08 October 2014

World of Montgomery Coming to Wheaton - Sunday, October 19th

The World of Montgomery Festival at Westfield Wheaton on Sunday October 19th, from Noon - 5pm, will celebrate the diverse cultural heritages which play an active role in the lives of Montgomery County residents and communities. The festival showcases this rich diversity through food, music, dance, traditional arts and hands-on projects for children and families. Sponsored by Fund for Montgomery and organized by KID Museum, the festival includes an international village, a global kitchen with chef demonstrations of traditional ethnic food, a craft market, a Parade of Cultures, two performance stages of traditional dance and music, traditional arts and fun activities for the whole family. The festival also will include immersive exhibits focusing on four countries with some of the largest immigrant populations in Montgomery County: China, El Salvador, Ethiopia, and India.  Each country will be showcased in a large tent with artifacts, photographs and demonstrations of traditional arts.  The day will also feature a wide range of music, dance and cultural performances on two stages, and numerous hands-on activities for children and families and an international craft market.

The event will take place at Wheaton Westfield, on the parking lot between JCPenney and Metro. 

23 September 2014

Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival This Weekend (Sept 27th)

Come to the Wheaton Triangle (between Grandview Ave and Reedie Drive) for the Trucktoberfest Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival on September 27th, from Noon - 7pm!

A similar event was held last year, and this year's event looks to gave a great lineup of food trucks from around the DMV, a craft beer garden by the Limerick Pub, live music, and a kid zone. The live music includes the following acts: Kickoman, Flex Matthews, Trevor Martin, Magnetar Flares, and the Very Small.

The event was a success last year, and we are expected even higher attendance for this year. The weather forecast looks to be in the low-80s, and sunny!

More information is available here.

16 September 2014

Message from the Chair

Dear Wheaton Friends,

As the new Chair of the Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee (WUDAC), I’d like to welcome you to the new WUDAC year. Wheaton is a wonderful community, full of great retail and restaurants, award-winning parks, a large regional shopping center, and most importantly, a genuine spirit. I’m proud to call Wheaton my home, and I’m honored to be WUDAC Chair. 

As many of you know, Wheaton is in the midst of a transformation. In just the past year, three large apartment projects have opened, adding almost 1000 new units to the Wheaton rental market. On the retail side, the Costco at Wheaton Westfield opened less than 18 months ago. This may be news to many of you, but the Wheaton Costco is already the 4th busiest on the entire east coast. The coming years will bring even more change to Wheaton, particularly with the new town square and the development of Lot 13.  

Obviously, there is more to discuss than just redevelopment. WUDAC’s successful walking tours have shown there are plenty of day-to-day issues that need to be addressed, on issues related to signage/way-finding, lighting, trash collection, landscaping, pedestrian safety, sidewalks, and more.

The bottom line is that WUDAC will continue to play an important advisory role in relaying the community’s wishes to county officials for all of these redevelopment and revitalization issues. And this is where you come in.  For WUDAC to fulfill its mission, we need to hear from the community on the issues that are important to you and Wheaton. There are a number of ways you can do this. First, WUDAC physically meets on the second Tuesday of every month (except August), starting at 6pm. Our next meeting is Tuesday, October 14. Every WUDAC agenda includes time for members of the community to speak.

Alternatively, I invite you to contact me via e-mail at wudac@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Finally, please make sure you continue to follow this blog. I admit that posting has been slow in the past few months, but be assured, we will post important Wheaton developments to this site.

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve Wheaton. I hope to see you at a future WUDAC meeting.   

Sincerely,


Devala Janardan
Chair
WUDAC

08 September 2014

WUDAC September Meeting Agenda

After no meeting in August, WUDAC gets back into gear with the first meeting of WUDAC's year.

Please Silence Your Mobile Devices

Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee (WUDAC)
2424 Reedie Drive, Wheaton, MD 20902

Agenda
September 9, 2014

       I.            Call to order & Welcome Back                                         6:00pm – 6:05pm 

   II.            Approval or correction of minutes                                   6:05pm - 6:08pm

III.            Community Concerns                                                     6:08pm - 6:15pm

IV.            Discussion w/ Special Guest: Brent Wise, Westfield                   6:15pm - 6:35pm

    V.            Reports of Officers                                                                   6:35pm - 6:45pm
a.      Chair/Vice-Chair
                                                              i.      Update on WonderFALL Wheaton – Stanton
b.     RSC Director
c.      Council Staff Report

VI.            Old/Unfinished Business                                                          6:55pm - 7:15pm
a.      Follow up Wheaton Walking Tour/Letter

VII.            New Business                                                                 7:15pm - 7:30pm
a.      Sept 22 Retreat

VIII.            Adjourn                                                                          7:30pm




This information is available in an alternative format by calling 240-777-8103. Sign Language interpreter services will be provided only upon request with notice as far in advance as possible but no less than 72 hours prior to the event. If you need other services or aids to participate in this activity, please call 240-777-8101.

