Friday, May 23, 2014

Metro hearing on Takoma development will be June 18; city council discussion May 27

Metro is holding a public hearing, Wednesday, June 18, 2014, to solicit comment on the proposed residential development at the Takoma Metro station. It is scheduled to run from 5 pm to 10 pm, with an information session at 4:30 pm. WMATA (Metro) asks you to register to speak. Send a message to speak@wmata.com; include only one registration request in each message.

The full docket of hearing materials is online.

The hearing announcement is also online. WMATA is required by its charter to hold this "compact hearing."

I won't recap history that preceded the WMATA's board's March 27, 2014 vote to proceed with the project (packet online), other than to note that the City of Takoma Park's view, stated in the council's October 28, 2013 resolution, has not changed: We believe the building is too big. Developer EYA has designed a building rising to 72 feet (plus parapets, possibly) in a parcel zoned by Washington DC with 40 and 50 foot limits.

The Takoma Park City Council will discuss city strategy surrounding the compact hearing at its Tuesday evening, May 27 meeting. Discussion of he WMATA compact hearing is scheduled for 8:45 pm. Public comment is welcome at the 7:30 pm start of the meeting.

The council may also discuss a proposal of the mayor's, to engage developer EYA is a series of meetings involving three or fewer council members at each meeting. With fewer than a quorum of council members present, these meetings would not be subject to the notice, public access, or minutes requirements of the Maryland Open Meetings Act.

Finally, the council may discuss city strategy going forward, past the WMATA compact hearing. Given that the project exceeds site zoning limits, the developer will need to go through a Washington DC Planned Unit Development process. The site is in an historic district, so plans will be reviewed by the Washington DC Historic Preservation Review Board. And because WMATA is a transit agency, presumably the Federal Transit Agency will review the plans.

Please do relay your views to the Takoma Park City Council, at our May 27 meeting or by e-mail to councilmembers (Bruce Williams <brucew@takomaparkmd.gov>, Fred Schultz <freds@takomaparkmd.gov>, Jarrett Smith <JarrettS@takomaparkmd.gov>, Kate Stewart <kates@takomaparkmd.gov>, Seth Grimes <sethg@takomaparkmd.gov>, Terry Seamens <TerryS@takomaparkmd.gov>, Tim Male <timm@takomaparkmd.gov>), and please do consider testifying at Metro's June 18 compact hearing.

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