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3/26/2021 3:14:26 PM
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Weekly Town Updates -- March 26, 2021

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COVID-19 Information Resources

Find COVID-19 information from the Maryland Department of Health and read the proclamations and orders issued by Governor Larry Hogan related to COVID-19 here

Montgomery County’s COVID-19 Information Portal provides the latest news and updates on the number of COVID cases reported in Maryland communities, COVID-19 testing, vaccine distribution, and executive orders and guidance to address the pandemic.



Town Council Seeks Feedback on Missing Middle Housing 

On March 29 at 7 p.m., Montgomery County Planning staff will hold a Community Meeting to brief residents on its new "Attainable Housing Strategies" project.  RSVPs are required to attend.  You can RSVP here.  This project is being launched in response to the letter sent to the County Planning Board and Planning Department by the County Council urging the Planning Board to develop new residential zoning rules that consider both the concepts  in ZTA 20-07 and those in a new draft ZTA (which would allow the Planning Board to approve Missing Middle Housing on certain residential lots within one-quarter mile of Bus-Rapid-Transit corridors).  The schedule for the project shows transmittal of the Planning Board's recommendations on Missing Middle housing to the County Council on June 28.  More information on the project can be found here.

The Town Council has been closely following the various proposals for changes to the County's residential zoning regulations, which would allow Missing Middle Housing (market-rate,  duplexes, triplexes, townhouses, small apartment buildings) to be built in single-family neighborhoods near transit (one proposal, ZTA 20-07) would allow this type of housing in most of the Town and on the 4-H property).  Based on a recent opinion from the Maryland Attorney General’s Office, the Town Council believes that our municipal building regulations will continue to apply to all residential structures within the Town, including any Missing Middle Housing that the County may authorize in the future.


To enable the Town’s continued advocacy with the Planning Board and the County Council, the Town Council hopes to develop a position on Missing Middle Housing based on resident feedback and other information.  In particular, the Town Council would like to hear residents’ opinions about three different scenarios for the Town (or other variations that residents would like to see):  
  1. Construction of duplexes and triplexes only on single lots within the current Town building code envelope (i.e. using the same height and setback requirements that apply to a single-family house);
  2. Construction of townhouses on combined lots; or
  3. No Missing Middle Housing development within the Town.
On April 8, from 7 to 9 p.m., the Town Council will hold a forum to discuss feasible types of Missing Middle Housing and listen to residents' opinions.  In preparation, each resident is encouraged to listen to the March 16 County Planning Board session on Missing Middle Housing.  Following the forum, Councilmember Irene Lane will hold a series of recorded listening sessions for residents to provide feedback.  The listening sessions are currently scheduled for:
  • Tuesday, April 13 at 7 p.m.;
  • Sunday, April 14 at 4 p.m.;
  • Wednesday, April 21 at 1 p.m.; and
  • Monday, April 26 at 7 p.m.
Stay tuned for more details, and please continue to send comments, questions, and RSVP for the listening sessions at townoffice@townofchevychase.org



Town of Chevy Chase Statement on 4-H Sale

On Tuesday, March 16, 2021, the National 4-H Council announced that it is selling its 12.25-acre property at 7100 Connecticut Avenue after more than 60 years.  The next evening, more than 100 members of the public joined the Town Council for our first public briefing about 4-H’s plans for the property.

This transaction is clearly very significant for our Town, as well as for our neighbors.  The 4-H property is located completely within the Town’s boundaries, and it may be the last significant open space in the greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase area.

At the briefing, 4-H and its representatives from CBRE, a national commercial real estate firm, described a condensed timeline for decisions about the sale.  4-H aims to receive bids by early May, select the winning bid by the end of June, and close the sale by year’s end.  The property’s current assessed value is $20 million, and it is being sold as is, including its current R-60 zoning designation.  4-H is seeking bids from all sectors, including private developers, non-profit and educational institutions, elder care facilities, and others, and it has also engaged Montgomery County about the property.

The Town Council asked multiple questions at the March 17 briefing, seeking to learn from 4-H its views about the Town’s role in this process and about how best to safeguard the interests of the Town.  We will need to define those interests clearly, but residents have already raised many: adhering to zoning requirements and respecting the need for compatible development, ensuring that the concerns of Town residents whose properties abut the 4-H property are addressed, and providing for open or recreational space.  CBRE suggested that the Town’s involvement would arise after a winning bidder had been selected, but we will have to determine the best timing and means of participating to ensure that our requests are understood and rights respected.    

