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5/22/2020 4:36:32 PM
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Weekly Town Updates -- May 22, 2020

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Town Events, Staff Telework Schedule, and Updates Related to COVID-19 

Due to the ongoing public health crisis and Governor Hogan's stay-at-home order, the Town will not host any events through the end of May.  Town staff is currently on a telework schedule.  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 will be monitored as usual.  In addition, the Jane Lawton Recreation Center remains closed until further notice.  For current Montgomery County closures, please check here

Residents are encouraged to connect with the Town and fellow residents by signing up for the Town Crier email alert system and 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, especially during times like these.  The Town website also provides links to official resources for more information on coronavirus preparedness and response. 



COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Order in Effect Until Local Conditions Improve

Click here for a press release issued on May 15 by Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich regarding the COVID-19 stay-at-home order. 



Memorial Day

The Town Office will be closed on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25.  Household trash will not be collected that day but will be collected on your next regularly scheduled trash day.  Yard trash will be collected on Tuesday, May 26.



 Please Use "Lotsa Helping Hands" -- Let's Be Safe Seniors

Wicca Davidson has set up two systems to assist with shopping for those who are sheltering in place.  There is a website that connects those who need a few items from a grocery or other store, with a neighbor who is going shopping. 

In addition, there is a system where neighborly volunteers shop weekly/biweekly for one or two households.  If you do not have internet access, or need assistance with either shopping system, please call Wicca directly at 301-980-5596.  If you would like to volunteer, send an email to wicca@wiccadavidson.com. 



Utility Work Update

Next week, a contractor for Washington Gas will begin making repairs to concrete damaged during the gas main replacement project.  On Tuesday, May 26, the contractor is scheduled to work on Lynn Drive and in the 7600 block of Maple Avenue.



Council Listening Sessions in June

Councilmember Irene Lane will conduct two one-hour "How Can We Help?" listening sessions by videoconference to hear directly from residents on what you love about the Town, what you need, and what you may like to change.  Sessions will be held on June 3 at 9 a.m. and June 24 at 12 p.m.  Please email townoffice@townofchevychase.org with a preferred date to receive a Zoom link.



Public Hearing on Proposed Building Code Changes

At its June 10 meeting, the Town Council will hold a public hearing on proposed amendments to the Town building code.  The amendments clarify existing exceptions to the Town’s side yard setback regulations.  The exceptions allow additions to homes that do not conform to the Town’s required side yard setbacks, provided certain criteria are met.  The proposed changes include:
  • Clarifying the Town’s side yard setback requirements for additions to nonconforming houses on interior lots that are less than seven feet from each side property line.  In these cases, only the walls of the proposed addition are used to calculate the required setbacks.
  • Clarifying the Town’s side yard setback requirements for additions to nonconforming houses on interior lots that are seven feet or more from at least one side property line.  In these cases, the Town allows one wall of the house that is at least seven feet from a side property line to be extended. Only the walls of the proposed addition are used to calculate the required setbacks.
In addition, the proposed amendments clarify that porch and terrace coverings on certain corner lots that have a fifteen-foot front yard setback may not project into that front yard setback.

A complete copy of the ordinance is available for review here.  If you would like to participate in the public hearing, you may join online at https://zoom.us/j/3016547144 or by phone at 301-715-8592.  The Town’s meeting identification number is 301 654 7144.  If you are unable to attend the June Council meeting, you may submit comments to townoffice@townofchevychase.org.



Town Council to Consider Gas-Powered Leaf Blower Ban

At its June 10 meeting, the Town Council will discuss, and consider introduction of, an ordinance to implement a phased-in ban of gas-powered leaf blowers in Town. 

In May, the Town’s Climate and Environment Committee presented a report to the Town Council requesting action to address noise, harmful pollutants, and other impacts from gas-powered leaf blowers.  In response to the Committee’s specific request for a phased-in ban, the Council asked the Town attorney to draft an ordinance to prohibit the use of gas-powered leaf blowers on Sundays, effective September 1, 2020, and to prohibit the use of gas-powered leaf blowers on weekends and federal holidays, effective January 1, 2021.  The Council agreed to consider introduction of the ordinance at the June Council meeting and to hold a public hearing at the July Council meeting. 

At its May meeting, the Council also discussed the Climate and Environment Committee’s proposal to implement a total ban of a gas-powered leaf blowers effective January 1, 2022.  Before considering this specific proposal, the Council agreed to hold a public forum in July to solicit community feedback.  More information on the forum will be included in the July newsletter.



