TIME SENSITIVE:  RESPONSE SOUGHT BY 5PM MAY 11

On May 2, The Chevy Chase Land Company, owner of the retail center at the corners of Western Avenue, Wisconsin Avenue and Wisconsin Circle, presented their plans to redesign the Chevy Chase Center to approximately 80 Village residents at a public information meeting at the Village Hall and answered questions regarding the proposed redesign.  More information on the proposal can be found at the Village’s website at www.chevychasevillagemd.gov by clicking on “Chevy Chase Center Redevelopment” under Quick Links on the homepage.  The proposal does not envision any additional buildings or closing the Center during redevelopment, which is presently scheduled to be completed in late 2017/early 2018. 

Village representatives have had several prior meetings with the Land Company over their proposal (which was received last month) and intend to submit formal written comments within the next ten days to the Land Company and the Montgomery County Planning Board, which is presently considering and is the decision maker with respect to the proposal.  To aid the Village Board in formulating its comments and to provide the Land Company with the views of Village residents, we are soliciting comments from residents via this questionnaire.

DESIRED TYPES OF RETAIL OUTLETS

* 1. To aid the Land Company in selecting tenants that are likely to be patronized by Village residents on a regular basis, please identify the types of retailers and restaurants you would view as attractive (e.g., dry cleaners, café-style restaurants, toy stores, home goods stores) list desired outlet types 

* 2. To what extent does adequate ground level or surface parking affect your likelihood of patronizing quick in and out establishments (e.g.,  dry cleaner)?

PARKING

* 3. Chevy Chase Center currently has 250 surface parking spaces. The proposal envisions reducing by 73 the number of parking spaces (most of which would be ground level or surface parking spaces).  Please indicate on a scale of 1-10 for each concern set forth below the extent to which you share the concern (1 being low and 10 being high concern). 

What level of concern do you have (on the 1-10 scale) with the proposed reduction in surface parking?

* 4. The proposal would convert most of the curb lane of Wisconsin Circle into parking spaces.  Presently, the only parking allowed is for taxis.  By allowing parking,  concern was expressed that traffic flow would be substantially constricted since eliminating the curb lane would effectively reduce traffic to one lane, and use of that lane is already difficult because of left turning buses entering the Chevy Chase bus terminal. 

What level of concern (on the 1-10 scale) do you have with the proposed elimination of the present ban on curb lane parking?

* 5. The proposal would convert the type of parking spaces on the internal street behind the two “Collection” buildings from “front end” to parallel parking while at the same time changing the traffic flow to two lane multidirectional from one way traffic. 

What level of concern (on the 1-10 scale) do you have with changing the type of parking from “front end” to “parallel?"

“FARR PARK”  (i.e., the public space between the two Collection buildings on Wisconsin Ave.)

* 6. The area between two “Collection” buildings bordering on Wisconsin Avenue is dedicated “public space” based on a prior agreement negotiated with the Land Company when the current Chevy Chase Center was constructed in the early 2000s.  The Land Company is proposing, along with removing the wall separating the area from the internal street inside the Center that parallels Wisconsin Avenue, to devote some of the “public space” to an outside dining area where the Bulgari store is located.  This would be similar to the outdoor dining area that was outside the Mexican restaurant and would be designed to make it more attractive for a restaurant to want to locate in Farr Park. 

What concerns do you have (on the 1-10 scale) about reducing the amount of “public space” (which is required under the approved zoning plan) to allow the area to accommodate an additional outdoor dining area in Farr Park?

NEW TRAFFIC ROUNDABOUT AND REMOVAL OF PARKING GATES ADJACENT TO MONTGOMERY STREET

* 7. Montgomery Street -- the street between Chevy Chase Center and Saks parking lot -- is a Village owned street.  The Land Company owns the Saks parking lot and the land in the Chevy Chase Center adjacent to Montgomery Street.  The Land Company is proposing putting a roundabout at the end of Montgomery Street keeping the two exits into Saks and having three two-way exits into the Chevy Chase Center.  (Currently, the easternmost is a one-way exit and the westernmost is a one-way entrance).  The proposal also would remove the entrance/exit gates and move the gates further inside the property in locations proximate to the entrances to the parking garage.  As you know, the walking path from the buffer area in the Village funnels pedestrians to a crossing area that spans the three internal streets (one to the parking garage) flowing from the three proposed entrance/exits.  There was concern expressed that a substantial number of cars do not stop (despite a stop strip painted on the pavement) at the easternmost crossing area and, that with removal of the parking entrance/exit gates -- which inherently slow traffic -- the vehicular hazards to pedestrians coming or going to the buffer could increase.  (There was also concern expressed that removal of the parking entrance/exit gates could lead to increased usage of the easternmost exit as a cut-through from Western Avenue to Montgomery Street for  traffic seeking to go north on Wisconsin Avenue by avoiding Wisconsin Circle). 

What concerns do you have (on the 1-10 scale) about the pedestrian safety issues in the buffer area crossing?

* 8. Do you have any suggestions as to how those concerns could be addressed?  If so, please enumerate:

ADDITIONAL CROSSWAY ACROSS WISCONSIN CIRCLE FOR PEDESTRIANS

* 9. The Land Company is proposing a pedestrian crossway in the middle of Wisconsin Circle to facilitate pedestrian traffic leaving the Metro/bus terminal. 

What concerns do you have (on the 1-10 scale) as to the effect of such a proposed crossway on traffic within the Circle?

GIANT FOOD

* 10. The Land Company is requesting that it be relieved of the site requirement that it maintain a 30,000 square foot grocery store in perpetuity in the Chevy Chase Center.  (The Land Company agreed to do so in prior negotiations in the early 2000s as part of a promise not to close the store during construction, which it nonetheless did.)  The Land Company has represented that there is no current plan for Giant Food to surrender its lease and vacate the property. 

What concerns do you have (on the 1-10 scale) with this request?

* 11. If you are concerned about maintaining a grocery store, could your concerns be met with a smaller square foot store (e.g., 15,000 to 20,000 feet) given that Whole Foods did not exist when this provision was negotiated, and keeping in mind that most full service grocery stores require 50,000 to 60,000 square feet for new store locations?

ACCESS ISSUES

* 12. A number of individuals indicated they were concerned about not having an entrance directly into Giant from Western Avenue. 

What concern do you have (on the 1-10 scale) about the lack of such an entrance?

* 13. Concern was expressed that there was no access from the street side of Wisconsin Circle to the internal side of the Chevy Chase Center. 

What concern do you have (on the 1-10 scale) with the lack of direct access from the Wisconsin Circle sidewalk to the inside of the Chevy Chase Center?

ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS

* 14. Do you have any particular concerns with environmental issues (e.g., tree screening, storm water runoff) that have not been adequately addressed?  If so, please enumerate.

FURTHER COMMENTS

* 15. Please feel free to make additional comments.

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