Montgomery County Council Meets on March 12 to Review the Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment and Six Fiscal Year 2025-2030 Capital Improvements Programs

The Montgomery County Council will meet on Tuesday, March 12. Full details below courtesy Montgomery County:

Per the news release: The Montgomery County Council will meet on Tuesday, March 12 at 9:15 a.m. The meeting will begin with a proclamation presentation, led by Councilmember Gabe Albornoz with County Executive Marc Elrich, recognizing Developmental Disability Awareness Month. At 1:15 p.m., a proclamation presentation, led by Councilmember Will Jawando, will recognize Autoimmune Awareness Month.

More detail on each agenda item is provided below.

Consent Calendar

Each item on the Council’s Consent Calendar can be found on the Council agenda for Tuesday, March 12, which is available on the Council website.

Special Appropriation to the FY24 Operating Budget, Montgomery County Government, Department of Finance, Economic Development Fund, New JOBS Initiative (Jobs, Opportunities & Business Support), $20,000,000

Introduction: Lead sponsor Council President Andrew Friedson will introduce a $20 million appropriation for the County’s Economic Development Fund to jumpstart the local economy and create high-paying jobs in Montgomery County. The new J.O.B.S. (Jobs, Opportunities and Business Support) Initiative would create three separate but complementary initiatives: a $10 million Job Creation Fund, a $7 million Innovation Fund and a $3 million Equity Fund.

The Job Creation Fund would provide financial incentives for employers that create and fill high-paying jobs in Montgomery County. The Innovation Fund would promote innovative technology by supporting prototype development and pilot projects that help advance Montgomery County entrepreneurs towards commercialization. The Equity Fund would help early and growth-stage small Montgomery County companies that are either majority owned by entrepreneurs from underserved communities or located in a Montgomery County Equity Focus area.

Council Vice President Kate Stewart and Councilmembers Dawn Luedtke, Marilyn Balcombe, Albornoz, Sidney Katz, Kristin Mink, Jawando, and Laurie-Anne Sayles are cosponsors of the special appropriation. A public hearing is scheduled for April 2.

Proposed Closed Session

At 9:35 a.m. the Council intends to meet in closed session to discuss the appointment, employment, assignment, promotion, discipline, demotion, compensation, removal, resignation, or performance, evaluation of appointees, employees or officials over whom it has jurisdiction, under Maryland Code, General Provisions Article §3-305(b)(1)(i). The topic is the appointment of an employee over whom the Council has jurisdiction. The closed session will resume at 5:15 p.m. if additional time is needed.

 

Public Hearings

 

Unless otherwise noted, the Council will hold the following hybrid public hearings at 1:30 p.m.  Residents can visit the Council website to learn about the multiple ways to provide testimony.

Supplemental Appropriation #24-62 to the FY24 Operating Budget, Montgomery County Government, Department of Health and Human Services, FY24 ELC Enhancing Detection Expansion Grant: $2,126,815

Supplemental Appropriation #24-63 to the FY24 Operating Budget, Montgomery County Public Schools, Supply Chain Assistance Funds, $3,343,716

Supplemental Appropriation #24-61 to the FY24 Operating Budget, Montgomery County Public Schools, Supply Chain Assistance Funds, $1,161,003

District Council Session

 

Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment

Review: The Council will review the Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment and take straw votes on the recommendations of the Planning, Housing and Parks (PHP) Committee. The plan makes recommendations to improve quality of life, guide future development and encourage improvements to the natural and built environments within the plan area. A minor master plan amendment, like the Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment, revisits a specific portion of the approved and adopted master plan and reexamines certain elements, often to address a change that was not anticipated at the time the adopted master plan was approved. This plan amendment would update portions of the 2000 Takoma Park Master Plan with the Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment.

This amendment re-envisions the areas within the plan boundary that include the Washington Adventist Hospital and University campuses, the Erie Center (located at the intersection of Flower Ave. and Erie Ave.), multi-family properties, parks and the Takoma Park Community Center located along Maple Ave. The plan boundary was determined by the Montgomery County Planning Board in coordination with the City of Takoma Park. The plan boundary was approved by the Planning Board on Sept. 30, 2021. The Council held a public hearing on the plan at Takoma Park Middle School on Jan. 25.

