After more than a year, the Chevy Chase DC Draft Small Area Plan is ready for your comments. The plan re-envisions the core of our Chevy Chase DC main street (Connecticut Avenue) with a mix of retail, new affordable and market rate homes, and a new community center/library campus. Many of you participated in one or more of the Office of Planning, ANC, Ward3Vision or Historic Chevy Chase DC events, but now we need you to weigh in on the draft plan. Speak up at the April 26 hearing, from 2 to 7 pm, or send comments to the DC Office of Planning.
The draft plan is a thoughtful approach to growing sustainably, proposing new mixed use buildings to replace parking lots and single-use suburban building types. The plan would preserve the main street character of Connecticut Avenue. It also provides for design guidelines to encourage a vibrant and active public realm. The plan welcomes new mixed-income housing opportunities in a place that has not included new homes for decades. An exciting element is a proposal to rebuild the local library and community center in a co-development with affordable housing, so people earning modest incomes could have the opportunity to live in Chevy Chase.
The plan is getting pushback from incumbent neighborhood skeptics who prefer to see little if any change. This is unfortunate given the modest scope of the changes proposed. The plan offers a blueprint for how a largely unchanged main street in an exclusive neighborhood could grow and diversify.
After the Office of Planning completes the small area plan, we are urging it to take the next step by adding implementation tools such as design guidelines or form based codes. This approach ensures well-designed development and provides a clear review process to deliver the quality buildings and public spaces that every community deserves. New building proposals that conform to these guides can then predictably be approved, without extended delays, providing additional affordable Inclusionary Zoning units (IZ Plus).
After decades of no change, the Draft Chevy Chase DC Small Area Plan offers a helpful guide for creating a more inclusive, diverse and vibrant community.
Learn more about the Draft Chevy Chase DC Small Area Plan here.
Sign up here to testify at the Office of Planning hearing on April 26, 2022.
Thanks for all you do,
Cheryl Cort, Policy Director