Zimmerman Park Redevelopment Update

In May, the Town Council continued its discussion of redevelopment plans for Zimmerman Park.  The Town’s landscape architect has developed several concept plans for park amenities, including a large multi-use lawn area, a natural playground, a picnic area, and a perimeter fencing system that could be fully enclosed to accommodate occasional off-leash dog events. 

The Council has asked the landscape architect to work with the Town’s civil engineer to develop a final concept plan and to provide a cost estimate for that plan.  The Council will continue its review and consideration of the improvements this summer and will discuss when and how to present the concept plans to the public, including holding a public hearing.



Town Creates List of Quiet and Clean Landscape Services

Several "Quiet and Clean" lawn maintenance companies are now offering services without use of gas-powered leaf blowers -- the noisiest and most polluting landscape maintenance equipment.  Please consider giving them your business.  Residents can view the complete list here.  



Visit the Lee Dennison Garden in Zimmerman Park

Fancy a walk in a garden? Come out to Zimmerman Park and enjoy the 70 species of plantings that are a part of the new Lee Dennison Garden, which spotlights sustainable landscaping design and maintenance methods while providing a Zen space for reflection. 

For your visit, the Dennison Garden committee has prepared some informative garden notes.  You can also explore the new website www.dennisongarden.org to learn more about Lee Dennison and the garden her bequest has created for the Town (photos for each plant will be added over the course of the spring and summer).

As spring emerges, you can observe new growth daily.  For example, the common serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea) is in bloom in the DC area right now.  This native shrub/tree has flowers for pollinators and juicy berries for birds and humans (the berries taste a lot like blueberries). 
 
There are lots of good reasons to plant a Serviceberry in your garden: 
  • tolerates clay soil and air pollution,  
  • has great ornamental value,
  • pretty flowers and beautiful fall color,
  • produces berries, and 
  • good food source for birds.
One caution, this plant can get Cedar apple rust if you plant it close to Junipers which are alternate hosts for the disease.  Rust doesn’t usually kill a Serviceberry, but it tends to appear once the berries are set and makes them inedible.  Learn more about the plant here.  

Please maintain social distancing and please do not let dogs run free in the garden.



Please Prune Overgrown Vegetation

As a reminder, residents are asked to keep all streets and sidewalks clear of overgrown vegetation.  Please prune vegetation to ensure unobstructed sight lines for pedestrians and motorists.  The Town's vegetation maintenance standards are available for review here.  Thank you for your cooperation in helping to keep Town streets and sidewalks safe. 



Please Be Considerate Neighbors

During these unique circumstances when neighbors are home and many are working or participating in distance learning, residents are urged to consult with their construction and landscape contractors to be sensitive to the noise their work produces, which can be highly disruptive to these new routines.

Contractors should be asked to look for ways to minimize the severity and duration of noise-producing activities.  It would be particularly appreciated if the use of leaf blowers could be avoided.



Consulting Water Management Program Suspended

The Town has suspended the consulting water management program due to the personal interaction associated with this service.  This program offers residents the opportunity to obtain professional recommendations on improving water management on their property.  The Town will notify residents when this service resumes.



Recycling Update

As announced, residents may place clean glass back into their recycling carts.  The Town’s contractor recently established a glass recycling system at its processing facility, thereby enabling customers to once again include glass along with other recycled materials such as paper, plastic and cardboard.  We ask that residents ensure that all materials are clean and remain dry to prevent cross-contamination.  The Town discontinued glass collection at the Lawton Center effective April 17.   A complete single stream recycling guide is available on the Town website. 



May Purple Line Construction Updates

Night Work/Lane Closure on Connecticut Avenue:  Crews will be relocating utilities on Connecticut Avenue between Jones Bridge Road and East-West Highway.  Work will occur in two shifts, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. on weekdays and weekends.  Temporary lane closures with flagging operations will occur. 

Night Work/Lane Closure on Wisconsin Avenue:  Crews will be pouring concrete for the walls of the Bethesda Shaft.  Southbound lanes along Wisconsin Avenue between Montgomery Lane and Bethesda Avenue will experience temporary closures.  Work will take place from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. on weekdays and weekends. 

Traffic Shift on Jones Mill Road:  Traffic has shifted onto the southbound side of Jones Mill Road for phase one of this traffic change.  Crews will be excavating and installing the arch for the future underpass.  Work will take places from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and weekends.
 