In recent years, the Council and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) have approved and adopted two sector plans for communities in Takoma Park and adjacent areas. These include the 2012 Takoma-Langley Crossroads Sector Plan and the 2013 Long Branch Sector Plan. These plans, in addition to the 2021 Retail in Diverse Communities Study, will inform the Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment process.

 

FY25-30 Capital Improvements Program

 

General Government – Economic Development

Review: The Council will review the Fiscal Year (FY) 2025-30 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) for economic development projects. Three new projects and two ongoing projects have recommended funding within the CIP.

The three new projects with funding recommendation include $452,000 to support the acquisition of property at the Glenmont Shopping Center from the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT); $300,000 to support a partnership between Montgomery County and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine to develop a co-branded lab facility; and $4 million to support upgrades to vacant retail space in the M-NCPPC headquarters in Wheaton.

The two ongoing projects with recommended funding include $16 million to support improvements at Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)-owned property at 5400 McGrath Boulevard and $47 million for the coordination of planning and development activities needed to implement the redevelopment of a 110-acre site on Industrial Parkway.

Department of Housing and Community Affairs

Review: The Council will review the recommended FY25-30 CIPs for Community Development and Housing programs, which are overseen by the Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA). The recommended FY25-30 CIP for Community Development includes nearly $4.3 million in the six-year period, which is a decrease of $498,000 or 10 percent, from the previously approved Amended FY23-28 CIP. The FY25-30 CIP for housing includes a recommended $242 million in the six-year period, which is an increase of $9 million, or 3.8 percent, from the previously approved Amended FY23-28 CIP.

There are a total of six recommended projects in the six-year period for DHCA: the Countywide Façade Easement Program, Facility Planning: Housing and Community Development, Affordable Housing Acquisition and Preservation, the Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund, the Nonprofit Preservation Fund, and Revitalization for Troubled and Distressed Common Ownership Communities.

The PHP Committee has concurred with the County Executive’s recommended CIP for all projects in the Community Development and Housing CIP categories with the exception of two projects: the Affordable Housing Acquisition and Preservation CIP and the new Revitalization for Troubled and Distressed Common Ownership Communities CIP. Additional details can be found in the staff report.

Housing Opportunities Commission

Review: The Council will review the recommended total of $7.5 million in the FY25-30 CIP for the Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC), which is a decrease of more than $2.7 million, or 26 percent, from the amended FY23-28 CIP. The six-year expenditures are associated with a single project to complete improvements for deeply subsidized HOC-owned units. Typical improvements include replacing roofs, windows and doors and kitchen and bathroom modernization; replacing major mechanical, electrical, plumbing systems and equipment; making life-safety and site improvements.

The recommended CIP also includes three projects, two long-standing revolving funds and one loan guarantee program, which do not have any expenditures in the six-year period but are required to be published in the CIP as legal disclosures. The PHP Committee recommends approval of each HOC CIP project as recommended by the County Executive.

Montgomery County Police Department

Review: The Council will review the FY25-30 CIP for the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD), which has three projects at a cost of more than $31 million over the six-year period. This is a decrease of nearly $18 million from the FY23-28 amended CIP. The change is primarily due to the 6th District Station Police Station Project nearing completion. The CIP includes two additional projects. The first is the Public Safety Communications Center, Phase II, Electrical Distribution and HVAC Upgrade, which provides for both the purchase of the building and the replacement of mission-critical HVAC systems. The second is for the relocation and upgrade of the Outdoor Firearms Training Center, which is located in Poolesville and functions as the department’s primary open air training area. Two additional projects are currently found in the Facility Planning: MCG Project. These include the 4th District Station in Wheaton and a new Alternate Emergency Communications Center. The Public Safety (PS) Committee recommends approval of the MCPD CIP.

