Skip to the content
The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission
Home / News / Montgomery County Council approves Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment

Montgomery County Council approves Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment

Plan’s recommendations preserve and expand affordable housing, and advance economic development and employment opportunities along Maple Avenue, the Erie Center, Washington Adventist University, and the former hospital site

WHEATON, Md. – The Montgomery County Council voted on April 2 to approve the Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment, a comprehensive set of recommended actions that meets current and future demands for affordable living and fosters more opportunities for economic prosperity in a section of the City of Takoma Park from the Takoma Park Community Center in the west to the Erie Center and the Washington Adventist University and former hospital site in the east.

“From housing, transportation, and parks to historic preservation and community-serving facilities, this plan is designed to achieve a reimagined and reconnected community with new and improved uses for existing spaces and places, with safer, more inviting ways to get to high-quality amenities without solely relying on the automobile,” said Planning Board Chair Artie Harris. “The plan also guides strategies for a more resilient community that anticipates and manages climate change by embracing forward-thinking planning and design.” 

Read the current draft of the plan that was approved in December 2023 by the Montgomery County Planning Board, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), following a public hearing and a series of livestreamed work sessions, as well as multiple briefings before the Takoma Park City Council and equitable engagement with city residents and property owners. The County Council approved the plan, with revisions, following its own public hearing and livestreamed work sessions this winter. Councilmembers incorporated the community’s feedback and added their own comments to the final approved plan, which will be available online soon.

Read the County Council’s press release about the approval vote.

Read the Takoma Park City Council’s March 22, 2024, letter of support for the plan.

“The plan recommends more flexible zoning to expand opportunities for more housing, especially affordable housing, to fit the needs of anyone desiring to stay in or move to Takoma Park,” said Montgomery Planning Director Jason Sartori. “The former Washington Adventist Hospital property is a great example of an opportunity for an underutilized space to be reimagined to better serve residents, visitors, and businesses. The plan helps advance these opportunities while preserving the city’s historic charm and character.”

The Plan Advances Racial Equity and Social Justice

The County Council and Planning Board approvals follow extensive equitable community engagement on the plan since 2021 by the Montgomery County Planning Department, also part of The M-NCPPC. The engagement included a variety of methods to reach residents, property owners, local government and institutions, small businesses, users of community facilities within the plan area and those who have a stake in the future of the area but may live outside the plan’s boundary.

“Equity in planning is a core tenet of our master-planning process as part of our Equity Agenda for Planning and it is one of the key outcomes of the Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment’s recommendations,” said project lead Melissa Williams. “Takoma Park’s diversity is among its greatest strengths, and it is important our plan process captured the perspectives and experiences of all in an equitable manner. We understood that to provide equitable recommendations, the process must include equitable engagement.”

Advancing racial equity and social justice is woven into the plan with specific recommendations to:

  • Prioritize no net loss of affordable housing by:
    • Prioritizing existing residents.Recommending a diversification of unit type.Preserving the number of existing affordable units.
    • Upgrading existing affordable units.
  • Propose the development of new housing with inclusive affordability.
  • Increase access to parks, open space, community gardens, and local healthy food production.
  • Promote cultural heritage and diversity of the community and further explore its past.
  • Connect the community through increased mobility options.
  • Support the creation of new diverse and welcoming public spaces.
  • Provide ways to combat environmental inequities.
  • Increase access to the existing transit network to help reduce reliance on single occupancy vehicles and provide all residents, regardless of car ownership, access to employment and other destinations.

The plan is a partnership between Montgomery Planning and the City of Takoma Park. The Takoma Park City Council also conducted a robust engagement process that included discussions with stakeholders and work sessions that included Planning staff. These sessions were in preparation for the Takoma Park City Council’s review of the plan.

Read the plan’s Community Engagement and Outreach Appendix for more on Montgomery Planning’s comprehensive efforts to get feedback and ensure the recommendations reflect the community’s needs, wants, and ideas for its future.

Additional Plan Recommendations

Land Use, Zoning and Housing

  • For compatible future development flexibility, recommend residential and commercial mixed-use zoning for properties on and around the Washington Adventist campus and along Maple Avenue.
  • Highlight new and existing strategies for compatibility of new development with the surrounding communities.
  • Provide pedestrian-oriented environments with walkable blocks, attractive public spaces, neighborhood serving retail, and attractive stormwater management.
  • Ensure no net loss of affordable housing and provide for reinvestment of existing properties.

Improved Connectivity

  • Improve bicycle and pedestrian safety and connectivity.
  • Incorporate a well-lit,walkableGreen Promenade from Town Hall to the Washington Adventist campus.
  • Seek opportunities for a micro-mobility hub for better multi-modal access.

Environmental Resiliency

  • Support the city’s Stormwater Management Program to improve Sligo Creek water quality and reduce untreated runoff and flooding.
  • Provide methods to reduce impervious surfaces.
  • Minimize urban heat islands by incorporating cooling elements like street trees and shaded seating areas into the streetscape.

Parks and Open Space 

  • Provide for significant new public open space on the Washington Adventist campus.
  • Enhance the ecological health and performance of Sligo Creek Stream Valley Park.
  • Study the potential for a community garden at Opal A. Daniels Park.
  • Connect surrounding communities through Washington Adventist campus to Sligo Creek Stream Valley Park and Maple Avenue.

Historic Preservation

  • List the Heffner Park Community Center, Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church, and Krestview sites on the Master Plan for Historic Preservation.
  • Study Takoma Park’s historic African American neighborhoods for potential future listing on the Master Plan for Historic Preservation and/or the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Seek opportunities to retain historic design elements and resources.

More About the Plan

The Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment updates portions of the 2000 Takoma Park Master Plan to re-envision the section of the city that includes Washington Adventist University and the former Washington Adventist Hospital site, the Erie Center (located at the intersection of Flower Avenue and Erie Avenue), and multi-family properties, parks and the Takoma Park Community Center located along Maple and Lee avenues. This plan boundary was determined by the Planning Board in coordination with the City of Takoma Park and approved by the Planning Board on September 30, 2021.

The Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment’s webpage has more information about the plan.