28 January 2015

Senator Madaleno Visits WUDAC

WUDAC had the honor of hosting Maryland State Senator Richard Madaleno, Jr., at our recent January 13 WUDAC monthly meeting. Specifically, WUDAC had the opportunity to explain to Senator Madaleno about the importance of Wheaton's Arts & Entertainment District designation, and the importance to continue this designation as Wheaton must reapply in 2016. Our thank you letter to Senator Madaleno is available here.

19 January 2015

Meeting Agenda Tuesday January 13th, 2015

Please Silence Your Mobile Devices


Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee (WUDAC)

2424 Reedie Drive, Wheaton, MD 20902



Tuesday – January 13th, 2015 – 6:30pm-8:00pm


       I.            Call to order & Introductions                                            6:30pm – 6:32pm 


   II.            Approval or correction of minutes                                   6:32pm - 6:35pm


III.            Community Concerns                                                     6:35pm - 6:45pm


IV.            Guest Speaker                                                                 6:45pm – 7:15pm

a.      State Senator, Richard Madaleno


    V.            Reports of Officers                                                                   7:15pm – 7:40pm

a.      Council Staff Report

b.     RSC Director

c.      Chair

d.     Community Character Chair

e.      A&E Chair


VI.            Old Business                                                                             7:40pm - 7:50pm

a.      WUDAC Mid-Year Discussion and 2015 Outlook New Business        

VII.            New Business                                                                 7:50pm – 8:00pm

VIII.            Adjourn                                                                          8:00pm




This information is available in an alternative format by calling 240-777-8104. 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.

Meeting Minutes, tuesday December 09,2014

Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee

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

Meeting Minutes, Tuesday December 09, 2014

Members Present:  Devala Janardan(Chair), Tom Stanton(Vice Chair), Dan Thompson, William Moore, Mirza Donegan, Derry Goberdhansingh, Leah Haygood, Carlos Perozo, Rick Kessler


Staff Present: Ana Lopez van Balen, Director Mid-County Regional Services Center


Guests:  Chris Gillis, Senior Legislative Aide to Council President George Leventhal

                Marian Fryer, Resident

                Henriot St. Gerard, MCCAB


Call to Order:  6:32pm by Chair Devala Janardan

A motion was made and passed to approve the November meeting minutes without changes.


Council Staff Report: Chris Gillis, legislative aide to Council President Leventhal, briefed WUDAC on proposed taxi cab regulations, including creation of a central dispatch, changes to age limits on cars, and new rules for Uber and Lift. He also noted the bleak fiscal outlook for the county with weak home sales and a potential $96 million deficit and a court case which could cost the county $100 million. He will try to get Council President Leventhal out to brief WUDAC.


Directors Report:  Ana Lopez van Balen, Director of the Mid-County Center, also mentioned the deficit noted above.  She updated WUDAC on Wheaton Redevelopment including the SBDC’s continued outreach to the community and small businesses (handout) and the County Council’s decision to extend the deadline to finalize regulations for the Small Business Assistance Program. (Handout) Discussion then followed on the SBDC assessments and Navarro Bill 6-12 and regulation 24-12.


Ana also informed WUDAC that the Arts and Humanities Council had held their first charrette and that it went well.  There are two more scheduled this month. The BRT nomination process has closed.  They hope to have their first meeting in February or March.  She also stated that the urban district has completed the replacement of some light poles and that has allowed the installation of more holiday lights including new snowflakes! Also, they are finalizing funds for two new gateway signs.  Lastly, she noted an upcoming MCCAB budget forum scheduled for Jan. 22, 2015 and stated that this is a chance for Wheaton to voice needs and concerns.  She felt Wheaton did not have a strong presence at the forum last year.


Chair Report:  Devala Janardan led a review of the progress of the first four months of this term. (handout).  He shared that State Senator Richard Madaleno will speak to WUDAC in January and that he is on the Maryland State Arts Council.  Devala also briefed WUDAC on the Bicycle and Pedestrian Priority Areas (BiPPA) meeting held Nov.24th at the Mid-County Center.  (handout)


Community Character Subcommittee: Mirza Donegan reported on a joint presentation with the Wheaton/Kensington Chamber of Commerce. She suggested that a WUDAC member attend Chamber meetings and report back to WUDAC as a way to further cooperation between the two groups.


