In this issue: CCCA April Webinar:  "Practical Tips for Earth Month" | Crime Prevention/Neighborhood Watch Training May 19 | Thefts from Vehicles Rise Sharply in Chevy Chase DC | President’s Column: ANC’s Peter Gosselin Discusses Chevy Chase Development | Historic Chevy Chase DC to Give Perspective on Small Area Plan | ANC Discussion Monday on Proposed Connecticut Ave. Changes Shredding Service Available May 1 | Youth Soccer Training Available at Lafayette Rec Center | Springtime on Chevy Chase Circle | Chevy Chase Library Expands Hours | Lafayette Students Return; Registration Due May 30 | Northwest Neighbors Village Free Programs Through May | Officials Propose Naming High School After August Wilson | Wilson High School Seeks Parent Board Members | Be Prepared For Emergencies in Chevy Chase D.C. | Have a Seat at the Avalon; Donations Accepted for Plaques | 

April 2021

CCCA April Webinar:  "Practical Tips for Earth Month"

Thursday, April 29, 7 to 8:15 pm on Zoom

This session will offer tips and information for everyone, including information on available resources and how to find them.  Do not let this month pass you by without doing something good for your home, community, and planet.  Learn how you can make Chevy Chase and D.C. a greener place to live and work. 

Please click the link below to join the webinar:
Passcode: 302375, Or One tap mobile :  US: +13017158592; Webinar ID: 898 6983 6660

Come join our association for a forum celebrating Earth Month and our beautiful community in a virtual session.  Learn from experts from the D.C. Government and in the environment field about what you can do to create beautiful, pollinator-friendly spaces in your yard, help protect our local rivers and streams, and conserve energy in your homes and businesses. The session will include ample time for questions. Featured speakers:

Ted Trabue, Director, DC Sustainable Energy Utility.  Ted is a familiar face around Chevy Chase D.C., and has lived in the area most of his life.  He formerly served as a regional VP for PEPCO.  Ted is a graduate of Dartmouth and Howard Law School.

CCCA officers from left to right: Jory Barone, secretary; Sandra Cihlar, treasurer, Robert Gordon, president

If you haven’t already, please renew your membership by visiting and clicking on “renew” at the top. Dues are $20 per year for two members from one household.

Arielle Conti, manager of the RiverSmart Homes Program for the D.C. Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE), oversees all of the homeowner audits (think rain barrels!).  Prior to her role with DOEE, she held roles with Rock Creek Conservancy and Casey Trees.  She is a graduate of Allegheny College and has a master's from American University. 

Alma Paty is the science coordinator for Murch Elementary School, where she oversees the Murch Green scene.  Alma works in coordination with UDC to ensure the plantings around Murch are pollinator-friendly, runs the composting program, and so much more. 

Shelley Cohen is a renewable energy and energy efficiency expert who will talk about the environmental and financial benefits of going solar in D.C.  She is a graduate of Tufts University and has an MPA from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.  

Crime Prevention/Neighborhood Watch Training May 19

If you are interested in learning ways to prevent becoming a crime victim, please sign up for the Crime Prevention/Neighborhood Watch Training sponsored by the CCCA and Samantha Nolan (Citywide Neighborhood Watch and Crime Prevention Trainer) on Wednesday, May 19 at 7 pm. The webinar room will be open as of 6:45 so people can check in. You must sign up to take part. Participants may ask questions in the Q & A box. The webinar link will be sent to you when you register. To register, please send an email to giving your full name and using the email you want registered.  Please mention the May 19 date in your email.

Thefts from Vehicles Rise Sharply in Chevy Chase DC

Crime in our area and citywide has seen fluctuations over the last year, even considering the pandemic. Violent crime across the city has increased, with homicides in 2021 already higher than this time in 2020 and carjackings up 140 percent to 345 for the year. In Police Service Area 201, which includes Chevy Chase, D.C., there were 85 thefts from auto in the first quarter of 2021, an increase of almost 70 percent over 22 in 2020. We encourage you to remain vigilant and be safe as the weather warms up.

Ward 4 Councilmember Janeese Lewis George hosted a Zoom meeting this month on the mayor’s first-of-its-kind Gun Violence Prevention Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The center aims to focus on the people and places contributing the most to gun violence, mobilize government to respond, create clear protocols to deal with urgency of the situation, and coordinate the development of a long-term strategy to reduce gun violence.

The emergency center is staffed with top personnel from various D.C. agencies. Center Director Linda Harley Harper and Deputy Mayor Chris Geldart said 151 blocks, two percent of those in the District, were the site of 41 percent of all gunshot-related crimes. Geldart discussed “violence interruption” through the efforts of “credible messengers” in neighborhoods, including advisory neighborhood commissioners and faith leaders.

