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You are here: Home / Governance / Minutes / 2021 / December


Date: December 14, 2021

Place: Village Hall, 5906 Connecticut Avenue

Time: 7:30 PM

Present: Greg Chernack, Pat Xeller, Maryann Luongo, Josh Galper, Phillip Giordano, Ashley Kavanaugh, and three Section 5 residents

Agenda Item: Greetings and Introductions

Chairman Greg Chernack called the meeting to order and welcomed those in attendance.

Agenda Item: Review and Approval of November Council Meeting Minutes

Chairman Chernack moved that the minutes from the November meeting be approved; there was a second, and the motion passed.

Agenda Item: Residents comments

A resident asked that the Section consider banning the use of gas-powered leaf blowers. He noted that Chevy Chase Village had recently announced a ban and that several area municipalities are considering it. There was a discussion of how a ban would work and the logistics of enforcing it, as well as what that might mean for the Section’s leaf vacuuming program. The Council agreed that the Section will explore the idea and gather more information from other municipalities. Chairman Chernack noted that he had talked with the mayor the Town of Chevy Chase and at this time there was no new information on the 4-H plans.

Agenda Item: Monthly Financial Report

The Town Manager presented an overview of the Section’s current financial status, and entertained questions from the Council.

Agenda Item: Manager’s Report

-There were no tree permits this month.

-There were no new building permits issued.

-As announced in September, Section 5 Building Administrator Joe Toomey will retire at the end of the month. The Council decided to give Mr. Toomey a one-time cash bonus as a retirement gift for his great work and service to the Section. The Section Manager will work with Valley payroll and inform Mr. Toomey.

-The Council also approved providing traditional holiday cash bonuses to the sanitation and recycling crew members, as well as the Section’s two police officers, and a gift card for the Section arborist.

-The Manager met by phone with Jason Azar of Clark Construction about the possibility of Clark reviewing the Section’s building applications. The company currently does work for both Garrett Park and Chevy Chase View, and they are highly recommended. The Council agreed that the Section should engage Clark’s help with building application review starting in the new year. The Manager will work with Mr. Azar and Ron Bolt to finalize a working contract.

-WSSC held a meeting on December 1 regarding an upcoming water main replacement project that includes parts of Section 5. The Manager shared the information from the meeting with all residents in the December Quarterly Newsletter. The current start date for the project is March 2022 although work in Section 5 may not start until much later. There has been a brief discussion between Section 3, Village of Martin’s Additions, and Section 5 about presenting WSSC with an MOU as to how and when the streets would be repaired. The Manager will continue to keep the Council updated.

-Leland Court has several areas with trip hazards where the concrete sidewalk blocks have popped up due to large tree roots. The Manager is set to meet with a contractor in January that does concrete shaving work. While the Section hopes to eventually do a long-term sidewalk and street project on Leland Court, concrete shaving provides a quick and much less expensive option to address the areas in the meantime.

-The Manager provided a quick update on Thrive Montgomery. There is another public listening session scheduled for this evening due to the high volume of residents that wanted to testify. Depending on the outcome of the meeting and how it impacts the overall timeline, the Section may want to consider weighing in with a separate letter stating our own concerns before the County Council schedules a final vote. The Manager will keep the Council updated.

-Chairman Chernack asked about when DC planned to reinstate the reversible lanes on Connecticut Avenue that change with morning and evening rush hour. During the pandemic DC discontinued using the lanes. The Manager will find out and report back.

-On a related traffic note, the Manager received an email today from a resident asking about Beach Drive being closed permanently. After looking into the matter, while the area of Beach Drive near Section 5 is still open, there are two areas currently closed. The portion of Beach Drive near Kensington is closed for road improvements and will be until July 2022. Then the area of Beach starting near the Maryland state line and ending near Broad Branch Road has been closed since the pandemic to help ease social distancing requirements for walkers and bikers. Traditionally, this area has been closed only on the weekends, but the National Park Service (NPS) is now considering permanently closing the area and asked residents to weigh in on the possibility. The comment period closed last August, and since then, NPS has been analyzing the comments along with conducting an environmental study. They intend to have another announcement in January with the results of the study and allow for another listening session. The Manager wanted to make the Council aware of the possible permanent closure and ask if the Section would like to formally weigh in on the issue with NPS. It was decided that the Manager will reach out to NPS and state our concerns regarding the potential long-term traffic implications for Section 5 and ask for more information.


Chairman Chernack adjourned the meeting. The next meeting will be held January 11, 2022, at 7:30 P.M. at the Village Hall, 5906 Connecticut Avenue. The Village Hall has handicapped access. Everyone is welcome.