Weekend Work at Bethesda Work Zone (Elm Street):  Crews will be working at the Bethesda Work Zone on Elm Street.  Work will take place in two shifts from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. on weekdays and weekends.
 
Weekend Work at Columbia Country Club:  Crews will continue work at the Columbia Country Club 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays and weekends.  

Weekend Work and Lane Closures on East-West Highway:  Temporary lane closures will occur on East-West Highway between Connecticut Avenue and Montgomery Avenue between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays and weekends.  
 
Weekend Work on the Georgetown Branch Trail:  Crews will be working along the Georgetown Branch Trail from the Wisconsin Avenue to Connecticut Avenue, as well as from Wisconsin Avenue to Jones Mill Road.  Work will take place from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. on weekdays and weekends.
 
Weekend Work and Several Lane Closures on Jones Mill Road and Jones Bridge Road:  Temporary lane closures will occur on Jones Bridge Road between Altimont Lane and Jones Mill Road, as well as on Jones Mill Road between Flushing Meadow Terrace and Coquelin Terrace between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays and weekends. 
 
Weekend Work on the Rock Creek Trail:  Crews will be working near Rock Creek Park bridge from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and weekends.  Temporary trail closures will occur.



Important Phone Numbers

Below is a list of phone numbers that may be helpful while the Town Office is closed.  In case of emergencies, always call 911. 

Montgomery County Police 
Non Emergency/24hrs - 301-279-8000

Bethesda - Chevy Chase Rescue Squad - 301-652-0077

Chevy Chase Fire Department
(Opposite Columbia Country Club) - 240-773-4707

Bethesda Fire Dept
(Wisconsin Ave and Bradley Blvd) - 240-773-4706

National Capital Poison Center
(George Washington University Hospital) - 800-222-1222

Utilities

Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO)


Emergency-Live wires down, power failure - 877-737-2662

Customer Service - 202-833-7500

Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission

 
Emergency - 301-206-4002

Complaints, Leaks, Information - 301-206-4001

Washington Gas
 
Emergency - 703-750-1400

Information & Customer Service - 703-750-1000

Comcast -
800-934-6489

Verizon -
800-837-4966




Upcoming Meetings & Events

Click here to view the Town calendar

Plain text message

Town Events, Staff Telework Schedule, and Updates Related to COVID-19

Due to the ongoing public health crisis and Governor Hogan's stay-at-home order, the Town will not host any events through the end of May. Town staff is currently on a telework schedule. 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 will be monitored as usual. In addition, the Jane Lawton Recreation Center remains closed until further notice. For current Montgomery County closures, please check here [www.montgomerycountymd.gov] .

Residents are encouraged to connect with the Town and fellow residents by signing up for the Town Crier email alert system [www.townofchevychase.org/list.aspx] and the private Town Neighbors listserv. For information on how to join the Town Neighbors listserv, please email townneighbors+owner@groups.io [mailto:townneighbors+owner@groups.io] . Both resources offer an important way to stay informed and in touch, especially during times like these. The Town website [www.townofchevychase.org] also provides links to official resources for more information on coronavirus preparedness and response.

COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Order in Effect Until Local Conditions Improve


Click here for a press release issued on May 15 by Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich regarding the COVID-19 stay-at-home order.

Memorial Day

The Town Office will be closed on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25. Household trash will not be collected that day but will be collected on your next regularly scheduled trash day. Yard trash will be collected on Tuesday, May 26.

Please Use "Lotsa Helping Hands" -- Let's Be Safe Seniors

Wicca Davidson has set up two systems to assist with shopping for those who are sheltering in place. There is a website that connects those who need a few items from a grocery or other store, with a neighbor who is going shopping.

In addition, there is a system where neighborly volunteers shop weekly/biweekly for one or two households. If you do not have internet access, or need assistance with either shopping system, please call Wicca directly at 301-980-5596. If you would like to volunteer, send an email to wicca@wiccadavidson.com.

Utility Work Update


Next week, a contractor for Washington Gas will begin making repairs to concrete damaged during the gas main replacement project. On Tuesday, May 26, the contractor is scheduled to work on Lynn Drive and in the 7600 block of Maple Avenue.

Council Listening Sessions in June

Councilmember Irene Lane will conduct two one-hour "How Can We Help?" listening sessions by videoconference to hear directly from residents on what you love about the Town, what you need, and what you may like to change. Sessions will be held on June 3 at 9 a.m. and June 24 at 12 p.m. Please email townoffice@townofchevychase.org with a preferred date to receive a Zoom link.


