Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Community on Chevy Chase Lake

The Planning Board Staff has been working hard to reach out to members of the community to find out what they would like to see around the proposed Purple Line stop at Chevy Chase Lake. Following are their conclusions from meetings open to all that included representatives of the Chevy Chase Land Company as well as lots of people who live in the area; you can compare and contrast with the Land Company's proposal here:

Future development in the commercial area of Chevy Chase Lake should remain “local” in character and identity, not a destination. Existing residential areas should be left alone. The commercial area should be a low- to medium-scale village center with expanded affordable housing, a diversity of community-serving retail and restaurants, and a central green space.

Traffic, both vehicular and pedestrian, along Connecticut Avenue is a major concern. The plan should look at improving vehicular flow, while at the same time enhancing the pedestrian experience along and across the avenue. Future development at Chevy Chase Lake should be tied in some way to transportation/transit improvements.

Access, primarily pedestrian and bicycle, from the surrounding residential neighborhoods to both the commercial area and nearby trails should be improved and expanded. New development should feature wide landscaped sidewalks. Transit opportunities and facilities should be similarly improved and expanded.

Chevy Chase Lake should feature a diverse network of open spaces, centered on a space in the commercial area that could accommodate community events, such as a farmers’ market, and should include links to the surrounding residential neighborhoods.

Land uses should focus on expanded affordable housing and community-serving retail, restaurants, services, and entertainment. New office space should be limited to small-scale professional and/or doctor and dentist uses. Any new hotels should be small, at the scale of an inn. Community-oriented civic and arts uses, including a farmers’ market, community center, and new library were suggested. Parking in the commercial area should be structured and hidden and should feature easily accessible short-term parking. Increased opportunities for recreation, primarily playgrounds, should also be considered.

  • Existing neighborhood character and “community feel”
  • Community-serving retail, particularly a supermarket
  • Existing affordable housing (e.g., HOC property, garden apartments, townhouses)
  • Convenient parking
  • Environmental identity (e.g., Coquelin Run, trees)
  • Existing residential neighborhoods
  • Open space network
  • Selection of community-serving retail and restaurants
  • Connectivity, particularly pedestrian and bicycle
  • Walkability, especially pedestrian safety
  • Affordable housing
  • Transit service (e.g., bus and Bus Rapid Transit) and accessibility of the Purple Line station
  • Coquelin Run
  • Recreation opportunities
  • Traffic management on Connecticut Avenue
  • Open space network centered on the commercial area
  • Community Center
  • “Circulator” shuttle
  • Arts and entertainment events and/or facilities
  • New recreation opportunities
  • New library
  • Safe and attractive sidewalk network
  • Activities for teenagers
  • Better traffic flow on Connecticut Avenue
  • Lake