Housing Our Workforce in Chevy Chase Lake
Chevy Chase Lake is surrounded by some of the region’s largest job centers, like downtown Bethesda, downtown Silver Spring, Friendship Heights and Medical Center. Every day, thousands of people come into the area to work by car, by bus and Metro, sometimes from the far edges of the region.
Some might only see this daily influx of workers as a traffic headache. But we see it as a missed opportunity.
The people who work in and around Chevy Chase Lake help make this great community what it is. They’re the teachers who educate our kids in some of the nation’s finest public schools. They’re the first responders who protect us and the caretakers who help our senior citizens. They’re our small business owners. They’re the researchers who make life-altering discoveries at NIH; and the doctors and nurses who care for our nation’s veterans and their families at Walter Reed.
But many of them aren’t able to fully contribute because there are relatively few housing options in Chevy Chase Lake, and even fewer that many families can afford. So instead, they spend lots of time and money fighting traffic to get here, when it could be spent with their families or supporting local businesses.
One of the things that makes Chevy Chase Lake such a great place to live is that people don’t have to drive or drive as much, with shops, jobs and transit within easy reach. So why is traffic so bad? It’s because people living farther away don’t have that same choice.
That’s why we support the Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan. We believe that providing more housing opportunities in Chevy Chase Lake, including affordable housing, will give more people who work in this area the ability to live here. Not only do they get a shorter commute, which means less traffic on local streets, but we also get new residents who can support local businesses and participate in community organizations.
Montgomery County is known for its diversity, tolerance and progressive approach to community building. We should eagerly welcome new residents, especially young adults who, once drawn to Chevy Chase Lake, may choose to stay here and raise a family. By closing our doors to them, we inevitably deprive ourselves of those opportunities.
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