07 December 2012

Agenda for Upcoming Dec 11 WUDAC Meeting

In addition, click the "Read More" link below to view the minutes from our Nov. 13, 2012 WUDAC Meeting.
DRAFT Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee Meeting
Tuesday November 13th, 2012
Mid-County Regional Center2424  Reedie  Drive, Wheaton MD 20902

MembersPresent      HenriotSt. Gerard (Chair), Devala Janardan (Vice Chair),Nadia Sesay,
Marian Fryer,Tom Stanton, Dan Thompson, Luis Bonilla,
William Moore,Jeannette Feldner
MembersAbsent       JimOnder

StaffPresent              AnaLopez van Balen, Director, Mid-County Regional Center,
Pete McGinnity,Manager, WheatonRedevelopment Program
Sidney Cooper,Marketing Manager, WheatonUrban District

Guests                         Ash Kosiewiczand many members of the Coalition for the Fair Development of  Wheaton, Abigail Adelman and Danila Sheveiko,representatives for Stop Costco Gas Coalition, Ken Silverman, staff,councilmember Navarro

Callto Order            5:34pm by Chair Henriot St. Gerard

Motion                        October Meeting Minutesapproved with one typo change

ChairReport            Henriot St. Gerardreported on WUDAC retreat held on Nov. 3, 2012. Stated purpose was to meet new members andstrategize on how to accomplish WUDAC goal to re-engage the community andbusinesses. The members formed two new sub-committees, Economic andDesign/Infrastructure. Henriot asked Devala Janardan to brief the meeting onefforts to change our Bylaws.

DirectorReport         Ana Lopez van Balen updated WUDAC onseveral topics including: County approval of the Wheaton Library RecreationCenter Project to combine two facilities in its current location, an upcomingWheaton Public Safety Workshop to look at actual as well as perceived safetyissues in Wheaton, and the beginning of meetings with the small businesscommunity on the effects of planned Redevelopment changes and the councilapproved small business fund. In addition, she briefly touched on an upcoming PlanningBoard hearing on the Glenmont Sector Plan, the Costco opening scheduled forJanuary, and the fact that Costco is still proceeding with their plans for agas station

Wheaton Small BusinessSurvey       Pete McGinnity reported on the resultsof the survey. The top three concerns of the urban business community are:Parking, Rents, and Safety. Pete stated that the county is working on aMemorandum of Understanding that will be presented to council in January.  In addition, a parking study is to begin towardsthe end of the fiscal year. He emphasized the need for a marketing strategy inadvance of construction to assist with continued patronage of the existingbusinesses. Dan Thompson urged the planners to think not just about parking butalso pedestrian access. Devala stated that WUDAC could act as a clearinghousefor information.

CommunityConcerns     Raymond Rose from Barbarian Comics spokeon behalf of the Coalition for the Fair Development of Wheaton. He reiteratedthe concerns expressed in the Small Business Survey on parking, rents andsafety. He asked for the parking study that has been promised to be undertaken.He also worried that rents would rise as leases renewed and the safety concernsif business employees have to walk long distances to their cars. He alsorequested adequate signage to inform the public that businesses were open andmore information on economic resources available to help. He asked WUDAC tosend a letter to request the County’s help. Ana responded that Wheaton has assistanceavailable to escort employees to cars and that we would be sending a newsletterto the business community to keep them informed on issues.

Marketing     Sidney Cooper reported on the results of aWheaton Community Survey that was conducted. The top three “likes” were:variety of good restaurants, Metro availability, and the Small Businessfeel.  Areas identified as needingimprovement included: shopping, dining and the Business Environment.

Shestated that attendance at Taste of Wheaton, World of Montgomery, and the SummerConcerts was a concern and these events were being evaluated to see if they area good return on investment. Our budget is small and there is a need for newrotation of Banners and to promote Clean and Safe Team. She briefed WUDAC onnew website and followed up on Ana’s comments on the newsletter, stating itwill start in December and may include Marketing tidbits.

CouncilReport     Ken Silverman, staff for CouncilmemberNavarro, introduced himself and reminded the Committee and guests of Navarro’ssponsorship of the Business Assistance Program. He also stated Navarro’s ongoing desire to make sure the bill is usefulfor Wheaton’sbusinesses.

NewBusiness     Henriot asked for a motion to approve newsub-committees discussed at retreat. Motion was approved.  The meetingdate and time for the first meeting was set as the first Monday in December.  Design at 6:00pm and Economic at 7:00pm at the Regional Center. A motion was also approvedto change the start time for the monthly WUDAC meeting from 5:30 to 6:00pm. The new Wheaton logo and website were also approved.

OtherConcerns     Abigail Adelman and Danila Sheveikointroduced WUDAC to their organization, the Stop Costco Gas Coalition and urgedus to visit their website: stopcostcogas.org.

Henriotasked for volunteer to attend community meeting on Bus Rapid Transit at theWheaton Library on Nov. 15.

Adjourn     7:10pm