Notes from the ANC3/4G – Chevy Chase – Mtg. 1/28/19


At the commission’s Jan. 28 meeting:

* All commissioners were re-elected in the 20018 election. The commission re-elected Randy Speck as its chair, Christopher Fromboluti its vice-chair and Chanda Garfield its treasurer. Abraham Clayman was elected secretary, replacing Rebecca Maydak. 

* Commissioner Abraham Clayman reported the Department of Transportation has agreed to delay placing bioretention cells along Oregon Avenue. The department will hold an open house on Feb. 13 at 7:00 p.m. at the Chevy Chase Community Center. 

     Commissioner Chanda Garfield reported there will be some new trees planted in February.

* Commissioner Gerald Malitz reported the Department of Transportation has agreed to move parking signs in the area where Military Road, Chevy Chase Parkway and Connecticut Avenue cross each other to make them easier to see.

* Gabrielle Priest, Mayor Muriel Bowser’s new Ward 4 liaison, reported there will be free rides on the DC Circulator bus during the month of February. Anthony Cassillo of Councilmember Mary Cheh’s office reported the City Council has formed two new committees, one for Recreation and Youth Affairs, and the other for Facilities and Procurement. Cheh will continue to chair the Transportation and Environmental Committee which will now include some aspects of DC Water.

* The commission will continue to meet in 2019 on the second and fourth Mondays except for the month of August when it will not meet and in months when holidays interfere with dates when it will only hold one meeting.

* The new Metropolitan Police Dept. 2nd District Commander Duncan Bedlion

reported that 131 of the cars stolen in 2018 had their keys in the ignition or in the glove box. He mentioned that some luxury carmakers now put a key in the glove box and he urged residents to remove them. He also told them to keep their cars neat as that usually convinces would-be thieves there is nothing available to steal in a car.

     He told residents to call 311 in non-emergency situations and 911 when there is an emergency or they see something suspicious going on.

     Residents complained to Bedlion about speeding traffic on Military Road between 27th Street and Nebraska Avenue.

* The commission unanimously voted it had no objection to modifications in the driveway of 5363 29th St. which will be accompanied by a lowering on the retaining wall and increased plantings. 15 neighbors signed a statement they agreed with the changes.

* The commission unanimously endorsed a Capital Bikeshare station at the Lafayette Elementary School, which would be on the school’ property. The location would not be “permanent,” so if there are problems with it, it can be removed. A possible installation would come this fall.

The commission unanimously called for sidewalks throughout the 6100 block of 32nd Street. Sidewalks now are only in part of the block. Completing them would make it safer for children going to the Lafayette Elementary School playground.

* There is now a $19 million budget to modernize the Chevy Chase Community Center. Either the inside of the building will be rebuilt or the entire structure will be torn down and rebuilt, Commission Chair Randy Speck reported. There was a request for design contract proposals by the Department of General Services on Jan. 10. The building will be Lead Silver certified, be aesthetically pleasing, and capable of serving as an emergency refuge.

      It will include a fitness center, a lecture hall, a gymnasium, a party room, a teaching kitchen, a dance studio, a fencing room, offices and a dark room. The $19 million will be spent over three years.

      Speck said the planned schedule should be taken “with a grain of salt.” The design concept notice of award is planned for March 13 and should be completed within 14 weeks. A construction request for proposals is scheduled for 18 weeks after the design is completed and construction is schedule to start this October. The planned completion date is Sept. 22, 2021.

     The appropriate government departments, Speck said, have agreed to work with the commission. Over 25 companies have expressed interest in the project.

     “It’s going to be first rate,” he added. “This is really a milestone.”

     Commissioner Chris Fromboluti is organizing an ANC committee of four commissioners and members of the public to both coordinate with the commission and interface with the selected architect.

     The request for proposals included numerous references to the commission’s 2018 survey on residents’ desires for the community center.

     Commissioner Abraham Clayman reported the budget covers transition expenses for the numerous organizations that use the building so they can continue to operate during the construction period.

* The commission unanimously agreed to give a $1,500 grant to Northwest Neighbors Village, which is also getting a $1,500 grant from a neighboring commission, ANC3E. The commission gave conditional approval to a $2,000 grant for the Wilson Crew Boosters Club and a $1,200 grant to the year old Ch/Art organization. Commissioners were not completely certain they could legitimately give the two organizations grant money, so they made the grants conditional upon approval of Gottlieb Simon, who supervises commissions for the District government. Commissioner Gerald Malitz abstained on the 6-0-1 Wilson and Ch/Art grant votes.

* The commission unanimously agreed that Commission Chair Randy Speck should testify before the City Council committee overseeing the police department and should commend the department especially for its refusal to allow illegal guns in the District.

     Speck was also unanimously authorized to testify before the committee overseeing health to ask it to tell the Health Department to issue regulations for assisted living facilities that have been delayed for 18 years. Speck pointed out that five of the District’s 7 or 8 assisted living facilities are within the commission’s boundaries.

* The commission’s next meeting will be held February 11 at 7:00 p.m.