31 January 2013


Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee
Mid-County Regional Center, 2424 Reedie Drive Wheaton MD 20902
January 8th, 2013 Meeting Minutes

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

Members absent:  None

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

Guests:  Bertha Flores, assistant to Councilmember Nancy Navarro
               Khalid Afzal, Montgomery County Planning Department
               Elizabeth Chaisson, Carol Bender, Kathleen Michaels, from Green Wheaton
               Melissa Brown, WRAC member

Call to Order: 6:07pm by Vice Chair Devala Janardan in the temporary absence of the Chair, followed by member introductions.

Motions:  Motion to approve December minutes with corrections. Motion approved.

Sub-Committee reports:
Design: Dan Thompson passed out handout outlining subcommittee goals and then discussed. Noted committee will be working off of Main street principles and pairing with Economic subcommittee in outreach marketing. He said our goal is a walkable Wheaton.  He went on to discuss that the committees work will be subdivided into key areas including lighting, signage, storefronts, greening, and beautification with members assigned to these areas of responsibility. WUDAC members commented about tie-ins to funding, walkability and subcommittee linkages, and Melissa Brown from WRAC offered comments on a WRAC award to local businesses and the Einstein Arts Program and a Dark Sky Initiative.

Economic: Nadia Sesay talked about a work plan for her committee. She discussed use of vacant space and gave an example of the vacated Gilchrist Center as possible places to showcase art. She stated that her committee has discussed a local Coalition’s request for a support letter and will present draft at February meeting for WUDAC to review. She noted that they will be working with a workgroup hosted by Ana Lopez van Balen and may incorporate that work into the subcommittee. Devala Janardan talked about the Montgomery Business Development Corporation established by the County Council . They have a new President and Devala presented a draft letter to WUDAC for review, introducing WUDAC and inviting the President to Wheaton. A motion was accepted to approve a draft of the letter with changes.  A motion was made to copy the council on the letter.  Motion did not pass.

Chair Report: Henriot St. Gerard commented on an informative Green Wheaton lighting event.  He noted our blog needs updating and also touched on a Public safety survey and upcoming County council budget hearings.
Other Business: Khalid Afzal from the Montgomery County Planning Department presented a detailed review of the history and substance of the Wheaton Sector Plan and its effects on business and residential development.

Directors Report: Ana Lopez van Balen reported that the business newsletter has started. She informed WUDAC that they are submitting an application for a National Endowment for the Arts grant. She touched on her work with a Small Business Group reviewing regulations for the Small Business Impact Fund, and with other groups on zoning issues. She mentioned the upcoming Council budget hearings and a Pepco appearance at the next MCCAB meeting.

Council Update:  Bertha Flores talked briefly about council action regarding Wheaton Redevelopment.

Other Business:  WUDAC was briefed by Jeannette Feldner on the actions and purpose of the Public Safety Workgroup and the results of a survey.

WRAC update:  Melissa Brown handed out a copy of a WRAC letter to the Montgomery County Dept of Community Affairs regarding streetscapes in downtown Wheaton.

Other Concerns:  A representative from Green Wheaton announced the topics of upcoming meetings.  They would like to work with WRAC and WUDAC to bring a Kids Museum to Wheaton.

Adjourn: 7:29pm