Planning Board Rejects Takoma Junction Redevelopment Proposal

The county’s Planning Board yesterday unanimously rejected a proposal to redevelop a public parking lot next to the Takoma Park Silver Spring Co-op, according to several reports.

The Washington, D.C.-based Neighborhood Development Company proposed to build a two-story structure with retail, restaurants and public space at street level, and office space above.

The decision will be final 30 days after the board issues its written decision, though NDC has the right to appeal.

“We’re disappointed and disagree with the Planning Board’s decision,” an NDC spokesperson wrote in an email to the Source, “and will confer with the City of Takoma Park, our partners in this project, to decide on next steps.”

The primary reason for the rejection was a proposal for a layby at the Takoma Junction location along Carroll Avenue, a space that would allow delivery trucks to come and go. The State Highway Administration rejected that plan as unsafe for pedestrians and drivers.

“This comes down to the layby,” Planning Board chair Casey Anderson told The Washington Post, which first reported the board’s action. Citing the SHA decision, he said, “We can’t approve this project.”

The Takoma Park City Council in June passed a resolution asking the board to reject the plan, also citing the SHA decision, among other factors.

At one point, the co-op, which had been in a dispute with NDC over the proposal and leasing the parking lot for deliveries, was the target of a cease-and-desist order from NDC. That order was lifted when a judge granted the co-op a temporary injunction in a suit the co-op filed against NDC over the leasing issue. The two later agreed to mediation.

“At this time, the Planning Board’s decision has not affected the Co-op’s lease of the Junction parking lot from NDC or the Co-op’s mediation agreement with NDC; and we continue to operate as before,” Diane Curran, vice president, TPSS Co-op Board of Representatives, wrote in a blog post.

2021 Google satellite view of the co-op and Takoma Junction

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