Montgomery County Council Approves Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment

On Tuesday, the Montgomery County Council voted today to approve the Planning Board Draft of the Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment with revisions.

Per the news release: The plan amendment updates portions of the 2000 Takoma Park Master Plan to re-envision a 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 the properties located along Maple Avenue. 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.

“The Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment is a blueprint for making a great community even better and ensuring more people have access to it,” said Council President Andrew Friedson who also chairs the Planning, Housing and Parks (PHP) Committee. “I’m proud of the work we’ve done collaboratively to prioritize affordable housing, foster new investments, engage public open spaces, and connect current and future residents to jobs, housing, and recreation.”

“As Takoma Park grows, we need to plan for its future together. As we look to the future, we need to make sure people living here now can remain, and that they have the services and amenities they deserve. That is what we are accomplishing today by passing this minor master plan amendment,” said Council Vice President and District 4 Councilmember Kate Stewart. “Since this process started four years ago while I was the Mayor in Takoma Park, I have been involved in this. Now, as the district Councilmember representing this area, I am happy to see this move forward. I appreciate the input from residents and the work of the Planning Board, our City Councilmembers and current Mayor, and my colleagues on the Council.”

“I am incredibly proud of the work that the Planning Board, and ultimately the Council have done to center racial equity and social justice into the Takoma Park Minor Master Plan,” said District 6 Councilmember Natali Fani-González, chair of the Council’s Economic Development Committee. “From the policies of no-net loss of affordable housing and expanded commercial development to unlock new economic and employment opportunities, to robust engagement with the full breadth of the community, this plan will advance racial equity and make a great community even greater.”

“I am pleased with the work we have done to elevate equity and preserve affordable housing in the Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment,” said Councilmember Will Jawando, who is a member of the Council’s PHP Committee. “We are increasing moderately priced dwelling unit requirements and expanding the ‘No Net Loss’ definition to ensure affordable housing for all, while maintaining our community’s diversity and strength. We are moving in the right direction and our County must continue to engage community stakeholders.”

Councilmember Laurie-Anne Sayles said, “We have received extensive public feedback and interest regarding the Minor Master Plan Amendment. While it may not be perfect, we have incorporated many of the concerns expressed by the community. This plan aligns directly with the goals of Thrive 2050 and my S.M.A.R.T. policy agenda by aiming to increase the number of affordable housing units and protect public amenities, which is a step in the right direction.”

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. The planning team, working with the City of Takoma Park, held numerous in-person and virtual outreach activities where stakeholders could share their insights and preferences for the plan area. This extensive engagement yielded several priorities for the future of the plan area and helped shape the plan’s vision of a Reimagined, Reconnected, and Resilient Community with new housing and other uses, greener and safer streets, and improved access to employment and amenities.

On Dec. 13, 2023, the City of Takoma Park voted 6-1 to approve a resolution supporting the Planning Board Draft of the Takoma Park Master Plan Amendment. The Council held a public hearing on the Planning Board Draft on Jan. 25, 2024. Following the public hearing, the Council’s PHP Committee met on Jan. 29, Feb. 5 and March 4 to review the plan and make recommendations to the full Council. The Committee strengthened the recommendations for preservation of affordable housing and recommended increasing the requirement for new development to provide a minimum of 15 percent of all new units as Moderately Priced Dwelling Units.

The Council held a worksession to review the recommendations of the PHP Committee on March 12 and took straw votes in support of all changes to the plan on March 19. On Monday, March 25, the City of Takoma Park issued a letter outlining its support for the Council-amended plan.

In recent years, the Montgomery County 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.

More information can be found on the Planning Board resource page.

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