28 May 2014

HELP DEFINE A VISION FOR DOWNTOWN WHEATON – MOVE WHEATON FORWARD BY PARTICIPATING IN THE WHEATON WALKING TOUR!

The Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee (WUDAC) invites you to interact with others in the Wheaton community and our elected officials by participating in the Wheaton Walking Tour, scheduled for Saturday June 14, 2014, from 10AM – 1PM. The event will start at the Mid-County Regional Center at 2424 Reedie Drive, Wheaton, MD. 

The purpose of this year’s tour is to generate community input and collaboration with elected officials. The event is structured into three main sections, providing time to: 1) walk selected portions of the Wheaton Urban District to gather information; 2) summarize the top issues and prepare for interaction with elected officials; 3) present findings to elected officials and engage in discussion to create substantive goals for the Urban District. 

SECTION I – 10AM – 11:15AM 
A WUDAC Committee Member will lead attendees around different designated areas around the Urban District. During the tour, each participant will collect ideas on the following: 
• Way finding/Connectivity 
• Use of public space 
• Landscaping, greening, and streetscape 
• Community Character 

SECTION II – 11:15AM – 12 Noon 
Groups will report back to the Mid-County Regional Center and will have 45 minutes in order to synthesize the top issues spotted during Section I of the event. Each group must also create a brief presentation summarizing their findings on their portion of the tour with a focus on all four themes. This presentation will be made to the elected officials under Section III. 

Section III – 12 Noon – 1PM 
Each group will present their main ideas and findings before our invited elected officials and special guests. The aim is to generate community input and collaboration with elected officials and to walk away with substantive takeaways from the day’s activity. 


Your attendance is important to the success of the Walking Tour. Please confirm your attendance by June 11th, 2014 by contacting Ana Lopez Van Balen, Director of the Mid-County Regional Services Center, at 240-777-8100, or by e-mail at analopez.vanbalen@montgomerycountymd.gov.

03 May 2014

Meeting Minutes for Tuesday March 11, 2014


Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee

Mid-County Services Center, 2424 Reedie Drive Wheaton MD 20902

Meeting Minutes, Tuesday March 11, 2014

 

Members Present: Henriot St. Gerard(Chair), Devala Janardan(Vice Chair), Tom Stanton, Mirza Donegan, Marian Fryer, William Moore, Jeannette Feldner, Nadia Sesay, Dan Thompson, Rick Kessler

Members Absent:  Luis Bonilla

Staff Present:  Pete McGinnity, Manager of Business Development DGS

Guests: Doug Duncan, Virginia Sheard

Call to Order:  6:07pm by Vice Chair Devala Janardan in the temporary absence of the Chair, followed by introductions and a motion to approve the February minutes.  Minutes approved with a name spelling change.(Leventhal). Devala introduced Doug Duncan, who in turn gave a little background on himself and stated he was there to listen to issues of concern to the Wheaton Urban District. Devala then turned the meeting over to Pete McGinnity for a RSC/Redevelopment report

Directors Report:  Pete McGinnity, in the absence of the Mid-County Service Center Director Ana Lopez van Balen, gave a combined RSC and Redevelopment report. He stated that Park and Planning will transfer Veteran’s Park to the County. Also, the RSC has started the planning for transfer of tenants from the Mid-County Center to other buildings.  He also noted that the County Council is waiting on the CIP agreement before providing funding.  Pete took questions from WUDAC members on Redevelopment issues.

Other topics touched on by Pete included an  MCCAB meeting with their concerns on the BRT, affordable housing, and State Highway projects as they relate to Georgia Ave, the new WUDAC business Awards which have received nine nominations, and a commendation to the Clean and Safe team for their great work during the winter storms.  He further touched on a Night Time Economy Task Force meeting with County Executive Ike Leggett and their proceeding toward an implementation report.

Other events noted included that Avalon Bay has asked for an extension with the Planning Board until April and the Solaire apartment grand opening is May 7th.

Lastly, Pete took questions about WRAC joining WUDAC.  He stated that this is not legally possible and that WRAC will dissolve at the end of June.

Sub-Committee Reports:

Design:  Dan Thompson reported on the committee’s work to design a brochure towards our goal of a walkable Wheaton.  He wants both sub-committees to meet together on March 24 to talk with County officials.  He hopes to include the issue of pedestrian safety at this meeting.

Economic:  Nadia Sesay reported on a meeting they had to plan an event for Veterans Park.  This event would include music, family activities and a contest for guests to visit area businesses.  They are unsure who should take lead, WUDAC or the Urban District staff.  After discussion a motion was made and passed to ask the Urban District to take the lead and for WUDAC to form a committee to plan the event.

Chair Report:  Henriot St. Gerard announced that the County Council voted not to give historic designation to the Youth Center.  He thanked WUDAC for their efforts on the letter we sent.  It was quoted during testimony.  He then turned attention to the WUDAC business awards.  He feels that the sub-committees should handle the nominating process.  The nominations are due March 17th.  He also briefly touched on a $1 million budget request from Parks to the County Council and hoped that we could get some money for Veteran’s Park.  Henriot then brought up the Walking Tour.  Discussion then followed about the organization, stops and the possibility of a Meet and Greet to end the tour.  Henriot stated that he will study the issue and we will talk about it further next month.

Other Business:  Dan Thompson questioned the new meeting format and asked whether it was working.  He said the agenda headings were confusing.

