City Council recommends that County Planning Board disapprove Neighborhood Development Company (NDC) site plan to develop Takoma Junction
On Wednesday, June 23, 2021, the Takoma Park City Council passed Resolution 2021-19, recommending that the Montgomery County Planning Board disapprove the site plan Neighborhood Development Company (NDC) submitted in January 2021 to develop Takoma Junction.
The site plan reviewed by the City Council lacks the necessary agency approvals for NDC’s proposed layby – the only proposed means for deliveries in the plan – and additional concerns remain about the available public space, parking, stormwater management, and the rear façade.
The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) still has not approved the layby (or an optional shorter layby) proposed by NDC and has raised serious concerns regarding a number of safety-related issues in numerous communications. In the absence of an approved layby, there is nothing in the current plan presented to the City Council to accommodate deliveries and trash removal. Despite the City’s recommendation that NDC waits until work with SHA had resulted in an SHA-approved design, NDC insisted on presenting the plan to the Council. The Council’s June 23 resolution permits NDC to return to the City for review if changes to the proposed site plan address the absence of an approved layby and/or other issues raised.
Significant questions remain as to whether the current site plan could remain in its present form, or anything close to it if changes are needed to create a different layby or other delivery mechanism for the project. Having no layby or a very different kind of layby for deliveries would likely affect the amount and configuration of public space, and could affect parking, stormwater, and other aspects of the site plan. The City Council would want to review the revised site plan if these changes were made.
The resolution continues to cite the City’s goals for the project at Takoma Junction to “act as a stimulus to the commercial district and locally-owned, independent businesses; improve the aesthetic appeal of the district, and be contextually sensitive and environmentally sustainable.” For the history of the project see here. For information about the development review process see here.
The City’s resolution was transmitted to the Planning Board on Thursday, June 24th. Presently, NDC is tentatively scheduled to appear before the Planning Board in July.