As a result of the evening’s discussion, the Council decided to take two primary actions: (1) to create a small task force of Town residents to advise the Council about the Town’s options for engaging in the sale process, and (2) to seek legal and/or consulting services to ensure that sufficient external expertise is provided to the Town as the process unfolds.  

Fortunately, the Council received a very strong response to our request for volunteers to serve on the task force.  We thank the many residents who generously volunteered on short notice, and we encourage all who are interested in the future of the 4-H Center property to stay engaged with us on the issue.  For now, Mayor Baskir has appointed five residents to the task force -- Chris Bruch, Nicole Mason, Joe Rubin, Ken Rubin, and Sarah Smith -- all of whom have confirmed that they have no potential financial interest in the sale or development of the property or other conflict of interest.  This team brings together a complement of relevant skills and experience, and we appreciate their willingness to assist the Council on this matter.

At this moment, the Town Council is still in the information gathering stage.  However, we want to ensure that your voices are heard and that our interests as a Town are protected.  We therefore strongly encourage you to share your views on what the Town’s position should be regarding the sale, to get involved, and to stay in touch if you have any questions about next steps.  Thank you.



2021 Town Council Election

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the Town will continue a universal vote-by mail system for the 2021 Town election.  More information on the 2021 Town Council election is available here.



 New Gas-Powered Blower Regulations


The Town Council has 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 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, 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.



Yard Birds of Chevy Chase Recording is Available

If you were unable to attend the Yard Birds of Chevy Chase event, a recording is available here.



Green Town Series: Creek Critters Webinar
Tuesday, March 30, 7 to 8 p.m. Via Zoom

The next sponsored event in our Green Town Series will be hosted by Gregg Trilling of the Audubon Naturalist Society on March 30, 7 to 8 p.m.  Did you know that most of the Town's stormwater drains to Coquelin Run (our local stream)?  What lives in our local stream and how healthy is it?  Gregg Trilling, ANS Conservation Outreach Manager, will introduce you to several fascinating aquatic macroinvertebrates.  He’ll show you how to use ANS’s Creek Critters® app to identify them in your local stream and discover what they mean for stream health.  You might even be inspired to join ANS’s volunteer-driven water quality monitoring program!  Great for adults and kids.  Sign up here (small fee applies).



Spring Holiday -- Town Office Closure
Friday, April 2
 
The Town office will be closed on Friday, April 2 for a spring holiday.  Household trash will be collected as scheduled.



Sustainable Landscapes 101: Local Solutions for a Global Crisis
Thursday, April 15, 7-8 p.m. via Zoom
 
Learn the beginning steps of how your yard can change the world.  Edamarie Mattei, owner and founder of Backyard Bounty, will inform us about 10 things we can do to help restore diversity in our gardens.  Her special focus will be on great native plants that will restore habitat and improve the health of our waterways.  This talk is part of the Community Relations Committee's “Discussions & Desserts” series, so grab your dessert and join your neighbors virtually.  RSVP to townoffice@townofchevychase.org.



Bulk Trash Collection Scheduled for Monday, April 19
 
Given the ongoing pandemic, and in the interest of not hosting an event that would conflict with County or State reopening guidelines, the Town will offer curbside bulk trash collection on April 19 and will continue to direct residents to local companies and organizations for recycling/repurposing opportunities.  More information is available here.



Virtual Party Games with Labyrinth Games & Puzzles
Sunday, April 25, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. via Zoom
 
Did you know that you can play the spy games Codenames and Spyfall virtually?  Labyrinth Games & Puzzles is a family-friendly store in D.C. that features a wide selection of board games and puzzles. They now run virtual game rooms over Zoom, and 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 website.  RSVP to townoffice@townofchevychase.org to receive the Zoom link.  Please include your child’s preferred game and age.



A Virtual Celebration of B-CC: Students, Staff, & Community
Friday, April 23, 7 p.m.
 
Weather and Covid-19 conditions permitting, the B-CC High School Educational Foundation will host “patio parties” around the B-CC cluster in small, socially-distanced groups.  Tickets are $25 per person.  The evening’s Zoom program will feature music by B-CC ensembles, reflections from students and teachers, and more.  Join a small group, or join us from home, but please join us on April 23!  Click here for more information and to RSVP.

This year has presented countless challenges.  Let’s celebrate the many ways our B-CC community has come together to meet them, and help the B-CC HS Educational Foundation fund high-need, high-impact programs to close the opportunity gap and drive student success across our entire school.



The Cicadas are Coming, The Cicadas are Coming
 
The periodical cicada in this area, Brood X, will emerge this year and is one of many broods that reappear every 17 years.  Town Arborist Dr. Tolbert Feather has complied information for residents on the return of these cicadas and how you can protect small trees on your property.  The document is available here.



