maple Avenue (between Stanford and Pine Place).
Hurray! The Town of Chevy Chase Book Club is meeting IN PERSON on Monday, November 1 at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall 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. Wine and snacks will facilitate the discussion. COVID protocols observed. 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.
Turn back your clocks and come join your neighbors for coffee and sweets (to be provided) on Sunday, November 7, 9-10 a.m. in the Town Hall (Feel free to bring your own coffee mug!). If you are a baker and would like to contribute home-made baked goods, let us know at email@example.com. COVID protocols observed.
Missed seeing the Academy Award winning movies of 2020? Here’s your chance to catch up! Join us on Friday, November 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the Town Hall to watch Minari, which follows a Korean-American family that moves to an Arkansas farm in search of their own American Dream. It received six Academy Award nominations and won for Best Supporting Actor. Seating is limited, so please RSVP soon to firstname.lastname@example.org. COVID protocols observed.
Whether 5 years old or 95 years old, the pandemic has affected us all in big and small ways. If you (or your child) created or wishes to create a painting, poem, sculpture, musical composition, or other artistic expression that reflects how you have shown resiliency or faced the pandemic, the Community Relations Committee would be interested in learning more about your creation. Depending on the interest, the Town may hold an exhibition. Please describe your creation or take a photo and send it to email@example.com. Responses appreciated by December 1.
It’s time for the 9th annual Holiday Gift Card Drive! Town residents purchase gift cards to be given to Montgomery County families who are victims of domestic violence. The adult beneficiaries are clients of the Montgomery County Family Justice Center, and the children are clients of Chesapeake Counseling. There are two donation options: 1) gift cards in denominations from $10 to $50 for stores such as Target, Marshalls, Kohl's, Ross, and Giant or 2) checks made out to MCFJC Foundation. Please deliver your donation to the Town Office or mail it to 4301 Willow Lane, Chevy Chase, MD 20815. To receive an acknowledgment for tax purposes, be sure to include your name and e-mail address.) Gift cards and checks for the Holiday Gift Drive will be collected through Monday, December 20 but will be accepted gratefully at any time of year. If you have any questions, contact Cathy Wolf at firstname.lastname@example.org or Quynh Tran at email@example.com. As in past years, we ask you to be generous and extend a helping hand to these needy families. Thanks in advance!
Beginning Monday, October 25, the right southbound lane of Wisconsin Ave./MD 355 between Hampden Lane. and Elm Street will be closed, Monday through Saturday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. for demolition of a 5-story building located at 7316 Wisconsin Ave. in Bethesda. Work is expected to be completed by July 1, 2022.
A covered pedestrian walkway will be provided along Wisconsin Avenue between Hampden Lane and Elm street, and signs will direct pedestrian and vehicular traffic through the work zone. For questions, contact Justin Hollier at 202-497-6189 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Doctor Visit -- Tuesday, October 26, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Have you ever left your doctor's office realizing you forgot to ask an important question? As you reflect on the visit on the car ride home, were you frustrated because you didn't fully understand the doctor's instructions? Join Steve Lorberbaum of Assisting Hands Home Care as he talks about how you can prepare to get the most out of your doctor visit. He will cover how to prepare in advance for a visit, how to focus on what is important during the visit and how to share your point of view to get the best outcome from your visit. Hosted by Bethesda Metro Area Village. Register by October 25 by emailing email@example.com.
Looking Further Ahead: Navigating Life's Journey: Building a Life Plan to Age in Place -- Friday, November 5, 1 to 2 p.m.
This will be the first of our new interactive "Navigating Life's Journey" series, in which you will learn how to navigate your options for each stage of aging. In this session, we will discuss how to plan for aging in place. Panelists include Rebecca Bianco, Business Development Manager at Family & Nursing Care; Allyson Butler, Director of Business Development at Smithlife Home Care; Alison Carelli, LCSW-C, Care Manager and Psychotherapist at Aging Network Services; Susy Elder Murphy, BA, CMC, Owner of Debra Levy Eldercare Associates; Debbie Hedges, LCSW-C, Director of Senior Services at the Jewish Social Service Agency; Kathleen McGuinness, CDP, EOL, Director of Community Relations at Smithlife Home Care; and Jihan Starr, Owner of Davenport Senior Connections, LLC Eldercare Consulting and Care. Participants may submit questions to ask anonymously in advance here. Hosted by Chevy Chase At Home in partnership with Charles E. Smith Life Communities and Ingleside. Register in advance on CC@H's event page online. For your convenience, this event will be recorded and sent to all who register in advance.
The extension of the 2018-2020 parking permits expired 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Through the end of the year, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com. Both resources offer an important way to stay informed and in touch.
Click here for a list of important phone numbers. In case of emergencies, always call 911.
Click here to view the Town calendar.