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Town of Chevy Chase
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1/15/2021 2:48:35 PM
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Weekly Town Updates -- January 15, 2021

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Executive Orders and Guidance to Address COVID-19 Surge

In December, Governor Larry Hogan announced new actions to slow the spread of COVID-19.  You can find updated executive orders and guidance here.

On December 15, the Montgomery County Council approved County Executive Marc Elrich’s Executive Order 139-20AM2 that suspends indoor dining, reduces indoor sports gatherings to no more than 10 people and reduces the maximum capacity of retail establishments.



COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Information

Residents can learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and the County’s distribution plan and status
here.  Residents also may sign up to receive vaccine updates directly from Montgomery County.  

The Montgomery County Council will hold a virtual town hall meeting on Tuesday, January 19 at 7 p.m. focused on the COVID-19 vaccination program in our community.  This town hall will provide the latest information on the vaccine rollout plan in Montgomery County, describe the priority order for vaccinations mandated by the state government based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and give residents a forum to get their specific questions answered directly by public health representatives. 

Community members must register ahead of time to participate in the virtual town hall through Zoom by clicking here.  The Council must receive your registration by January 18 at 5 p.m.  Residents will receive an email confirmation with the appropriate Zoom information to participate.  Residents without internet access can call 240-777-7931 and leave a message to register.




 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Holiday

The Town Office will be closed on Monday, January 18.  Yard waste and household trash will be collected as usual. 



Significant Changes to Land-Use Rules Proposed

The Montgomery County Council is considering significant changes to land-use rules that would allow multi-family housing to be built on residential properties within the Town and other communities surrounding Metro.  These zoning changes are set forth in proposed Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 20-07, which was introduced on December 8, 2020 by County Councilmember Will Jawando.  The stated purpose of ZTA 20-07 is to provide more housing options within transit-proximate neighborhoods at more price points to alleviate Montgomery County’s affordable and “missing middle” housing shortages.  

What Does ZTA 20-07 Propose?

If adopted, ZTA 20-07 will change current County zoning rules to allow duplexes, triplexes, townhouses, and small apartment buildings to be built by right on R-60 parcels (that are 25,000 square feet or less) located within 1 mile of a Red Line Metro station entrance.  Nearly all lots in the Town would be eligible for such multi-family structures.  

The ZTA proposes that the County’s setback requirements and height limits for single-family houses would apply to the multi-family housing types.  It is unclear at this time if the Town’s more restrictive requirements would also apply.  For lots within one-half mile of a Metrorail station entrance, the County’s lot coverage limit (which now ranges between 20% and 30%) would increase to 35%, and on-site parking space requirements would be reduced.  There would be no limit on the number of dwelling units that could be built on a lot provided that the height, setback, and lot coverage limits are met.

How is the Town Responding to ZTA 20-07?

The Town Council will discuss ZTA 20-07 at its January 13, 2021 Council meeting.  So far, the Town Council has agreed to undertake efforts to maintain its existing regulatory authority over all residential development within the Town, regardless of housing type, and the Town Council will further develop its position on ZTA 20-07 based on resident feedback and other information.  The Town Council has been meeting with County Councilmembers, Planning Department Staff, and other communities to learn more about and discuss ZTA 20-07.  The Town’s Subcommittee on Regional Growth and Development and the Long-Range Planning Committee have reviewed the ZTA and submitted comments to the Town Council.  The Town will submit written comments and testify at the Planning Board public hearing on January 28, 2021 and at the County Council public hearing on February 11, 2021.  

Learn More About ZTA 20-07 and Provide Your Comments. 

To learn more about ZTA 20-07 and/or provide your comments, you may:
  1. Attend the second virtual listening session about the zoning proposal led by Town Councilmember Irene Lane on January 18, 2021 at 6 p.m.  Please RSVP to the Town at townoffice@townofchevychase.org.  The Zoom information is available here
  2. Send questions and/or comments to:
  3. Sign up to testify at the Planning Board hearing on January 28, 2021, time TBD, and at the County Council public hearing on February 11, 2021, 7:30 p.m.
  4. Stay tuned for more information.



Council Approves New Gas-Powered Blower Regulations

At its December meeting, the Town Council approved new regulations of gas-powered blowers.  The new 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.



Battery-Powered Blower Rebate Program

 
The Town Council recently 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 a supplemental appropriation of $30,000 to fund the program, and these funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis until May 31, 2021. More information about the program and an application form can be found here.



 All South-bound Lanes Closed on Wisconsin Avenue/MD 355 between Bethesda Avenue and Elm Street from 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
on Saturday, January 16

All south-bound lanes of Wisconsin Avenue/MD 355 between Bethesda Avenue and Elm Street in Bethesda will be closed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, January 16, to set up a 75-ton crane to hoist steel for future construction work in that area.  There will be a certified flagman and a police officer in the area to help direct traffic during the closure to one temporary south-bound lane that will be created from a regular north-bound lane.

