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Chevy Chase Open Space Urban Park Concept Plan

Division: Park Development

Project Update

After the development of the initial concept plan and public input process, this project moved to our Park Development Division, was renamed Western Grove Urban Park and was opened to the public in Fall 2016.

Public Meeting Recap

The Department of Parks and Chevy Chase Village held a public meeting on June 15, 2011 to collect public input in order to create a vision and develop a long-term Concept Plan for Chevy Chase Open Space Urban Park.  Park staff gave a presentation which reviewed the park history, relevant policy guidelines, the planning process and the proposed schedule.

The community provided their ideas for both a short-term and a long-term vision for the future of the park.

Site Cleanup Progress

Significant changes to the park have been apparent after this summer’s site cleanup work, resulting in a safer, more visible and user friendly condition in the park.   See the Phase I Site Cleanup section below for more details.

What’s Next

In preparation for the public meeting this winter, Parks staff will develop draft concept plans and “vision” boards to illustrate input from the public meetings.

Phase I – Site Cleanup

Parks staff and contractors have completed the initial site cleanup to improve the safety and usefulness of the site as public parkland. The site cleanup consisted of removal of trees, shrubs and debris to meet several goals, all while preserving the majority of the beautiful plants across the park:

  • Improve visibility and safety in the park
  • Remove undesirable and invasive plan species per M-NCPPC Park policy
  • Remove dead, dying and hazardous trees and tree limbs

A Tree and Shrub Survey of the site was completed with the help of Parks arborists and horticulture specialist from Brookside Gardens.

Now that the initial site cleanup is complete, Parks staff and the community will have a much better picture of the healthy vegetation that we have to work with as we develop a long-term Concept Plan and an interim improvement and planting plan for the park.  The existing vegetative structure of the Park will be a great asset as we work collaboratively on a vision for this urban park.

Project Overview

This two-acre park provides a significant opportunity to create green open space for the use and enjoyment of urban residents in one of the most densely-populated Metro Station areas in Montgomery County.

Chevy Chase Open Space Urban Park is located within Chevy Chase Village, adjacent to the Friendship Heights business district and bordering the District of Columbia along Western Avenue.  The two-acre park was acquired in 2002 through the Legacy Open Space Program as urban open space.  Initial planning for the park started in late 2007 when a life estate on the property ceased.  To date, site improvements to improve the site have included removal of two buildings and a driveway, remedial landscape work, and regular park maintenance efforts.

A Concept Plan that reflects the community’s vision for this new urban park is the first step in planning for the site. 

Two public meetings will be held to get public input in the initial visioning of the park.  The first will be held on June 15, 2011 and the second will be this Winter 2012 to get feedback on draft concept plans.  Community contacts are being identified to get additional speedy feedback through the concept design process between the two public meetings.  Finally, this web page will be updated with meeting summaries, additional questions for public input, and updates on future opportunities for input.

Purpose of the Concept Plan

The Concept Plan will create a broad vision for this new urban park and provide the design concepts and parameters necessary to implement an interim improvement plan (short-term, low-cost park improvements) and to implement the full concept plan through the capital budget process (including Facility Planning and Final Design/Construction).

There are three implementation phases to the creation of a park on this site:

  • Phase I: Site Cleanup – Started with building demolition in 2009; continues now with Non-Native Invasive (NNI) & hazardous vegetation removal, park signage, gate (implementation: as soon as possible)
  • Phase II: Implementation of Interim Improvement Plan – Interim, low-cost improvements to the park to create a safe, usable park in the period between now and ultimate build-out. Could include interim paths, signage, landscape upgrades. The Interim Improvement Plan will be developed in coordination with the final Concept Plan to ensure compatibility with long-term vision for the park.
  • Phase III: Implementation of full Concept Plan via Facility Planning then the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) process for final design/construction (implementation: depends on CIP schedule & funding)

Developing a Vision and Concept Plan for this important urban park is the critical first step to creating a beautiful, useful open space that will serve the surrounding communities.

Calendar & Meeting Notes

After the development of the initial concept plan and public input process, this project moved to our Park Development Division, was renamed Western Grove Urban Park and was opened to the public in Fall 2016.

To view documents and plans related to this project contact:
Kevin Davey, Records Specialist

Last Updated: June 21, 2022