  Please Clean Up After Your Pet

 
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.



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 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 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

Town Logo

COVID-19 Information Resources

Find COVID-19 information from the Maryland Department of Health and read the proclamations and orders issued by Governor Larry Hogan related to COVID-19 here.

Montgomery County’s COVID-19 Information Portal provides the latest news and updates on the number of COVID cases reported in Maryland communities, COVID-19 testing, vaccine distribution, and executive orders and guidance to address the pandemic.


Town Council Seeks Feedback on Missing Middle Housing

On March 29 at 7 p.m., Montgomery County Planning staff will hold a Community Meeting to brief residents on its new "Attainable Housing Strategies" project. RSVPs are required to attend. You can RSVP here. This project is being launched in response to the letter sent to the County Planning Board and Planning Department by the County Council urging the Planning Board to develop new residential zoning rules that consider both the concepts in ZTA 20-07 and those in a new draft ZTA (which would allow the Planning Board to approve Missing Middle Housing on certain residential lots within one-quarter mile of Bus-Rapid-Transit corridors). The schedule for the project shows transmittal of the Planning Board's recommendations on Missing Middle housing to the County Council on June 28. More information on the project can be found here.

The Town Council has been closely following the various proposals for changes to the County's residential zoning regulations, which would allow Missing Middle Housing (market-rate, duplexes, triplexes, townhouses, small apartment buildings) to be built in single-family neighborhoods near transit (one proposal, ZTA 20-07) would allow this type of housing in most of the Town and on the 4-H property). Based on a recent opinion from the Maryland Attorney General’s Office, the Town Council believes that our municipal building regulations will continue to apply to all residential structures within the Town, including any Missing Middle Housing that the County may authorize in the future.

To enable the Town’s continued advocacy with the Planning Board and the County Council, the Town Council hopes to develop a position on Missing Middle Housing based on resident feedback and other information. In particular, the Town Council would like to hear residents’ opinions about three different scenarios for the Town (or other variations that residents would like to see):
Construction of duplexes and triplexes only on single lots within the current Town building code envelope (i.e. using the same height and setback requirements that apply to a single-family house);
Construction of townhouses on combined lots; or
No Missing Middle Housing development within the Town.
On April 8, from 7 to 9 p.m., the Town Council will hold a forum to discuss feasible types of Missing Middle Housing and listen to residents' opinions. In preparation, each resident is encouraged to listen to the March 16 County Planning Board session on Missing Middle Housing. Following the forum, Councilmember Irene Lane will hold a series of recorded listening sessions for residents to provide feedback. The listening sessions are currently scheduled for:
Tuesday, April 13 at 7 p.m.;
Sunday, April 14 at 4 p.m.;
Wednesday, April 21 at 1 p.m.; and
Monday, April 26 at 7 p.m.
Stay tuned for more details, and please continue to send comments, questions, and RSVP for the listening sessions at townoffice@townofchevychase.org.


Town of Chevy Chase Statement on 4-H Sale

On Tuesday, March 16, 2021, the National 4-H Council announced that it is selling its 12.25-acre property at 7100 Connecticut Avenue after more than 60 years. The next evening, more than 100 members of the public joined the Town Council for our first public briefing about 4-H’s plans for the property.

This transaction is clearly very significant for our Town, as well as for our neighbors. The 4-H property is located completely within the Town’s boundaries, and it may be the last significant open space in the greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase area.

At the briefing, 4-H and its representatives from CBRE, a national commercial real estate firm, described a condensed timeline for decisions about the sale. 4-H aims to receive bids by early May, select the winning bid by the end of June, and close the sale by year’s end. The property’s current assessed value is $20 million, and it is being sold as is, including its current R-60 zoning designation. 4-H is seeking bids from all sectors, including private developers, non-profit and educational institutions, elder care facilities, and others, and it has also engaged Montgomery County about the property.

The Town Council asked multiple questions at the March 17 briefing, seeking to learn from 4-H its views about the Town’s role in this process and about how best to safeguard the interests of the Town. We will need to define those interests clearly, but residents have already raised many: adhering to zoning requirements and respecting the need for compatible development, ensuring that the concerns of Town residents whose properties abut the 4-H property are addressed, and providing for open or recreational space. CBRE suggested that the Town’s involvement would arise after a winning bidder had been selected, but we will have to determine the best timing and means of participating to ensure that our requests are understood and rights respected.

As a result of the evening’s discussion, the Council decided to take two primary actions: (1) to create a small task force of Town residents to advise the Council about the Town’s options for engaging in the sale process, and (2) to seek legal and/or consulting services to ensure that sufficient external expertise is provided to the Town as the process unfolds.

