We are residents and neighbors with a collective vision for use of public land at Takoma Junction and throughout the City that reflects Takoma Park’s history and values, and best serves the needs of residents. We’re working for public space use that is open to all; that is in scale with our neighborhoods and historic districts; that is in keeping with our identity as a racially and economically mixed City; that preserves and strengthens our walkable grocery store and other local independent businesses; that creates opportunities for new locally-owned businesses; that enhances pedestrian, bicycle and transit rider safety; that meets the highest environmental standards; and that improves the quality of life for all members of our vibrant, diverse community.
We were founded to seek use of the public land at Takoma Junction that is less dense than what the City’s chosen developer (NDC) presented, and that preserves affordable leasing rates for diverse local businesses; parking for customers of Takoma Junction businesses; and adequate facilities for TPSS Co-op operations, including continuing to accommodate the need for a dedicated loading area for its many local suppliers.
We were alarmed that development of a publicly-owned property secured for the purpose of benefiting the residents of the community had evolved into a developer-driven project that would not be affordable for small, locally-owned businesses. For example, the significant expense of constructing an underground parking garage must be passed on to tenants, shoppers, and other users, resulting in higher rents and prices. We also believe that what NDC had proposed would: exacerbate traffic congestion and related safety concerns; eliminate space for community activities; and threaten the survival of the community-owned grocery store serving a large number of city residents.
We note that both elected officials and city staff had referred to the importance of revenue to be derived from the ground lease and property taxes to the city’s income stream. But this should not come at the expense of serving the needs of Takoma Park residents for affordable goods and services, public gathering spaces, and a safe and livable junction.
We believe that the City of Takoma Park should recognize the unique opportunity afforded by public ownership of this property by spearheading use that supports and encourages our walkable grocery store and other local businesses, prioritizes safety, meets high environmental standards, and has the explicit intention of serving our diverse community.
WHO WE ARE
Community Vision for Takoma (CVT) is an informal network sharing the above Mission and Vision. We have no hierarchy or structure, just waves of hundreds of concerned residents over a period of years, who have signed petitions, made public comments at City Council meetings, written emails, and otherwise expressed concern about an overbuilt Junction. Our email list includes more than 1000 names. On our facebook page, you can watch videos of public comments on the Junction from a growing list of concerned citizens including: