10 March 2014

Meeting Agenda Tuesday March 11, 2014

Please silence cell phones


Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee

2424 Reedie Drive, Wheaton, MD 20902



March 11, 2014



     I.        Call to order                                                                 

   II.        Approval or correction of minutes                              6:00pm-6:05pm

  III.        Community Concerns                                                 6:05pm-6:15pm

 IV.        Reports of Officers                                                      6:15pm-6:35pm

a.   Chair

b.   RSC Director

c.   Design Subcommittee

d.   Economic Subcommittee

  V.        Council Staff Report                                                    6:35pm-6:45pm

 VI.        Redevelopment Report                                                        6:45pm-7:55pm

VII.        Brent Wise, Westfield Wheaton Manager                 6:55pm-7:10pm

VIII.        Old/Unfinished Business                                            7:10pm-7:15pm

 IX.        New Business                                                              7:15pm-7:25pm

  X.        Announcements                                                          7:25pm-7:30pm

 XI.        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.

Meeting Minutes Tuesday January 14th, 2014

Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee

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

Meeting Minutes Tuesday January 14th, 2014


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

Members Absent:  None

Staff Present:  Ana Lopez van Balen, Director, Mid-County Services Center

Guests:  Chris Gillis, Staff to Councilmember Levanthal.  Randal Spadoni, resident.

Call to Order:  6:09pm by Chair Henriot St. Gerard.   A motion was made and passed to approve the December Meeting Minutes with one correction.  This was followed by guest introductions.

Chair Report:  Henriot St. Gerard noted that the letter for capital requests has been sent to the Council.  He is drafting a congratulatory letter to Craig Rice and wishes to invite him or a member of his staff to our meeting.  He will send out this week. Letter for general funds budget request will be sent out before the end of the month.

Henriot responded to an email from WUDAC member Dan Thompson about inviting the press to cover our meetings.  Henriot will reach out to the Gazette and send an email with our agenda.  He reached out to members about sharing ideas for publicity.

Henriot next spoke of this year's walking tour and the need to contact parties this month to see how to proceed.  He is also thinking of a community meeting to introduce ourselves and to recruit members.  Several members then shared ideas about the walking tour.

Director's Report:  Ana Lopez van Balen recapped the many problems associated with the "polar vortex", including 6 water main breaks and a gas leak.

She also touched on the Council work towards the Redevolpment contract and its budgetary requirements but it will be a couple of months before a community update.

She also went on to inform WUDAC that the they have had favorable responses to the Facade Improvement Program.  Also, the NEA "Our Town" grant request was sent yesterday.

 MCCAB will hold a meeting with the County Executive at the Mid-County Rec Center next week. 

Ana then turned the discussion to The WUDAC capital request and a meeting that took place with the Parks Department about Veteran's Park.  She recommended inviting them to a WUDAC meeting to discuss the Park.  She also recommended that the Dept. of Transportation be invited to talk about pedestrian safety.

County Council Report:  Chris Gillis, staff to Councilmember Levanthal, updated WUDAC on the Wheaton Rec Center development.  There will be a public hearing on Tuesday Feb. 25th for historic preservation status.  Councilmember Levanthal does not support historic preservation for this project.  Chris then explained the process that this designation will move through.

The County Executive will submit the Capital Budget tomorrow and Chris urged WUDAC of the need to study it.  He mentioned that the Council will receive an update on Wheaton Redevelopment on Jan. 28th.  Also noted was Councilmember Roger Berliner's introduction of legislation(Bill 33-13) to reduce the width of travel and turning lanes to make roadways more pedestrian friendly.

Lastly, WUDAC members asked Chris questions about zoning and he responded with a background on the zoning update.  Marian Fryer suggested someone come speak with WUDAC about this.

SubCommittee Report:

Design:  Dan Thompson handed out a draft letter to the Council about the need for a continuous Town Square.  Discussion followed and a motion was made and passed to accept the letter with changes.

Economic:  No report

Other Business:

Ana mentioned that sub-committees are scheduled to meet Jan. 27 and that she can't attend unless they are moved to Mid-County Rec Center as she is attending the budget forum

Devala asked about testimony on the Wheaton Youth Center

Luis Bonilla brought up that towing is still a problem in the Urban District.  A brief discussion followed.

Adjourn:  7:32pm

10 February 2014

WUDAC Position Letter to County Council On Historic Preservation of Wheaton Youth Center

                 February ___ , 2014  

County Council President Craig Rice

100 Maryland Avenue

Rockville, Maryland  20850


Dear Council President Rice:


As consistently stated in previous letters, WUDAC does not support historic preservation of the Wheaton Youth Center and respectfully urges this Council to reject the Planning Board’s recommendation to add the Youth Center to the Master Plan for Historic Preservation.