Adjourn:  7:27pm

Meeting Minutes for Tuesday February 11, 2014


Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee

Mid-County Services Center, 2424 Reedie Drive Wheaton MD 20902

Meeting Minutes, Tuesday February 11, 2014

Members Present:  Henriot St. Gerard(Chair), Devala Janardan(Vice Chair), Marian Fryer, Jeannette Feldner, Mirza Donegan, Dan Thompson, Tom Stanton, Nadia Sesay, William Moore

Members Absent:  Luis Bonilla, Rick Kessler

Staff Present:  Ana Lopez van Balen, Director, Mid-County Services Center.  Pete McGinnity, Manager of Business Development DGS

Guests:  Adam Fogel, Staff to Councilmember Navarro.  Chris Gillis, Staff to Councilmember Levanthal.  Phil Normandy, Brookside Gardens.  Brooke Farquhar, Dominic Quattrocchi, Bill Dwyer, Stephen Chandlee and Mary Bradford of Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning

Call to Order:  6:07pm by Chair Henriot St. Gerard, followed by introductions.  A motion was made and passed to approve the January meeting minutes with a correction of a member’s last name. A couple of community concerns about potholes, crosswalk painting and burned out streetlights were addressed.  Henriot the passed the meeting to representatives of the Park Dept

Park and Planning Discussion: Brooke Farquhar discussed the possibility of events at Veterans Park and awareness of connectivity of Urban District to Wheaton Regional Park.

Phil Normandy spoke of renovations to Brookside Gardens which would be starting in about a month.  Some regular events have been cancelled but believes Garden of Lights will go on. They will be discouraging car traffic because parking will be so limited during renovations.  He is working on the Master Plan for Wheaton Regional Park. 

A discussion followed about traffic during the Garden of Lights and ways to alleviate that.  Also discussed was the Master Plan for the park.  Some additional comments from the Park and Planning staff included the desire for a Beltway sign for the park, the need to connect Metro, the interconnectivity of the Urban District to the park and the idea of how solving these issues could go a long ways toward making Wheaton a destination.

Next, Brooke turned the discussion towards Veterans Park.  Chair Henriot St. Gerard stated that we noted the limited use of the Park during our Walking tour.  We would like to leverage the asset. Marian Fryer informed the group that they used to have concerts and dances there and with new residents that would be a good area to have activities.

Mary Bradford, director of the Parks Dept, noted that if you provide the content they can provide the venue.  She agreed that urban parks needed lights, paths and seating.  She took questions from WUDAC members on event sponsorships, budgeting and emphasized the fact that the Park is a buffer between the Urban District and the residential neighborhood behind.  She stressed that it is important to show up for budget hearings!  She hopes to come back to form an advisory group.

Council Update:  Henriot then passed the meeting to Adam Fogel, staff to Councilmember Navarro.  Adam informed WUDAC that the Council was briefed by the Dept. of General Services on the problems that historic preservation would add to the Wheaton Youth Center Project.  Those problems included the cost, $7-8 million, and the take away of needed green space.  There will be a public meeting on Feb. 13th at 7:00pm at the Wheaton Rec Center.  Councilmembers Levanthal and Navarro oppose the historic preservation designation and want the project to go forward.  Lastly, Adam mentioned legislation introduced by Councilmember Navarro.  Bill 13-14 would favor local businesses in a tie vote for County procurement contracts and Bill 14-14 would require employers seeking County business to provide health insurance to employees

Chris Gillis, staff to Councilmember Levanthal, announced that the Arts and Humanities Council is thinking of coming to Wheaton.  WUDAC should send letter to support project

Chair Report: Henriot informed WUDAC that WRAC is transferring their business award program to us.  He led a brief overview of the Awards and the selection process.  The Executive Committee will vet the nominees.  WRAC will offer nominations as well.  Discussion followed on how best to get input into this process.

Directors Report:  Ana Lopez van Balen reported that there will be a meeting of the Wheaton Regional Park Citizens Association at the Saddlebrook Center at 6:30pm Wednesday.

  MCCAB is soliciting nominations for their awards for Citizen of the Year and Civic Organization of the Year to be presented at the Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner on April 30th.  She also noted that MCCAB would like to work jointly with WUDAC on towing  and Bike-sharing issues.

The Fa├žade Improvement Program has had 4 property owners express interest.  Ana also mentioned that the Big Belly(trash compactor) contract was still several weeks away from completion. Also, the Night Time Economy Task Force had a meeting with County Executive Leggett.  Ana also noted that they got a response back from the Transportation Dept. on our letter concerning Town Square issues.  She handed members a copy of the response.

Sub-Committee Reports:

Design: Dan Thompson shared that the committee work was focused on our goals of a walkable Wheaton.  We would like to have an event in conjunction with civic organizations for businesses and would like to develop a brochure to help businesses become compliant and recognize businesses that make progress.  We would like to reach out to Transportation and other County Departments and have a joint sub-committee meeting with economic sub-committee to develop content.

Economic:  Discussed possibility of a pop up event at Veteran’s Park, maybe around the 4th of July or Irish Celtic theme for later.  They will build a relationship with the VFW.

Two letters were submitted for review : Avalon Bay and the Rec Center.  After discussion, motions were made and passed to send both letters, the Avalon Bay letter with slight changes and the Rec Center letter with no changes.

Devala Janardan made a motion for the Chair to testify at the hearing for the Historic Preservation of the Youth Center.  The motion passed.

Adjourn:  7:36pm