City Council challenges Montgomery College facilities master plan
In a March 1 letter to Maryland Higher Education Commission Chair (MHEC) Anwer Hasan, the Takoma Park City Council urged the commission to postpone consideration of the 2013-2023 Montgomery College Facilities Master Plan “until the required local stakeholder and municipal government consultation takes place, and the Plan is revised as appropriate based on that consultation.”
Citing a 2002 agreement between the college, the City, Montgomery County and Historic Takoma that requires the college to “consult with the City… and the local community when making any major or substantial changes or alterations to the existing structures designated” (as outlined in the document), the Council stated that this legal obligation had not been fulfilled and expressed concern that “there was never an intent to undertake true community consultation.”
A member of the Takoma Park City Council presented testimony at the Montgomery College Board Meeting on February 1 requesting that the Board postpone its vote on the Master Plan, but the Board approved the Plan without dissent, and it was made public two days later.
Even so, the letter outlined the Council’s major concerns with this plan moving forward as approved by the Board:
- The college plans to build exclusively within the residential neighborhood portion of the Takoma ParkSilver Spring campus.
- In June the college will be closing its day care facility in the North Takoma neighborhood, which has provided an important service for college employees, students and residents.
- The Plan calls for replacing most of the major College buildings currently located in the residential area with larger structures in the same area, which will cause construction related disturbances for many years and ultimately threaten the integrity of the residential areas.
It concluded by urging “MHEC to reject the Montgomery College Facilities Master Plan (at least as it applies to the Takoma Park-Silver Spring campus), and to require the College to undertake a genuine community consultation process – as required under the 2002 Agreement – before the Plan is considered.”
Read the entire letter at takomaparkmd. gov/news/city-council-letter-to-the-maryland-higher-education-commission.