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  • W3HJ

Chevy Chase Civic Core By the Public, For the Public

Updated: May 16, 2023

Ward 3 Housing Justice


Release: January 10, 2023


Contact: Gail Sonnemann, gsonnemann@gmail.com, 202-286-0845



The Chevy Chase Civic Core should remain public property and be redeveloped for public purposes defined by the neighborhood community. DC government has said that developing affordable housing in Ward 3 is not possible because the land is too expensive, but this public property is cost free and should not be used for private development. Ward 3 Housing Justice endorses an alternative development plan offered by Northwest Opportunity Partners Community Development Corporation as a means to meet community needs and desires for the long term by maintaining public/public trust ownership of the land.

Public purposes should be defined by the community, not private developers, and include:

· a new library

· a new community center with park and outdoor recreation space

· residential housing that includes a substantial number of affordable units, maintained affordable for the long term

LIBRARY & COMMUNITY CENTER The city has budgeted funds for the library and community center to fully fund new state-of-the-art facilities to serve the Chevy Chase community.

HOUSING The city should engage with a nonprofit, such as a community land trust, to develop the housing outcome defined through collaboration with the community.

· Affordable housing can stay affordable for the long term, because the nonprofit /CLT holds the land in trust (not a private developer)

· Housing could provide a significant amount of high quality, mixed-income housing, including options for seniors, individuals, and families at low or modest income levels.

· Affordable housing could add significantly to meeting city goals for racial equity, community goals in the Small Area Plan, and the mayor's goal for affordable housing in Rock Creek West.

· This would add affordable options not available now in this amenity-rich neighborhood

· public transit including Conn Ave buses and 3/4 mile walk to Friendship Hts. Metro;

· outstanding public schools;

· local retail, grocery, restaurants, movie theater library, community center and parks;

PLANNING AND DESIGN The city would fund a master planner to work collaboratively with the community and housing nonprofit/CLT to develop a project design that incorporates the desires and needs of the stakeholders:

· DCPL and DPR will identify their needs for indoor and outdoor facilities and amenities

· ANC3/4G will engage with the community to consolidate their desires for the project and recommendations for zoning, height, FAR, setbacks, etc.

· The Housing nonprofit will identify maximums possible housing area, unit sizes, etc. to address city and community needs and desires.

·Uses and facilities could be combined in one or more structures, with separate tax lots for DCPL, DPR, and the housing element

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