Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Advances to County Council for Approval

The Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment Planning Board Draft was approved by the county’s Planning Board at its weekly meeting on December 14.

City officials have stated that the plan sets the foundation for a renewed, connected, and resilient section of the city that stretches from the Takoma Park Community Center to the east, encompassing Washington Adventist University and the former Washington Adventist Hospital site.

The recommendations were crafted with an emphasis on ensuring fairness and equality for everyone who resides, works, or visits the designated area, according to a press release.

“On behalf of the Planning Board, thank you to the Takoma Park community for its outstanding collaboration and extensive input that made this plan a reality,” said Planning Board Chair Artie Harris. “The community told us what it continues to love about Takoma Park while also expressing what would make their neighborhoods even more vibrant, affordable, and environmentally resilient. I am excited for a future Takoma Park that blends its historic charm with modern takes on housing, transportation, and community facilities as well as parks and open space.”

The draft plan will now be sent to the County Council and County Executive for public review and final County Council approval. The red-lined version of the plan’s Public Hearing Draft can be viewed online, as well as the Planning Board’s draft version.

The Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment revises parts of the 2000 Takoma Park Master Plan to rethink the area 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 multi-family properties, parks, and the Takoma Park Community Center situated along Maple and Lee avenues.

According to a Montgomery Planning press release, the plan is a joint effort between the Planning Department and Takoma Park, following extensive community engagement since 2021. The Planning Department used various methods to involve residents, property owners, local government, institutions, small businesses, users of community facilities in the plan area, and stakeholders from outside the plan’s boundary.

The Planning Board, in collaboration with Takoma Park, set the plan boundary, which was approved on September 30, 2021.

In September this year, the Planning Board held a public hearing on the plan and conducted six live-streamed work sessions throughout the fall to integrate public input and comments from Planning Board members.

“Understanding the community’s needs guided the plan’s vision of reimagined, reconnected, and resilient neighborhoods in this section of the city,” said Montgomery Planning Director Jason Sartori. “The plan is the product of our great collaboration with residents, property owners, and the staff and Councilmembers of the City of Takoma Park that will guide the city’s growth over the next 10 to 20 years.”

The Takoma Park City Council passed Resolution 2023-38 on December 13 with a 6-1 vote. The resolution addresses conditions related to the development scale on the Washington Adventist Hospital and University campuses, housing style diversity, school limitations at Piney Branch Elementary School, recommendations for changes to the city’s rent stabilization policy, and the inclusion of a housing resource list.

The county’s Planning Board held Worksession #6 the next day to review and make changes to Takoma Park’s resolution in the Minor Master Plan.

After the discussion, the Planning Board held two votes:

“The plan recommends flexible zoning to preserve and expand affordable housing and create more potential for commercial uses in higher-density areas to advance economic development and employment opportunities,” said project lead Melissa Williams. “The plan also envisions a new mixed-use future for the vacant Washington Adventist Hospital campus that allows for medical, educational, commercial, and residential uses with improved connectivity to make it easier to access amenities without a vehicle.”

The County Council will hold a public hearing on Thursday, January 25, 2024, at 7 p.m. at Takoma Park Middle School, located at 7611 Piney Branch Rd. in Takoma Park. The public is encouraged to share additional comments on the plan during the hearing.

More information and updates can be found on the Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment webpage.

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