In the event of inclement weather, the crane placement by Crane Service Company, Inc., will take place on Sunday, January 17.

Questions or comments about the work can be directed to Crane Service Company at 443-624-4916.

Drivers should stay alert and look for reduced speed limits in efforts to maintain safe traffic mobility in work zones for construction crews and drivers.



Montgomery County Climate Action Plan Webinar
Thursday, January 21, 7 p.m. Via Zoom

Montgomery County is going green!  The county recently released its draft Climate Action Plan (CAP), a comprehensive roadmap for reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2027 and 100% by 2035.  In the first webinar of the Town of Chevy Chase's Climate & Environment Committee's Green Town Series, we'll be joined by Adriana Hochberg, assistant to County Executive Marc Elrich, and 2 of her colleagues who will give an overview of Montgomery County's CAP and answer questions as the County moves toward finalizing the plan by Spring 2021.  If you cannot attend the event, a recording will be posted.   This will be a joint event between the Town and Village of Chevy Chase.

To attend, you must preregister here and the Zoom meeting information will be sent to you.  



Winter Clothing Drive Continues Until February 28

 
As the pandemic surges and the weather gets colder, our neighbors are in particular need of warm winter clothing.  Each year our Town donates winter clothing to Interfaith Works, which distributes it to 13,000 income-qualified residents, including nearly 6,000 children.  Please donate clean, gently used or never worn clothing, such as coats, gloves, hats, and socks, as well as waterproof winter wear.  The 24-hour donation box is on the front porch of Marjorie Shaw and Barney Rush at 6917 Maple Avenue. 



Please Obey County Leash Laws

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 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 Office Schedule and Updates Related to COVID-19

Town staff continues 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 are being monitored and answered 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 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.  

The Town website provides links to official resources for more information on coronavirus preparedness and response. 



Important Phone Numbers

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



Upcoming Meetings & Events


Plain text message

Executive Orders and Guidance to Address COVID-19 Surge

In December, Governor Larry Hogan announced new actions to slow the spread of COVID-19. You can find updated executive orders and guidance here.

On December 15, the Montgomery County Council approved County Executive Marc Elrich’s Executive Order 139-20AM2 that suspends indoor dining, reduces indoor sports gatherings to no more than 10 people and reduces the maximum capacity of retail establishments.


Residents can learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and the County’s distribution plan and status here. Residents also may sign up to receive vaccine updates directly from Montgomery County.

The Montgomery County Council will hold a virtual town hall meeting on Tuesday, January 19 at 7 p.m. focused on the COVID-19 vaccination program in our community. This town hall will provide the latest information on the vaccine rollout plan in Montgomery County, describe the priority order for vaccinations mandated by the state government based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and give residents a forum to get their specific questions answered directly by public health representatives.

Community members must register ahead of time to participate in the virtual town hall through Zoom by clicking here. The Council must receive your registration by January 18 at 5 p.m. Residents will receive an email confirmation with the appropriate Zoom information to participate. Residents without internet access can call 240-777-7931 and leave a message to register.


Martin Luther King Jr. Day Holiday

The Town Office will be closed on Monday, January 18. Yard waste and household trash will be collected as usual.

Significant Changes to Land-Use Rules Proposed

The Montgomery County Council is considering significant changes to land-use rules that would allow multi-family housing to be built on residential properties within the Town and other communities surrounding Metro. These zoning changes are set forth in proposed Zoning Text Amendment [https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/Resources/Files/zta/2020/ZTA%2020-07.pdf] (ZTA) 20-07, which was introduced on December 8, 2020 by County Councilmember Will Jawando. The stated purpose of ZTA 20-07 is to provide more housing options within transit-proximate neighborhoods at more price points to alleviate Montgomery County’s affordable and “missing middle” housing shortages.

What Does ZTA 20-07 Propose?

If adopted, ZTA 20-07 will change current County zoning rules to allow duplexes, triplexes, townhouses, and small apartment buildings to be built by right on R-60 parcels (that are 25,000 square feet or less) located within 1 mile of a Red Line Metro station entrance. Nearly all lots in the Town would be eligible for such multi-family structures.

The ZTA proposes that the County’s setback requirements and height limits for single-family houses would apply to the multi-family housing types. It is unclear at this time if the Town’s more restrictive requirements would also apply. For lots within one-half mile of a Metrorail station entrance, the County’s lot coverage limit (which now ranges between 20% and 30%) would increase to 35%, and on-site parking space requirements would be reduced. There would be no limit on the number of dwelling units that could be built on a lot provided that the height, setback, and lot coverage limits are met.

How is the Town Responding to ZTA 20-07?

The Town Council will discuss ZTA 20-07 at its January 13, 2021 Council meeting. So far, the Town Council has agreed to undertake efforts to maintain its existing regulatory authority over all residential development within the Town, regardless of housing type, and the Town Council will further develop its position on ZTA 20-07 based on resident feedback and other information. The Town Council has been meeting with County Councilmembers, Planning Department Staff, and other communities to learn more about and discuss ZTA 20-07. The Town’s Subcommittee on Regional Growth and Development and the Long-Range Planning Committee have reviewed the ZTA and submitted comments to the Town Council. The Town will submit written comments and testify at the Planning Board public hearing on January 28, 2021 and at the County Council public hearing on February 11, 2021.