President’s Corner

ANC’s Peter Gosselin Discusses Chevy Chase Development

by Robert Gordon

Peter Gosselin is a member of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3/4G, representing both residential streets and the commercial area on the west side of Connecticut Avenue. Peter, a long time Chevy Chase resident, is a career professional writer on complex social and economic issues.

Robert: Peter, thank you for the interview. There is a lot of buzz on social media and differing opinions about the upcoming D.C. Council vote on potential changes to the Comprehensive Plan. The Office of Planning has issued a new Future Land Use Map (FLUM) that allows for greater density, height, and use along Connecticut Avenue in Chevy Chase.  How did this happen? Why the changes now after so many years of low-density zoning?

Peter: There are two immediate causes behind the push to boost zoning and density in Chevy Chase:  Mayor Bowser’s call in the fall of 2019 for 36,000 new housing units – 12,000 of them affordable – by 2025, and her decision to dole out the affordable housing goal to the various neighborhoods, including a nearly 2,000-unit goal for upper Northwest Washington. where we live. There’s a broader cause as well. For more than a decade before COVID, the city was growing and gentrifying quickly, driving up housing prices and driving out tens of thousands of poor, minority residents.

I think the mayor is right; Washington does need more affordable housing. Where the differences emerge are on the questions how it gets produced and who’s the author of the changes needed to make it happen.  

Robert: What will be the effect of the upzoning if it is passed? I have read that 65- foot buildings might be built where we now have two story buildings. Is that so?

Peter: There are really two discussions going on about zoning. The one where 65-foot buildings and taller are involved is about what happens along our Main Street, upper Connecticut Avenue. The other is about what happens in our residential areas, most of which are now zoned for single-family or semi-detached houses. Neither discussion is being conducted in anything like a straightforward manner so it’s hard to figure out exactly what’s being said.

As best as I can figure out as a freshman ANC commissioner, the city wants to change the zoning along both sides of Connecticut Avenue from the Chevy Chase Circle to Livingston Street or perhaps further south. The change would increase the maximum height to which any building can go from 40 feet – which is about how tall the M&T Bank building next to Magruder’s is– to 50 feet and 65 feet if a developer provides benefits such as substantial affordable housing or open spaces as part of a project. 

This seems straightforward, but things start getting murky when the city planners start talking whether, over and above the 65 feet, there can be penthouses perhaps up to 80 feet or the question arise about where all of these heights would be measured from.

And if the zoning discussion about Connecticut Avenue is murky, the discussion about zoning changes in residential areas is even murkier. In fact, planners with the city’s Office of Planning won’t even mention “zoning” and “increase” when they talk about residential areas; the only words to pass their lips are opaque phrases like “gentle density.” 

The reason is that the law doesn’t allow the planners to push for residential zoning increases just yet. But in a few years when the city re-writes the Comprehensive Plan from top to bottom, they’ll be able to and, given what the mayor and the planners have said to date, it’s a near-certainty they will.

Robert: Tell us about the Small Area Plan. How does it work? What is its goal and how is it engaging the public? Is there any chance it will reverse the FLUM decision? Will it look at parking, schools, traffic and so on?

Peter: The ANC asked for a Small Area Plan because it thought the city’s ideas weren’t the best way to go about growth and the community could do better. A task force set up by our precedessor Commission did a really great study that people ought to look at. You can find it on our website at:

You hear two stories about small area plans. The city’s story is that they serve sort of advisory/fill-in-the-details kind of function but can’t really decide anything fully and finally. I don’t think the Commission looks at our planning process that way. I hope residents won’t either. This is our chance to have our say about where Chevy Chase should be in a generation. If we come out of this with a strong consensus about where we should head, I think we can make it stick.

Robert: What's up with this petition that's been circulating?

Peter: Changes on zoning and density is a two-step dance in Washington. First, you have to change the city’s Comprehensive Plan and its Future Land Use Map or FLUM. Once the FLUM’s density designations are increased, then the city’s Zoning Commission can change the actual zoning to allow for taller, bigger buildings.

When our predecessor Commission asked for a Small Area Plan last year, they coupled it with a statement that they supported in advance FLUM changes that clear the way for upzoning along Connecticut Avenue and denser development. I think that was an unfortunate decision, first because it takes the question away from residents and secondly because it means that the Office of Planning, which is supposed to be managing this small area plan, already has what it most wants, an ANC endorsement for density increases in this neighborhood, so has little incentive to do a full planning process. 

