The Chevy Chase Main Street Grant was awarded to District Bridges, a DC based community non-profit organization (follow them on Facebook and Instagram.) Alex Krefetz was hired as the full-time program manager for Chevy Chase. The $175,000 renewable annual grant from DSLBD allows District Bridges to support small businesses with technical assistance and grants, invest in comprehensive neighborhood branding and marketing, plan community events, and to promote commercial revitalization while maintaining the traditional and unique Chevy Chase characteristics. The official launch took place on March 11, 2021 and is available to view.
They have completed one round of grant competitions in which they awarded grants to nine local businesses. They were:
The Main Street program is additionally supported with private-sector funds raised by District Bridges. District Bridges was aided in the Main Street application process by a coalition of Chevy Chase organizations including: Chevy Chase Citizens Association, ANC 3/4G, Historic Chevy Chase DC, Friends of Chevy Chase Circle, Northwest Neighbors Village, and Ch/Art.
District Bridges has also established a 20 member Neighborhood Strategy Council (NSC)representing businesses, local organizations and residents to work with DB to support business development and overall improvements through the program.
Currently, they are conducting a survey of businesses to make sure every business owner has the opportunity to provide input on his or her needs and concerns, as well as how they feel Chevy Chase Main Street can help the local business community. Responses will also help inform a retail market analysis, being conducted by the DC Dept. of Small and Local Business Development and Jon Stover & Associates, to assess Chevy Chase retail conditions.
Chevy Chase's Small Area Plan (SAP) is intended to be a guiding vision for inclusive growth rooted in a people-centered planning and design approach that aligns with OP’s priorities of housing production, economic recovery, and equity and racial justice focusing on creating a vibrant, mixed-use gateway corridor. According to OP the SAP will be developed in coordination with residents through a formal Community Advisory Committee (CAC), which currently has 15 community members, and with partner agencies who are undertaking the design plans for the Chevy Chase Community Center/Library redevelopment project and the Conn. Ave. Reversible Lane Study. The CAC has met 4 times, most recently on May 18th. Meeting summaries are available here (CAC tab). To become more familiar with OP's Small Area Plan process see their "Introduction to Neighborhood Planning."
OP has also released a 10 minute Visioning Survey to help shape the vision for urban design, housing and economic recovery for Connecticut Avenue for Chevy Chase's Small Area Plan. The survey will remain open through June 24th. Additionally, they conducted four virtual Visioning Workshops which were attended by about 80 residents.
The DC budget allocated $150,000 for this study. The process, is intended to provide a systemic and unified approach to development strategies for the Connecticut Ave. business corridor and the surrounding neighborhood. It will ultimately be the driving force for future Chevy Chase planning. The Public Kick-off Meeting for the Chevy Chase Small Area Plan took place on March 4, 2021. The meeting is on YouTube and the full transcript of the chat is now available in a pdf format. The chat transcript includes many comments and questions, most of which were not answered or addressed during the event due to time constraints, technical issues, or other factors. The recording of the first meeting where Director Trueblood made a presentation on April 12 at an ANC meeting is available. On Wednesday April 21, ANC3/4G held an also available special meeting with OP Director Trueblood to continue his response to questions regarding the SAP and its relationship to the Comprehensive Plan.
The current zoning category boundaries for the Chevy Chase area are basically:
Two types of zones in our Ward 4 SMD's:
R1A - East of Utah Ave.
R1B - West of Utah Ave.
Five types of zones In our Ward 3 SMD's:
R1B - East of Conn. Ave. and North of Military Rd., and West of Conn. Ave. and South of Military Rd.
R2 - West of Conn Ave. and North of Military Rd., and a small area East of Conn. Ave. and North of Nebraska Ave.
R3 - West on Conn. Ave. between Military Rd. and Nebraska Ave.
RA2 - On Conn. Ave.
RA4 - On Conn. Ave.
See the complete DC Zoning Handbook.
Partially based on recommendations by ANC3/4G it was determined that the renovation projects for the Chevy Chase Community Center and the Chevy Chase Public Library be consolidated on the same schedule so that they could be designed and built together and achieve greater efficiencies. The budget would delay funding on the Community Center until FY 2024, so that the two projects would exist on the same schedule.
At this time no more work is being done on the Community Center so as to not jeopardize a more comprehensive, potentially joint, approach with a unified campus with other features. This all still needs to be determined and will be discussed as part of other planning efforts. There is still about $300,000 left in the project now for continued planning but in the meantime there was a shift of $17.5 million of Chevy Chase Community Center allotment from FYs 2020 and 2021 to FYs 2023 and 2024, as well as about $21 million in FY 2024 for the Chevy Chase Public Library.