Public Hearing on Proposed Building Code Changes

At its June 10 meeting, the Town Council will hold a public hearing on proposed amendments to the Town building code. The amendments clarify existing exceptions to the Town’s side yard setback regulations. The exceptions allow additions to homes that do not conform to the Town’s required side yard setbacks, provided certain criteria are met. The proposed changes include:

Clarifying the Town’s side yard setback requirements for additions to nonconforming houses on interior lots that are less than seven feet from each side property line. In these cases, only the walls of the proposed addition are used to calculate the required setbacks.

Clarifying the Town’s side yard setback requirements for additions to nonconforming houses on interior lots that are seven feet or more from at least one side property line. In these cases, the Town allows one wall of the house that is at least seven feet from a side property line to be extended. Only the walls of the proposed addition are used to calculate the required setbacks.

In addition, the proposed amendments clarify that porch and terrace coverings on certain corner lots that have a fifteen-foot front yard setback may not project into that front yard setback.

A complete copy of the ordinance is available for review on the Town website. If you would like to participate in the public hearing, you may join online at https://zoom.us/j/3016547144 [https://zoom.us/j/3016547144] or by phone at 301-715-8592. The Town’s meeting identification number is 301 654 7144. If you are unable to attend the June Council meeting, you may submit comments to townoffice@townofchevychase.org.

Town Council to Consider Gas-Powered Leaf Blower Ban

At its June 10 meeting, the Town Council will discuss, and consider introduction of, an ordinance to implement a phased-in ban of gas-powered leaf blowers in Town.

In May, the Town’s Climate and Environment Committee presented a report to the Town Council requesting action to address noise, harmful pollutants, and other impacts from gas-powered leaf blowers. In response to the Committee’s specific request for a phased-in ban, the Council asked the Town attorney to draft an ordinance to prohibit the use of gas-powered leaf blowers on Sundays, effective September 1, 2020, and to prohibit the use of gas-powered leaf blowers on weekends and federal holidays, effective January 1, 2021. The Council agreed to consider introduction of the ordinance at the June Council meeting and to hold a public hearing at the July Council meeting.

At its May meeting, the Council also discussed the Climate and Environment Committee’s proposal to implement a total ban of a gas-powered leaf blowers effective January 1, 2022. Before considering this specific proposal, the Council agreed to hold a public forum in July to solicit community feedback. More information on the forum will be included in the July newsletter.

Zimmerman Park Redevelopment Update

In May, the Town Council continued its discussion of redevelopment plans for Zimmerman Park. The Town’s landscape architect has developed several concept plans for park amenities, including a large multi-use lawn area, a natural playground, a picnic area, and a perimeter fencing system that could be fully enclosed to accommodate occasional off-leash dog events.

The Council has asked the landscape architect to work with the Town’s civil engineer to develop a final concept plan and to provide a cost estimate for that plan. The Council will continue its review and consideration of the improvements this summer and will discuss when and how to present the concept plans to the public, including holding a public hearing.

Town Creates List of Quiet and Clean Landscape Services

Several "Quiet and Clean" lawn maintenance companies are now offering services without use of gas-powered leaf blowers -- the noisiest and most polluting landscape maintenance equipment. Please consider giving them your business. Residents can view the complete list here.

Visit the Lee Dennison Garden in Zimmerman Park

Fancy a walk in a garden? Come out to Zimmerman Park and enjoy the 70 species of plantings that are a part of the new Lee Dennison Garden, which spotlights sustainable landscaping design and maintenance methods while providing a Zen space for reflection.

For your visit, the Dennison Garden committee has prepared some informative garden notes . You can also explore the new website www.dennisongarden.org to learn more about Lee Dennison and the garden her bequest has created for the Town (photos for each plant will be added over the course of the spring and summer).

As spring emerges, you can observe new growth daily. For example, the common serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea) is in bloom in the DC area right now. This native shrub/tree has flowers for pollinators and juicy berries for birds and humans (the berries taste a lot like blueberries).

There are lots of good reasons to plant a Serviceberry in your garden:

tolerates clay soil and air pollution,

has great ornamental value,

pretty flowers and beautiful fall color,

produces berries, and

good food source for birds.

One caution, this plant can get Cedar apple rust if you plant it close to Junipers which are alternate hosts for the disease. Rust doesn’t usually kill a Serviceberry, but it tends to appear once the berries are set and makes them inedible. Learn more about the plant here.

