Tonight's WMATA Public Hearing
Dear Ward 1 Constituents,
I am receiving many emails and calls about the EYA’s proposal for the Takoma Metro Station. These opinions have varied from full support of the entire project to support with a couple of caveats to keeping the station as is to Takoma Park should have any zero say at all about what happens in DC.
I know we are all aware that there is a housing shortage. We need more homes for families to live in. There is a limited amount of space for new homes in our area. Furthermore, Ward 1 has a higher demand for retail/commercial space than we are able to provide. Limited supply is causing prices to rise and creating an ever higher financial barrier for business owners to join our community. I consider these to be very strong reasons for allowing EYA to build in our community.
However, it is undesirable for a neighborhood to live in conditions that are unfairly uncomfortable and can reasonably be mitigated. The Takoma Park City Council is reaching out to WMATA to have a meeting and discuss what needs to be done for us to fully support the project. I think that this is the most equitable and most effective way for the City to address the project, rather than my testifying at tonight’s hearing. I know that many residents of Ward 1, representing the wide array of opinions, have already sent testimony to WMATA or signed up to testify this evening. Mayor Searcy and I will also be in attendance.
The issues I will work with our city council to see WMATA/EYA address are:
A traffic study. This is not to prove that the project should not happen but to see what should be done on the DC side and the MD side in order to lessen the traffic load for people already living nearby and those who will be moving in. Pedestrian safety should always be the priority in any traffic plan.
The height of the building. I would like to understand why EYA is planning a development that is higher than what already exists in Takoma DC and what is nearby other Metro stations such as Fort Totten and NOMA.
The landscaping. For the small single family homes that are on Eastern Avenue, landscaping should be done in a way that provides a screening for them along with any measures that can help with dampen noise from new businesses. The plan should be specific and allow for input from those residents. Clarification also for how the green space will be maintained.
A plan for stormwater management. The greenspace will be taken up by a lot of impervious surfaces. It should be addressed with a rain garden while under construction rather than later when DC rather than EYA would have to address it.
Police. Our city, along with everywhere else that shares a border with DC, continues to not have an MOU with MPDC. This new development will put even more residents along a border. Borders are already a vulnerable space. In order to effectively keep everyone on both sides of the border safest, we need to be more readily sharing crime information both ways.
If you are receiving this blog post and wish to be removed from my mailings, please let me know.
Councilwoman, Ward 1
City of Takoma Park