The members of WUDAC represent a cross section of the Wheaton community, including residents and homeowners, small and large businesses, and the Wheaton-Kensington Chamber of Commerce. We understand and respect the value in preserving structures that are truly historic. However, preservation in perpetuity must be counterbalanced with the effect on the surrounding community. The Wheaton community has been asking and waiting for a modern facility for years. It is ironic that the historic preservation effort of a center built to serve Wheaton’s youth in 1963 has already delayed and may further compromise the modern facilities that would best serve Wheaton’s youth of 2014 and beyond. Ultimately, WUDAC fears that the result of historic preservation would be retention of a structure for the benefit of those in other communities at the expense of those surrounding the Wheaton area. This is particularly telling when, as in this case, the nomination of the Wheaton Youth Center did not originate from within the local Wheaton community.  


WUDAC does not seek to question the historic significance generally of the Wheaton Youth Center, nor its technical fitness for inclusion in the Master Plan for Historic Preservation. However, we are very concerned that approval of this nomination will unacceptably delay construction of the new Wheaton Library/Recreation Center. In addition, we see no evidence that this Council is prepared to expend taxpayer dollars if historic preservation of the current structure and its incorporation into the new Wheaton facility would require additional financial resources.


Thank you again for allowing WUDAC to present its views to the Council.  And, we appreciate the efforts of the Planning Board and this Council to accommodate our request for an open, transparent, and convenient process, ensuring that the public was well informed on the historic preservation process. We look forward to working with the Council, the County Executive and others to expedite the construction of a new Wheaton Youth Center that truly fulfills the needs of the Wheaton community.





Henriot St. Gerard

cc: Executive Leggett, Montgomery County Council 

Meeting Agenda for Tuesday February 11th, 2014

Please silence cell phones


Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee

2424 Reedie Drive, Wheaton, MD 20902



February 11, 2013



       I.            Call to order                                                                                   

     II.            Approval or correction of minutes                                       6:00pm-6:05pm

  III.            Community Concerns                                                                 6:05pm-6:15pm

  IV.            Reports of Officers                                                                      6:15pm-6:45pm

a.     Chair

b.    RSC Director

c.     Design Subcommittee

d.     Economic Subcommittee

    V.            Council Staff Report                                                                    6:45pm-6:55pm

  VI.            Parks Department                                                                                   6:55pm-7:10pm

VII.            Old/Unfinished Business                                                             7:10pm-7:15pm

VIII.            New Business                                                                                7:15pm-7:25pm

  IX.            Announcements                                                                           7:25pm-7:30pm

    X.            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

04 February 2014

Meeting Minutes, Thursday December 19th, 2013

Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee

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

Meeting Minutes, Thursday December 19th, 2013


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

Members Absent:  Luis Bonilla, Nadia Sesay, Marian Fryer

Staff Present:  Ana Lopez van Balen, Director, Mid-County Services Center

Guests:  Harold Weinberg, Miles Realty Co. Inc

                  Adam Fogel, Staff to Councilmember Navarro

Call to Order:  6:10pm by Vice Chair Devala Janardan in the temporary absence of the Chair.  Introduction of members and guests followed.  Meeting minutes from November were reviewed and a motion was made and passed to accept the minutes without changes.  Devala then presented Harold Weinberg of Miles Realty to address WUDAC

Community Concerns:  Harold Weinberg distributed two letters to WUDAC, one from him and one from Sam Mushahwar of Quick Printing Inc., addressing their concerns about parking during the future development of a neighboring property known as the Avalon Bay project at 11501 Georgia Ave.  They are concerned about where construction equipment and workers would park.  They fear that construction-related vehicles would fill the existing spaces and eliminate parking for their customers and threaten the vitality of businesses that depend on those spaces.  They need WUDAC's support to have these issues addressed.

Discussion followed and in light of Mr. Weinberg's presentation WUDAC will talk of amending an existing draft letter in support of the Avalon Bay project.

Chair Report:  Henriot St. Gerard reported on a recent Wheaton Redevolpment public hearing attended by three WUDAC members.  Some Highlights included:

1. Town square will not be continuous.  Reedie Drive will be open to traffic

2. More greenery was added

3.Retail will occupy the bottom floor of the Park and Planning building

4. Entrance to parking garage will be moved from Triangle Lane to Grandview Avenue

Discussion followed on the need for Reedie to remain open and related safety issues

The Design Committee will draft a letter to the County Council outlining our concerns and suggestions

Henriot then went on to speak of a reply of support from Councilmember Navarro to WUDAC's letter to the Council concerning the development of the Rec Center.

Henriot also noted that the Night Time Economy Task Force recommendations have come out and urged everyone to take a look.

He sent an email to Sidney Cooper, Urban District Marketing Manager, about WUDAC's retreat and other topics to include in the Urban District's newsletter.

Henriot concluded by announcing that Craig Rice was the new President of the Montgomery County Council and wants WUDAC to draft a congratulatory letter and introduce WUDAC to the new President.

Directors Report:  Ana Lopez van Balen handed out a newsletter on redevelopment and discussed its progress.  She is currently in discussion with the tenants in this building on relocating.

