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Town of Chevy Chase
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12/10/2021 3:07:05 PM
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Weekly Town Updates -- December 10, 2021

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Zimmerman Park Redevelopment Plan and Public Meetings


At its December 8 meeting, the Council continued a discussion of  Zimmerman Park redevelopment.  At this meeting, the Council agreed to advance plans for certain improvements and amenities, including additional vegetative screening along East West Highway; grading and drainage improvements; an occasional off-leash dog exercise area; preservation of green space; and elimination of the bocce court.  The Council agreed to hold a work session on December 15 to discuss possible additional simplification of amenities, the length and materials for walkways, fencing (amount and temporary vs. permanent), seating, and play equipment.

On Saturday, December 11 at 9:30 a.m. in Zimmerman Park, the Town Council will host a second in-person “Walkinar” for Town residents to understand and discuss the extent and location of the proposed improvements.  If you would like to attend, please RSVP to townoffice@townofchevychase.org. On November 29, the Town held a public forum to answer residents’ questions and receive resident feedback about the planned improvements.  

Residents are encouraged to continue to submit comments on the plan (see links below) to townoffice@townofchevychase.org

-- Zimmerman Park Concept Plan

-- Cost Estimate, Project Timeline, and Conceptual Images




Council Introduces Resolution to Lower Town Voting Age to 16
Public Hearing on January 12


On December 8, the Town Council held 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.  At its regular meeting that same evening, the Council voted 4-1 to introduce a resolution to implement this proposed change to Town election laws and to schedule a public hearing at the January 12 Council meeting.  Mayor Rush opposed introducing the resolution, stating his preference to permit voting by residents who turn 18 by the November election date used for state and federal elections.




Maple Avenue Traffic Management


At its December 8 meeting, following a public hearing, the Council approved a speed hump on Maple Avenue between Aspen Street and Blackthorn Street.  The Council also discussed removing the entry restriction on Maple Avenue at Aspen Street.  The Town’s recent 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. Removal of this entry restriction sign is recommended in the Town-wide traffic study.  The Council agreed to hold a public hearing on this proposed signage change at its January 12 Council meeting.




East West Highway Crosswalk Safety


At its December 8 meeting, the Council discussed the new pedestrian crosswalk on East West Highway near Maple Avenue and whether it adequately provides for safe pedestrian passage across East West Highway.  The Council would like to ask residents to weigh in on this matter.  We encourage you to use this crosswalk (with all due caution) and let us know your thoughts on both its safety and usability.  Please send your observations and comments to townoffice@townofchevychase.org.




Thrive Montgomery 2050 in Front of County Council


On Tuesday, December 14 at 7:00 p.m., the County Council will hold its second of two Listening Sessions about the Thrive Montgomery 2050 (Thrive) Draft Plan. This session will be televised live on CCM Channels Comcast HD 996 and SD 6, RCN HD 1056 and SD 6, and Verizon 30. Residents are encouraged to email their comments about Thrive to County Council President Albornoz, read the County Executive's letter to the County Council, and read the County's Office of Management & Budget report on Thrive, which is required by law to be produced.




Attainable Housing Strategies to be Presented to County Planning Board


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.  Therefore, the County Planning Department is currently preparing a Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) to change the zoning in single-family neighborhoods.

On Monday, December 13 at 7 p.m., the Planning Department 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.

On Thursday, January 27, the Planning Department will 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 January 20 and the community is invited to submit written comments to the Planning Board at mcp-chair@mncppc-mc.org

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 under the optional method of development.

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 townoffice@townofchevychase.org.




Leaf Collection Ends on December 23


Residents should place all leaves out for collection by 7 a.m. on Tuesday, December 22.  Once the contractor clears a street on December 22 or 23, they will not return.  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.  After December 23, all leaves must be placed in paper bags or reusable containers for yard-waste collection on Mondays. The leaf collection schedule is available here.

If you or your landscape company will be using gas-powered leaf blowers this fall, please follow the Town’s quiet hours schedule and refrain from using them before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m. on weekdays and before 12 p.m. or after 6 p.m. on weekends and holidays. 

 



Residents May Request Traffic Calming Devices

 

We would like to remind residents that the Council recently simplified the process for requesting traffic calming devices, including radar speed signs and speed humps.  

A radar speed sign can be approved following a petition and public hearing, with no traffic analysis required. We have seen a substantial reduction in speeds on East Avenue since the Town installed its first radar speed sign there.  

