Category: Affordable Housing

Joint Statement: Chevy Chase DC rezoning proposal supports a more inclusive and vibrant community (DC)

Joint Statement: Chevy Chase DC rezoning proposal supports a more inclusive and vibrant community (DC)

Ward3Vision, WIN Ward 3 Congregations Affordable Housing Work Group, and Coalition for Smarter Growth urge adoption of the proposed zoning changes to Chevy Chase’s main street as the critical next step toward achieving a more inclusive and vibrant community. 

Event Materials: Affordable Housing Financing 101 (May 2024)

Hear from experts Patrick McAnaney of Somerset Development Company and Chris Gillis of Montgomery Housing Partnership about how affordable housing providers meet financing needs, and how local, state, and federal government can help—as well as a briefing on the County Councils’ work on affordable housing from Council President Andrew Friedson.

Tips for testifying in support of an inclusive neighborhood

Tips for testifying in support of an inclusive neighborhood

This is your guide to testifying virtually at the DC Zoning Commission for:

Case No. 23-02: Chevy Chase Neighborhood Mixed Use Zones on April 29, 2024 at 4pm

How to sign up to testify:

In order to testify at the hearing, you MUST sign up to testify at least 24 hours in advance of the hearing date.

  • Sign up to testify virtually by April 28 at 4pm at https://dcoz.dc.gov/service/sign-testify 
  • To sign up you need to search for the hearing date — April 29, state that you are a “proponent” and swear to tell the truth. 
  • Submit written comments (if you haven’t already sent a letter) in advance of the hearing date. Send an email of your comments to zcsubmissions@dc.gov
  • Note: The hearing is 100% virtual. There is no in-person testimony. You can either call or appear on video for your testimony. 

What to expect when testifying

  • After signing up to testify, you will be sent a link from the D.C. Office of Zoning with the information to log in to view the hearing, and testify when your name is called. 
  • On April 29, the hearing will start at 4pm, but plan on 5pm to start with proponents’ testimony. At 4pm, the Zoning Commission will discuss preliminary matters, and hear a presentation from the DC Office of Planning. It’s possible that this case could require several public hearings and will not hear from all proponents at the first hearing date. 
  • Your testimony:
    • Prepare to speak for three minutes. 
    • State that you generally support what’s being proposed. If you want to make suggestions for how something can be better, be sure to always declare your overall support, and then say you have recommendations to make it even better. 
    • Always be polite and formal, and only speak for your allotted 3 minutes. 
    • It’s a formal proceeding but the commissioners are very respectful of all the people who make the effort to testify and they generally listen attentively to what you have to say and occasionally have a question for you.

View our full tips for testifying guide:

For more background information, check out our Chevy Chase Zoning Explainer.

Testimony: FY25 Operating Budget (Montgomery County, Support with Amendments)

We are glad to see record levels of funding for affordable housing production and preservation in this year’s capital and operating budgets, and thank the Council and County Executive for consistently increasing funding for affordable housing year over year.

Understanding the New Mixed-Use Zoning for Chevy Chase DC

These zoning changes fulfill the guidance of the Comprehensive Plan, Chevy Chase Small Area Plan, and the Housing Equity Report which call for increased affordable housing opportunities in Chevy Chase. Currently, Ward 3 has less than 1% of D.C.’s dedicated affordable housing. The zoning changes are also intended to support moderate density mixed use development that creates an active, pedestrian-oriented commercial corridor with a convenient mix of neighborhood serving shops and services. 

Take Action: Ask the Council to support affordable housing on faith-owned land

The Montgomery County Council is considering a zoning text amendment, ZTA 24-01, that would make it easier for faith and private education institutions to build affordable housing on their land. This would open up new opportunities to build much-needed affordable homes, and offer faith institutions greater flexibility to use their land in ways that align with their missions and support thriving congregations and communities.

Testimony: Vote not to delay full implementation of the modern Zoning Ordinance (Prince George’s, Oppose)

We urge the Council to vote against CR 22. We ask you to not delay implementation of the modern Zoning Ordinance by extending the overlapping use of the old zoning code for another two years, as CR 22 proposes. Further delay of the implementation of the modern zoning ordinance for another two years will harm the county’s ability to attract new investment and guide quality development to appropriate locations.