23 July 2014

County Seeks Proposals for a Kitchen Incubator

Montgomery County announces RFP for “kitchen incubator” to support Local Food Entrepreneurs.
For the past year, the county has engaged in numerous discussions with local stakeholders and investors about the challenges faced by food entrepreneurs. Recently, Montgomery County’s Food Council wrote to County Executive Ike Leggett advocating for the creation of a kitchen incubator that would help support local entrepreneurs with licensed commercial kitchen space, technical assistance and business training.
In response, the executive has announced a Request for Proposals seeking an expert team to help the county accelerate the commercialization of creations from local food entrepreneurs. The deadline for the proposals is July 31.  A copy of the RFP is available online. For more information, read the press release.

11 July 2014

Downtown Wheaton Kicks-Off TGIF Summer Concerts & Movies

Kick-off your weekend with great music or a movie in downtown Wheaton!
Enjoy live music and movies every Friday July through August. Concerts are scheduled for 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Movies begin at dusk.
Bring a blanket, chair and your family and friends -- And don't forget to grab a bite to eat from one of our great local restaurants before or after the show!

Summer Series 2014 Lineup:
July 11 Frozen (G)
July 18 Invitation Band (Top 40)
July 25 The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (PG-13)
August 1 The Lego Movie (G)
August 8 Fast & Furious 6 (PG-13)
August 15 Grupo Latino Continental (Latin)
August 22 John Stone Reggae Band (Reggae)
August 29 The Nighthawks (Roots Rock, Blues)
Download the event flyer here
The TGIF Summer Series is sponsored by Westfield Wheaton

24 June 2014

WUDAC Accepting Applications for New Committee Members - Small Businesses



Release ID: 14-059
Media Contact: Beth Gochrach, 240.777.2528

For Immediate Release: 6/23/2014            Application Deadline: 7/14/2014

Leggett Seeks Applicants for Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee

County Executive Isiah Leggett is seeking applicants to fill two vacancies on the Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee for representatives of Wheaton businesses that employ fewer than 10 people.

The 11-member Committee provides information and advice to the County Executive and the Director of the Mid-County Regional Services Center regarding promotions, maintenance, service levels, and budgetary guidance for the downtown Wheaton Urban District.

Members serve three-year terms without compensation, but are eligible for reimbursement for travel and dependent care for meetings attended. Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 5:00 PM at the Mid-County Regional Services Center, 2424 Reedie Drive, Wheaton, Maryland.

Applicants of diverse backgrounds, professions, gender, geography, disability and ethnicity are encouraged to apply. An application, consisting of a brief cover letter and resume, should be sent by mail to County Executive Isiah Leggett, 101 Monroe Street, 2nd Floor, Rockville, MD  20850, or by email to countyexecutive.boards@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Home and employment addresses, as well as contact phone numbers and email addresses should be included. If appropriate, applicants should indicate the position for which they are applying. The deadline for application is July 14, 2014.

Members of County boards, committees and commissions may not serve on more than one such group at a time. Leggett’s appointments are subject to confirmation by the County Council. Applications of those selected for appointment are made public as part of the confirmation process.

28 May 2014

HELP DEFINE A VISION FOR DOWNTOWN WHEATON – MOVE WHEATON FORWARD BY PARTICIPATING IN THE WHEATON WALKING TOUR!

The Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee (WUDAC) invites you to interact with others in the Wheaton community and our elected officials by participating in the Wheaton Walking Tour, scheduled for Saturday June 14, 2014, from 10AM – 1PM. The event will start at the Mid-County Regional Center at 2424 Reedie Drive, Wheaton, MD. 

The purpose of this year’s tour is to generate community input and collaboration with elected officials. The event is structured into three main sections, providing time to: 1) walk selected portions of the Wheaton Urban District to gather information; 2) summarize the top issues and prepare for interaction with elected officials; 3) present findings to elected officials and engage in discussion to create substantive goals for the Urban District. 

SECTION I – 10AM – 11:15AM 
A WUDAC Committee Member will lead attendees around different designated areas around the Urban District. During the tour, each participant will collect ideas on the following: 
• Way finding/Connectivity 
• Use of public space 
• Landscaping, greening, and streetscape 
• Community Character 

SECTION II – 11:15AM – 12 Noon 
Groups will report back to the Mid-County Regional Center and will have 45 minutes in order to synthesize the top issues spotted during Section I of the event. Each group must also create a brief presentation summarizing their findings on their portion of the tour with a focus on all four themes. This presentation will be made to the elected officials under Section III. 

