Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee
Mid-County Services Center, 2424 Reedie Drive Wheaton MD 20902
Meeting Minutes Tuesday January 14th, 2014
Members Present: Henriot St. Gerard(Chair), Devala Janardan(Vice Chair), Tom Stanton, Jeannette Feldner, Mirza Donegan, Nadia Sesay, Marian Fryer, William Moore, Luis Bonilla, Dan Thompson, Rick Kessler
Members Absent: None
Staff Present: Ana Lopez van Balen, Director, Mid-County Services Center
Guests: Chris Gillis, Staff to Councilmember Levanthal. Randal Spadoni, resident.
Call to Order: 6:09pm by Chair Henriot St. Gerard. A motion was made and passed to approve the December Meeting Minutes with one correction. This was followed by guest introductions.
Chair Report: Henriot St. Gerard noted that the letter for capital requests has been sent to the Council. He is drafting a congratulatory letter to Craig Rice and wishes to invite him or a member of his staff to our meeting. He will send out this week. Letter for general funds budget request will be sent out before the end of the month.
Henriot responded to an email from WUDAC member Dan Thompson about inviting the press to cover our meetings. Henriot will reach out to the Gazette and send an email with our agenda. He reached out to members about sharing ideas for publicity.
Henriot next spoke of this year's walking tour and the need to contact parties this month to see how to proceed. He is also thinking of a community meeting to introduce ourselves and to recruit members. Several members then shared ideas about the walking tour.
Director's Report: Ana Lopez van Balen recapped the many problems associated with the "polar vortex", including 6 water main breaks and a gas leak.
She also touched on the Council work towards the Redevolpment contract and its budgetary requirements but it will be a couple of months before a community update.
She also went on to inform WUDAC that the they have had favorable responses to the Facade Improvement Program. Also, the NEA "Our Town" grant request was sent yesterday.
MCCAB will hold a meeting with the County Executive at the Mid-County Rec Center next week.
Ana then turned the discussion to The WUDAC capital request and a meeting that took place with the Parks Department about Veteran's Park. She recommended inviting them to a WUDAC meeting to discuss the Park. She also recommended that the Dept. of Transportation be invited to talk about pedestrian safety.
County Council Report: Chris Gillis, staff to Councilmember Levanthal, updated WUDAC on the Wheaton Rec Center development. There will be a public hearing on Tuesday Feb. 25th for historic preservation status. Councilmember Levanthal does not support historic preservation for this project. Chris then explained the process that this designation will move through.
The County Executive will submit the Capital Budget tomorrow and Chris urged WUDAC of the need to study it. He mentioned that the Council will receive an update on Wheaton Redevelopment on Jan. 28th. Also noted was Councilmember Roger Berliner's introduction of legislation(Bill 33-13) to reduce the width of travel and turning lanes to make roadways more pedestrian friendly.
Lastly, WUDAC members asked Chris questions about zoning and he responded with a background on the zoning update. Marian Fryer suggested someone come speak with WUDAC about this.
Design: Dan Thompson handed out a draft letter to the Council about the need for a continuous Town Square. Discussion followed and a motion was made and passed to accept the letter with changes.
Economic: No report
Ana mentioned that sub-committees are scheduled to meet Jan. 27 and that she can't attend unless they are moved to Mid-County Rec Center as she is attending the budget forum
Devala asked about testimony on the Wheaton Youth Center
Luis Bonilla brought up that towing is still a problem in the Urban District. A brief discussion followed.