Notice of Public Hearing Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Permanent Lot Closure and Proposed Parking
Washington Post (The), Apr 4, 2020
Notice of Public Hearing Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Permanent Lot Closure and Proposed Parking Modifications at New Carrollton Metrorail Station Docket R20-02 Purpose Notice is hereby given that a public hearing will be held by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority on proposed changes to WMATA facilities located at the New Carrollton Metrorail Station including the permanent closure of two surface parking lots, the addition of a new parking garage, and the permanent closure of a 33-space Kiss & Ride parking lot in support of the joint development project. The hearing details are as follows: Hearing No. 632 Monday, April 27, 2020 Due to the ongoing public health emergency and the prohibition on public gatherings related to the COVID-19 outbreak, this hearing will be conducted by telephone. Hearing Call-in Number: 202-962-1901 Número telefónico para la audiencia: 202-962-1906 (TTY) 202-962-2033 Public Hearing phone line open from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. on Monday, April 27, 2020. Public hearing materials will be made available on Metro’s website at: wmata.com/plansandprojects Anyone who is unable to access these materials via Metro’s website or needs additional accommodation should contact the Office of the Secretary at 202-962-2511 or TTY: 202-962-2033 as soon as possible in order to make necessary arrangements. For language assistance, such as an interpreter or information in another language, please call 202-962-1082 at least 48 hours prior to the public hearing date. For more information please visit wmata.com/plansandprojects PURPOSE OF THE PUBLIC HEARING Notice is hereby given that a public hearing will be held by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) regarding proposed changes to WMATA facilities located at the New Carrollton Metrorail Station including, inter alia, the permanent closure of two surface parking lots, the addition of a new parking garage, and the permanent closure of a 33-space Kiss & Ride parking lot at the New Carrollton Metrorail Station. The foregoing changes relate to the construction of WMATA’s new Maryland office headquarters and a private development in furtherance of the joint development planned at the New Carrollton Metrorail Station. At the hearing, WMATA will receive and consider public comments and suggestions about the proposed changes. HOW TO SPEAK AT THE PUBLIC HEARING This hearing will be conducted by telephone due to the ongoing public health emergency related to the COVID-19 virus and subsequent restrictions on public gatherings. All organizations or individuals desiring to be heard with respect to the proposed changes will be afforded the opportunity to present their views and make supporting statements and to offer alternative proposals. All individuals will receive up to five minutes to provide comments. Relinquishing of time by one speaker to another will not be permitted. Because this hearing will be conducted by telephone, there is no advance registration to speak. Those participating in the hearing will have the opportunity to provide oral comments, subject to the time limits noted above, via voicemail and after receiving information on the proposal. HOW TO SUBMIT WRITTEN STATEMENTS Testimony may be submitted online about this proposal at wmata.com/plansandprojects. Online submission will be available by 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 28, 2020 and will close Thursday, May 7, 2020 at 5 p.m. This is in addition to your ability to speak at the public hearing. For those without access to computers or internet, testimony may also be mailed to the Office of the Secretary, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, 600 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001. All comments must be received by the Office of the Secretary by 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 7, 2020 to be included in the public record. The comments received by the Office of the Secretary, along with the online submissions and public hearing comments, will be presented to the WMATA Board of Directors and will be part of the official public hearing record. Please note all statements are releasable to the public upon request, and may be posted on WMATA’s website, without change, including any personal information provided. WHAT IS PROPOSED In as early as 2003, WMATA and Prince George’s County anticipated having transit-oriented development at the New Carrollton Metrorail Station, and WMATA constructed a 1,700-space parking garage to replace Park & Ride Lots 2 and 3 at the Metrorail station to make way for such a development. In 2015, WMATA entered into a Joint Development Agreement with a private real estate developer to build approximately 2.3 million square feet of transit-oriented development at the New Carrollton Metrorail Station. To date, an office building and a private parking garage that includes 150 spaces of public parking have been completed and a residential building is currently under construction. If approved, the next phase of proposed construction would require the removal of (1) Park & Ride Lot 2 and (2) the surface parking lot known as the “East Lot”. The removal of these parking lots was originally envisioned in the joint development master plan when WMATA approved the 1,700-space parking garage in the early 2000s. While the closure of Park & Ride Lot 2 was previously authorized as part of that approval, given the passage of time and current usage of the Metrorail station, WMATA is again providing the public with notice of this proposed change and an opportunity to be heard. Given the current utilization of parking at New Carrollton, to replace the parking spaces lost from Park & Ride Lot 2 and the East Lot, WMATA is proposing to construct a new 1,900-space parking garage in the place of the existing 1,000-space parking space garage owned by Prince George’s County (which is separate from WMATA’s own existing 1,700-space parking garage referred to above). The changes noted in the preceding paragraph could establish a comprehensive commuter parking solution for New Carrollton Metrorail Station that helps advance the joint development plan, creates a pedestrian-friendly and attractive urban environment, and meets existing and future parking demand. WMATA is therefore seeking comment on the following proposed changes to parking facilities at New Carrollton Metrorail Station: • Permanent closure of Park & Ride Lot 2 for future development; • Permanent closure at an undetermined date of the East Lot for future development; • Construction of a 1,900-space WMATA-owned parking garage that would replace the commuter spaces lost from Park & Ride Lot 2 and the East Lot, as well as the existing 1,000-space County-owned garage; and • Permanent closure of 33 Kiss & Ride spaces located on a surface lot in front of the south entrance of the Metrorail station. The changes proposed above would result in a net addition of WMATA-owned parking spaces at New Carrollton Metrorail Station in order to meet existing and future demand. REFERENCE MATERIALS The docket consists of this Notice of Public Hearing and an environmental evaluation report for the joint development project at the New Carrollton Metro Station. The environmental evaluation report is available online at wmata.com/plansandprojects . Copies of the Notice and environmental evaluation can also be requested by mail by calling the Office of the Secretary at (202) 962-2511 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. To accommodate mailing time, please make your request no later than Friday, May 1, 2020 at 4 p.m. WMATA COMPACT REQUIREMENTS The WMATA Compact requires that the Board of Directors, in amending the mass transit plan, consider current and prospective conditions in the transit zone should the project be built. The transit zone includes Prince George’s County, Maryland and considerations include, without limitation, land use, population, economic factors affecting development plans, existing and proposed transportation and transit facilities, any dislocation of families or businesses; preservation of the beauty and dignity of the DC Metro Area; factors affecting environmental amenities and aesthetics, and financial resources. The mass transit plan encompasses, among other things, transit facilities to be provided by WMATA, including stations and parking facilities, and the character, nature, design, location and capital and operating cost thereof. The mass transit plan, in addition to designating the design and location of transit facilities, also provides for capital and operating expenses, as well as “various other factors and considerations, which, in the opinion of the Board of Directors, justify and require the projects therein proposed,” all as more particularly set forth in the WMATA Compact. The environmental report for the project is available for public review at the locations identified in the Reference Materials section above. The work and changes depicted in this information package constitute the proposed amendment to the mass transit plan for purposes of the WMATA Compact.