|Since November 2004, we have been expecting the Planning Board to rule on the request by
GEICO for an extension of its preliminary authorization to develop the site next to Brookdale. I
wish I could report the result now, but for various reasons the issue has not found its way to
an agenda of the Board. It might sound like a simple question, but the complexities extend
beyond my ability to explain the situation in this short space. As part of the process, your
Executive Committee agreed to support the extension in return for promises from GEICO
regarding reforestation and the sale of its remaining non-adjoining house. At the annual meeting,
as below, I intend to describe the situation, hoping that the matter will be settled by that
Yes, the annual meeting of the Brookdale Association is upon us. In addition to the election of officers for the coming year and reports on various events that may affect your lives, this will be an opportunity to ask questions about the future of Brookdale. Please plan to attend the meeting at Westbrook School on May 11.
If it's time for the annual meeting, it is time for paying annual dues. One of the few bargains left, dues for the Association are still only $20 for each household per year. If you do not bring your payment to the annual meeting, please mail it to the Treasurer as detailed in this Bugle.
Independent of ancient history, I think the residents of Brookdale can benefit by cooperating with GEICO on area concerns. A recent example: GEICO has agreed to extend their grounds maintenance to the bus shelter at Western and Cortland. If you have noticed an improvement in litter control around the shelter, thank GEICO.
The County's improvements to storm-water drainage on Westport, Merivale, and Baltimore do not look like I expected, but the County's engineer assures me that nature will reduce the jarring appearance of the waterway at the foot of Westport. I think already we can see some improvement in water control. For further solutions to Brookdale's drainage problems, we will make a case for additional attention in the coming year.
Also in the infrastructure realm, according to my last conversation with County public-works
staff, our curb repair has been moved up in priority. If you already have curbs on your block, you
may see repairs this summer. I have not heard any requests for curbs where they do not currently
exist; speaking to me now is your last chance for new curbs in this round.
The Brookdale Constitution allows the Executive Committee to act on behalf of the Association but requires notification of such action. Accordingly, let it be know that we supported legislation by the County Council redefining the height restriction for buildings. Two critical changes are (1) that height is measured relative to pre-development ground level rather than from a new terrace and (2) that the highest point of the building is counted rather than an average height of the roof.
I would like to close on an avuncular note: It is all right, even desirable, to say 'hello' to people you see within the boundaries of our Association. I assume here, of course, that you do walk the streets of Brookdale on occasion. If you see someone you know, you obviously will say 'hello' or more. If you see someone you think you might know (but aren't sure) you should say something anyway to cover the possibility that you really should know who they are. And if you notice someone whom you have never seen before, you should say something in order that they know they have been noticed. This last category may be considered (a) part of a "neighborhood watch" (that is, strangers wandering through our streets need to be aware that their presence has been noted) or (b) a means of increasing your property value (it would not hurt Brookdale to have the reputation of being a friendly neighborhood). So the next time I walk past you, please make eye contact. Thanks (as applicable) for considering behavior modification.
Hoping to see you May 11,
|Brookdale Annual Meeting|
Wednesday, 11 May 2005, 7:30 PM
Westbrook Elementary School on Allan Road
Topics: Election of Officers, Committee Reports, Playground Equipment, and Development
If you have not already done so, it is now time to pay your 2004-2005 Brookdale Citizens' Association dues. Please send your check for $20 payable to the Brookdale Citizens' Association to Regina Reed Crosson, Treasurer; 5110 Westport Rd., Chevy Chase, MD 20815. For answers to any questions, contact Regina, at 301-907-9525 or alternatively, bring your checkbook/cash to the Annual Meeting May 11.
Please suggest nominees for Brookdale Officers to members of the Nominating Committee:
Pat Kitchen (Brookdale S), chair (301-656-6311; 4601 Overbrook Rd.)
Tamar Nicolson (Wohlshire) (301-656-6601; 4708 Merivale Rd.)
Jean Junior (Brookdale N), (301-951-6371 ; 4609 Harrison St.)
Jody Benjamin (Orchardale) (301-652-0834; 5303 Sherrill Av.)
Hecht's Site -- Ron Tripp
New England Development (N.E.D.), the developer on the Hecht's project, reports that construction there is on schedule at this time. Most residents will be relieved to know that, at least for this phase of the project, blasting is done and excavation work is nearly complete. That means no more dump truck parades ... until the next phase of the project, of course.
Contractors are coordinating work on water, gas and electric utilities that will service the new development. That's the purpose of the excavation work going on in the middle of Friendship Blvd, at the corner of Willard Avenue. By coordinating this work, the street will hopefully only be opened once instead of three times. Unfortunately, this work and resulting lane closures, will continue until late summer or early fall. The good news, according to N.E.D., is that the northbound through lane should be reopened in early April.
If you look into the depths of the void that was once the Hecht's parking lot you'll see that crews are now pouring concrete columns for the parking garage that will be beneath the new store. One construction crane now towers over the site and another is being assembled.
This phase of the project will culminate with the opening of the new department store. If the present schedule holds up, the store is scheduled to move into the new building in the fall of 2006. With the recent news of the sale/merger of the Federated and May department store chains, there is some uncertainty about the name that will go onto the new store. Our best guess is that it will open as a Hecht's, and any name changes by the new corporate owners would happen at a later time.
The second phase of this project is expected to get underway in the winter of 2006/2007. That's when the old Hecht's store will be demolished. The community center that is to be located along Friendship Blvd on this site will be completed towards the end of the project, sometime around the end of 2008 and will be run by the Recreation Department.
Washington Clinic Site - Ron Tripp
This project, on the D.C. side of Western Avenue, just east of Military Road, will be mostly condos with some street level retail. To the casual observer it may appear that things are moving slowly on this project, but at a January ANC meeting, the developer reported that they were on schedule and expected to complete the project in about 18 months. The condos are being pre- sold, and according to the developer, they're selling well.
Chevy Chase Land Company Site - Bob Cope
According to the Chevy Chase Land Company, Clydes is still supposed to open this summer (2005), the Collection will open for Christmas (2005), Giant will open the summer of 2006, and the office building and lower level retail will open fall 2006. CCLC says they will get back to us on when the two lanes on Chevy Chase circle will open.
Ron Tripp is Chair of the Citizens Coordinating Committee on Friendship Heights and is one of two Brookdale representatives on this body. Bob Cope is the other representative.
6- Cercis Canadensis 2- Fagus Grandifolia 3- Cornus Mas 2- Sweet Gum 4- Quercus Rubra 2- Liriodendron Tulipifer 6- Viburnum 3- Picea OmorikiDuring March under a county arborist's direction several trees were removed. With their removal, there is more room for planting additional trees in the fall. The broken fence along Dalton Road has been replaced. The playground equipment will be replaced, most likely in the early fall. The unpaved walkway will be replaced with asphalt in the fall.
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