DDOT's Connecticut Avenue NW Reversible Lane Safety and Operations Study is assessing the multi-modal (vehicular, transit, bicycle, pedestrian) operational and safety impacts associated with either removing or maintaining the current reversible lane system along Connecticut Ave. NW from Calvert St. to Legation St. (or perhaps Chevy Chase Circle). The study developed several concept recommendations (see existing conditions report, June, 2020) which incorporated one no-build management option and one protected bicycle lane option. The perceived goals and benefits for the Connecticut Ave. NW Reversible Lane Safety and Operations Study project include:
A public meeting took place on March 30 (view recording) (another took place on April 1) in regard to this project. The 88 slides used for the presentation are also available as are the breakout rooms. it was followed by a thorough story published April 10 in the Washington Post.
There have been 4 proposed concept recommendations for this study. At this time Concept C seems to be the frontrunner by all the impacted ANC's. It,
•Removes Reversible Lane System
•Peak Period/Off Peak Period Operations
-Two (2) northbound and two (2) southbound travel lanes
•One way Protected Bicycle Lanes
-Located on east and west sides of Connecticut Avenue
-Includes 4' or 5' bike lanes and 4' or 1.5' buffers to accommodate either mainline or left turn/parking lane requirements
•Traffic Operations Manageable Impacts
•Parking Retains 118 spaces in Commercial Areas removes 507 spaces in other areas of Corridor
After more than 1 year of study and public meetings, most recently held on April 1 (see presentation), ANC3/4G discussed at its April 26 meeting the draft resolution, "ANC 3/4G Resolution Regarding DDOT’s Connecticut Avenue Reversible Lane Study Supporting Concept C." The resolution was brought to the floor by co-authors Commissioners Gore and Zeldin. The resolution stated that "ANC 3/4G supports Concept C because it appears to best meet the diverse residential and business needs of our community." In brief, Concept C removes the Reversible Lane Operation on Connecticut Avenue, includes protected bicycle lanes on both sides of the avenue, and parking/loading are preserved in commercial areas. The resolution for Concept C passed by a 5-1-1 vote: in favor (Chang, Fromboluti, Gore, Speck and Zeldin), opposed (Higgins), and abstention (Gosselin).
The draft of the Comprehensive Plan Amendments was released on April 14, 2021. The D.C. Council’s Committee of the Whole began working on the Comprehensive Plan with a first reading on April 20 (view hearing). It had an initial vote May 4 and a final vote May 18 in which it was passed unanimously. The section with the greatest impact on Chevy Chase is the Rock Creek West Area Element.
On Jan. 4, 2021, DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson introduced the Comprehensive Plan Amendment Act of 2020 (B24-01). Bill 24-01 represents a significant update to the Comprehensive Plan, and has the potential to influence development throughout the District for several decades. The proposed amendments of the above referenced Rock Creek West Area Element to the GPM and FLUM are particularly critical, as the new maps will reflect the shared vision for neighborhoods throughout the city and dictate preferred land uses.
This bill is a companion to Bill 23-01, the Comprehensive Plan Amendment Act of 2019, which became law in August 2020 and amended the Framework Element (Chapter 2) of the Comprehensive Plan. The proposed changes update the remaining 24 District Elements of the Comprehensive Plan. In addition, the DC Council will consider proposed changes to the Future Land Use Map (FLUM) and the Generalized Policy Map (GPM). The FLUM, which depicts intended land uses throughout the city for roughly 20 years into the future, is generally focused on growth at metro stations and along corridors and anticipates the transfer of federal land. The GPM helps to guide land use decision-making in conjunction with the FLUM and the Comprehensive Plan text and maps.
The updated GPM includes new designations, including Future Planning Analysis Areas. B24-01 has been referred to the Committee of the Whole. The Council Chairman sets the time frame for the bill's consideration. Once approved, the bill would take effect after a 30-day congressional layover and publication in the District Register. However, no District Element of this Comprehensive Plan amendment will apply until it has been reviewed by the National Capital Planning Commission. The development by the Office of Planning of a Small Area Plan for Chevy Chase is currently being conducted to help inform decisions for how the Comprehensive Plan will be implemented for Chevy Chase.
On January 25, 2021, the ANC adopted a resolution establishing a Racial and Social Equity Standing Committee with Commissioners Lisa Gore and Randy Speck serving as co-chairs. The first meeting of this Standing Committee took place on Tuesday, May 11 and their second meeting will occur on June 15th.
This Standing Committee will study and advise the Commission on how to most effectively:
The resolution further states that the Standing Committee will study and advise the Commission on how to most effectively: Implement the initiatives developed and recommended by the Commission's Task Force on Racism and adopted by the Commission; Advocate for racial and social equity in the community and the city; Endeavor to develop racial and social equity frameworks for analyzing issues and policies; Promote community involvement and engagement; develop key stakeholder (community and City-wide) relationships; incorporate the most affected community members; Champion education and training to increase awareness and understanding of equity frameworks; connect individual and collective experiences to systemic equity issues; and develop value data-driven analysis to aid decision-making.
The goal is to help identify barriers that prevent our community from being an equitable place for all, with the broader goal of creating systemic change throughout the city.