Pepco Poles Provoke Residents in Chevy Chase

Chevy Chase residents in upper northwest Washington had several complaints about electrical poles, street trees and visitor parking programs at their recent community meeting.

The majority of the meeting, attended by about 40 residents, addressed complaints from several residents about 50-foot electrical poles erected on several streets in the area covered by Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3/4G.

Pepco has recently started an improvement project to modernize electrical poles up to standard code laws from the National Electric Safety Code Zone. Older poles still remain at 25 to 35 feet above ground. As she picked up a plastic bag filled with old electrical wires, Samantha Nolan questioned Pepco regional vice president Vincent Orange about “the gifts” left on her front yard after a new pole was installed.

Instead of replacements, Nolan, an ANC commissioner for Ward 3, said the original poles have yet to be taken down. She also said she received complaints from residents about lights from the electrical poles shining into their bedrooms and living rooms.

Larry Ross, a resident of Ward 3, does not have a pole in front of his house-yet. “We will make it expensive for you to put wires in our front yards,” Ross said.

Orange said he was “in absolute agreement” with the residents’ complaints. The project will be complete by May, according to Orange.

Tom Shiner, a longtime resident of Ward 3, said he did not feel as though Pepco was working in the best interest of the community. He said the project is “incredibly unsightly and unsafe.”

“We need to take some constructive steps toward gradual improvement,” said Shiner, an architect.

Also on the agenda was the District Department of Transportation’s plan for visitor parking passes in Residential Permit Parking (RPP) zones. These passes will provide residents with a sticker for visitors to park on the street at any time.The proposal would replace the current system where residents must secure two to three-week passes from the police station.

Liz Tylander, an arborist with the Urban Forestry Administration, briefly talked about plans to provide water bags for newly planted trees in the neighborhood.

ANC 3/4G covers the Chevy Chase area of upper northwest D.C. Although the commission begins with a “3,” it also covers parts of Ward 4.

ANC 3/4G holds its meetings every second and fourth Monday at 7:30 p.m. at the Chevy Chase Community Center at 5601 Connecticut Ave., Washington, DC 20015. The next meeting is scheduled for Feb. 25.