Section III – 12 Noon – 1PM 
Each group will present their main ideas and findings before our invited elected officials and special guests. The aim is to generate community input and collaboration with elected officials and to walk away with substantive takeaways from the day’s activity. 


Your attendance is important to the success of the Walking Tour. Please confirm your attendance by June 11th, 2014 by contacting Ana Lopez Van Balen, Director of the Mid-County Regional Services Center, at 240-777-8100, or by e-mail at analopez.vanbalen@montgomerycountymd.gov.

03 May 2014

Meeting Minutes for Tuesday March 11, 2014


Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee

Mid-County Services Center, 2424 Reedie Drive Wheaton MD 20902

Meeting Minutes, Tuesday March 11, 2014

 

Members Present: Henriot St. Gerard(Chair), Devala Janardan(Vice Chair), Tom Stanton, Mirza Donegan, Marian Fryer, William Moore, Jeannette Feldner, Nadia Sesay, Dan Thompson, Rick Kessler

Members Absent:  Luis Bonilla

Staff Present:  Pete McGinnity, Manager of Business Development DGS

Guests: Doug Duncan, Virginia Sheard

Call to Order:  6:07pm by Vice Chair Devala Janardan in the temporary absence of the Chair, followed by introductions and a motion to approve the February minutes.  Minutes approved with a name spelling change.(Leventhal). Devala introduced Doug Duncan, who in turn gave a little background on himself and stated he was there to listen to issues of concern to the Wheaton Urban District. Devala then turned the meeting over to Pete McGinnity for a RSC/Redevelopment report

Directors Report:  Pete McGinnity, in the absence of the Mid-County Service Center Director Ana Lopez van Balen, gave a combined RSC and Redevelopment report. He stated that Park and Planning will transfer Veteran’s Park to the County. Also, the RSC has started the planning for transfer of tenants from the Mid-County Center to other buildings.  He also noted that the County Council is waiting on the CIP agreement before providing funding.  Pete took questions from WUDAC members on Redevelopment issues.

Other topics touched on by Pete included an  MCCAB meeting with their concerns on the BRT, affordable housing, and State Highway projects as they relate to Georgia Ave, the new WUDAC business Awards which have received nine nominations, and a commendation to the Clean and Safe team for their great work during the winter storms.  He further touched on a Night Time Economy Task Force meeting with County Executive Ike Leggett and their proceeding toward an implementation report.

Other events noted included that Avalon Bay has asked for an extension with the Planning Board until April and the Solaire apartment grand opening is May 7th.

Lastly, Pete took questions about WRAC joining WUDAC.  He stated that this is not legally possible and that WRAC will dissolve at the end of June.

Sub-Committee Reports:

Design:  Dan Thompson reported on the committee’s work to design a brochure towards our goal of a walkable Wheaton.  He wants both sub-committees to meet together on March 24 to talk with County officials.  He hopes to include the issue of pedestrian safety at this meeting.

Economic:  Nadia Sesay reported on a meeting they had to plan an event for Veterans Park.  This event would include music, family activities and a contest for guests to visit area businesses.  They are unsure who should take lead, WUDAC or the Urban District staff.  After discussion a motion was made and passed to ask the Urban District to take the lead and for WUDAC to form a committee to plan the event.

Chair Report:  Henriot St. Gerard announced that the County Council voted not to give historic designation to the Youth Center.  He thanked WUDAC for their efforts on the letter we sent.  It was quoted during testimony.  He then turned attention to the WUDAC business awards.  He feels that the sub-committees should handle the nominating process.  The nominations are due March 17th.  He also briefly touched on a $1 million budget request from Parks to the County Council and hoped that we could get some money for Veteran’s Park.  Henriot then brought up the Walking Tour.  Discussion then followed about the organization, stops and the possibility of a Meet and Greet to end the tour.  Henriot stated that he will study the issue and we will talk about it further next month.

Other Business:  Dan Thompson questioned the new meeting format and asked whether it was working.  He said the agenda headings were confusing.

Adjourn:  7:27pm

Meeting Minutes for Tuesday February 11, 2014


Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee

Mid-County Services Center, 2424 Reedie Drive Wheaton MD 20902

Meeting Minutes, Tuesday February 11, 2014

Members Present:  Henriot St. Gerard(Chair), Devala Janardan(Vice Chair), Marian Fryer, Jeannette Feldner, Mirza Donegan, Dan Thompson, Tom Stanton, Nadia Sesay, William Moore

Members Absent:  Luis Bonilla, Rick Kessler

Staff Present:  Ana Lopez van Balen, Director, Mid-County Services Center.  Pete McGinnity, Manager of Business Development DGS

Guests:  Adam Fogel, Staff to Councilmember Navarro.  Chris Gillis, Staff to Councilmember Levanthal.  Phil Normandy, Brookside Gardens.  Brooke Farquhar, Dominic Quattrocchi, Bill Dwyer, Stephen Chandlee and Mary Bradford of Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning

Call to Order:  6:07pm by Chair Henriot St. Gerard, followed by introductions.  A motion was made and passed to approve the January meeting minutes with a correction of a member’s last name. A couple of community concerns about potholes, crosswalk painting and burned out streetlights were addressed.  Henriot the passed the meeting to representatives of the Park Dept

Park and Planning Discussion: Brooke Farquhar discussed the possibility of events at Veterans Park and awareness of connectivity of Urban District to Wheaton Regional Park.