Testimony: CB 15 – Omnibus revisions to Zoning Ordinance to implement Plan 2035 (Prince George’s, Support)

March 20, 2024 (updated 4/17/2024)

Hon. Tom Dernoga, Chair
PHED Committee
Prince George’s County Council 
Wayne Curry Administration Building
1301 McCormick Drive, Largo MD

Dear Chair Dernoga and members of the Committee:

Please accept this testimony on behalf of the Coalition for Smarter Growth (CSG), the leading organization advocating for walkable, bikeable, inclusive, transit-oriented communities as the most sustainable and equitable way for the Washington, DC region to grow and provide opportunities for all. We also support and work closely with RISE Prince George’s, a group of county residents and allies advocating for policies and practices that build shared, sustainable prosperity in Prince George’s County by creating safe, walkable, inclusive and transit-oriented communities.

We urge your support for CB 15. This is essential legislation to ensure the efficient, transparent, and effective use of the new zoning code, which implements the goals of Plan 2035. This new code supports Plan 2035’s priority focus on transit-oriented mixed use centers as a leading approach for strengthening the county’s economic competitiveness and tax base, and livability and sustainability. Much of the county’s future success depends on implementing the new, modern zoning code.

We participated in the extensive process to create the new zoning code, following the adoption of Plan 2035 in 2014. The new zoning code replaced a 50-year-old, outdated, confusing ordinance. It was a major advance for the county. It has been effective since April 2022. During this time, the need for further refinements to the code have been identified. CB 15 addresses these needs by including these key provisions: 

  • clarifying transition provisions – such as: grandfathering, access to prior zone uses for 10 years, fire loss reconstruction provisions, Woodmore Town Center access to prior approvals
  • Limitations on residential growth in the (Commercial, General and Office) CGO Zone outside the Beltway
  • Increased baseline residential density for Transit-Oriented/Activity Center zones

We strongly support the proposed changes to the NAC, TAC, LTO and RTO zones to allow increased numbers of homes per acre and some adjustments in height.  We have long expressed concern about the low densities permitted around transit stations in the new zoning code. The importance of allowing sufficient housing capacity around transit stations and major transit corridors is to attract quality investment that is feasible. Limiting sites in close proximity to high-capacity transit stations to low numbers of homes will waste the value of the taxpayer investment in transit, the many benefits of accessibility of transit, and discourage investment in quality mixed-use development.

We need more homes in multifamily buildings around transit stations and transit corridors to create a vibrant, mixed use, energetic environment that fosters walkability, thriving retail streets, and the kind of places that more people want to live in, work in, and visit. The proposed increased densities for Transit-Oriented/Activity Center zones help to advance the vision of great, walkable, transit-oriented communities.

We also support adding location standards to ensure that Transit-Oriented/Activity Centers are limited to the transit stations best suited for the level of development we expect in these centers.

Limiting residential growth outside the Beltway

We support the approach in the original legislation requiring that residential development outside the beltway in the CGO zone be reviewed and approved only through a Planned Development process. While the Planning Board revised this recommendation to allow multifamily, two-family, and townhouse dwellings on CGO sites of 25 or fewer acres with the approval of a Special Exception, we disagree. Given the permissibility of a Special Exception and the significant impact of growth outside the beltway, we recommend either specifying detailed Special Exception criteria or at least scaling back the number of acres allowed for Special Exception to five acres or less, or both. 

We know that many in the development industry are urging further delay in implementation of the new zoning code. We think further delay harms the county’s ability to attract new quality investment. The new code offers streamlined, easy to understand zoning regulations, and omnibus bill CB 15 provides helpful revisions.

We urge the Council to pass this bill without delay, while continuing to work to ensure the zoning code is supporting Plan 2035’s goals to focus most growth in Regional and Local transit centers, and inside the beltway.  

Thank you for your consideration. 

Sincerely,
Cheryl Cort
Policy Director