Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee
Mid-County Regional Center 2424 Reedie Drive Wheaton MD 20902
Meeting Minutes, Tuesday July 9th, 2013
Members Present: Henriot St. Gerard(Chair), Devala Janardan(Vice-Chair),Jim Onder, Jeannette Feldner, Marian Fryer, William Moore, Rick Kessler, Dan Thompson, Nadia Sesay, Luis Bonilla
Members Absent: Tom Stanton
Staff Present: Ana Lopez van Balen, Director, Mid-County Regional Center
Guests: Holly Sullivan, President, Montgomery Business Development Corp. Virginia Sheard, Kensington View Civic Association. Gigi Goins, Wheaton Farmers Market
Call to Order: 6;01pm by Chair Henriot St.Gerard. The Chair introduced Holly Sullivan, President of the Montgomery Business Development
The June meeting minutes were approved without changes
Henriot turned the floor over to Ana Lopez van Balen to conduct election of officers. After brief remarks by the candidates the current officers were re-elected to new terms
Chair Report: Henriot informed the committee of upcoming Capital Improvements Program meetings on July 11, 22, and 30th at various county sites
The next meeting of the Night Time Economy Task Force is July 15th, 5-7pm at the Hollywood East Café. WUDAC’s Tom Stanton is scheduled to speak.
Henriot asked for member input into selecting a date for the fall retreat. October 5th was tentatively selected and Henriot will ask Matt Barry about using space at Westfield.
Directors Report: Ana Lopez van Balen reported on two meetings on the Wheaton Library. A development roadmap was finalized on how to proceed. More info will be available in September.
The Night Time Economy Task Force has finished 2 of 6 planned meetings and will be able to make recommendations soon.
Mid-County Fireworks went well. There is talk of moving it back to Westfield in the future.
Ana produced proclamations from the County for retiring members Jim Onder and Marian Fryer. WUDAC thanked the members and photos were taken.
Ana asked Ana about the situation with the new Wheaton Rescue Squad building. More info is needed.
Presentation from MBDC: Henriot asked for introductions from members and guests and then turned the floor over to Holly Sullivan from MBDC. Holly gave a brief background on herself and then presented an introduction to MBDC. She stated their goal is to make Montgomery County more business friendly. They will report to the County Council on economic development and sustainability issues. They have been vocal about Mass Transit and the State’s Maintenance of Effort Laws. MBDC will launch a website soon at montgomerybusiness.org. They will be partnering with UMD on data demographics and job growth and will have listings for available industrial and retail properties on their website. Holly then took questions from WUDAC members. Some responses from her included the need to make Wheaton more pedestrian friendly, encourage small business development and youth employment, and the necessity to include housing, marketing, and transit in any economic discussion. She also emphasized the need to streamline permitting and the time and cost to get things done to help alleviate the negative perception of the County by the business community. MBDC will make recommendations to the County Council twice a year.
Economic: Nadia Sesay reported that Tom Stanton has been in contact with Karen Klein of SCRAPDC about her interest in a center in Wheaton and her interest in partnering with other Arts groups. Tom has also been in touch with Roundhouse about the terminating of its lease in downtown Silver Spring to introduce Wheaton as a possible new home and also met with the Director of the Blackrock Center in Germantown to understand better the workings of opening and operating an Arts Center in the County.
Tom is also involved in the Night Time Economy Task Force and will be speaking at the NETF meeting on July 15th at the Hollywood East Café.
The Economic subcommittee is broadening the focus of the A&E hub from Price and Elkin to other areas in the Urban District. Nadia also stated that there is a meeting with Jen Bozzell from Strathmore scheduled for Aug 1st and that they are waiting to see what bidders may offer for Veterans Park Redevelopment.
Lastly, Nadia turned the floor over to Rick Kessler for discussion of a draft of a thank you letter to send to the County Council as a followup to the Walking Tour. Dan Thompson made a motion to include mention of a Town Square. The motion was defeated and members voted to send the letter as drafted.
Design: Due to time constraints, Dan Thompson submitted written notes to the Secretary and will send email to members
Other Business: Henriot asked for member input into what went well and what didn’t during the current term and ideas on what we can improve upon
Community Concerns: Virginia Sheard from the Kensington View Civic Association reminded WUDAC that the RFP ends in July and it is important to stay involved during our August recess.
Gigi Goins, a representative from the Farmers Market, stated that 3 or their 4 Farmers Markets are thriving but Wheaton needs support. She would like help with Folger and Pratt to secure space in front of the new Safeway.