Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee
Mid-County Regional Center, 2424 Reedie Drive, Wheaton MD 20902
February 12th, 2013 Meeting Minutes
Members Present: Henriot St. Gerard(Chair), Devala Janardan(Vice Chair), Jim Onder, Dan Thompson, Luis Bonilla, William Moore, Nadia Sesay, Marian Fryer, Jeannette Feldner, Tom Stanton
Members Absent: none
Staff Present: Ana Lopez van Balen, Director, Mid-County Regional Center
Guests: Danila Sheveiko, from Stop Costco Gas Coalition, Kelly Blinn, from Coalition for Smarter Growth, Adam Fogel, staff of Councilmember Nancy Navarro.
Call to Order: 6:04pm by Chair Henriot St. Gerard
Motions: After member introductions, a motion was made to approve the January meeting minutes. Minutes were approved with minor changes.
Chair Report: Henriot St. Gerard reported that the county Dept. of Economic Development would be reaching out to area businesses over the next couple of months. He stated that a study of bus bay development had been cancelled and that there are not currently funds in this year’s budget for assistance to small business and that funds may be delayed. He also mentioned that WRAC will be presenting a Revitalization Award at the Chamber Dinner scheduled for April 24th at Hollywood East. He congratulated WUDAC member Tom Stanton for his nomination. He also spoke of a January redevelopment update to the County Council, the Costco Opening on April 12th and the good things happening in the WUDAC subcommittees. He hopes to update our blog on these activities soon. There was then a discussion amongst members as to why WRAC rather than WUDAC is presenting the Revitalization award at the Chamber Dinner.
Directors Report: Ana Lopez van Balen informed WUDAC of two new food businesses opening in the area in the next month or so. She also highlighted the continuing efforts to rebrand Wheaton, with new Spring banners appearing soon. She announced that the Taste of Wheaton was moving from May to June 9th this year. She noted an upcoming hearing in late February on Lot 13 development and efforts to create an Enterprise zone in the Glenmont Sector Plan.
Economic: Nadia Sesay updated WUDAC on a letter of support for issues raised by the Coalition for Fair Redevelopment of Wheaton. She stated that a draft had been prepared but that new developments will make them revisit this letter before any presentation to WUDAC. Nadia hoped to be able to invite DGS to an upcoming subcommittee or WUDAC meeting. She briefed WUDAC on a presentation made to her subcommittee by the group Stop Costco Gas and the group’s desire for WUDAC to take a formal position on the issues they raised.
The Chair, Henriot St. Gerard, inquired about a letter to Holly Sears, and Devala Janardan replied that it was ready to go. Dan Thompson expressed concerns on timing.
Design: Dan Thompson briefed WUDAC on a meeting the subcommittee had. He repeated the goal was a “Walkable Wheaton”. He again highlighted each member’s responsibilities in the subcommittee and reported on their progress. He passed around a photo album from an assessment walkabout done by William Moore. Additional areas touched on included the need for a letter of support for Gateway Sign funding, his wishes to bring Joe Callaway to a future meeting, and the need to meet with stakeholders and brainstorm with Sydney and Ana.
Council Report: Adam Fogel, from the staff of Councilmember Nancy Navarro, briefed WUDAC on an upcoming Feb.26th update on Development to the County Council. They are waiting on DGS and Park and Planning to come to Council with a Memorandum of Understanding. They hope it will be completed by that date. They are also awaiting the Dept. of Economic Development regulations and will review when presented. He also reported that the Bus Bay Study is not scrapped but is not a top priority. Also noted was a Council review of a Jobs study and Parking Study. He also mentioned that it is the Council’s desire to move forward with the Small Business Impact fund when needed.
Community Concerns: Kelly Blinn, from the Coalition for Smarter Growth, reviewed the history of the Coalition, accompanied by a visual presentation and stated their desire to collaborate with WUDAC on the sector plan. Her presentation touched on growth, the need for improving the jobs-housing balance, housing choices and meeting transportation and recreation needs.