The Town's revised speed hump policy simplifies the petition process for new speed hump requests, reduces the speed threshold to support installation of new speed humps, and streamlines the engineering standards to be reviewed in evaluating requests for new speed humps.  Click here for more information to request either a radar speed board or a speed hump.





Holiday Sing-Along Through Town 

Sunday, December 19, 5-7 p.m.


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 townoffice@townofchevychase.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. 




Holiday Gift Drive for Domestic Violence Victims


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.




Holiday Tips for Waste Collection Crews Accepted at Town Office


Any holiday tips that residents wish to provide to the Town’s waste collection crews may be mailed to the Town office (4301 Willow Lane, Chevy Chase, MD 20815) or dropped off at the Town office on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Town staff will distribute the tips to the specified crew members or, if not specified, to the crew supervisor.  Checks should be made out to Goode Companies.  Please indicate if the check is for a specific crew member or the entire crew.  Below is more information on the waste collection crews.  Please provide any tips by December 31.  Thank you.

Main Crew (Monday-Friday)

Driver – Jose M.

Helper – Sifelani M.

Supplemental Crew (Monday & Wednesday)

Driver – Jorge V. 

Helper – Nicholas J.

Helper – Issac G.




Winter Clothing Drive Continues Through February


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.




Calling All Artists & Creatives -- Artistic Expression in the Face of the Pandemic


Whether 5 years old or 95 years old, the pandemic has affected us all in big and small ways.  If you (or your child) created or wishes to create a painting, poem, sculpture, musical composition, or other artistic expression that reflects how you have shown resiliency or faced the pandemic, the Community Relations Committee would be interested in learning more about your creation.  Depending on the interest, the Town may hold an exhibition.  Please describe your creation or take a photo and send it to townoffice@townofchevychase.org.




Holiday Event Hosted by The Woman's Club of Chevy Chase


The Woman’s Club of Chevy Chase is hosting SANTA’S WORKSHOP this weekend.  The event takes place on Saturday and Sunday, December 11and 12 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 7931 Connecticut Ave, Chevy Chase.  Free parking is available behind the Clubhouse off Dunlop Street.  Coming north, turn right just before the Fire Station; coming south, make a left turn on Dunlop, the street that separates the Clubhouse from the Fire Station.

Meet and Greet Santa and Mrs. Claus!  Crafts!  Food!  Fun!.  Tickets are $10 and are available online at www.wcccmaryland.org or at the door.  Ho Ho!




What's Happening at CC@H in December


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 PM
Ambassador Elizabeth Davenport McKune, former U.S. Ambassador to the State of Qatar (1998-2001) and an expert on the Persian Gulf, will speak about challenges in the Arabian Gulf. She was the first female ambassador from any country accredited to Qatar in this capacity. Qatar has played a unique role as a neighbor of Saudi Arabia in the Gulf region. It has coordinated with the U.S on a range of regional and global issues related to security and stability in the region, as well as serving as an intermediary between the U.S. and Afghanistan.

During her 33 years as a career Foreign Service officer, Ambassador McKune spent 17 years abroad with postings including Israel, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, the Sultanate of Oman, Iraq and Great Britain. Stateside she held a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State position as Deputy Executive Secretary. Other senior positions included Director of the Office of Northern Arabian Affairs, Director of the Office of Pacific Island Affairs, Director of the Media Outreach Center, and International Affairs Advisor to the Commandant of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (ICAF). Following the State Department, Liz became the Executive Director of the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center from 2007-2011. Part of Chevy Chase At Home's Guest Speaker Series.  Registration is required.  A Zoom event.

Human Bondage and Georgetown's Early Wealth -- Tuesday, December 7, 2021, 2 to 3 p.m.
Early Georgetown was not the polite society conjured by books like The Georgetown Ladies’ Social Club. Rather, it was built in part from trafficking in human beings – African slaves and British convicts and indentured servants – and from their labor. For instance, in 1805, Francis Lowndes, the son of a trafficker in humans, sold to Robert Peter the 8 ½ acre tract now known as Tudor Place for the seemingly princely sum of $6,000, but Peter had the money as evidenced by his selling inherited family slaves for $100,000 a few years later. Jim Johnston leads you on a tour of the real history of an early Georgetown that was diverse in the extreme with homes of fantastic wealth and hovels of abject poverty. Hosted by Montgomery History. Register in advance on this Zoom webinar page.

