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The Town Council recently approved a master concept plan for the redevelopment of Zimmerman Park. The Council believes this plan responds to what residents have asked for and is realistic, considering the significant utility infrastructure underneath the park that cannot be disturbed or built upon. The plan includes improved drainage, a small play area, exercise equipment, a bocce ball court, picnic tables, and a lawn area with a fence that can be fully connected as a complete oval when, on an occasional basis, the grounds will be used as a dog exercise area. Residents may review the following documents related to this project:
-- Zimmerman Park Concept Plan
-- Cost Estimate, Project Timeline, and Conceptual Images
On November 13, the Town held a “Walkinar” in Zimmerman Park for Town residents to understand and discuss the extent and location of the proposed improvements. Another in-person “Walkinar” will take place on Saturday, December 4 at 1 p.m. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On November 29 at 6 p.m. by Zoom video conference, the Town will hold a public forum to answer residents’ questions and receive resident feedback about the planned improvements. If you are unable to attend the forum, you may submit comments on the plan to email@example.com.
Following these public meetings, the Council intends to hold a public hearing at its December 8 meeting before making a final decision about proceeding with the redevelopment plan.
Instructions to join the public forum and Council meeting are below.
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 December 8 at 5:30 p.m. via Zoom video conference, the Town Council will hold a public forum to discuss and hear from residents about a proposal to lower the voting age to 16 for residents who wish to participate in Town elections. Residents are encouraged to listen to the presentations given by Mayors from other municipalities in Maryland that have lowered the voting age to 16 and view a presentation to the Town Council given by resident Andreas Geffert. Following the December 8 public forum, the Council will decide at its regular meeting that same evening whether to introduce a resolution to implement this change to Town election laws. If the Council introduces the resolution, a public hearing will be scheduled at the January 12 Council meeting.
At the request of the Council, the Town recently conducted a traffic study on Maple Avenue between Aspen Street and East West Highway. Some of the findings and Council actions to date are outlined below:
The Town measured traffic speeds in both blocks of Maple Avenue (between Aspen Street and Blackthorn Street and between Blackthorn Street and East West Highway).
-- On the block of Maple Avenue between Aspen Street and Blackthorn Street, traffic speed and volumes met the threshold for the installation of a speed hump under the Town’s speed hump installation policy. The Town traffic engineer reviewed the road alignment and found that there is an appropriate location for a hump to be installed. At its December 8 meeting, the Town Council will hold a public hearing on a proposed speed hump in this block. More information on this hearing will be included in the Council’s December meeting agenda.
-- Traffic speeds and volume on the block of Maple Avenue between Blackthorn Street and East West Highway did not meet the threshold for the installation of a speed hump. If the Council finds that there are extenuating circumstances to support installation of a speed hump in this block, the alignment of the street supports the installation.
Maple Avenue/Aspen Street Entry Restriction
Do Not Enter 4-6 PM, Monday – Friday signage is posted on northbound Maple Avenue at Aspen Street to prevent traffic from accessing East West Highway during evening rush hour. The traffic study showed that approximately 50 to 60 cars per hour do not heed the posted entry restriction and travel through the intersection. Approximately 90 cars per hour make the legal right turn onto Aspen Street. At its December 8 meeting, the Town Council will discuss removing the entry restriction on Maple Avenue at Aspen Street in conjunction with other possible traffic calming measures.
Maple Avenue/East West Highway Entry Restriction
Vehicles are always prohibited from turning onto Maple Avenue from East West Highway. The traffic study showed that an average of 23 cars per day enter Maple Avenue from either eastbound or westbound East West Highway. The Town traffic engineer recommends installing a physical barrier to discourage these illegal turning movements. At the request of the Council, Town staff has reached out to the State Highway Administration (SHA) to request their traffic engineers evaluate options for the installation of such a barrier, which would need to be located within the SHA right-of-way.
On November 16, the County Council was given a presentation about the Thrive Montgomery 2050 (Thrive) Draft Plan by the Director of County Planning, Gwen Wright, and the Chair of the County Planning Board, Casey Anderson. Preliminary statements given during the meeting indicated that a majority (6-3) of Councilmembers, including our District 1 representative Councilmember Andrew Friedson, support the Thrive Plan.
On November 30, the County Council will hold a Listening Session. Residents are encouraged to sign up for the Listening Session (scroll down to the last calendar item on the page), read the County Executive's letter to the County Council about Thrive, and read the County's Office of Management & Budget report on Thrive, which is required by law to be produced.
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, five decisions have been made by the County Planning Board that would impact residential buildings within the Town.
1. Establish "Priority Housing Districts" for larger multi-family housing types. The entire Town would be in a Priority Housing District, defined as an area within 1 mile "as the crow flies" of a Metro or Purple Line station and/or within 500 feet of major roads (which include Connecticut and Wisconsin Avenues).
2. Allow "house-scaled" duplexes, triplexes, and quadplexes to be built by-right on all lots in the Town (the County would also reduce parking requirements for quadplexes in Priority Housing Districts)
3. In order to obtain a permit from the County, builders would need to follow a Pattern Book for constructing a duplex, triplex, or quadplex.
4. Create a new optional method of development that would allow townhouses and small apartment buildings (containing up to 19 units) to be built on properties that abut Connecticut Avenue.
5. Maximum density of 13 units per acre.
On December 9, the Planning Staff plans to review the draft Attainable Housing Strategies report that will go to the County Council for approval. The draft report will be posted on the Planning Board's website on December 2, and the community is invited to submit written comments to the Planning Board at firstname.lastname@example.org.