The people circulating the petition believe the only way Chevy Chase residents can have a full discussion is if everything – including whether or not to support density increases – is on the table. They believe that the best way to protect our Small Area Plan is to prevent the density increases from being approved until we’ve been able to complete our plan. They’re asking the D.C. Council to drop the FLUM changes that the previous ANC supported. 

Note to readers: The D.C. Council’s Office of Racial Equity (CORE) issued a report last week finding that the proposed Comprehensive plan fails to address racism. The full report was not available online as of April 23.

Also, the groups Ward3Vision and Coalition for Smarter Growth will hold a Zoom session from 7:30 – 8:45 pm on Tuesday, April 27, with Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh to discuss racial inequality and exclusionary zoning and “to learn about the many tools we have to make Ward 3 a more inclusive, affordable place to live.” You may register at this site.

Chris Fromboluti, longtime ANC Commissioner, and professional architect contributed the following streetscapes. He said that “They should be a useful reference in conversations about the Small Area Plan.  They show each block and approximate 40’, 50’ and 65’ zoning limitations.

“Note the M+T Bank building next to the post office is 40’ high.  This is the current zoning maximum.  What is interesting is that this 40’ height limit has not changed in over 20 years and this is the only building on the avenue to go to this height. Thus I don’t expect a flood of new construction with only a 10’ height increase. That is why it is important to get a fixed number for the maximum building height allowed including all bonuses.  These include the new IZ+ and PUD’s.”

Connecticut Avenue Block Elevations Prepared and contributed by Chris Fromboluti

Historic Chevy Chase DC to Give Perspective on Small Area Plan

Historic Chevy Chase DC will hold three Zoom webinars this spring to provide historical perspective and context to the Small Area Plan (SAP) process that will shape our community’s future scale and appeal.

The free, hour-long Zoom programs -- on Wednesdays at 7:30 pm in April, May, and June -- are intended to facilitate meaningful discussion by examining our collective past as a way to understand how Chevy Chase DC relates to the rest of the city. The goal is to foster a vision that represents our values and takes advantage of the opportunities provided by the SAP.

Register for the programs at this site

April 28: Re-Imagining Washington, circa 1900

Author/historian Tom Lewis will take us back to the McMillan process that essentially shaped the DC we inhabit today. HCCDC President Carl Lankowski will engage in a lively conversation with Lewis, emeritus professor at Skidmore College and author of the acclaimed “Washington: A History of Our National City” (2015), which Ken Burns called “a vivid example of the best kind of history.”  

Lewis will examine how the DC we know today was created between 1890 and 1910, an urban landscape defined in part by the increasing force of Jim Crow racism. Despite post-Civil War modernization projects by “Boss” Shepherd, the original L’Enfant federal city plan had lost its charm due to rapid urbanization. A Republican senator from Michigan, James McMillan, initiated planning in the mid-1890s to address that. We will see how that plan fits in with our vision of “community” today.

May 19: Segregation Yesterday and Today: It Doesn't Happen By Itself

The second webinar will feature historian/architect Neil Flanagan. He will focus on the mechanisms that produced the segregated racial geography we are living with today. As a starting point, Flanagan will discuss how white developers thwarted a plan in the first decade of the 1900s to create a “Black Chevy Chase” on land now occupied by Saks Fifth Avenue on Wisconsin Avenue. What if this enclave, that was to be called Belmont, had been successful? Would we have an integrated neighborhood now, 115 years later? How do we take collective action to shape our future in positive ways? Lankowski will get at these issues and more.

June 9: Re-Envisioning the Gateway: Perspectives on the SAP

The third webinar will feature a panel of local activists and professional planners examining proffered solutions to the affordable housing needs in Ward 3 and in Chevy Chase in particular. The panel will represent a broad range of the voices being heard in the discussions of the city’s Comprehensive Plan and how an SAP would affect Chevy Chase DC. How can we ensure these plans address the goal of inclusivity while maintaining the scale, aesthetics, and historical preservation values of the neighborhood?

It is the intention of our organization, as a witness and convener to what transpires in our community, to help shed light on how important land use plans are formed, and how a community like Chevy Chase DC can find its focus and voice. 

ANC Discussion Monday on Proposed Connecticut Ave. Changes

Amid an increase in traffic fatalities in the District -- 37 people were killed last year, a 40 percent increase over 2015 -- Connecticut Avenue N.W. is listed as a "high-crash corridor" in Mayor Muriel Bowser's Vision Zero campaign to attack the problem. Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3/4G is discussing a resolution on Monday evening, April 26, to support a D.C. proposal known as Concept C that would eliminate the "reversible lanes" used on upper Connecticut Ave. during rush hour and add bicycle lanes on the major commuter route. Along with other changes, District officials expect these to reduce collisions and help protect bicyclists.