Please maintain social distancing and please do not let dogs run free in the garden.

Please Prune Overgrown Vegetation

As a reminder, residents are asked to keep all streets and sidewalks clear of overgrown vegetation. Please prune vegetation to ensure unobstructed sight lines for pedestrians and motorists. The Town's vegetation maintenance standards are available for review here. Thank you for your cooperation in helping to keep Town streets and sidewalks safe.

Please Be Considerate Neighbors

During these unique circumstances when neighbors are home and many are working or participating in distance learning, residents are urged to consult with their construction and landscape contractors to be sensitive to the noise their work produces, which can be highly disruptive to these new routines.

Contractors should be asked to look for ways to minimize the severity and duration of noise-producing activities. It would be particularly appreciated if the use

Consulting Water Management Program Suspended

The Town has suspended the consulting water management program due to the personal interaction associated with this service. This program offers residents the opportunity to obtain professional recommendations on improving water management on their property. The Town will notify residents when this service resumes.

Recycling Update

As announced, residents may place clean glass back into their recycling carts. The Town’s contractor recently established a glass recycling system at its processing facility, thereby enabling customers to once again include glass along with other recycled materials such as paper, plastic and cardboard. We ask that residents ensure that all materials are clean and remain dry to prevent cross-contamination. The Town discontinued glass collection at the Lawton Center effective April 17. A complete single stream recycling guide is available on the Town website.

May Purple Line Construction Updates

Night Work/Lane Closure on Connecticut Avenue: Crews will be relocating utilities on Connecticut Avenue between Jones Bridge Road and East-West Highway. Work will occur in two shifts, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. on weekdays and weekends. Temporary lane closures with flagging operations will occur.

Night Work/Lane Closure on Wisconsin Avenue: Crews will be pouring concrete for the walls of the Bethesda Shaft. Southbound lanes along Wisconsin Avenue between Montgomery Lane and Bethesda Avenue will experience temporary closures. Work will take place from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. on weekdays and weekends.

Traffic Shift on Jones Mill Road: Traffic has shifted onto the southbound side of Jones Mill Road for phase one of this traffic change. Crews will be excavating and installing the arch for the future underpass. Work will take places from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and weekends.

Weekend Work at Bethesda Work Zone (Elm Street): Crews will be working at the Bethesda Work Zone on Elm Street. Work will take place in two shifts from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. on weekdays and weekends.

Weekend Work at Columbia Country Club: Crews will continue work at the Columbia Country Club 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays and weekends.

Weekend Work and Lane Closures on East-West Highway: Temporary lane closures will occur on East-West Highway between Connecticut Avenue and Montgomery Avenue between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays and weekends.

Weekend Work on the Georgetown Branch Trail: Crews will be working along the Georgetown Branch Trail from the Wisconsin Avenue to Connecticut Avenue, as well as from Wisconsin Avenue to Jones Mill Road. Work will take place from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. on weekdays and weekends.

Weekend Work and Several Lane Closures on Jones Mill Road and Jones Bridge Road: Temporary lane closures will occur on Jones Bridge Road between Altimont Lane and Jones Mill Road, as well as on Jones Mill Road between Flushing Meadow Terrace and Coquelin Terrace between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays and weekends.

Weekend Work on the Rock Creek Trail: Crews will be working near Rock Creek Park bridge from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and weekends. Temporary trail closures will occur.

Important Phone Numbers

Below is a list of phone numbers that may be helpful while the Town Office is closed. In case of emergencies, always call 911.

Montgomery County Police

Non Emergency/24hrs - 301-279-8000

Bethesda - Chevy Chase Rescue Squad - 301-652-0077

Chevy Chase Fire Department

(Opposite Columbia Country Club) - 240-773-4707

Bethesda Fire Dept

(Wisconsin Ave and Bradley Blvd) - 240-773-4706

National Capital Poison Center

(George Washington University Hospital) - 800-222-1222

Utilities

Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO)

Emergency-Live wires down, power failure - 877-737-2662

Customer Service - 202-833-7500

Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission

Emergency - 301-206-4002

Complaints, Leaks, Information - 301-206-4001

Washington Gas

Emergency - 703-750-1400

Information & Customer Service - 703-750-1000

Comcast - 800-934-6489

Verizon - 800-837-4966

Upcoming Meetings & Events

Click here [http://www.townofchevychase.org/calendar.aspx?CID=14,] to view the Town calendar

SMS message

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