quick link to home salesPRESIDENT'S REPORT
|Zoning and Development Issues --
Ron Tripp, Chairperson, Citizens Coordinating Committee on Friendship Heights|
Developers have again changed their plans for the Hecht's site, and once again the changes are a positive improvement for residents of the Friendship Heights area. New England Development Company (N.E.D.) is submitting a new site plan that they say reflects changes in the market for commercial office space. The new plan eliminates one of two office towers by reallocating about 150,000 square feet from office space to residential space. A hotel along Friendship Blvd. was previously eliminated.
Under the new plan the project's apartment building will now be as tall as the office tower (14 stories), and although it will front Willard Ave., the building will have a wide side along Friendship Blvd. adjoining the community center. N.E.D. also seeks to take advantage of an option that allows for additional footage if used for a grocery store. The new plan includes a 50,000 square foot specialty type grocery store at the Metro level and fronting on Willard Ave. in the area of the present Hecht's loading docks.
From early in the Sector Plan process CCCFH has insisted that there was more need for residential space than office space, and more importantly we have pointed out repeatedly that homes are less taxing to our already congested roads than offices. People residing at a Metro station are more likely to be regular Metro users than people working near a Metro station. And, office workers all tend to use the roads during the same few hours, whereas road use by residents tends to be more spread out through the day and evening, causing less congestion.
While pleased with N.E.D.'s changes, CCCFH does have concerns. Among them are having the apartment building's rooftop utilities pushed back out of sight, maintaining a Wisconsin Avenue drop off area where standing cars would be allowed, and making sure that the apartment dwellers don't overwhelm the Community Center facilities. The plan will be subject to County Planning Board review. Watch for hearing date(s).
Another Friendship Heights project now in the planning stage is the redevelopment of the Washington Clinic site. This project proposes mostly condo's, about 125 units. As part of this project the developer will also be making improvements to a nearby D.C. park.
CCCFH continues to follow County Council bill number #38-02, the reintroduced "Moderately Priced Dwelling Units - Optional Construction" bill. "Optional Construction" can be viewed as a loophole around the basic R-60 & R-90 restrictions. This legislation will allow Moderate Price Dwelling Units to be built voluntarily by developers on any size parcel-including in-fill projects in R-60 and R-90 neighborhoods. Under existing law, MPDUs can consist of townhouses and attached housing, which could be built in neighborhoods zoned for single family detached houses.
We do not and should not oppose MPDUs, just this change in the law. CCCFH is asking that townhouses be prohibited when the surrounding homes are single family homes. We're also asking that MPDU units be similar in size to other housing stock in a neighborhood; and that instead of allowing voluntary MPDUs in smaller projects, have the smaller projects contribute to a housing fund to build MPDU units on larger parcels.
Tap Water or Bottled? -- Ricardo A. Perez, D.D.S., Pediatric Dentist/ Brookdale Resident
That is the question . . . and one that many people are asking these days. A family decision to switch to bottled water is a personal one and therefore one that I respect. However, it is important to know that, as of today, our water here in Montgomery County is safe and clean to drink. The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) is responsible for the drinking water of more than 1.5 million people and is committed to ensuring that every gallon of water is pure to the highest standards. Our water here in Chevy Chase comes from the Potomac Water Filtration Plant (WFP) which takes its raw water directly from the Potomac River for treatment.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring element that prevents tooth decay. Half of the American children under the age of 12 have never had a cavity. Much of the success of this "cavity-free generation" is due to the effective use of fluorides, mostly in drinking water and toothpaste.
A tap water analysis in 2000 at the Potomac WFP found fluoride on a yearly average of 0.93 mg/liter, which is an "ideal" concentration for the prevention of dental decay.
Regarding home water filtration devices, it is important to know that only those which operate by reverse osmosis can remove up to 90% of fluoride but most charcoal carbon-based systems remove only a very small amount.
There are today over 500 brands of bottled water sold in the U.S. Only a small percentage of those have added the fluoride. To see if the water you are using has fluoride, contact the distributor or call the International Bottled Water Association, IBWA, at (800) 928-3711.
The bottom line is that no matter the source of your drinking water, nothing takes the place of proper brushing and flossing beginning at an early age and throughout your life. Remember: only brush the ones you want to keep!
[See also the regular community information.]
Brookdale Garage/Yard Sale -- Marina Bowsher
Brookdale held a community yard sale on Saturday, October 19. At least 13 families participatedin the sale, and many purchasers were on hand to take advantage of the bargins.
Recycle Old Cell Phones
The Montgomery County Sheriff's "Cell Phones for Domestic Violence Victims" Program is collecting used phones. If you have a cell phone you are no longer using, you may take it to the Village of Chevy Chase Community Center, Communication Center, a collection point, located on Connecticut Ave.
Avalon Theater to Reopen
In a public/private partnership with Douglas Development, The Avalon Theater Project is restoring the old movie house on Connecticut Ave. near the Chevy Chase Circle to its former state. It is anticipated that the theater will reopen in the winter of 2003. Before that can happen, six hundred seats must be replaced.
Purchase of replacement seats would be a tax-deductible contribution (according to the Avalon organization). The cost is $200 for one seat or $350 for two seats. Recipients' or donors' names will be engraved on brass plates that will be placed on the seats.
For further information, call (202) 249-9510 or e-mail info @ theavalon.org to reserve your piece of history.
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