LETTER TO THE EDITOR • SUSAN SCHREIBER
Is the city council laying the groundwork for the possibility of excluding the Coop from the proposed development at Takoma Junction? From the looks of things, yes.
During the comment period at the Council meeting Wednesday night, the Coop’s spokesperson Marilyn Berger reported that the reason the Coop and the Neighborhood Development Corporation have not reached an agreement is that NDC has not provided assurance that the Coop’s two basic requirements will be met, i.e., a loading dock for deliveries and the ability to stay open during the construction phase of the project. Apparently, NDC’s current recommendation is that delivery trucks park along Rte. 410!
At the meeting, Councilmembers then discussed how offering mediation services might advance an agreement between the Coop and NDC – is a grocery store’s need for a loading dock something that can be mediated?
The TPSS Co-op in 2011.
It was also announced that a development agreement between the City and NDC was about to be posted on the City website. You can find it on the Takoma Junction Redevelopment page.
The agreement letter stipulates that if an agreement is not reached between the developer and the Coop, “The City can authorize … NDC to look for another primary tenant.” They are talking about our community-based grocery store, which brings large numbers of people to the Junction every week.
Imaginatively conceived, and with the expanded Coop at the heart of the project, the development of the city –owned parking lot can enliven the Junction area and contribute to the vitality of the community.
Timing is critical, with the development agreement on the agenda at next Wednesday’s council meeting (the 13th). People need to call and email their councilmembers to tell them no agreement between the City and NDC should be finalized unless the Coop’s basic requirements for a loading dock and the ability to continue operations during the construction phase are met! And if you’re not off on vacation, show up at the council meeting!