County residents are also invited to attend a virtual meeting on December 13 at 7 p.m. During the meeting, Planning staff will share the Planning Board’s Attainable Housing Strategies recommendations and next steps for the initiative, as well as hold a question-and-answer session after the presentation. Register here as RSVPs are required.
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 are encouraged to email their questions, concerns, and suggestions about Attainable Housing to email@example.com.
The Town office will be closed for the Thanksgiving Holiday on Thursday, November 25, and Friday, November 26. Household trash will not be collected on Thanksgiving Day but will be collected on your next regularly scheduled trash day.
On Monday, November 29, starting at 7 a.m., East Avenue between Bradley Lane and Ridge Street will be closed to remove a hazardous tree. The street will be open as soon as possible upon completion of the work, but the closure may last until 5 p.m. that day. Please plan to use alternate routes. If you have any questions, please contact the Town office at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 301-654-7144.
Leaf vacuuming will continue through mid-December. 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 leaf collection schedule is available here.
During the leaf collection season, the Town’s contractor will use battery-powered blowers whenever feasible. However, if the weight or volume of leaves becomes too great, the contractor will need to use one or more gas-powered blowers in order to maintain the collection schedule.
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.
Please help the men, women and children who depend on Interfaith Works Clothing Center to keep them warm. They provide free clothing to 13,000 income-qualified residents each year, including nearly 6,000 children. Please donate clean, gently used or never used warm coats, gloves, mittens, scarves, hats, sweaters, pants, and socks to those in need. 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). This project is sponsored by the Community Relations Committee.
This is the 9th annual Holiday Gift Card Drive! It’s when Town residents purchase gift cards to be given to needy 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. It’s a wonderful way to brighten the holidays for these families. There are two donation options: gift cards in denominations from $10 to $50 for stores such as Target, Marshalls, Kohl's, Ross, and Giant or checks made out to MCFJC Foundation. You can mail your donation to the Town Office at 4301 Willow Lane. You can also drop it off at 7624 Lynn Drive in the basket in the carport or at 7203 Ridgewood Avenue in the mailbox. (To receive an acknowledgment for tax purposes, be sure to include your name and e-mail address.) Gift cards and checks will be collected through December 20 but will be accepted gratefully at any time of year. Our town has contributed generously to this cause in the past, and we look forward to another very successful campaign! This drive is sponsored by the Community Relations Committee.
The Town of Chevy Chase Book Club is meeting IN PERSON on Monday, December 6 at 7:00 p.m. in the Town Hall to discuss A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. Wine and snacks will be on offer. Save the date for our next meeting on January 24 when we will discuss Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro. COVID protocols observed.
Since 2017, millions have joined the global #MeToo movement, catalyzing an unprecedented wave of women’s activism powered by technology that crosses borders, races, religions, and economic divides. Join us on Thursday, December 9 at 7 p.m. via Zoom as Rachel Vogelstein discusses her new book Awakening: #MeToo and the Global Right for Women’s Rights. Rachel, senior advisor to the White House Gender Policy Council, will discuss the trajectory of the movement internationally and where it stands today. Please RSVP to email@example.com or 301-654-7144.
The Community Relations Committee invites residents of all ages to walk through the Town whilst singing the songs of the season for residents who could use some holiday cheer. We'll gather at the Town Hall before beginning our "sing and walk" around the neighborhood. We'll stop at the front of designated homes and sing from a list of songs that will be sent in advance. The route will end at the Town Hall for a small fete of hot apple cider and cookies.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by December 15 if you are interested in either joining the singing troupe or would like to nominate a neighbor (or yourself) as a designated stop. Please include the resident's name and address, and we'll try to include as many as possible. The final route map will be distributed to all residents on December 17, and the rain date will be December 20.
Navigating Life's Journey: Financial and Legal Planning for Future Healthcare Needs -- Friday, December 03, 2021, 1 to 2:30 p.m.This will be the second event of our new "Navigating Life's Journey" series, in which you will learn how to navigate your options for each stage of aging. In this session, a panel of experts will discuss how to ensure your future plans for aging in place (or anywhere else) are on firm financial and legal footing. Topics include long-term care insurance, financial planning, advanced directives, and issues in elder law like medical and financial power of attorney. No fee. Registration is required. A Zoom event.
Travels with Jan: Patagonia and Rapa Nui -- Monday, December 6, 2021, 1 to 2 p.m.Join intrepid traveler and CC@H volunteer Jan Augustine as she relives some of her most memorable trips in a series of Zoom presentations. This month she will take us to South America, sharing photos from Patagonia and Rapa Nui (Easter Island). No fee. Registration is required. A Zoom event
CC@H Guest Speaker: Ambassador Elizabeth Davenport McKune on "A Closer Look at the Arabian Gulf" -- Friday, December 10, 2021, 1:00 PM until 2:00 PMAmbassador Elizabeth Davenport McKune, former U.S. Ambassador to the State of Qatar (1998-2001) and an expert on the Persian Gulf, will speak about her experience in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Oman. No Fee. Registration is required. A Zoom event.
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 offers 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.
Reducing unnecessary electricity use is one of the best ways to reduce your home's environmental footprint. For example, at our Fall 2021 Trash & Treasures, Montgomery County hosted a “Lighten Up” booth to encourage the use of energy-efficient LED bulbs. Next on your list could be switching your household to renewable electricity supply. This will reduce harmful emissions, support the conversion away from fossil fuel-produced electricity and help the County achieve its goal of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2027 and 100% by 2035. Here are some quick tips for making the change:
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 visit. Residents can contact the Town office at 301-654-7144 or at email@example.com.
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.
Click here to view the Town calendar.