May 30, 2023
Ms. Marnique Heath, AIA, Chair
Historic Preservation Review Board
1100 4th Street, SW, Suite 650 East, Washington, DC 20024
RE: Testimony in Support of Proposed Takoma Metro Station, Case No. 23-288
Dear Chair Heath and Board Members:
Please accept these comments on behalf the Coalition for Smarter Growth. CSG is the leading non-profit organization in the D.C. region advocating for walkable, bikeable, inclusive, transit-oriented communities as the most sustainable and equitable way for the DC region to grow and provide opportunities for all.
We are excited to express our strong support for the proposed plan to redevelop the Takoma Metro station by adding hundreds of new homes, improved public spaces and better transportation facilities. We have been working on transformation of the Takoma Metro station since the year 2000. While it’s far too long a wait, we are pleased that we have arrived at an outstanding plan for the site that can achieve many important goals for the neighborhood, District and region. Most importantly, we are eager to see more than 66 affordable homes built at this transit station.
The Takoma Metro station site has been dominated by a surface parking lot and passive open space for decades, providing a utilitarian portal to transit. We are thrilled by the proposal to create a vibrant, people-centered gateway to Metro and bus, and connected usable public spaces. The current site conditions do not support the benefits of a historic district of distinctive, quality architecture, sense of place, and a rational connection between the old and the new. The proposed change to the Metro station, adding 440 mixed income homes, improved bus, bike and pedestrian facilities, retail, a cafe and plaza, and usable greenspace will contribute to the cohesion of the historic district and provide a major advancement for inclusiveness with at least 66 affordable homes and improved access to transit.
This proposal balances respect for the historic district with the need to increase accessibility to transit and housing, especially affordable housing.
We urge the board to approve this proposal. Thank you for your consideration.