13 April 2013

WUDAC Meeting Minutes Tuesday March 12, 2013

Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee
Mid-County Regional Center, 2424 Reedie Dr, Wheaton MD 20902
Meeting Minutes, Tuesday March 12th, 2013
Members Present:  Henriot St. Gerard(Chair), Devala Janardan(Vice Chair), Jeannette Feldner, Marian Fryer, Dan Tompson, Tom Stanton, William Moore, Jim Onder, Nadia Sesay
Members Absent: Luis Bonilla
Staff Present: Ana Lopez van Balen, Director Mid-County Regional Center. Pete McGinnity, manager Wheaton redevelopment.
Guests: Esther French, Wheaton Patch. Ash Kosiewicz, from the Coalition for the Fair Redevelopment of Wheaton.  Rob Klein and Michael Collins from WRAC.  Elizabeth Chaisson, Green Wheaton.  Richard Kessler.  Adam Fogel, staff to Councilmember Navarro.
Motions:  After introductions, February meeting minutes were approved with minor changes
Chair Report: Henriot St. Gerard briefly mentioned a February meeting with Costco attended by Nadia Sesay. He updated WUDAC on his attendance at  the State of the County address.  He was disappointed that Wheaton was not mentioned, but hopes that will change next year.
The letter to Holly Sears went out but WUDAC has not received a response yet.  He informed the committee that he and Jeannette have been interviewing candidates for the Resident opening on WUDAC. He also remarked that he has been in contact with Kelly Blinn, from the Coalition for Smarter Growth, about a walking tour of Wheaton.
He informed WUDAC about a upcoming hearing on April 26th on the Costco gas exception and a WRAC meeting on the subject.
He touched on the FY14 county budget submission coming up on March 14th.  We had requested funding for dark sky compliance, light pole banners, promo materials, Gateway signs, increase for Clean and safe team. None were included in budget.
He continued on to a brief discussion on the Glenmont Sector Plan and tax credits for a proposed Enterprise Zone.  He will ask Economic subcommittee to look into how this may impact Wheaton.
Directors Report:  Ana Lopez van Balen met with The Food Truck Association about a Curb Side Cookoff.  She will be meeting with the appropriate county departments and area businesses. 
She reported on the Public Safety Work Group meeting and feedback received by over 400 individuals. The 3 top concerns discussed previously remain the same.  She is drafting a report.
The County Executive is putting together a Nighttime Economy Workgroup and Ana has been asked to lead the effort.  She hopes to start by April.
She briefly touched on work of MCCAB, specifically a meeting with Lee Development about a property in Aspen Hill.  Also on her agenda was ongoing work with the new Wheaton Library. Marian Fryer stated that WUDAC should be represented on the Library committee.
A very lively discussion on Food trucks followed.  William Moore stated that Urban District funds should be used only to promote Urban District businesses and he felt it was inappropriate to use funds to bring in outside businesses with no ties to the Wheaton Urban District. The issue was assigned to the Economic Subcommittee for further review.
Subcommittee Reports:
Economic-Nadia Sesay attended the meet and greet with Costco officials. She recommended that Costco not do a presentation with WUDAC.  She reported on their work on recommendations to revive Arts and Entertainment in the Urban District and their hopes for a walking tour in April for locations of a possible headquarters.
She stated that business owners attended the last subcommittee meeting and expressed frustration with funding for small business help during Redevelopment. A letter to the County Executive was drafted for WUDAC review
Design-Dan Thompson reported on the March 4th subcommittee meeting and handed out a meeting summary to WUDAC members. He will ask Green Wheaton to make a presentation to their next meeting and also would like to join in the walking tour with the Coalition for Smarter Growth when arranged. He briefly mentioned internal committee talk about the need of a traffic signal on Georgia near walkway to Triangle but subcommittee could not reach any consensus.
He circulated draft letter for “Garden of Lights”.  The Chair asked to put off consideration til a later date.
Council Report:  Adam Fogel, representing Councilmember Navarro, reported that the Council had a closed door session on Wheaton Redevelopment earlier that day. They are looking forward to a amended Project Description Form. He mentioned on work that DED is doing with regards to the Small Business Impact Fund regulations. He also updated WUDAC on a upcoming Town Hall meeting that will discuss the budget, Silver Spring transit Center and other topics. He asked all to stay informed and give them feedback on our priorities during the budget review period.
Redevelopment: Pete McGinnity updated WUDAC on the county’s work on redevelopment. He responded to a question from the Chair for an update on Bill 6-12. Pete explained the process and took further questions from committee members. He explained that the County Council session on Redevelopment today was closed because it dealt with the acquisition of property.  He also mentioned ongoing discussions between DGS and Park and Planning for an agreement on size and scope of P&P building before construction can begin.
Other Business:  Henriot presented the draft letter from the Economic Subcommittee to the County Executive concerning support for small business impacted by redevelopment.  After some discussion, the motion to send the letter of support was passed.
Ana van Balen stated that there has been ongoing dialogue about WRAC and WUDAC joining together.  Michael Collins, Chair of WRAC, briefly addressed WUDAC.
Marian Fryer passed around an interesting article about early development of TV transmission occurring at a house on Windom Lane and Georgia Ave in Wheaton
Adjourn: 7:36pm

