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Date: November 10, 2020

Place: Conference Call Only Due to COVID-19

Time: 7:30 PM

Present: Greg Chernack, Pat Xeller, Maryann Luongo, Philip Giordano, Josh Galper, Ashley Kavanaugh, Julie Sparacino, and several 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 October Council Meeting Minutes

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

Agenda Item: Residents comments

There were no resident comments.

Agenda Item: Thrive Montgomery 2050 Discussion

At the October meeting we briefly discussed Thrive Montgomery 2050. Thrive Montgomery 2050 is the long-term policy document being proposed by the Montgomery County Planning Board to guide the future growth and development in the county over the next 30 years.  The updated General Plan includes recommendations for land use, housing, the economy, equity, transportation, parks and open space, the environment, historic resources, urban design, and arts and culture. Please read the full plan. The last time this was done was 1964. The County says it is entering the next phase of its evolution from a bedroom community to a complex jurisdiction with major employment centers, urban hubs, stable residential neighborhoods, rural landscapes, and a diverse population of more than a million people. It calls for what they name “Complete Communities” – communities that contain every element needed to support daily life within a 15 minute walk – whether you are 8 or 80 you can walk out your door and work, play, learn, make use of public amenities and services with a 15 minute walk or bike ride. The plan has many interesting ideas and themes, but it is generally light on details. It is also quite ambitious and lengthy. It was decided that the most effective way to respond to the Planning Board would be for all the different Chevy Chase municipalities to respond as one in a community letter. The Town of Chevy Chase has taken the lead on the response and held several briefings to discuss the plan and identify mutual concerns. Following the meetings, a letter was drafted, and the Town Manager recommends that pending Council review, Section 5 should sign onto the letter. The Council agreed to look at the letter and provide comments to the Town Manager by email. The goal is to send the letter to the Planning Board in advance of a November 19, 2020 public hearing.

Agenda Item: Possible Pepco LED Light Upgrade

Pepco is proposing to convert nearly 90% of all its localities’ streetlights to LED. The project is part of multi-year plan rate filing that Pepco filed with the State of Maryland in late October. They expect a response from the State in the spring of 2021. Pepco says there would be no upfront cost for customers to convert to LED, but there would be limited rate increases on the back end. It is not yet clear what the rate formula would be. We are waiting for more information from Pepco before we can calculate the exact costs. There is some discussion among other municipalities as to whether it would be more cost effective to convert all their streetlights in advance of the directive, which would allow them to keep their current (lower) monthly rate. This is something Section 5 might want to consider, but we will need more information. Municipalities do not have the option to opt out of converting to LED. Pepco estimates it will take five years for territory-wide conversion. As part of the upgrade, smart nodes would be installed on each light which allow for more efficient monitoring and operations. Pepco will also offer several styles of lights. The Town Manager will report back when more information is available.

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

-The Manager noted that the Section had recently received a letter from the Montgomery County Planning Department noting that they are currently conducting a study of and a public process to rename any streets or public facilities named for Confederate soldiers, or others who do not reflect Montgomery County values. At this time, Section 5 has not been made aware of any streets that have been identified for renaming.

- Councilmember Giordano provided a few more details on cost estimates for the Section’s proposed composting program. It was decided that the Section would enter into a contract with the Compost Crew and gave the Town Manager permission to negotiate the details of the contract.

-Councilmember Giordano also raised the idea of Section 5 one day having a park or possible green space. Chairman Chernack indicated that this is something the Section has been considering for some time and worthy of exploration. It was decided to continue this discussion at a later meeting.


Chairman Chernack adjourned the meeting. The next meeting will be held Deceber 8, 2020, at 7:30 PM via GoToMeeting video conference call. Everyone is welcome.