Giant Food hopes to open a Peapod grocery pick-up facility and gas station at the Sunoco gas station site in Chevy Chase by this fall, according to a company spokesperson.
The location, at 8500 Connecticut Ave., would be for pick-up orders placed online, according to Giant Food spokesman Jamie Miller. Miller said the Peapod by Giant will open in late summer or early fall.
The facility will be built in the Chevy Chase Lake Sector, where the Montgomery County Council is currently weighing a series of significant zoning changes. Developer Chevy Chase Land Company hopes to build a mixed-use town center across the street from the site and the Planning Board approved a Sector Plan that would rezone the 8500 Connecticut Ave. property to allow for a 35-foot-tall residential and retail development and a 70-foot one after the Chevy Chase Lake Purple Line station is assured.
“The relatively small size of this property limits its potential redevelopment as a stand-alone project. However, its location creates opportunities for redevelopment, as part of an assemblage of properties. To encourage this, the Plan recommends rezoning to match the shopping center’s height and density. If this property is ever assembled with others, as part of a unified development, the number of curb cuts along Connecticut Avenue, between Manor Road and Chevy Chase Lake Drive, should be reduced,” according to the Sector Plan.
A gas station and grocery pick-up site seems to contradict the more urban and transit-friendly feeling developers and the Planning Board seek for Chevy Chase Lake.
Miller said it will be a small facility, “where customers can place their online orders in the morning or while at work, then come pick the orders up on the way home.
“We’ve identified a demand for the service at that location,” Miller said. “We feel that this is going to be a growing part of the grocery business and a great convenience.”
Giant Food and Peapod opened a similar location in April in Clarksville and Columbia, both in Howard County.
“Our mission at Peapod is to save our customers time and money — and for many busy families, especially moms, who are always on the go, a quick stop at our pick-up location on the way home is the most convenient option,” Peapod President Andrew Parkinson said in the press release announcing the Howard County openings. “Peapod Pick-Up is fast and easy. Peapod associates greet you at your car, collect your coupons and load your groceries into your vehicle for you — all within five minutes. There’s no need for you to even get out of your car.”
The single-vehicle accident left the vehicle’s passgener, 31-year-old Lok Katwal of the 5500 block of Dowgate Court in Rockville, in serious condition with life-threatening injuries.
Police identified the driver as Dawa Tamang, 39, of the same address. Tamang suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to police.
The accident happened around 4:30 p.m. at the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and Saul Road. Police say the 2003 GMC Savana van was headed southbound on Connecticut where it went into the median. Police don’t know why.
Police closed off the southbound Connecticut while responding to the scene, reopened the stretch, then closed it again later Tuesday night until about 10 p.m. so detectives from the Collision Reconstruction Unit could continue their investigation.
Police are asking anyone who witnessed the accident and who has not yet spoken with detectives to call 240-773-6620 to speak with investigators or 301-279-8000 to be connected through the Department’s non-emergency line.
Residents are against the Chevy Chase Land Company’s proposal for a 150-foot building on Connecticut Avenue as part of the Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan before the County Council.
The Connecticut Avenue Corridor Committee, a group of more than 20 Chevy Chase civic and neighborhood organizations, has suggested a 90- or 120-foot height limit for the building. It would be on the other side of the existing Capital Crescent Trail from the company’s 8401 Connecticut office building.
Last week, the developer again laid out the reasons it thinks the 150 feet number is appropriate.
As the Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan has moved from the Planning Board to the Council, we’ve heard questions about the recommended 150 foot height limit for one of the buildings in the plan area. Some community members have expressed concern that this height limit is excessive, and that the building should be several stories shorter, even though it would be immediately adjacent to the future Purple Line station and to an existing 150 foot tall building. Neither building would abut a residential neighborhood.
We take community concerns very seriously and have made significant changes to our redevelopment plans in response to feedback. But we also believe that this building height is appropriate in the larger context of our design, for several reasons:
- The additional height creates the opportunity for more open space in the project
- The additional units available in a taller building are necessary to offset the high cost of underground parking, which is essential to creating a walkable, pedestrian friendly environment
- As this article points out, a slightly taller building can be more elegantly designed, and ultimately more aesthetically pleasing, than a shorter, blockier building
- The visual impact from the street of an additional 2-3 stories is minimal
The Council hasn’t yet made a final decision on the Sector Plan, so we don’t know what the height limits will be. But rather than focus primarily on the height of one building, we hope to have constructive conversations about the environmental and community benefits to be gained from the redevelopment of an old, asphalt-heavy strip center into a lively, beautiful and transit-oriented community.
