Preserving Community Quality of Life

We’re fortunate to live in a community with a small town feel, despite being right next to a major metropolitan area. That didn’t happen by accident. Activists from Takoma Park have fought to preserve our way of life for many years, and it’s incumbent on today’s residents (not to mention Councilmembers) to continue those efforts. This goes beyond managing development, and flows down to day-to-day quality of life issues. I’ve put a high priority on responding to residents’ requests and complaints, and also urging City staff to be as responsive as possible.

  • Small Cell Towers -- I helped shape and win approval of our local small cell tower ordinance, which gives us a measure of control over tower siting in response to the Federal Communication Commission’s pre-emptive ruling restricting municipalities’ authority. I recently joined several Council colleagues in signing onto a lawsuit challenging the FCC’s refusal to update the cell tower health standards.
  • Utility Work -- I’ve fought for more accountability, responsiveness, communication, and coordination on the part of PEPCO, WSSC and other utilities conducting street work in the City.
  • Signs in Public Areas -- I oppose a full ban on public sign posting, and I’m working for a sign ordinance that balances free expression and the desire to avoid unsightly clutter.
  • Dorothy’s Woods -- I worked with former colleagues of mine at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to help remove mortgage liens in order to facilitate City purchase of the property.
  • Outdoor Commerce -- In the City resolution allowing outdoor commercial activity during the pandemic, I strongly supported the language requiring public seating areas not connected to specific restaurants, and I successfully pushed for that option to be offered when the partial Laurel Avenue closure went into effect.
  • Other Initiatives -- I’ve worked for the stronger Noise Control and Vacant Property Ordinances now in effect; helped residents living near commercial areas resolve disputes with businesses; fought for fair parking enforcement; pushed for more reliable US Postal Service delivery; and helped coordinate with Police and residents to respond to periodic upticks in car break-ins and burglaries.

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  • Paula Kowalczuk
    published this page 2020-08-06 13:53:08 -0400