A lot has happened since our last post on April 21st.
The State Highway Administration (SHA) has now rejected the layby (a delivery zone for trucks on Carroll Avenue), three times. And yet, the Neighborhood Development Company (NDC), continues to try to push their Takoma Junction development through. In essence, the footprint of the NDC plan is too big, creating multiple problems, including pushing the delivery zone into the intersection.
In their latest maneuver, NDC has submitted a plan (never seen by the public) for a shorter lay-by, which would exclude the largest trucks and the pallet jacks needed to unload them. This appears to be a violation of all the agreements requiring accommodations to keep the Co-op open. It is unclear whether City staff or Council were aware of, or okayed, the new plan. At the bottom, we post a new letter from Takoma residents who closely follow the Junction process.
But first, a recap of the flurry of events since our last post:
- May 12 2021. A judge in a Montgomery County Circuit Courtroom hears arguments from lawyers for the Co-op and NDC, on whether or not to allow the Co-op to continue using the City lot, on an emergency basis.
- May 13 2021. The judge rules for the Co-op, granting a temporary Preliminary Injunction, allowing the Co-op to continue to use the lot for deliveries until the actual trial, which may be a year away.
- May 17 2021. The State Highway Administration (SHA) rejects the layby as unsafe, for a second time.
- May 18/19 2021. NDC immediately writes back to the SHA, with various accusations and complaints, rebutting the SHA’s findings yet again, and submitting the plan yet again. They include a new plan, reducing the layby length from 140 feet to 85 feet, which would exclude the largest trucks, and the pallet jacks needed to unload them. This new layby plan, never seen by the public, would apparently violate NDC’s Development Agreement with the City, the City’s 2018 Resolution, and NDC’s mediated Cooperation Agreement with the Co-op. All three of these agreements state that any plan must accommodate the Co-op’s deliveries.
- May 24 2021. A letter from the SHA to NDC rejects the layby for a third time. But SHA also agrees to review NDC’s new plan for a shorter layby.
- May 28 2021. Takoma Park residents write a letter to the SHA, questioning the assertions in NDC’s May 18/19 letter, and questioning NDC’s authority to submit a new layby plan that violates agreements with the City and Co-op.
For a complete history of the Junction starting in 1992, see our timeline HERE.