Public Safety Technology Projects

Review: The Council will review the FY25-30 CIP for public safety-related Information Technology (IT) projects. This includes more than $30 million in funding over the six-year period for the County Radio Life Cycle Replacement program, which provides for the phased replacement of voice radio systems used primarily by the County’s public safety and first responder agencies. The Council will also review the Dickerson Radio Tower project, which includes $2 million in funding over the six-year period to support the installation of a 450-foot communications tower near the Public Safety Radio System equipment shelter. For the Correction and Rehabilitation Information Management System (CRIMS) upgrade, $100,000 is recommended to be shifted to FY25 from the existing project, while total projects are expected to remain the same.

A new project up for review includes $900,000 over the six-year period to replace servers and data storage that supports a public safety virtual private network and provide services for public safety clients. More than $1.6 million will be included over the six-year period to complete the Law Enforcement Records Management System within the ongoing Public Safety System Modernization project. The joint PS and Government Operations and Fiscal Policy (GO) Committee recommends approval of the CIP.

Department of Correction and Rehabilitation (DOCR)

Review: The Council will review the FY25-30 CIP for the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation, which has three projects at a cost of nearly $93 million over the six-year period. This represents an increase of $24 million from the Amended FY23-28 CIP. The increase is due to construction costs for the Justice Center project, which provides for the design and construction of a new Justice Center near Wooton Parkway and Seven Locks Road. The CIP also includes the Montgomery County Correctional Facility and Community Corrections Wi-Fi project and the Montgomery County Correctional Facility Refresh project. The PS Committee recommends approval of the CIP.

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17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Now in its 17th year, the Kensington Day of the Book Festival is a family-friendly street festival featuring 150+ renowned authors, poets, and literary organizations. Enjoy live music on five stages, special guest speakers, military veteran writers and comedians, poetry readings, cookbook demos, children's program, and much more.

Admission is free, and attendees will also be able to explore a marketplace of books and food offerings from local vendors.

Not your average book festival! This festival offers something for everyone!

17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895

www.dayofthebook.com

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

[email protected]

301-949-9416 (text preferred)

FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

Get ready to experience the vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and infectious rhythms of the Caribbean at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival! Hosted by RHU LLC, this exciting festival is set to take place on May 18, 2024, at the picturesque 16700 Barnesville Rd in Boyds, MD.

Step into a world where the Caribbean spirit comes alive! From 12:00 PM onwards, immerse yourself in a sensory journey that celebrates the unique culture, cuisine, and music of the Caribbean. Whether you're an African American, a Reggae or Soca music enthusiast, a wine lover, or part of the vibrant Caribbean diaspora, this festival promises to delight and captivate you in every way.

Let the enticing aromas of mouthwatering Caribbean dishes tantalize your taste buds. Feast on traditional delicacies prepared by expert chefs, showcasing the rich and diverse culinary heritage of the Caribbean. Indulge in flavorful jerk chicken, succulent seafood, and delectable plantain dishes that will transport you straight to the islands.

Accompanying the culinary extravaganza is a carefully curated selection of premium wines, ensuring the perfect pairing for your palate. Sip on fine wines from renowned vineyards, each sip a reflection of the Caribbean's vibrant spirit. Discover new flavors, expand your wine knowledge, and savor unforgettable moments with every glass.

As the sun sets, get ready to groove to the infectious rhythms of Caribbean music. Feel the pulsating beats of reggae, soca, dancehall, and calypso, moving your body to the lively melodies. Live performances by talented musicians and performers will keep the energy high, ensuring a night of unforgettable entertainment.

Don't miss this opportunity to embrace the Caribbean spirit and celebrate the arrival of spring in style! Tickets are available on AllEvents, so secure your spot today. Join us at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival, where cultures collide and unforgettable memories are made.

LIVE PERFORMANCES By: CULTURE Feat. Kenyatta Hill, EXCO LEVI, IMAGE BAND, RAS LIDJ REGG'GO with Special Guest SUGAR BEAR FROM E.U. & MORE! & MORE!

MUSIC By: DJ ABLAZE, DJ SMALLY & NAJ SUPREME

2 NIGHT Camping packages available: RV/CAMPER $200 | TENTS $150 Starting on Friday May 17 @ 5pm | 30 RV SPACES | 30+ TENT SPACES

KIDS 12 & UNDER FREE!!!

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