Smithsonian 175th Film Fest: Panda-monium -- Thursday, December 16, 2021, 5 to 6 p.m.
For nearly 50 years, visitors to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo have been in a state of panda-monium. Millions of fans from around the world first hurried to catch a glimpse of giant pandas when a pair arrived from China in April 1972. During this month’s Smithsonian 175th Film Fest program, audiences will be able to view footage of Hsing-Hsing and Ling-Ling in their first days at the National Zoo. We’ll then fast forward more than 30 years to the birth of Tai Shan, the Zoo’s first surviving giant panda cub, in 2005. Footage of the cub includes his check-ups with zoologists in front of the press and some playtime with his mother, Mei Xiang. Stay tuned as the Zoo’s Laurie Thompson, assistant curator of giant pandas, and Dr. Melissa Songer, conservation ecologist, join Archives historian Hannah Byrne for a conversation following the films. Due to copyright restrictions, this session will not be streamed to the YouTube Channel. Hosted by the Smithsonian. Register in advance using the "Register Now" button on the Smithsonian event page




Chevy Chase Fire Department -- Toys for Tots Collection


The Chevy Chase Fire Department is collecting Toys for Tots.  The toys can be dropped off at 8001 Connecticut Avenue Chevy Chase, MD 20815.  Please try to drop off toys by December 15.  If you have questions or comments please contact Natalie Welle at nsw209@gmail.com.




CH/Art Presents WOW! (Windows on Wisconsin)


Ch/Art, a Chevy Chase community arts organization, is pleased to present WOW! (Windows on Wisconsin) featuring art by Nancy Arbuthnot, Sara Bardin, Ruth Becker, Judith Goodman, Ronni Jolles, Trinka Roeckelein, and Xiaowei Song.

Exhibit December 9, 2021 – March 10, 2022

WOW! will command the attention of passing pedestrians and cars who will be drawn to 5510 Wisconsin Avenue, Chevy Chase, Maryland to view this dynamic display of the creativity of neighborhood artists.

This novel approach to viewing an exhibit in windows at any time day or night, provides a new way to enjoy art without restrictions.

WOW! brings the work of local artists, who are members of Ch/Art, an arts nonprofit, to the attention of the community. This display will run for a full year through December 2022. The curated shows will present the work of several artists at a time for a three-month period. New shows will be selected for the spring, summer, and fall of 2022.

Ch/Art (chevychaseart.org) was founded in 2018 and has a membership of 110 artists who work in painting, sculpture, glass, photography, jewelry, fiber art, ceramics and other media. It offers the

community opportunities to access art and engage in art making through educational and hands-on experiences. WOW! Is curated by Kirsty Little, Ch/Art board chair.

For additional information, please contact Kathleen Zeifang at khzeifang@gmail.com or 703-447-8758.




New Gas-Powered Blower Regulations


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.




Battery-Powered Blower Rebate Program


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.




Climate & Environment Tip of the Month
"The Issue with Tissue"


Americans’ love of luxury paper products is harming the environment.  In the 90 seconds, it will take you to read this message, two football field-sized areas of the Canadian boreal forest will have disappeared.  What are boreal forests and why should we care?  Boreal forests are full of deciduous trees and conifers and cover vast expanses in Canada, Alaska, and Russia.  They’re an important carbon sink which absorbs carbon dioxide -- a main contributor to global warming and climate change and they're home to abundant wildlife.

But these crucial forests are threatened, due in large part to the demand for virgin pulp to make ultra-soft TOILET PAPER, FACIAL TISSUE, PAPER NAPKINS, AND PAPER TOWELS.

Fortunately, there are eco-friendly alternatives:  

 -- Look for recycled and chlorine-free paper products or products made from Forest Stewardship Council-certified bamboo.  These are available in local stores and online.  Recycled paper products (don’t worry -- not made from used toilet paper or Kleenex!) are almost as soft and strong as the “luxury brands” -- and without the negative effect on the environment.

 -- Use cloth rags, sponges, and dishcloths instead of paper towels whenever possible.  Skoy cloths are an example of an effective, washable, and compostable cleaning cloth.

For specific guidance on the best and worst paper products to buy -- from an environmental standpoint -- here’s some helpful information from the Natural Resources Defense Council.  Thanks for making climate-friendly choices!




Town Office Hours


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 townoffice@townofchevychase.org.




Stay Informed


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.




Upcoming Meetings & Events


Click here to view the Town calendar.  

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