Fortunately, the Council received a very strong response to our request for volunteers to serve on the task force. We thank the many residents who generously volunteered on short notice, and we encourage all who are interested in the future of the 4-H Center property to stay engaged with us on the issue. For now, Mayor Baskir has appointed five residents to the task force -- Chris Bruch, Nicole Mason, Joe Rubin, Ken Rubin, and Sarah Smith -- all of whom have confirmed that they have no potential financial interest in the sale or development of the property or other conflict of interest. This team brings together a complement of relevant skills and experience, and we appreciate their willingness to assist the Council on this matter.

At this moment, the Town Council is still in the information gathering stage. However, we want to ensure that your voices are heard and that our interests as a Town are protected. We therefore strongly encourage you to share your views on what the Town’s position should be regarding the sale, to get involved, and to stay in touch if you have any questions about next steps. Thank you.


2021 Town Council Election

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the Town will continue a universal vote-by mail system for the 2021 Town election. More information on the 2021 Town Council election is available here.


New Gas-Powered Blower Regulations

The Town Council has 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 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, 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.


Yard Birds of Chevy Chase Recording is Available

If you were unable to attend the Yard Birds of Chevy Chase event, a recording is available here.


Green Town Series: Creek Critters Webinar
Tuesday, March 30, 7 to 8 p.m. Via Zoom

The next sponsored event in our Green Town Series will be hosted by Gregg Trilling of the Audubon Naturalist Society on March 30, 7 to 8 p.m. Did you know that most of the Town's stormwater drains to Coquelin Run (our local stream)? What lives in our local stream and how healthy is it? Gregg Trilling, ANS Conservation Outreach Manager, will introduce you to several fascinating aquatic macroinvertebrates. He’ll show you how to use ANS’s Creek Critters® app to identify them in your local stream and discover what they mean for stream health. You might even be inspired to join ANS’s volunteer-driven water quality monitoring program! Great for adults and kids. Sign up here (small fee applies).


Spring Holiday -- Town Office Closure
Friday, April 2

The Town office will be closed on Friday, April 2 for a spring holiday. Household trash will be collected as scheduled.


Sustainable Landscapes 101: Local Solutions for a Global Crisis
Thursday, April 15, 7-8 p.m. via Zoom

Learn the beginning steps of how your yard can change the world. Edamarie Mattei, owner and founder of Backyard Bounty, will inform us about 10 things we can do to help restore diversity in our gardens. Her special focus will be on great native plants that will restore habitat and improve the health of our waterways. This talk is part of the Community Relations Committee's “Discussions & Desserts” series, so grab your dessert and join your neighbors virtually. RSVP to townoffice@townofchevychase.org.


Bulk Trash Collection Scheduled for Monday, April 19

Given the ongoing pandemic, and in the interest of not hosting an event that would conflict with County or State reopening guidelines, the Town will offer curbside bulk trash collection on April 19 and will continue to direct residents to local companies and organizations for recycling/repurposing opportunities. More information is available here.


Virtual Party Games with Labyrinth Games & Puzzles
Sunday, April 25, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. via Zoom

Did you know that you can play the spy games Codenames and Spyfall virtually? Labyrinth Games & Puzzles is a family-friendly store in D.C. that features a wide selection of board games and puzzles. They now run virtual game rooms over Zoom, and 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 website. RSVP to townoffice@townofchevychase.org to receive the Zoom link. Please include your child’s preferred game and age.


A Virtual Celebration of B-CC: Students, Staff, & Community
Friday, April 23, 7 p.m.

Weather and Covid-19 conditions permitting, the B-CC High School Educational Foundation will host “patio parties” around the B-CC cluster in small, socially-distanced groups. Tickets are $25 per person. The evening’s Zoom program will feature music by B-CC ensembles, reflections from students and teachers, and more. Join a small group, or join us from home, but please join us on April 23! Click here for more information and to RSVP.

This year has presented countless challenges. Let’s celebrate the many ways our B-CC community has come together to meet them, and help the B-CC HS Educational Foundation fund high-need, high-impact programs to close the opportunity gap and drive student success across our entire school.


The Cicadas are Coming, The Cicadas are Coming

The periodical cicada in this area, Brood X, will emerge this year and is one of many broods that reappear every 17 years. Town Arborist Dr. Tolbert Feather has complied information for residents on the return of these cicadas and how you can protect small trees on your property. The document is available here.


Please Clean Up After Your Pet

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.


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 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 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

Click here 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.