A & E Subcommittee:  Tom Stanton spoke briefly on the need to draft a mission statement. The subcommittee has a goal of creating one by Dec. 15th and would like WUDAC member input.


Old Business: There was further discussion of the Chamber/WUDAC mixer.  Dan Thompson stated that there needed to be more participation.  It was proposed that Casey Wilson be invited to speak at a future WUDAC meeting.  Devala said he would call Casey.


Devala then turned the discussion to last month’s Westfield plea for support in their negotiations with WMATA to void an easement which is hindering development of that corner.  Concerns evolved around whether WUDAC should get involved with private property development or should just look at the connectivity issue.  Dan Thompson volunteered to draft a letter to be considered at the January meeting.


New Business: Lastly, Devala handed out notes from our retreat for discussion.  He will talk about the possibility of an evening walking tour this year at our next meeting.  He asked members to consider the items on the list and whether they would like to put them on our January agenda. 


Adjourn: 8:00pm   

Meeting Minutes, Monday November 17,2014

Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee

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

Meeting Minutes, Monday November 17, 2014


Members Present:  Devala Janardan(Chair), Derry Goberdhansingh, Carlos Perozo, William Moore, Mirza Donegan, Leah Haygood, Dan Thompson, Rick Kessler

Members Absent: Tom Stanton

Staff Present:  Ana Lopez van Balen, Director, Mid-County Regional Center

Guests:  Henriot St. Gerard, MCCAB.   Andrew and Mary Rollo, residents. Jim Agliata, Westfield.  Tami Axelrod, resident.

Call to Order:  6:35pm By Chair Devala Janardan, followed by introduction of members and guests.  October meeting minutes were approved with minor changes.

Community Concerns:  Andrew Rollo, resident, voiced two concerns.  The first issue related to a crumbling retaining wall behind the Giant food store.  Jim Agliata, an official from Westfield, was present and said he would look into it.  His next question was about the Capital Bikeshare coming to Wheaton.  Ana Lopez van Balen answered that when the Town Square opens they hope to participate but what we have now is due to grants.  She mentioned that there is a meeting on this next week.

Westfield Presentation:  Jim Agliata, a manager at Westfield, gave WUDAC an update on projects at the shopping center.  They are about a month away from signing an agreement with an upscale(unnamed) movie chain.  He then when on to highlight the ongoing negotiations with WMATA concerning a ramp to their garage which is impeding redevelopment of the old Ourisman site.  WUDAC members then gave feedback on the connectivity of Westfield to the Urban District and traffic improvements they felt were necessary.

Directors Report:  Ana Lopez van Balen reported that the Small Business Development Center from the University of Maryland has begun the education process with the businesses located around lot 13, urging them to attend upcoming meetings that will begin in January.  So far only about 30 businesses have signed up.  She asked all affected businesses to be part of the process now for you need to know if you qualify and not wait for the actual funding to appear.

She then continued with mention of the work of Alex Cartegena who is working for the county to assess the needs of the Artists in the Wheaton Community.  There are three meetings scheduled in December:

12/3 Hollywood East 6-9pm.  12/10 Limerick Pub 12-3pm. 12/13 Regional Service Center 10am-1pm

These informational meetings are critical for grants.

Ana then reported on an upcoming DOT meeting next Monday at 6pm during the WUDAC subcommittee meeting.  The topics will include infrastructure, bike lanes, and pedestrian enhancements.  She also noted that the Director of Permitting Services will speak tomorrow during the MCCAB meeting about Recipes for Success, e-plans and green codes and other topics.  Ana passed out Volunteer Registration forms for WUDAC members to complete and briefly noted an upcoming meeting on Ebola at the Silver Spring Civic Building on Nov. 25, 6-8pm

SubCommittee Reports:

Character:  Mirza Donegan spoke briefly about a draft letter to the County Executive concerning funding priorities for the Urban District.  A copy was handed to WUDAC members for review and later discussion

Arts & Entertainment:  Devala spoke of the need to get a list of artists for Alex Cartegena.  He noted that our A&E designation was in danger.  We need to discuss what is necessary to retain it.

Old Business:  Discussion then returned to the Funding Letter.  Some concerns were that we needed to request specific dollar amounts and also define certain wording in the document.  A motion was made and passed to send the letter with some edits.

Devala then reminded members of the upcoming mixer with the Wheaton & Kensington Chamber of Commerce and made note of those WUDAC members who would be attending.  He passed out an informational sheet which will be shared with those attending the mixer.  Lastly, Devala mentioned that the next subcommittee meetings are scheduled for December 15th.