05 April 2013

WUDAC Agenda for Tuesday April 9th, 2013

Please silence cell phones

Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee
2424 Reedie Drive, Wheaton, MD 20902

April 9, 2013

1.   Call to Order, Introductions,
  Approval of Minutes,
  Report of Chair                                     St. Gerard            6:00 – 6:20 pm
2.  RSC Director Report                               Van Balen            6:20 – 6:30 pm
3.  Sub Committee Report                                                         6:30 – 6:40 pm
      a. Economic                                             Sesay
      b. Design                                                  Thompson

4.   Report from Council Staff                                                    6:40 – 6:50 pm

5.  Community Concerns                                                            6:50 – 7:00pm

7.   Adjourn                                                                                 7:00 pm

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.

02 April 2013

Two Wheaton Establishments Make Washingtonian Lists

Wheatonites know that we have some of the best and more diverse restaurants to choose from. The Washingtonian Magazine agrees, naming two of our neighorhood spots, Nava Thai and the Limerick Pub to their best-of lists. 

The Limerick Pub made the 75 Great Bars List for 2013. The Washingtonian Magazine states:

A dartboard, Guinness on tap, a fire crackling in the corner: These are things you might expect at a suburban Irish bar. But while the friendly Limerick—painted shades of orange and green—packs in all those pub standards, it also surprises by serving up tasty meatless dishes such as vegan bangers and mash and a veggie burger studded with black beans, carrots, and potatoes. Insider tip: Look out for “game-time specials” when local teams are on the telly—including $3 Yuengling lagers and burgers for $5. Open daily. http://www.washingtonian.com/happyhours/great-bars-2013-the-limerick-pub.php 

Nava Thai has made numerous lists in the past few years, including Very Best 2010, Very Best 2012, Best Cheap Eats 2010, Best Cheap Eats 2011, Best Cheap Eats 2012. Now Nava Thai can add the Very Best 2013 to its list of accomplishments. The Washingtonian Magazine states:

Many Thai restaurants flag their spiciest dishes on the menu with one or more chili-pepper symbols. Heat is such a foundational element at this tavern-like dining room that pointing it out would be like asking a burger joint to tell you it uses meat. Most dishes wouldn’t exist without it, such as the Floating Market Noodle Soup, a sweet and tangy broth that lashes the tongue. An innocuous-looking salad of country-style pork with cilantro and pulverized rice ignites a series of small fires in the mouth. But heat isn’t the kitchen’s sole preoccupation. In the best dishes, spice, fragrance, and texture are braided into an often thrilling unity. Don’t miss: Larb gai, ground chicken with lime, onion, and chili; crispy mussels; pad Thai; drunken noodles; red curry with pork. Open: Daily for lunch and dinner.Inexpensive. http://www.washingtonian.com/restaurantreviews/100-very-best-restaurants-2013-nava-thai.php 

In the past few months, Wheaton businesses have been getting their due in the media, with The Limerick Pub, Nava Thai, Ruan Thai, and Kantutas all getting write-ups.