The next Council Planning Committee worksession on Chevy Chase Lake is expected in June. Until then, the Chevy Chase Land Company will try to earn community support for their proposal to redevelop the strip shopping centers there into mixed-use buildings around a town green.
On May 15, the company is hosting a Summer Kickoff Happy Hour where it will present project renderings and its vision for a transit-oriented community.
Rendering via Chevy Chase Land Company
UPDATE 5:35 p.m. County Councilman Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda-Potomac) says he will schedule a meeting of his Transportation & Environment Committee as soon as possible to delve into what went wrong with the Chevy Chase Lake Drive water main break.
He called the break “very troubling,” and said WSSC general manager Jerry N. Johnson indicated he would answer questions at the meeting.
Berliner spoke with Johnson after penning a letter in which he asked for details on the pipe, the last time it was inspected and if acoustic fiber optic monitoring Montgomery helped pay for was ineffective in providing an early warning about the break.
In our conversation, I asked him directly whether the state of the art equipment that was intended to monitor this type of pipe — pipe made of PCCP, which was the type of pipe that burst on River Road several years ago, had been installed on this watermain. Mr. Johnson replied in the affirmative. That response of course raises a host of other questions — including whether the equipment installed was defective or whether WSSC failed to monitor it adequately. They need to have answers, and Mr. Johnson appreciates the urgency of being able to share with our community their assessment of what went wrong. I am scheduling a T&E Committee as soon as possible to provide a forum in which these questions and others can be aired and answered.
Berliner also said the mandatory water restrictions that are still in effect because of the break bring up another issue:
These restrictions are themselves a consequence of another issue that needs to be addressed — there has been a 96 inch main out of service since November. It is the combination of that 96 inch main being down plus this latest break that necessitates the water restrictions. Why the 96 inch main has been out of service this long is very troubling in and of itself and a matter that we will certainly explore with WSSC at the hearing.
ORIGINAL As northbound Connecticut Avenue rush hour traffic crawls by, WSSC officials now say the water main break at Chevy Chase Lake Drive that has caused a significant disruption since last night was larger than first reported.
The transmission line that broke, causing an estimated 60 million gallons of water to gush about 30 feet in the air and spill into the stream below, was actually a 60-inch pipe, not a 54-inch pipe.
Pepco and Washington Gas officials had to secure power and natural gas lines near the break. Montgomery County Police were able to reopen all three southbound lanes of Connecticut Avenue at 7 a.m., but all three northbound lanes remained closed until one was reopened this afternoon.
Part of the clean-up process included dealing with an electric utility pole that fell overnight when a tree, in the rapidly eroding creek bed, fell over.
Power outages resulted from the downed wires. Power was restored throughout the morning. WSSC said no customers were without water service as of this morning.
Photos from WSSC via Facebook
County Councilman Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda-Potomac) this morning released a letter to WSSC general manager Jerry N. Johnson asking about the status of the 54-inch water main break in Chevy Chase that left downed trees, snarled Connecticut Avenue traffic and mandatory water restrictions in place for Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties.
The break happened at Chevy Chase Lake Drive and Connecticut Avenue.
WSSC said in a press release this morning that no customers were without water.
Southbound Connecticut Avenue reopened at 7 a.m. this morning, but northbound Connecticut Avenue remains closed between East-West Highway and Jones Bridge Road and traffic remains difficult through the area.
The road closure has led to the closure of the Chevy Chase Library and access to the 8401 Connecticut Avenue office building remains closed off.
WSSC said the pipe that broke began operation around 1980.
Dear Mr. Johnson:
I am writing with regard to the 54 inch water main break that occurred last night (March 18) which has snarled rush hour traffic, led to mandatory water restrictions in Montgomery County, and led to some power outages in the vicinity of the break. I know WSSC is doing everything it can to perform emergency repairs and get the water main back on-line.
Please let me know how many (if any) customers in the area are currently without water (and if so, if WSSC is delivering water to those households), if any vulnerable populations are without water or power at this time, whether there were any injuries resulting from the break, and whether any additional interagency cooperation is needed (with the County, Pepco, or others).
I am also interested in what the status of this section of PCCP pipe is with regard to WSSC’s ongoing large diameter main inspection/repair/acoustic fiber optic monitoring work. It is my understanding that all large diameter pipes (48 inches or greater) will have gone through at least one round of inspections/maintenance/AFO monitoring by the end of FY13. Both the Montgomery and Prince George’s Councils have supported all of WSSC’s funding requests for its large diameter pipe work and it would be of great concern if this segment of pipe had been inspected recently and been found to not need any repairs or if acoustic fiber optic monitoring had been installed but is ultimately ineffective in providing an early warning of an impending break.
Please keep the Council informed as to your progress repairing the main, as well as any information you collect regarding the cause of the break.