Learn More About ZTA 20-07 and Provide Your Comments.

To learn more about ZTA 20-07 and/or provide your comments, you may:

Attend the second virtual listening session about the zoning proposal led by Town Councilmember Irene Lane on January 18, 2021 at 6 p.m. Please RSVP to the Town at townoffice@townofchevychase.org [mailto:townoffice@townofchevychase.org] .

A recording of the first listening session is available here [https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/sbTKkzP68g7h20DhgugXzd0uMnbUyBT9B9DGg-S_zo9qSsn9o7o2S6Dzl8dsYf44.GuUcS08AlAITIlV3?startTime=1610665630000] .

Send questions and/or comments to:

The Town Council at townoffice@townofchevychase.org [mailto:townoffice@townofchevychase.org]

County Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson at MCP-Chair@mncppc-mc.org [mailto:mcp-chair@mncppc-mc.org]

The County Council at County.Council@MontgomeryCountyMD.gov [mailto:county.council@montgomerycountymd.gov]


Sign up to testify at the Planning Board hearing on January 28, 2021, time TBD, and at the County Council public hearing on February 11, 2021, 7:30 p.m.

Stay tuned for more information.


Council Approves New Gas-Powered Blower Regulations

At its December meeting, the Town Council approved new regulations of gas-powered blowers [https://www.townofchevychase.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=348] . The new 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.


Battery-Powered Blower Rebate Program

The Town Council recently 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 a supplemental appropriation of $30,000 to fund the program, and these funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis until May 31, 2021. More information about the program and an application form can be found here [https://www.townofchevychase.org/FormCenter/BatteryPowered-Blower-Equipment-28/BatteryPowered-Blower-Equipment-Rebate-P-116] .


All South-bound Lanes Closed on Wisconsin Avenue/MD 355 between Bethesda Avenue and Elm Street from 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

on Saturday, January 16


All south-bound lanes of Wisconsin Avenue/MD 355 between Bethesda Avenue and Elm Street in Bethesda will be closed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, January 16, to set up a 75-ton crane to hoist steel for future construction work in that area. There will be a certified flagman and a police officer in the area to help direct traffic during the closure to one temporary south-bound lane that will be created from a regular north-bound lane.

In the event of inclement weather, the crane placement by Crane Service Company, Inc., will take place on Sunday, Jan. 17.


Questions or comments about the work can be directed to Crane Service Company at 443-624-4916.

Drivers should stay alert and look for reduced speed limits in efforts to maintain safe traffic mobility in work zones for construction crews and drivers.

Montgomery County Climate Action Plan Webinar

Thursday, January 21, 7 p.m. Via Zoom

Montgomery County is going green! The county recently released its draft Climate Action Plan (CAP), a comprehensive roadmap for reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2027 and 100% by 2035. In the first webinar of the Town of Chevy Chase's Climate & Environment Committee's Green Town Series, we'll be joined by Adriana Hochberg, assistant to County Executive Marc Elrich, and 2 of her colleagues who will give an overview of Montgomery County's CAP and answer questions as the County moves toward finalizing the plan by Spring 2021. If you cannot attend the event, a recording will be posted. This will be a joint event between the Town and Village of Chevy Chase.

To attend, you must preregister here [https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_uZv0WIleQ1KNwSKr4fUiww] and the Zoom meeting information will be sent to you.

Winter Clothing Drive Continues Until February 28

As the pandemic surges and the weather gets colder, our neighbors are in particular need of warm winter clothing. Each year our Town donates winter clothing to Interfaith Works, which distributes it to 13,000 income-qualified residents, including nearly 6,000 children. Please donate clean, gently used or never worn clothing, such as coats, gloves, hats, and socks, as well as waterproof winter wear. The 24-hour donation box is on the front porch of Marjorie Shaw and Barney Rush at 6917 Maple Avenue.


Please Obey County Leash Laws

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 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 Office Schedule and Updates Related to COVID-19

Town staff continues 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 are being monitored and answered as usual. In addition, the Jane Lawton Recreation Center remains closed until further notice. For current Montgomery County closures, please check here [https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/] .

Residents are encouraged to connect with the Town through the Town Crier email alert system [https://www.townofchevychase.org/list.aspx] 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 [mailto:townneighbors+owner@groups.io] . Both resources offer an important way to stay informed and in touch.

The Town website [https://www.townofchevychase.org/] provides links to official resources for more information on coronavirus preparedness and response.

Important Phone Numbers

Click here [https://www.townofchevychase.org/432/Important-Phone-Numbers] for a list of important phone numbers. In case of emergencies, always call 911


Upcoming Meetings & Events

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

SMS message

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