Phil Normandy spoke of renovations to Brookside Gardens which would be starting in about a month.  Some regular events have been cancelled but believes Garden of Lights will go on. They will be discouraging car traffic because parking will be so limited during renovations.  He is working on the Master Plan for Wheaton Regional Park. 

A discussion followed about traffic during the Garden of Lights and ways to alleviate that.  Also discussed was the Master Plan for the park.  Some additional comments from the Park and Planning staff included the desire for a Beltway sign for the park, the need to connect Metro, the interconnectivity of the Urban District to the park and the idea of how solving these issues could go a long ways toward making Wheaton a destination.

Next, Brooke turned the discussion towards Veterans Park.  Chair Henriot St. Gerard stated that we noted the limited use of the Park during our Walking tour.  We would like to leverage the asset. Marian Fryer informed the group that they used to have concerts and dances there and with new residents that would be a good area to have activities.

Mary Bradford, director of the Parks Dept, noted that if you provide the content they can provide the venue.  She agreed that urban parks needed lights, paths and seating.  She took questions from WUDAC members on event sponsorships, budgeting and emphasized the fact that the Park is a buffer between the Urban District and the residential neighborhood behind.  She stressed that it is important to show up for budget hearings!  She hopes to come back to form an advisory group.

Council Update:  Henriot then passed the meeting to Adam Fogel, staff to Councilmember Navarro.  Adam informed WUDAC that the Council was briefed by the Dept. of General Services on the problems that historic preservation would add to the Wheaton Youth Center Project.  Those problems included the cost, $7-8 million, and the take away of needed green space.  There will be a public meeting on Feb. 13th at 7:00pm at the Wheaton Rec Center.  Councilmembers Levanthal and Navarro oppose the historic preservation designation and want the project to go forward.  Lastly, Adam mentioned legislation introduced by Councilmember Navarro.  Bill 13-14 would favor local businesses in a tie vote for County procurement contracts and Bill 14-14 would require employers seeking County business to provide health insurance to employees

Chris Gillis, staff to Councilmember Levanthal, announced that the Arts and Humanities Council is thinking of coming to Wheaton.  WUDAC should send letter to support project

Chair Report: Henriot informed WUDAC that WRAC is transferring their business award program to us.  He led a brief overview of the Awards and the selection process.  The Executive Committee will vet the nominees.  WRAC will offer nominations as well.  Discussion followed on how best to get input into this process.

Directors Report:  Ana Lopez van Balen reported that there will be a meeting of the Wheaton Regional Park Citizens Association at the Saddlebrook Center at 6:30pm Wednesday.

  MCCAB is soliciting nominations for their awards for Citizen of the Year and Civic Organization of the Year to be presented at the Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner on April 30th.  She also noted that MCCAB would like to work jointly with WUDAC on towing  and Bike-sharing issues.

The Fa├žade Improvement Program has had 4 property owners express interest.  Ana also mentioned that the Big Belly(trash compactor) contract was still several weeks away from completion. Also, the Night Time Economy Task Force had a meeting with County Executive Leggett.  Ana also noted that they got a response back from the Transportation Dept. on our letter concerning Town Square issues.  She handed members a copy of the response.

Sub-Committee Reports:

Design: Dan Thompson shared that the committee work was focused on our goals of a walkable Wheaton.  We would like to have an event in conjunction with civic organizations for businesses and would like to develop a brochure to help businesses become compliant and recognize businesses that make progress.  We would like to reach out to Transportation and other County Departments and have a joint sub-committee meeting with economic sub-committee to develop content.

Economic:  Discussed possibility of a pop up event at Veteran’s Park, maybe around the 4th of July or Irish Celtic theme for later.  They will build a relationship with the VFW.

Two letters were submitted for review : Avalon Bay and the Rec Center.  After discussion, motions were made and passed to send both letters, the Avalon Bay letter with slight changes and the Rec Center letter with no changes.

Devala Janardan made a motion for the Chair to testify at the hearing for the Historic Preservation of the Youth Center.  The motion passed.

Adjourn:  7:36pm