Sunday, September 27, 2015

Update on Takoma Junction development, Orchard Avenue development, and more at the Sept 28 city council meeting

Yesterday's Takoma Junction
Yesterday's Takoma Junction
Neighborhood Development Company (NDC), the city's chosen Takoma Junction development partner, will present an update on plans at the Monday evening, September 28 city council meeting. The presentation by NDC CEO and founder Adrian Washington and Michael Gilioni, analyst, acquisitions and development, is scheduled for 7 pm to 8 pm. Join us at the community center auditorium or view video via city TV live-streaming.

The city maintains a Takoma Junction redevelopment page. The council met last week to review a development agreement drafted by the real-estate attorneys retained by the city to assist us with the Takoma Junction process. NDC may request changes to the draft; once signed, the agreement will provide a framework for next steps include community design meetings and stakeholder consultations, including with the TPSS Co-op.

The Regular Meeting

The full September 28 council agenda is online. Public comment is scheduled for 8 pm, followed by a number of voting items.

Orchard Avenue Site Plan Comment

The first voting item is a Resolution Commenting on Site Plan for 6413 Orchard Avenue. Maggio Roofing plans to build a two-story storage structure at the site, which is adjacent to residences and close to an existing community garden and the planned Sligo Mill Overlook Park and playground, which are situated on Orchard Avenue. The site is a block from New Hampshire Avenue, but the existing street grid routes commercial traffic including trucks past the garden and park-playground site.

While the 6413 Orchard Avenue plan is of particular interest to Pinecrest neighborhood residents and businesses, commercial-corridor development has impacted and will affect residents in many Takoma Park neighborhoods, particularly along New Hampshire Avenue. The proposed Taco Bell, at New Hampshire Avenue and Holton Lane, is another, immediate example. The steps the city takes in the Orchard-Sligo Mill area -- beyond the council resolution on Monday evening's agenda -- and our to-be-discussed position on the Taco Bell site plan will show the degree of regard we pay to residents' concerns while accommodating business requests.

Elections and Council Compensation

The council will vote Monday evening whether to put an advisory question on the 2015 ballot for referendum vote, whether to change the municipal election year to even years in order to align city elections with federal, state, and county general elections, and we will hear a presentation by the Council Compensation Committee regarding recommendations for council salary adjustments. Visit the meeting agenda page for these and other items, and do relay your views to me by e-mail, sethg@takomaparkmd.gov, or phone, 301-873-8225.

The 2015 Election

Finally, the nominating caucus for the 2015 election takes place Tuesday evening, September 29, starting at 7:30 pm. Election Day is November 3, preceded by several days of early voting.

The last day to register to vote via the Maryland State Board of Elections or the Montgomery County Board of Elections is October 13. Given Takoma Park same-day registration and voting, enacted in 2013, for city elections, residents (including non-citizens and 16 & 17 year olds) may register any time, up to and including the day of the election.

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