Photo via WSSC
A Citizens Advisory Board on Tuesday night chose not to take a side on the controversial aspects of Chevy Chase Lake development, but presentations by one developer and a group of residents served as a potential preview of arguments the County Council will hear when the issue goes before it in a public hearing on March 5.
The Connecticut Avenue Corridor Committee, represented by Chevy Chase Village Board Chair Pat Baptiste and Town of Chevy Chase Mayor Pat Burda, said their main qualms with the Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan recommended by the Planning Board are in three areas:
1. The Planning Board-approved 150-foot height for a building adjacent to the existing 150-foot office building at 8401 Connecticut Avenue. Burda said the building, roughly at the site of the existing TW Perry store and part of the Chevy Chase Land Company’s development proposal, could be lowered to coincide with the planning notion of stepping down development from the highest point. Burda said “it’s a puzzle,” as to how traffic wouldn’t be adversely affected by the density, despite Planning Staff’s conclusion that there won’t be that much traffic added to the area’s two already failing intersections. (Chevy Chase Lake planner Elza Hisel-McCoy said earlier that 80 to 90 percent of the traffic in the area comes from school thru-traffic).
Steve Robins, a land-use attorney representing the Land Company, said it would not be economically viable to put the density farther away from Connecticut Avenue and would not be fair to nearby single family home residents to put the density elsewhere on the Land Company’s property, which includes the aging strip shopping centers on either side of Connecticut Avenue between Chevy Chase Lake Drive and Manor Road.
The Montgomery County Council announced today that its public hearing on the Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan is set for 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5.
The Council received the Sector Plan on Friday from the County Planning Board, which since September has been hashing out guidelines for building heights, densities and other details of the mixed-use commercial and residential development planned for both sides of Connecticut Avenue between Chevy Chase Lake Drive and Manor Road.
Differences remain between County Planning Staff, the Board and residents, specifically on building height limits. Members of the Connecticut Avenue Corridor Committee have said they will likely protest some of the Board-approved building heights during the public hearing.
In a letter to County Council President Nancy Navarro (D-East County), Planning Board Chair Francoise Carrier said the Sector Plan expands access to transportation alternatives in one of the heaviest areas of car traffic in the county.
Carrier also labeled the Plan’s two-step implementation process, which would require the planned Chevy Chase Lake Purple Line station to be built before some development, an “innovative staging framework.”
“While the Staff Draft recommended moderate heights and densities for the Town Center, the majority of the Planning Board had a vision for the plan area with significantly greater heights and densities, both before and after the Purple Line,” Carrier wrote. “The majority of the Board considered it particularly important to take full advantage ofthe anticipated arrival ofthe Purple Line by intensifying development in the Town Center.”
Images via Montgomery County Planning Department
(UPDATED: 4:00 p.m.) All lanes on the inner loop of the Beltway at Connecticut Avenue have been reopened. The accident involved four victims that were trapped in their vehicle, according to scanner traffic.
(ORIGINAL STORY: 3:20 p.m.) An accident on the inner loop of the Beltway at Connecticut Avenue has three lanes closed and is causing backups for three miles, according to Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services.
MCFRS spokesman Capt. Scott Graham said officials were on the scene.
A live traffic feed shows a lane of cars getting by on the right side, right at the on-ramp from northbound Connecticut Avenue.
Photo via TrafficLand.com
The Montgomery County Planning Board on Thursday will hold its final worksession for the controversial Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan. And the developer in the center of it has a new point person on the project.
The Chevy Chase Land Company, which hopes to rebuild the strip malls on both sides of Connecticut Avenue between Chevy Chase Lake Drive and Manor Road into a mixed-use residential area, has hired Miti Figueredo to replace Lisa Fadden as its vice president for Public Affairs.
Figueredo was most recently the East County Regional Services Center Director in the office of County Executive Isiah Leggett. She’ll take over for Fadden, who community representatives against some aspects of the proposed development said helped smooth over tensions with a series of community meetings.
Still, issues remain.
The Connecticut Avenue Corridor Committee, a group of community activists wary of the potential for increased traffic, is against the height recommendations Planning Department staff has recommended so far.
Members of the group have said they will go before the County Council to protest the Planning Board’s approval of a 150-foot height limit for a building next to the proposed purple line station at Chevy Chase Lake. The group asked for a 90-foot height limit.
The worksession on Thursday will be the last before the final Planning Board review scheduled for Jan. 17. If approved, the Sector Plan would then go on to the County Council for final approval.
The Land Company says it hopes Figueredo’s experience in county government can help it in the Sector Plan process. Prior to the East County post, Figueredo worked as an aide to Councilman Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda-Potomac) and as chief of staff to Council President Nancy Navarro (D-East County).
