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Town of Chevy Chase
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1/7/2022 2:37:15 PM
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Weekly Town Updates -- January 7, 2022

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Update on Thrive Montgomery 2050 & 

Attainable Housing Strategies Initiative


The County Council has not yet scheduled any work sessions to deliberate on Thrive Montgomery 2050 (aka Thrive).  However, County Council President Albornoz has organized a series of Thrive Listening Sessions during the month of January.  Each of these sessions, hosted by a local County Regional Center Citizen Advisory Board, will provide an opportunity for residents to directly comment and question President Albornoz and County Council Staff on the principles of Thrive.  The B-CC Regional Center Listening Session will be held virtually on Thursday, January 27 at 7 p.m.  Residents are encouraged to participate and read a comprehensive response letter, which was submitted on December 14 by Mayor Rush to the County Council.

Thus far, no additional Planning Board work sessions have been scheduled to discuss the Attainable Housing Strategies Initiative (AHSI). 

If you have any questions, concerns, and suggestions about Thrive or AHSI, please contact Councilmember Ellen Cornelius Ericson at ellen@townofchevychase.org




4-H Redevelopment Update


In mid-December, Galerie Living and Community Three became the new owners of the 4-H property.  Moving forward, and while a specific redevelopment plan is being prepared, we expect to engage with the new owners to seek accommodation of our Town objectives and concerns, which will be drawn from the May 2021 resident survey, resident comments received to date, and further consultations that will be held with residents during this period.

 On September 30, the Town sent a letter to the buyers outlining the Town's primary interests to be considered as plans are developed and discussions proceed.  And on October 5, the Town’s real estate advisors and Town staff met with the buyers to discuss process issues and the content of the Town’s letter in more detail.  On December 9, the purchasers informed the Town that they have begun the concept stage of planning, considering the Town’s letter, and will be working most of January on refining that concept to be in presentable form.  The purchasers anticipate having something to share with the Town towards the end of January 2022.

The owners expect the planning and entitlement processes to take at least 30 months.  In the interim, they have requested a variance from the Town to fence the property while it is vacant.  The fence is proposed to be located in the front yards of the property along Connecticut Avenue, Thornapple Street and Woodside Place.  The Town does not allow front yard fences; therefore, a variance is required.  The variance hearing will be held at the January 12 Council meeting.  More information can be found here.

We encourage all residents to listen and participate as we learn more about the redevelopment plans for the 4-H property.




Zimmerman Park Redevelopment Plan


On January 4, the Town Council met with its consultant to review and discuss a revised concept plan for the redevelopment of Zimmerman Park.  The Council agreed to several changes to the plan and asked its consultant to develop a final base concept plan and a concept plan with additional amenities.  The Council also discussed a community survey to solicit resident feedback about possible amenities for the park.  The Town expects to release the new plans and survey to the community in mid-January.

In November and December, the Town Council held two in-person walking tours for Town residents to understand and discuss the extent and location of the proposed improvements.  And on November 29, the Town held a public forum to answer residents’ questions and receive resident feedback about the planned improvements. 




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 the change, 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 and Calming
Public Hearing on January 12


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 northbound Maple Avenue at Aspen Street and agreed to hold a public hearing on this proposed signage change at its January 12 meeting.  The signage change would allow traffic to exit onto East West Highway via Maple Avenue instead of via Aspen Street, Chatham Road and Meadow Lane from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday thru Friday.  Removal of this entry restriction is recommended in the Town-wide traffic study because Maple Avenue has fewer confronting homes, has additional width (i.e., approximately 28’ versus an average of 22’), and offers better sight lines than the other routes used during afternoon rush hour.  A recent traffic speed and volume 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 during the two-hour restriction.

 



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.




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.  The Town's revised policies for speed humps and radar speed signs are available for review on the Town website. 




Christmas Tree Recycling


The Town offers curbside pickup of Christmas trees.  All wire, ornaments and tinsel must be removed.  Please place the tree at the curb by 7 a.m. on Monday for regular yard waste collection.




Town Office Closure -- Martin Luther King Jr. Day


The Town Office will be closed on Monday, January 17. Yard waste and household trash will be collected as usual.




Town of Chevy Chase Book Club Meeting

Monday, January 24, 7 p.m., Town Hall


Our Town of Chevy Chase Book Club will meet January 24 at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall to discuss Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro, a tale of a companion robot chosen by a sick child.  Save the date for our next meeting on March 14 when we will discuss Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini, a historical novel on the remarkable friendship between Mary Todd Lincoln and her seamstress Elizabeth Keckley, a freed slave.  Join us for wine, snacks, and discussion.  Covid protocols observed.




