The Chevy Chase Main Street (CCMS) Grant was awarded in November, 2020 to District Bridges, a DC based community non-profit organization. The $150,000-175,000 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.
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) 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 several times during this process. Meeting summaries are available here (CAC tab). To become more familiar with OP's process see "Introduction to Neighborhood Planning."
OP also prepared a Chevy Chase SAP draft Vision and Goals. The document was the result of a 10 minute survey that OP conducted as well as four virtual Visioning Workshops which were attended by about 80 residents.
OP conducted three community walks during Nov. and Dec. 2021 to explore the different features of the Chevy Chase commercial main street. The intent was for community participants to learn about current sites that can contribute to positive growth along the Conn. Ave. corridor. The walks sought to help inform a design charette to be released in January 2022. About 120 local residents particpated in one of the walks. OP also held a 2-hour design workshop on January 22 which attracted 140 local residents and two drop-in office hour sessions at the Chevy Chase Public Library for local residents to ask questions and present views.
Finally, OP held a Chevy Chase Small Area Plan Community Open House on Wednesday, February 23 at the Chevy Chase Library. They presented gallery boards about the Small Area Planning process, new illustrative graphics of potential growth along the Connecticut Avenue corridor, and draft design principles and guidelines.
The Chevy Chase (Draft) Small Area Plan has been released by DC's Office of Planning. The public comment period ran from March 14 - May 13. A Public Hearing took place on Tuesday, April 26 at the Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church (Chadsey Hall) with 32 individuals testifying. During the public comment period, written comments were encouraged and submitted using an online form. A final SAP will be submitted to the Council for approval by Resolution. The Chevy Chase SAP website has more information.
As way of providing some background information the current zoning category boundaries for the Chevy Chase area are basically as follows:
There are two types of zones in our Ward 4 SMD's:
R1A - East of Utah Ave.
R1B - West of Utah Ave.
There are 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.
Reportedly, once the Chevy Chase Small Area Plan is voted by the Council by resolution (tentatively scheduled for June, 2022), the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) will spend the Fall and Winter working with the community on beginning the planning process for the redevelopment of the Chevy Chase Community Center and Chevy Chase Neighborhood Library. At this time, the plan is to include both affordable and senior housing units. The site comprises one lot (square 1866, lot 0823) at 5601 and 5625 Connecticut Avenue NW between McKinley and Northampton Streets NW and totals 73,390 square feet. Plans for this development are currently in DMPED's Project Pipeline Database.
It is estimated that the RFP Release will be in Spring 2023.T here 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 sought to assess 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 Street. 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 goals and benefits for this study include:
After close to 2 years of study and public meetings Concept C, was chosen as the selected option. It:
•Removes Reversible Lane System - Peak Period/Off Peak Period Operations -Two (2) northbound and two (2) southbound travel lanes •Includes one way Protected Bicycle Lanes -Located on east and west sides of Connecticut Avenue from Calvert Street to Legation Street -Includes 4' or 5' bike lanes and 4' or 1.5' buffers to accommodate either mainline or left turn and parking lane requirements.
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 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.
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, proposed changes to the Future Land Use Map (FLUM) and the Generalized Policy Map (GPM) were considered. The FLUM, depicts intended land uses throughout the city for roughly 20 years into the future, generally focuses 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. 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 was conducted to help inform decisions for how the Comprehensive Plan will be implemented for Chevy Chase.
At the Sept. 27, 2021 ANC3/4G public meeting Maret Head of School Marjo Talbott and Trey Holloway, Assistant Head for Finance and Operation led a team of Maret staff and Board members in initially presenting their plans regarding the Episcopal Center for Children (ECC) on Utah Avenue. A recording of their presentation can be viewed here.
Maret and ECC have executed a long-term lease for up to 50 years (20 years with three 10 year extensions at Maret's option which they fully intend to accept) for the grounds behind the ECC’s buildings (approximately 5 acres), as well as the smallest of its four buildings (the Media building), in order to develop a new athletic complex with a multi-sport field and baseball diamond.
Once developed the complex will be used primarily for Maret athletic practices and games. For example, at this time they have indicated their use of the complex would begin 2 weeks prior to Labor Day through Thanksgiving for the Fall term from about 2:30-6pm daily with a similar schedule for the Spring term. They will not be using it on Sunday's. Maret also intends to make it available (via rental) to other DC-based youth organizations. Their plans include a multi-purpose turf athletic field for football, soccer and lacrosse (195 feet wide by 360 feet long), a baseball field, an electronic scoreboard, some stands for seating, a parking lot for about 50 vehicles, landscaping, and other amenities. See the full concept plan and a 3D rendering here on pages 6-7. They have since conducted several neighborhood meetings and information sessions as well as presenting at ANC3/4G meetings.
On April 6, the Board of Zoning Adjustment formally approved Maret's BZA special exception application on a voice vote of 4 (yes), 0 (no), with one member absent. The transcript (4/6/2022) of the meeting is available (pages 6-30 of the document) as is the video recording (35 minutes long) of the hearing. A formal written order is expected in the coming weeks.