She talked about the work of a graduate group at the University of Maryland and their ideas for facade improvements and other issues for small business.

She reported on a recent meeting of MCCAB which was attended by Councilmember Elrich which focused on the zoning rewrite.  Elrich spoke on the Bus Rapid Transit and minimum wage issues.

The Night Time Economy Task Force will meet with the County Executive in January on its recommendations.

Ana touched on a mixer held by the Chamber of Commerce where the topic was permits and signage.  The Urban District will be working with area businesses to make sure signage is compliant.

She has been working with the Arts Council to get an Arts and Humanities Council "Our Town" grant and needs letters of support from interested parties.  Rick Kessler will try to initiate contact with Senator Mikulski and Rep. Van Hollen.

Council Report:  Adam Fogel, staff to Councilmember Navarro, shared that she sent a letter to the County Executive concerning a Facility Planning Project Form to include an Arts and Cultural Center in the capital budget.

Adam urged WUDAC to send a letter to the Council and County Executive to include a Health and Human Services facility in Wheaton as part of the facilities planning in the budget.

He reminded WUDAC that the time to market Wheaton is now and that we need money in the operating budget for that purpose and there also needs to be a public-private sector collaboration to market Wheaton

Sub-committee Reports:

Design: Dan Thompson reported the committee's recommendations for money for Holiday lighting, Improved lighting for Veteran's Park and the block of Veirs Mill Rd. between Ennalls Ave. and University Blvd., way finding signs, and outreach materials to business on county codes and storefront improvements

Motion was made and passed to include the Design Committees proposals in the budget letter to the County Council

Economic:  Devala passed out budget proposals for review.  He talked of need for a business/WUDAC partnership to spur events and the need to move events to other areas besides Grandview Ave.  He suggested the possibility of asking Safeway and other businesses to sponsor events in places like Veteran's Park.

Devala presented and discussed the Ava Project draft letter.  In light of earlier presentation by Harold Weinberg, the letter was sent back to the economic committee for further review.

Discussion moved back to the committee's budget proposals. A motion was made and passed to include these in our budget letter to the county.

Adjourn:  7:50pm

Meeting Minutes, Tuesday November 12th, 2013

Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee

Mid-County Services Center 2424 Reedie Drive Wheaton MD 20902

Meeting Minutes Tuesday November 12, 2013


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

Members Absent:  Rick Kessler

Staff Present:  Ana Lopez van Balen, Director, Mid-County Services Center

Guests:  Clare Lise Kelly, Research and Designation Coordinator, Historic Preservation Office of the  Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission accompanied by a staff architect.  Laura Leigh Palmer from the W/K Chamber of Commerce. Tanya Sayyed, student UMD, accompanied by an unidentified UMD student. Ed Latner, County Attorney

Call to Order: 6:03pm by Chair Henriot St. Gerard followed by introductions of members and guests. The minutes from the October meeting were reviewed and approved without changes.  Henriot then turned the floor over to Clare Lise Kelly from M-NCPPC

Park and Planning Presentation: Clare Lise Kelly gave a background on historic preservation efforts in the county, accompanied by a slide presentation.  She presented a detailed history of the youth center and why it qualifies for historic designation.  She also noted how redevelopment can still be achieved in spite of this designation. Questions from WUDAC members followed, including:

1. At what point is it too expensive to preserve

2. Have you taken into consideration the needs of the community

3. What is the cost of redevelopment with and without historic preservation

A hearing will be held at 6:00pm at the Park & Planning Commission 8787 Ga. Ave Silver Spring MD

Chair Report:  Henriot St. Gerard remarked on the new meeting agenda format and hoped it moves meetings along faster.  He again noted the Youth Center hearing set for Nov. 14.  There is a County Executive briefing on the Night Time Economy Task Force Recommendations set for 10:30am on Nov. 14.  He said he would email budget to WUDAC members for review by next meeting.

Ethics Presentation:  Ana Lopez van Balen introduced Ed Latner, a County Attorney to speak to WUDAC about the county’s ethics law.  His presentation included a handout and he took questions from members.

Directors Report: Ana touched on Redevelopment and would get info to WUDAC on a meeting on the subject to occur in December.

Other Business: Henriot introduced a draft of a letter on Veterans Park and the connectivity of the Urban District to Brookside Gardens.  Dan Thompson explained the formulation of the letter.  Henriot commented that he felt the letter needed more detail on Veterans Park and how it fits into Urban Park guidelines. A motion to approve the letter with a paragraph to mention including Veterans Park in County Urban Guidelines passed.

The Economic subcommittee submitted a draft of a letter to the Planning Board on The Rec Center redevelopment.  Nadia Sesay gave a background on the letter formation.  A discussion followed in light of Park & Planning’s earlier presentation to our group.  It was noted that the letter must be addressed to the County Council instead of the Planning Board.  The letter was approved with amendments that the Council make our views known to Park&Planning and that the designation not delay the building of the Rec Center

Adjourn:  7:39pm