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Welcome to my blog, which features frequent updates on local Takoma Park issues, including City Council meeting agendas, plus occasional commentary on national news and politics.

Important September Announcements

Dear Neighbors:

I’m hopeful residents had a chance to spend time with family, and otherwise relax and recharge during the latter part of the summer. The City Council will next meet on September 5. Here’s a link to the agenda: https://takomaparkmd.gov/meeting_agendas/city-council-meeting-agenda-wednesday-september-5-2018/.  I’ll provide more information about that meeting in the coming days. Meanwhile, there’s a lot going on in the City, and a number of important actions, meetings and events will take place in September, as described below.

Takoma Junction Update -- Lease Effective on September 1 .  The effective date of the ground lease between the City and Neighborhood Development Company (NDC) for the Takoma Junction parking lot is September 1 (tomorrow). At the time of this writing, while the negotiations between NDC and the Co-op regarding the lot have not been finalized, the City has received assurance that the parking lot will remain available for public parking until construction commences. I anticipate more details about these arrangements to be available shortly, and I will forward them along as soon as possible.

Before submitting the Junction site plan to the County planning process, NDC is required under County rules to hold a public meeting on the proposal. We had recently received word that the public meeting was to take place on September 6, but NDC has decided to reschedule it. They are tentatively planning to submit the site plan to the County on September 25. Again, I’ll share details on these aspects of the process as they become available.

North Takoma Pepco Project -- September 4 & 18.  On September 4, Pepco will begin work on Fenton Street in the block between Takoma Avenue and Chicago Avenue (basically the length of the Montgomery College campus). The work will take place between roughly 9:00 AM and 3:30 PM on weekdays. This phase of the project will involve a detour on Takoma Avenue and New York Avenue. That work will likely last until February, and the current plan is for the bus stops on Fenton to be inactive during that period. The ongoing work on Takoma Avenue between Baltimore Avenue and Fenton may last another two months. I’ll be convening a community meeting on September 18 in North Takoma where Pepco will provide a more detailed update on the street project, and residents will be able to ask questions and offer comments. Details on the meeting location and time will be given in a future message.

Crescent and Holt Curb/Gutter Work -- Starting September 4.  This City construction project should take about two weeks, weather permitting. It’s in preparation for paving of the two streets, later this year or next year. The work will be done during the 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM time frame, and will focus primarily on replacing driveway aprons and gutters. Portions of the sidewalk may also be replaced if there are drainage issues. Questions can be directed to Ian Chamberlain in the Public Works Department (ianc@takomparkmd.gov; 301-891-7611).

Takoma Park Middle School Expansion -- September 5, 12 & 13.  The Takoma Park Middle School addition plans have been submitted to the County Planning Office’s Mandatory Referral process. The Montgomery County public hearing is scheduled for September 13. The Takoma Park City Council is scheduled to hold a work session on the topic on September 5 and a voting session for a resolution outlining the City’s views on the expansion plans on September 12. The following link has more information on the project:  http://takomaparkmd.gov/initiatives/project-directory/takoma-park-middle-school-addition/ 

Tenth Annual Play Day -- September 8.  Let’s Play America and the City are partnering to present the 10th Annual Play Day on September 8 from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM at Takoma Park Middle School. Here’s a link to the flyer:  http://letsplayamerica.org/annual-play-day-2018-flyer

Dorothy’s Woods -- Foreclosure Sale on September 13.  Fairview (the financial services company which purchased the original mortgage from Bank of America) has reinstituted its foreclosure action regarding the City’s Dorothy’s Woods parcel at the Washington-McLaughlin property. The parcel is scheduled to be offered for sale at a foreclosure auction on September 13. The City Council will meet on September 5 in closed session to hear legal advice and options for potential next steps. Additional information can be found here:https://takomaparkmd.gov/initiatives/project-directory/dorothys-woods/

Montgomery College Math-Science Building Design Charrettes -- Sept. 11 & Oct. 2.  The next two design charrettes will take place on September 11 (Building Form, Continued) and October 2 (Architectural Systems and Concepts), from 7:00 - 9:30 PM at the MC Cultural Arts Center (7995 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring). Information on the charrette process can be found here: http://mcblogs.montgomerycollege.edu/tpss-math-science-building/. Participants will be able to meet with the teams from the College, SmithGroupJJR Architects, and LINK Strategic Partners (which is handling community engagement). For those who can’t make the charrette meetings (or who want additional information) there are Office Hours and a Site Tour on September 5, from 6:00 - 8:00 PM in Room 210A Scott Commons (meet in Room 212 for the Tour from 6:00 - 7:30 PM). Community and small group tours are available on request.

Folk Festival -- September 16.  The Folk Festival, celebrating its 40th anniversary, will take place at Takoma Park Middle School on September 16, from 10:30 AM to 6:00 PM, rain or shine. It’s free and includes, in addition to musicians and dancers, a juried craft show, kids' games, international foods, and community booths. https://www.tpff.org/

Takoma Foundation Fall Grant Cycle -- Deadline September 27.  The Foundation’s mission is to make grants that promote a socially, environmentally, economically and culturally healthy Takoma Park community. See the grant guidelines for background and application materials.

Renewable Energy Challenge -- Deadline September 30.  The City’s Office of Sustainability has established a challenge aimed at encouraging residents to switch to 100 percent renewable energy for their home energy needs. Details of the challenge can be found here: file:///C:/Users/Peter%20Kovar/Downloads/Takoma%20Park%20Renewable%20Energy%20Challenge%20FAQ.pdf

Street Festival -- October 7.  Finally, the 37th annual Takoma Park Street Festival will take place on October 7 from 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM on Carroll Avenue.

Feel free to be in touch with questions or comments about any of these matters.

Peter Kovar, Takoma Park City Council, Ward One

240-319-6281; www.councilmemberkovar.com

September 5, 2018 City Council Meeting Agenda

Takoma Junction Site Plan to go to County Review Process