06 June 2013

Wheaton Walking Tour 6-01-2013

The Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee, in cooperation with the Coalition for Smarter Growth, conducted a two hour walking tour of the Wheaton central business district on Saturday June 1st.  The walk was well attended by residents, business operators, and several County officials including Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and Councilmember Nancy Navarro. After opening remarks by Mr. Leggett and Ms. Navarro, the group then proceeded to several key areas of the downtown area, including MetroPointe apartments, Veterans Park, the Limerick Pub area, the clock tower on Grandview and finishing back on the community green across from the Mid-County Service center. Along the way guides at designated stops highlighted ways in which development has and will make Wheaton a destination where people will want to work, live, and visit.
Some areas touched on that will need to be addressed as construction moves forward include: impact on existing businesses, parking, pedestrian safety, signage, storefronts, traffic and landscaping.
One key theme of the Walking Tour was the fact that Redevelopment is more than just constructing a building and hoping people will come. People will come to a place that inspires them, and that means different things to different people. To some it could be unique architecture. To others it may be beautiful year round landscaping.  Others may value shops and restaurants, ease of access to parking and transportation, or affordable, diverse housing choices. As the walk concluded the one thing that was very clear is that Redevelopment gives all stakeholders in the future of Wheaton a great opportunity through a public/private partnership to achieve a unified vision on making Wheaton the best place it can be.
County Executive Ike Leggett listens to Kelly Blinn

Councilmember Nancy Navarro
WUDAC's Jim Onder and Devala Janardan
Marian Fryer and Jennette Feldner of WUDAC
William Moore and Jim Onder of WUDAC
Councilmember Hans Reimer

Jeannette Feldner
Elizabeth Chaisson of Green Wheaton
WUDAC Chair Henriot St. Gerald and Devala Janardan
Discussion at Veterans Park
Unofficial Mayor Marian Fryer(as bestowed by Ike Leggett)
WUDAC'S Tom Stanton
Seeking shade
MCDOT Deputy Director Al Roshdieh
Ash Kosiewicz from the Coalition for the Fair Redevelopment of Wheaton
Mid-County Regional Center Director Ana Lopez van Balen
At the clock tower corner of Grandview and Ennalls

Henriot St. Gerard and Kelly Blinn at the community green
Del. Jeff Waldstreicher
Kelly Blinn of the Coalition for Smarter Growth