Friday, July 11, 2008

Chevy Chase Town Council July Meeting

The Council had a productive meeting and took several actions on Wednesday night. After a half-hour executive session, the Council began the public meeting at 7pm.

Variance Hearings
The Council approved 5-0 the Wang/Squitieri request for a side yard setback variance needed for their small one-story addition.

The Council approved 4-0 the Minchik side and rear yard setback variances for the second floor addition. The proposed addition does not expand the footprint of the home. I recused myself from this hearing because I live next door.

The Council approved 5-0 the Murray request for 15 foot wide driveway and a front yard retaining wall variance. The driveway at the Murray’s home is entirely below grade and very difficult to use as currently constructed.

Public Hearings
The Council approved new sidewalks on Oakridge Avenue and Thornapple Street. The new 3.5” wide sidewalk will be on the north side of Thornapple and the east side of Oakridge. It will connect to the existing sidewalks on the east side of Oakridge and Curtis—the latter via a crosswalk. The Council also approved a new three-way stop sign and crosswalks at the intersection of Oakridge and Curtis. New crosswalks were also approved for the intersection of Oakridge and Thornapple. You can see a map of the planned new sidewalks on the town website at:

The Council agreed to hold a special work session to craft a more comprehensive CCES traffic plan. The work session will contain opportunities participation by Town residents, and will be followed within a couple of weeks by a public hearing where it is hoped that the Council will adopt a plan. The Town will send out postcards announcing information about the time and date for both meetings.

Discussions and Presentations
The Council unanimously approved a request presented by Anjali Prakash and Susan Milner for $30,000 toward the construction of a new playground at the Leland Center. Councilmembers thanked profusely both Anjali and Susan for their tremendous efforts to make this happen.

The Council unanimously approved the removal of the “Access to Wisconsin Avenue Restricted” Signs on streets intersecting Connecticut Ave. New speed limit signs will go up shortly in the same or nearby locations.

Mayor Kathy Strom reported that County Councilmembers Nancy Floreen and Duchy Trachtenberg had recommended to the Planning Board that the Leland Center be renamed in memory of Jane Lawton. Thanks to both Councilmembers for their efforts.

New Business
The Council discussed the issue of crime and police protection. Town Manager Todd Hoffman informed the Council of several efforts he has taken to secure more police activity in Elm St. Park. The Council also asked the Town Manager to ask police employed by the Town to walk through the park more often, and to develop additional options for a greater police presence in the Park. The Town also discussed the complexities surrounding the issue of informing Town residents about criminal activity in the Town, including difficulties related to accuracy and incomplete information.

The meeting adjourned shortly before 11pm.