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.