The Takoma Park City Council has unanimously passed Resolution 2021-19 asking the county’s Planning Board to disapprove the site plan for the Takoma Junction redevelopment submitted by the Neighborhood Development Company.
“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,” according to the city’s project page. “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.”
The council also noted other issues raised by changes made to the original site plan during the agency review process that resulted in the plan submitted in January. They include, quoting from the resolution:
- More work is needed to address the rear façade design in order to have a minimal impact on the residential neighborhood and wooded area behind it and ensure a less intrusive and more visually appropriate design.
- The plan does not provide 2700 square feet of public space of the type and quality of that included in the plans that were submitted for development review pursuant to Resolution 2018-41.
- The plan does not demonstrate adequate public parking for area businesses as stated in Resolution 2018-41.
- Stormwater treatment does not significantly exceed the 50% requirement specified in Resolution 2018-41.
The council passed Resolution 2018-41 in July 2018 to authorize NDC to submit the site plan, subject to certain modifications, to the Planning Board for review.
“[W]e believe the Site Plan meets all of the requirements of the Development Agreement and we will continue to work with SHA to resolve their remaining outstanding concerns,” according to a statement from NDC. “Unfortunately, it appears that the City Council based its decision in part on additional or vague criteria that were not a part of the Development Agreement, but we will seek further input and clarification from Council members to meet their concerns.
“We are looking ahead to the next step in this process, which includes addressing the StateHighwayAdministration’s concerns about the proposed layby lane on Carroll Avenue, vital to meet the vendor delivery needs of the Food Co-op and future Takoma Junction tenants,” the statement added.
“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,” according to the city project page.
The city’s resolution was sent to the Planning Board yesterday (June 24). NDC is tentatively scheduled to appear before the board in July.
Rendering courtesy NDC