Other Business:  Mirza Donegan reminded WUDAC that nominations for the BRT Corridor Advisory Committee are due by November 19th.

Adjourn:  8:00pm

Meeting Minutes Tuesday September 09, 2014

Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee

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

Meeting Minutes, Tuesday September 09, 2014


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

Members Absent:  Luis Bonilla

Staff Present:  Ana Lopez van Balen, Director, Mid-County Regional Center

Guests:  Brent Wise, Manager, Westfield Wheaton.  Adam Fogel, Staff to Councilmember Navarro.  Derry Goberdhansingh, resident

Call to Order:  6:04pm by Chair Devala Janardan.  Brief welcoming remarks were followed by member and guest introductions.  July Meeting Minutes were approved without changes.

Community Concerns:  In the absence of community concerns, Devala introduced Brent Wise, Manager, Westfield Wheaton

Westfield Wheaton: Brent Wise addressed WUDAC.  He started with brief background information on himself.  He then updated the status of the various stores and the merchandise mix and noted some of the recent newcomers.  He indicated that their Costco is one of the busiest on the East coast. He stated that Westfield is interested not only in national brands but also some regional players.  They are in talks concerning the old theater space.  He feels it’s important to attract a theater and more restaurants although he doesn’t think anything will happen along restaurant row until 2016.  He then took questions from WUDAC members.  Some issues of concern included the connectivity to the Triangle area and the clogged entryway into the shopping center.  Brent noted that 40% of traffic comes by Metro.  WUDAC member Henriot St. Gerard asked Brent to be aware that the closure of the Triangle during redevelopment may necessitate using Westfield for events such as the Taste of Wheaton.

Chair Report:  Devala Janardan spoke briefly about a Bicycle Pedestrian Priority Program. There will be hearings in the Fall.  He announced that our retreat will be Sept.  22. WUDAC member Tom Stanton announced that the event WonderFall Wheaton, scheduled for Veteran’s Park in October, will not go forward due to lack of business interest.  He would like to discuss at the retreat.

Director’s Report:  Ana Lopez van Balen spoke of some initiatives to benefit the business community.  She passed out a draft of a Business Toolkit for members to look at.  Also, she mentioned a project at DPS, Recipes For Success, a guide to help entrepreneurs open restaurants.   Ana mentioned that business owners should come to DPS for a design consultation before you sign a lease.  Other items she mentioned: a reminder that the FY2016 Budget process has begun, a law requiring landlords of a building over 50000sq feet to benchmark its energy use, a culinary walking tour on Sept. 20 hosted by Janet Yu, a Food Truck Fest on Sept. 27 and a community mixer with the Chamber of Commerce on Nov.19.  She also noted that TGIF was a big hit.  Family movies were the most popular and they hope to focus more on that next year.  Lastly, she shared that WUDAC member Nadia Sesay has resigned due to a new job.  A search for a new WUDAC Chamber of Commerce representative has begun.

County Council Update: Adam Fogel briefed WUDAC that the Council is back in session and had a meeting today.  Some issues coming before the Council will include public campaign financing, cybersecurity, real property transfer taxes, and sick leave. In addition, they will review recommendations from the Right to Vote task force and work on the  Fair Criminal Records(Ban the Box) legislation.  The Council will also discuss help for small businesses impacted by Wheaton Redevelopment for the FY2016 budget.

Old/Unfinished Business:  Devala opened the discussion of the Walking Tour by noting that we sent notes to Joe Callaway so that he could direct concerns to the correct department for action.  Next, the discussion turned to the formulation of a letter to elected officials about the Tour.  Devala passed out a handout highlighting our findings from the event.  A discussion followed about the structure of the letter and also whether there should be two letters.  A motion was made and passed to draft a letter to the County Executive and Council to thank them for attending the Walking Tour and highlight our takeaways and requests in conjunction with the Urban District requests for the Budget.

New Business: Devala talked briefly on the upcoming September 22 retreat.  It will be from 6-8pm. He asked that members think on goals to be accomplished this year.  Devala stated he is working on a master list and to please get him items that we feel should be a priority for WUDAC.  He envisioned that the agenda for the retreat will be 90 minutes discussion and then a 30 minute breakout.

Adjourn:  7:30pm