The full proposal can be seen at this site. ANC Chairman Randy Speck filed a statement contesting the D.C. Department of Transportation's projection that dropping reversible lanes would diminish vehicle crashes. He contends that the D.C. proposal would cause "greater congestion on alternative routes and elimination of parking" on Connecticut. Speck believes that if D.C. moves ahead with the proposal, it should be prepared to deal with "significant unexpected adverse consequences."  The discussion on Connecticut Avenue is expected to start at about 8:15 p.m. Monday. To join it online, go to (Dial-in number (301) 715-8592.)

Shredding Service Available May 1

The Taylor Agostino Group will hold its annual shred day event from 11 am to 1 pm on Saturday, May 1, at the Broad Branch Market, 5608 Broad Branch Road, N.W. The real estate agency says shredding helps protect you from identity theft, saves storage space, avoids fire hazards and makes recycling easier.

Youth Soccer Training Available at Lafayette Rec Center

DC Stoddert’s six-week Spring Tots and Future Stars Program will focus on players ages 3 to 6. Professional coaches use an age-specific curriculum and a variety of games. Sessions limited to 10 players will available at the Lafayette Park Rec Center and other locations. Register at The starting date is not certain because of coronavirus rules.

Springtime on Chevy Chase Circle

Spring is a beautiful time on the Circle. The tulips have just gone by and the azaleas are now in their full glory. People are asking….will we see the fountain up and running this year? The answer is a big maybe.

Here is why: The fountain has been off this past year because of COVID restrictions and social distancing requirements imposed by DC. By middle to late May. when all chance of another freeze is gone, the National Park Service will begin the work to turn on the fountain once again. But can it be done? The fountain and its pump has sat unused for the past year and that is on top of its already sorry status. The fountain is badly in need of a new pump, a new lining to the basin, new plumbing and electrical work, among other problems.


The good news is that the plans to rehabilitate the fountain are underway for either late fall of 2021 or spring of 2022, and a new pump and a new lining are all part of that plan. Plus, when the fountain is rehabilitated, we will also see installed the much-anticipated lights in and around the fountain. In the meanwhile, it is unclear if the fountain can be brought to life one more time. Keep an eye on the circle and let’s hope the fountain can be chugging soon.


Coming this fall, there will be new landscaping installed in the four flowers beds that surround the fountain and the trees that had to be taken down this spring will be replaced. There is no doubt that the Circle will continue to change and grow with the seasons. Thank you for support for a very special community resource.      

--Ruth Robbins, Friends of Chevy Chase Circle

Chevy Chase Library Expands Hours

Beginning in May, the Chevy Chase branch library on Connecticut Ave. north of McKinley St. will resume Saturday hours and eliminate its mid-afternoon daily closure for cleaning.  Hours will be 10 am until 6 pm six days a week.

Lafayette Students Return; Registration Due May 30

More than 700 students are returning to Lafayette for in-person learning for the current term. The Home and School Association offers a huge thank you to the teachers and administration for their work to make this possible. Enrollment for in-boundary students for 2021-22 is under way. The deadline is May 30 and it can all be done virtually. Current students, new in-boundary Residents, and newly selected pre-K 4 lottery families can enroll from anywhere, anytime at

Northwest Neighbors Village Free Programs Through May

Northwest Neighbors Village has walks, talks and other live events planned over the next few weeks that are open to the community. NNV sponsors many smaller group activities for members and volunteers. Information on all activities can be found at  Have a little extra time and energy? Become a Volunteer!

  • NNV Walks! Every Monday, 10 am.  April 26, Albemarle and Connecticut Ave. May 3, Rock Creek Park picnic area #6. May 10  Albemarle and Connecticut Ave. May 17, location TBD. May 24, Albemarle and Connecticut Ave. 

  • Live Jazz with Carey Smith, every Thursday at 6 pm.  