“We are very happy Miti will be part of our leadership team,” Chevy Chase Land Company President David Smith said in a prepared release. “Her background in federal and local government and community relations will be an asset to us, especially as we move forward with the Chevy Chase Lake project.”
“I am thrilled to be working with the Land Company’s management team on issues I care about so deeply,” Figueredo said. “I look forward to continued collaboration with residents to ensure the Chevy Chase Lake project will be a beautiful and vibrant community gathering place for many years to come.”
A major water main break at Connecticut Avenue and Franklin Street has all southbound lanes of Connecticut Avenue closed this afternoon.
The break occurred around 11 a.m., breaking through asphalt and causing a significant pool of water on the three southbound lanes of Connecticut.
Police just reopened the northbound lanes. A WSSC crew was on the scene.
Watch for crews and possible delays from 4:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. beneath the Bradley Boulevard bridge, just south of the I-270 spur.
Also tomorrow, watch for SHA crews on southbound Connecticut Avenue in Kensington between Saul Road and Washington Street. Workers will be building a retaining wall from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., causing the closure of one lane.
Photo via TrafficLand.com
After a Planning Board worksession yesterday, it appears the cooperative tone residents had hoped would prevail in Chevy Chase Lake development talks will be replaced by protests at the County Council.
Residents had hoped proactive outreach by the Chevy Chase Land Company, which wants to rebuild the strip malls on both sides of Connecticut Avenue between Chevy Chase Lake Drive and Manor Road into a mixed-use commercial and residential area, would mean recognition of their concerns about traffic and building heights.
The Planning Board’s approval on Thursday of a 150-foot height limit for a building next to the proposed Purple Line, 60 feet higher than the 90-foot limit residents argued for, slashed those hopes.
Connecticut Avenue Corridor Committee member and Chevy Chase Village Board of Mangers Chair Pat Baptiste said residents would fight that decision before the County Council, according to the Washington Examiner.
The County Council has final approval on the Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan, which will set zoning guidelines in the area for the next 20 years.
Planning Board Chair Francoise Carrier also said the project would not bring more congestion to already congested Connecticut Avenue, a point of contention with Baptiste and the Connecticut Avenue Corridor Committee. The Committee is a broad coalition of residents, municipal leaders and others concerned about the scope of development in the Sector Plan update.
In September, as both sides prepared to make their pitches to the Planning Board, Baptiste expressed optimism because of the cooperation with the Land Company, at that time represented by point person Lisa Fadden.
Disagreements on building heights remained, but Fadden recently left the Land Company for another job.
A broad group of incorporated towns, citizens associations and homeowners embraced suggestions to slow planned development for Chevy Chase Lake at a Planning Board Hearing last week.
The Connecticut Avenue Corridor Committee, which includes veteran civic activists and officials from almost the entire spectrum of Chevy Chase communities, told the Planning Board it should not approve additional density for Chevy Chase Lake until a planned Purple Line station for the area is realized.
The Corridor Committee, made up of the Town of Chevy Chase, Chevy Chase Village and 13 other incorporated towns or civic associations, has been working with the Chevy Chase Land Company throughout the process.
The Land Company, which owns the strip shopping centers on both sides of Connecticut Avenue from Chevy Chase Lake Drive to Manor Road, wants to rebuild the area into a mixed-use residential and commercial development around the planned Purple Line station.
The concern of the Corridor Committee is that the added traffic to an already clogged Connecticut Avenue would make things worse, especially if the currently unfunded Purple Line never comes to fruition.
From the Corridor Committee’s written testimony:
No additional density should be approved for the pre-Purple Line phase of the Sector Plan in excess of current density approvals which cannot meet the traffic test under 2012 conditions.
To guarantee that additional development will not occur prior to the Purple Line, we agree with Staff that there should be two sectional map amendments: the first limited to the location and density currently approved which can proceed prior to the Purple Line; the second applied to the rezoning of the remaining properties that must await the Purple Line.
Now, the Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan must be reviewed by the Planning Board. Its recommendations will be forwarded to the County Executive and County Council, which will decide on the final details.
A house fire in in the 4000 block of Glenrose Street in Kensington caused major damage and required the evacuation of an elderly woman and her caregiver, according to scanner traffic.
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service received a call just after 3:15 p.m. on Monday. As many as six fire engines were on the scene, closing a southbound lane of traffic on nearby Connecticut Avenue.
Sections of the home’s living room, garage and upstairs appeared to sustain heavy damage. Montgomery County Fire and Rescue spokesman Assistant Chief Scott Graham said he was awaiting an incident report before releasing information.