Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment preliminary recommendations presented to Montgomery County Planning Board, Takoma Park City Council, and the public
April 20, 2023
Plan re-envisions areas along Maple and Lee avenues and the Washington Adventist campus area
WHEATON, Md. – Montgomery Planning, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), presented the preliminary recommendations of the Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment to the Montgomery County Planning Board at today’s weekly meeting. The Planning Board provided suggestions and feedback for the upcoming Working Draft of the plan that is expected to go through the public review and approval process in the coming months.
In addition to today’s Planning Board presentation, Montgomery Planning has shared the preliminary recommendations and received additional feedback at presentations before the Takoma Park City Council on April 10 and at a community meeting on April 18 at the Takoma Park Community Center.
A partnership between the City of Takoma Park and Montgomery Planning, the Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment updates portions of the 2000 Takoma Park Master Plan to re-envision the section of the city encompassing Maple and Lee avenues, the Erie Center shopping area, Washington Adventist University, and Washington Adventist Hospital, which moved to White Oak in 2019. The plan will guide this stretch of the city’s future growth by building on existing assets to be a resilient, reimagined, and reconnected community with new housing options, greener and safer streets, and improved access to public amenities – all implemented through the lens of racial equity and social justice.
The preliminary recommendations are the result of Montgomery Planning’s equitable community engagement efforts since fall 2021, gathering hundreds of comments and ideas from Takoma Park residents, businesses, and other stakeholders at a variety of pop-up events, community meetings, visioning workshops, and door-to-door canvassing.
“The draft recommendations reflect the commitment to collaboration and vision-sharing between Montgomery Planning and Takoma Park City government, residents and property owners,” said project lead Melissa Williams. “This is the start of a new chapter for this part of Takoma Park following the relocation of Washington Adventist Hospital. It is an exciting opportunity to reimagine and reinvigorate the plan area and deepen Washington Adventist University campus’s community connections.”
Highlights of preliminary recommendations
Land Use, Zoning and Housing
- For compatible future development flexibility, recommend residential and commercial mixed-use zoning for properties on and around Washington Adventist campus and along Maple Avenue
- Provide pedestrian-oriented environments with walkable blocks, attractive public spaces, neighborhood serving retail, and attractive stormwater management
- Improve bicycle and pedestrian safety and connectivity
- Incorporate a well-lit, walkable Green Promenade from town hall to the Washington Adventist campus
- Seek opportunities for a campus mobility hub for better bus and micro-transit access
- Enhance the community’s ability to adapt to, mitigate for, and thrive in the face of climate change
- Support the city’s Stormwater Management Program to improve Sligo Creek water quality and reduce untreated runoff and flooding
- Provide a minimum of 35% green cover on new construction
- Minimize urban heat islands by incorporating cooling elements like street trees and shaded seating areas into the streetscape
Parks and Open Space
- Enhance the ecological health and performance of Sligo Creek Stream Valley Park
- Study the potential for community garden at Opal A. Daniels Park
- Connect surrounding communities through Washington Adventist campus to Sligo Creek Stream Valley Park and Maple Avenue
- Evaluate the Heffner Park Community Center, Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church, and Krestview sites for potential historic significance and listing 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
- Promote cultural heritage and further exploration of the community’s past
- Seek opportunities to retain historic design elements and resources
To ensure the Takoma Park Minor Master Plan Amendment is strongly rooted in the community’s identity and core values, Montgomery Planning has implemented an inclusive engagement strategy over the planning process so far. Since September 2021, the Montgomery Planning team and City of Takoma Park partners have gathered input from more than 550 people at farmers’ markets, community events, and retail “pop-ups” in commercial areas, as well as from multiple civic and neighborhood association meetings.
Additional engagement activities included:
- canvassing at multifamily properties along Maple and Lee avenues and at Washington Adventist University
- a virtual visioning hub
- a Visioning Open House with 100-plus community members
- an interactive visioning exhibit at Takoma Park Community Center.
Translation services were provided during each engagement activity throughout the process as well as a questionnaire in English, Spanish, French, and Amharic. Engagement is being conducted in four phases—Listening, Visioning, Refining, and Sharing—to involve the community during all stages of the plan development.
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