By DAVIS KENNEDY
A parking study is in the works for Chevy Chase. The local advisory neighborhood commission, ANC 3/4G, voted unanimously July 9 to assemble a task force co-chaired by two of its commissioners.
The group will have approximately ten members, including representatives of both the business and residential communities.
The task force is to puublish its findings by the end of the year.
Commissioner Gerald Malitz said he counted 465 parking spaces in the Chevy Chase area, including 377 in 14 lots and 85 along Connecticut Avenue and its side streets. Most of the parking lots are restricted and 22 spaces are reserved for the disabled.
Many lots have two-hour limits, making it difficult to go to restaurants and a movie, residents told the commissioners.
“Parking issues have a significant impact on our residential neighborhoods and business districts,” the ANC resolution said. “A resolution of these issues will help facilitate a more vibrant neighborhood which is vital to the success of family, personal, commercial and community life.”
Members singled out parking enforcement, or a lack thereof, as a key concern for both residents and businesses.
Malitz pointed out that parking lot owners often have insurance issues. Some enforce their rules by towing, he said.
Commission Chair Randy Speck said special exceptions for two of the area’s parking lots have lapsed,. Therefore, he said, the commission could have leverage to ask for policy changes when they apply for renewal.
The task force is to research whether it would be possible to site an underground parking garage at the local Safeway.
Resident Allen Seeber reported at a previous commission meeting that Tim McNamara, Safeway’s senior eastern region real estate manager, told him that Safeway “would welcome the opportunity to build and operate a new/larger store” at its Connecticut Ave. location, but there are leasehold problems. An underground parking lot would require changes in Safeway’s lease terms as well as government approval, Seeber said.