Sept. 14 Public Hearing for Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment Scheduled by Montgomery Planning

Community encouraged to sign up to testify and continue providing feedback on draft plan re-envisioning areas along Maple Avenue and Flower Avenue, including the Washington Adventist campus area.

The Montgomery County Planning Board, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), will hold a public hearing on Thursday, September 14, 2023 at 6 p.m. for the Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment. At its June 8 meeting, the Planning Board added its comments and accepted the Working Draft of the plan as the Public Hearing Draft, which the public is encouraged to view and provide in-person or virtual feedback by signing up to testify at the public hearing.

The Planning Board’s public hearing on the plan will take place at M-NCPPC’s Wheaton Headquarters in the 2nd floor Auditorium as well as virtually through the Planning Board’s website. The public hearing will also be livestreamed at the City of Takoma Park’s Community Center (7500 Maple Avenue, Takoma Park, MD 20912) for the public to watch and provide testimony. The plan is a partnership between the Montgomery County Planning Department and the City of Takoma Park.  For more information on the plan, visit its dedicated website where the Public Hearing Draft will be posted.

In addition to testifying during the public hearing, the community is also invited to provide written comments to the Planning Board ahead of the public hearing. Written and oral testimony will be reviewed by the Planning Board at a series of work sessions in the fall to review and revise the draft plan prior to submission to the Montgomery County Council for its public review process and final approval. The Takoma Park City Council reviews the current draft plan prior to each public hearing and may provide a resolution and other comments to the Planning Board and County Council.

“The Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment is the result of nearly two years’ worth of community engagement with Takoma Park’s diverse residents and extensive research and analysis of this community to forge an updated vision for this section of the city,” said Acting Planning Director Tanya Stern. “Montgomery Planning and its City of Takoma Park partners are excited to get even more input from residents, businesses, and property owners about how they envision their neighborhood in the next 10 to 20 years. We highly encourage the community to share their thoughts with the Planning Board for the upcoming public hearing on this plan.”

Providing testimony

Community members can provide real-time testimony via Microsoft Teams, over the phone, or in-person during the Planning Board’s public hearing. All persons who wish to testify at the Planning Board Public Hearing either in-person at Wheaton Headquarters or the Takoma Park Community Center or virtually must sign up in advance.

To testify, fill out the Sign Up to Testify form by noon on the day before the Planning Board meeting. Once the form is completed, if you are testifying remotely, you will receive an email before the Planning Board meeting with a phone number to call and a link to participate in the Microsoft Teams meeting during a designated time to provide your testimony for a specific agenda item. Please note that submitting the Sign Up to Testify form online by the deadline is the only way to testify in real time on Planning Board meeting items.

In addition to testifying in person or via Microsoft Teams, residents may also:

  • Email testimony to [email protected]
  • Fax testimony to the Planning Board Chair at 301-495-1320
  • Mail written testimony to: Chair, Montgomery County Planning Board, 2425 Reedie Drive, 14th Floor, Wheaton, MD 20902

To be reviewed by the Planning Board and included in the official record of the hearing, your testimony MUST include the following:

  • Your mailing address.
  • The hearing date of September 14, 2023.

About the Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment

The Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment updates portions of the 2000 Takoma Park Master Plan to re-envision the section of the city that includes the Washington Adventist Hospital and University campuses, the Erie Center (located at the intersection of Flower Avenue and Erie Avenue), and multi-family properties, parks and the Takoma Park Community Center located along Maple and Lee avenues. This plan boundary was determined by the Montgomery County Planning Board in coordination with the City of Takoma Park. It was approved by the Planning Board on September 30, 2021.

The Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment’s webpage is updated with more information about the plan and on the ways the community can get involved and stay connected. The website has an updated plan timeline, frequently asked questions, how you can set up a meeting with a planner, and a place to sign up for the Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment eLetter.

Key Recommendations of the Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment

Land Use, Zoning and Housing

  • For compatible future development flexibility, recommend residential and commercial mixed-use zoning for properties on and around Washington Adventist campus and along Maple Avenue
  • Provide pedestrian-oriented environments with walkable blocks, attractive public spaces, neighborhood serving retail, and attractive stormwater management

Improved Connectivity

  • Improve bicycle and pedestrian safety and connectivity
  • Incorporate a well-lit, walkable Green Promenade from town hall to the Washington Adventist campus
  • Seek opportunities for a micro-mobility hub for better multi-modal access

Environmental Resiliency

  • Enhance the community’s ability to adapt to, mitigate for, and thrive in the face of climate change
  • Support the city’s Stormwater Management Program to improve Sligo Creek water quality and reduce untreated runoff and flooding
  • Provide methods to reduce impervious surfaces
  • Minimize urban heat islands by incorporating cooling elements like street trees and shaded seating areas into the streetscape

Parks and Open Space

  • Enhance the ecological health and performance of Sligo Creek Stream Valley Park
  • Study the potential for community garden at Opal A. Daniels Park
  • Connect surrounding communities through Washington Adventist campus to Sligo Creek Stream Valley Park and Maple Avenue

Historic Preservation

  • Evaluate the Heffner Park Community Center, Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church, and Krestview sites for potential historic significance and listing on the Master Plan for Historic Preservation
  • Study Takoma Park’s historic African American neighborhoods for potential future listing on the Master Plan for Historic Preservation and/or the National Register of Historic Places
  • Promote cultural heritage and further exploration of the community’s past
  • Seek opportunities to retain historic design elements and resources

Equitable Engagement

To ensure the Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment is strongly rooted in the community’s identity and core values, Montgomery Planning has implemented an inclusive engagement strategy throughout the planning process so far. Since September 2021, the Montgomery Planning team and City of Takoma Park partners have gathered input from more than 550 people at farmers’ markets, community events, and retail “pop-ups” in commercial areas, as well as from multiple civic and neighborhood association meetings.

Additional engagement activities included:

  • canvassing at multifamily properties along Maple and Lee Avenues and at Washington Adventist University
  • a virtual visioning hub
  • a Visioning Open House with 100-plus community members
  • an interactive visioning exhibit at Takoma Park Community Center
  • regular plan briefings at Takoma Park City Council meetings

Translation services were provided during each engagement activity throughout the process as well as a questionnaire in English, Spanish, French, and Amharic. Engagement is being conducted in four phases—Listening, Visioning, Refining, and Sharing—to involve the community during all stages of the plan development.

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