Stay Safe Online: Protect Yourself from Fraud

Wednesday, January 26, 7 p.m. via Zoom


Learn how to protect yourself from identity theft and online scams so that you can more safely use the internet from your smartphone, tablet, and computer. The Town is offering two sessions, led by our very own Town resident, Brian Geffert, Global Chief Information Security Officer at KPMG International. A session for parents will be held on Wednesday, January 26 at 7 p.m. via Zoom, and a session for seniors will be held on Thursday, January 27 at 7 p.m. via Zoom. Please RSVP to 301-654-7144 or townoffice@townofchevychase.org.




Kids Scavenger Hunt

Sunday, January 27, 7 p.m. via Zoom


Join us for a free kids winter scavenger hunt at the Lawton Center playground on Sunday, January 30 at 3:30 p.m.  The scavenger hunt will be geared towards ages 1-6, but all ages are welcome.  There will be snacks and prizes!




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.




What's Happening at CC@H in December


Arts of the Islamic World -- Tuesday, January 11, 2022, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. (Registration is required - No Fee)
The arts of the Islamic world encompass a great diversity of traditions far-ranging in geography and historical period—from North Africa to India and since the advent of Islam in the late seventh century. Explore selections from the museum’s more than 2,200 Islamic art objects in an interactive online tour with one of the docents from the Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art. Hosted by Chevy Chase At Home. A Zoom event.

CC@H Guest Speaker: Peter Ross Range, Author of "The Unfathomable Ascent: How Hitler Came to Power" -- Friday, January 28, 2022, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. (Registration is required - No Fee)
CC@H member Peter Ross Range will speak on his book, "The Unfathomable Ascent: How Hitler Came to Power." Range is a journalist who has covered war, politics, and international affairs. A specialist in Germany, he has written for Time, the New York Times, National Geographic, the London Sunday Times Magazine, Playboy, and U.S. News & World Report, where he was a White House correspondent.

Local Volunteers Needed for Errands for Seniors
Chevy Chase At Home seeks local volunteers to complete an occasional errand for a local senior. As a volunteer, you will get to choose when you volunteer and which errands you complete. A commitment of just one hour a month can make a difference. Sign up today at www.chevychaseathome.org.

Do You Need A Helping Hands Around the House?
Chevy Chase At Home’s dedicated volunteers are here to support our members. If you need assistance with changing a light bulb, setting up a new television, bringing your trash cans to the curb, or other things around the house, membership may be right for you. Please contact us to discuss how we can help at 301.657.3115. 




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.




Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers Banned January 1-October 14


Residents are reminded that, effective January 1, 2022, the use of gas-powered blowers is prohibited from January 1 through October 14. The Town Council approved this ban in response to resident concerns about noise and other impacts of this type of landscaping equipment. The regulations exempt gas-powered snow blowers and sprayers. 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
"Spare the Salt!"


When snow and ice melt, the salt on roads, driveways and sidewalks gets dissolved with it, washing into adjacent storm drains, and making its way to our local waterways.  Once in the water there is no way to remove the sodium chloride, and at high concentrations salt can harm fish and plant life.  Salt is also a pet paw irritant, and it can seep into soil in your own yard, which can harm plants, and kill off microbes important to soil health and fertility.  Here are some winter salt best practices:

 -- Avoid using salt if at all possible.  Sand, ashes, or kitty litter are good alternatives if traction is the issue.  Sand is definitely a better bet below 15 degrees Fahrenheit, when salt will be ineffective.  Avoid using salt if the temperature is forecast to get above freezing for several hours of the day -- the ice will melt naturally, or enough so that you can easily scrape or shovel it away. 

 -- Try de-icing products that are less harmful than sodium chloride.  Alternative chemicals that are better for the environment are calcium magnesium acetate (CMA), calcium chloride or magnesium chloride.  Strosniders in Bethesda carries several alternatives. 

-- If you must use salt for safety purposes, shovel or scrape first.  The less snow and ice, the less salt you’ll need to use.  Use the smallest amount possible, then wait. It can take time for the salt to have its intended melting effect. 

-- After the snow and ice have melted, if you have leftover dry salt and/or sand, sweep it up for reuse, or proper disposal.  If you just leave it where it sits, it will eventually wash off into the watershed or your yard. 

-- For reinforcement of these points, here is the County salt website




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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