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Takoma Park resident alleges civil rights violation during meeting

  • Published in Local

takoma park logoTAKOMA PARK — A Takoma Park resident claims that his civil rights were violated on the evening of Wednesday, July 25 during the City Council’s weekly meeting.

Byrne Kelly, 63, says three Takoma Park city employees violated his civil rights when they did not allow him to set up a table in the atrium of the Sam Abbott Citizens’ Center, where the Takoma Park City Council regularly holds its weekly meetings.

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Takoma Park approves junction plan

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Takoma Park Govt logoTAKOMA PARK — After nearly four years of debate, the Takoma Park City Council approved the Takoma Junction site plan in a 5-2 vote in the early hours of Thursday morning.

“The vote last Wednesday on the resolution allows the draft site to move forward to the county planning board as well as the [State Highway Administration] for review,” said Takoma Park Mayor Kate Stewart. “We're looking forward to working on this project and [with] residents across the city to ensure that this project is one that reflects Takoma Park.”

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Takoma Park residents begin recall effort

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Takoma Park Govt logoTAKOMA PARK — With the City Council set to vote on the Takoma Junction redevelopment proposal on July 25, some residents are mounting a partial recall of the city’s elected officials over the project.

“There are those of us and there are many of us, who feel as though our council is basically ignoring us,” said Byrne Kelly, a Ward 3 resident who is leading the recall effort. “When we go before the council and we get our three minutes at the podium … they look at us with blank faces.”

Kelly explained that he was mounting the effort in response to what he called “gross silence” from the Council in response to a portion of the residents opposing the development proposal.

“We’re doing this for the Co-op, the public land, and the city,” he said.

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Takoma Junction residents make final push in redevelopment

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takoma park logoTAKOMA PARK — With the City Council set to vote on the Takoma Junction redevelopment July 25, supporters and opponents made their final bids in front of their locally-elected officials.

“The development is too big,” Susan Katz Miller, a Ward 3 resident, said during an outdoor protest prior to the City Council’s weekly evening meeting Wednesday. “They [the Council] have taken all the public space; they’re squeezing out the [Takoma Park-Silver Spring] Co-op [and] endangering our most vibrant, diverse retail enterprise.”

Miller gathered with approximately 20 other protesters outside the Sam Abbott Citizens Center with a large sign depicting a tractor-trailer to protest the proposed redevelopment project to turn a city-owned parking lot at the intersection of Grant, Carroll, and Philadelphia Avenues into a two-story building with street-level retail and office space along with an underground parking garage.

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Takoma Park addresses junction redevelopment

  • Published in Local

Takoma Park Govt logoTAKOMA PARK — With the vote to approve the Takoma Junction Redevelopment site plan approaching on July 25, the City Council continues to resolve questions regarding the project.

After the unveiling of the site plan in April, traffic studies associated with the project were released in June, analyzing potential traffic changes the project could have on the surrounding area.

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Takoma Problems Persist

  • Published in Local

takoma park logoTAKOMA PARK — Tensions between residents and the Takoma Park City Council remain high as the project to redevelop a city-owned parking lot adjacent to the Takoma Park-Silver Spring Co-op enters its fifth year.

“Our county and the world is already affected enough by our cars and our carbon footprint, without trucks adding to it all,” said 13-year-old Ward 2 resident Elizabeth Comfort-Cohen during the City Council's weekly meeting Wednesday. Comfort-Cohen, who goes by the Co-op on her commute to school, expressed concern the proposed Takoma Junction Redevelopment project could have on pedestrians and cyclists. “All I’m asking, council members, is that you think long and hard about the effect this project can make on the community and not just the government.”

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Takoma Park approves junction traffic study

  • Published in Local

TAKOMA PARK — The Takoma Park City Council on Wednesday approved a traffic study which will further advance the Takoma Junction redevelopment process.

“The city’s study is to identify options to address safety concerns and mitigate traffic congestion at Takoma Junction and evaluate the extent of cut-through traffic in adjacent neighborhoods,” City Manager Suzanne Ludlow said during the Council’s Wednesday evening meeting. “The findings will be used to advocate for roadway and intersection improvements.”

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Takoma Park votes to move junction concept plan forward

  • Published in Local

TAKOMA PARK – In a meeting lasting until 1:30 a.m., the Takoma Park City Council voted to approve the concept plan Wednesday evening and continue the process to redevelop Takoma Junction.

The council voted 6-1 to approve the concept plan and move forward in the redevelopment process with Neighborhood Development Corporation (NDC), the contractor chosen for the project. Council member Tim Male (Ward 2) cast the sole dissenting vote.

“I’m trying to send a signal that there’s things that they need to pay attention to so that when we get to the site plan stage, we’re actually in the right place as opposed to going in the wrong direction,” Male said.

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Takoma Park residents speak out on junction development

  • Published in Local

TAKOMA PARK – In a meeting lasting into the early morning hours of Oct. 12, the Takoma Park City Council heard comments from residents on the proposed Takoma Junction development project.

“It’s always nice to hear members of the community come out and voice their opinion,” Mayor Kate Stewart said after the conclusion of the meeting. “Later in the work session, I think a lot of the same themes came up regarding wanting more public space, more community space, concerns about the overall massing of the building.”

The proposed project, located at the junction of Carroll, Ethan Allen, and Grant avenues, would redevelop a city-owned parking lot flanked by the Takoma Park-Silver Spring Food Co-op and Healy Surgeons. The Takoma Auto Clinic, located on the lot, is slated to relocate should redevelopment plans move forward.

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Developer seeks other tenant for Takoma Junction

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Takoma Junction moved a step closer to becoming reality after the City Council meeting on Jan. 11 allowed the developer to choose another tenant.

With a unanimous vote, the council allowed the developer, NDC, to choose another anchor tenant for the Takoma Junction project.

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