  • Speaker Series

April 26, 10 am - Ward 4 Councilmember Janeese Lewis George 

April 27, 11 am - Centurion Justice for The Innocent & Imprisoned with Paul Casteleiro, Legal Director, Centurion

April 29, 2 pm - Ocean Plastic Pollution:  Source to Solution with Nick Mallos, Senior Director, Trash Free Seas® Program Ocean Conservancy

May 4, 11 am - An NPR Correspondent's Life Covering COVID-19 with NPR Science Correspondent Joe Palca

May 11, 11 am - How the Kennedy Brothers Changed the World with Author Lawrence J. Haas

May 20, 11 am - Introducing the Capital Jewish Museum with Executive Director Kara Blond

May 25, 11 am - US-German Relations Under Angela Merkel and Joe Biden with Der Spiegel Reporter René Pfister

To learn more, please visit the Virtual Speaker Series page on our website.

Some past presenters have allowed us to record their presentations. Click to view those recordings.

Officials Propose Naming High School After August Wilson

D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee has proposed renaming Woodrow Wilson High School to August Wilson High School. The name was chosen by Ferebee and Mayor Muriel Bowser after getting suggestions from the community and alumni. The suggestion now goes to the D.C. Council. August Wilson was a Black playwright (1945 – 2005), whose famous works include “Fences” and “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” His plays conveyed the experiences of African Americans in the late 1970s and 1980s. Some in the community, including the DC History and Justice Collective, denounced the choice, saying that naming the school August Wilson was “lazy … and disrespectful.” The decision comes after campaigns by the collective and The Beacon, Wilson’s newspaper, to name the school after Vincent Reed, a former D.C. school superintendent who died in 2017, or Edna B. Jackson, the first female Black teacher at Wilson after the Supreme Court’s 1954 school desegregation ruling.

Wilson High School Seeks Parent Board Members

The Wilson Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO) is looking for parent/guardian volunteers reflecting the perspectives of the Wilson High School community. Underscoring Wilson's commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, the PTSO board invites new representatives for the 2021-2022 school year. The school website includes an updated link to PTSO Board position descriptions here:

The PTSO Board supports Wilson academics, culture and extracurricular activities by raising funds that go directly back into the community as grants to teachers, staff, and student groups, including chemistry kits for remote learners this past school year; trainings for faculty, staff and students, such as Anti-Defamation League "No Place for Hate" training, and, acclaimed student groups like the Beacon newspaper.

Be Prepared for Emergencies in Chevy Chase D.C.

CCCA and Northwest Neighbors Village held an online webinar in March on how to access local emergency services. 

D.C.’s Fire and Emergency Services Department agency (DCFEMS) includes not only fire and emergency services, but also preventive services such as COVID testing and smoke detector inspections. Fire and EMS Chief John Donnelly told the webinar his agency’s approach is “Right care – Right now,” which is used to guide residents to the most appropriate service.  If your call to 911 is an emergency, an ambulance or fire engine will be dispatched immediately. You may be referred to a nurse who will help you find the right service. 

Other available resources include AMR, the third-party ambulance service that provides service to less severe cases.  Response time data can be found on the agency’s website. Chief Donnelly recommends keeping an emergency contact list posted on your refrigerator. A File of Life (refrigerator magnet and envelope for your medical information is available from NNV).  Half  of fire deaths involve senior citizens. The fire department is available to do in-home safety inspections.

“You should be prepared; an emergency can happen to you,” said Ned Sherburne, Fire/Rescue Chief of the Bethesda Chevy Chase Rescue Squad (BCCRS). He discussed services provided to residents in Northwest D.C. under an agreement in effect for 20 years. If you call, 301-652-1000, a BCCRS unit will be dispatched to you. The dispatcher also will notify DCFEMS.  They will transport you to the hospital of your choice, if at all possible.  BCCRS provides basic life support (BLS) service, which is provided by trained emergency medical technicians (EMTs).   If the DCFEMS dispatcher determines that the call requires advanced life support (paramedic) or other resources, the D.C. dispatcher will also send DCFEMS units.

Samantha Nolan, our local preparedness expert, is CERT and Neighborhood Corps Trained and a member of the Neighborhood Corps Council for the District of Columbia. She recommends that you regularly check the gauge on your fire extinguisher to make sure it is not empty.   She also suggested completing the NNV File of Life,  then keeping a copy with you and adding an “In Case of Emergency  (ICE)” contact on your phone. Other tips on preparing a To-Go Kit for Seniors and How to Use a Fire Extinguisher can be found at

Contact Stephanie Chong, NNV director, to obtain a File of Life. 

Community Resources

Have a Seat at the Avalon; Donations Accepted for Plaques

Donors of $500 to the renovation of the historic Avalon Theatre on upper Connecticut Avenue may have a personalized plaque installed on a seat in the auditorium. Each plaque can hold up to two lines of text. Only about 40 seats were still available this month. To donate, visit this site. If you have questions, call the business office at 966-2149.

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