Sunday, October 6, 2013

October 7 at the council: Takoma Metro development & CDBG hearings

The October 7, 2013 Takoma Park City Council meeting will include three public hearings, two of which will be of interest to Ward 1 residents. I'll describe them below. 

The first hearing of the three, not of much Ward 1 interest, is on Long Branch Sligo neighborhood traffic-calming measures. The council meeting will continue, after the three hearings, with a Resolution Commenting on the Purple Line Final Environmental Impact Statement (public comment invited) and a council worksession discussion of city priorities for the 2014 state legislative session that will open in January and run until April.

I am traveling and will miss the October 7 council meeting, but I plan to watch the recording after I return. Of course, I'm happy to field your questions and hear your views at any time, via e-mail to sethg@takomaparkmd.gov and by phone, after October 9, at 301-873-8225. Testimony sent to clerk@takomaparkmd.gov will go to the whole council.

On the October 7 council agenda, following the LBS traffic-calming hearing -- 

A second hearing will solicit public comment on the FY2015 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. Via federal CDBG grants, the city funds capital and service projects: "The City will receive an estimated $125,000 in funds for PY40 (FY2015). Of this amount, not more than $18,750 or 15% of the anticipated award can be allocated to community or public service projects with the balance ($106,250) directed toward qualifying capital improvement projects. The actual funding level is uncertain at this time given anticipated budget reductions at the federal level."

The third hearing will be on Takoma Metro site development proposed by WMATA (Metro) and developer EYA. For background, I'll refer you to an update I posted on September 29, Takoma Metro Development: The October Agenda. Your views -- your comment at the hearing and your views, as sent to clerk@takomaparkmd.gov -- will inform the council's October 14 worksession discussion and October 21 resolution comment on the proposed development. I plan to work with my council colleagues to create a strong resolution. My reading is that the community will support sensible transit-oriented development that is appropriate in scale and design for the surrounding neighborhoods. To achieve this end, we must protect the interests of Takoma transit users, residents, and businesses, via (among other elements) adequate set-back and design facing Eastern Avenue and green-space preservation.

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