After August Break, WUDAC Returns With Optimism

The Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee met Tuesday, after going on break in August, to assess its priorities for the upcoming year.

Redevelopment issues have occupied much of the Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee's time and energy during its last term. During the controversial debate over which redevelopment plan the Montgomery County Council would approve in May, WUDAC struggled to make its voice heard.

Ultimately, . But after a period of frustration and disappointment, the committee has renewed its optimism. It has also welcomed new members and new leadership.

Henriot St. Gerard, presiding over his first meeting as WUDAC chair on September 11, outlined these priorities for the upcoming term:

  • Bringing Wheaton to the limelight by building upon its designation as an Arts and Entertainment District in Montgomery County. 
  • Engaging the community as WUDAC raises its profile and makes itself more accessible for community concerns.
  • Energizing business ties, so that local businesses can use WUDAC as a resource for promoting their services.

WUDAC members represent residents, businesses, the Wheaton and Kensington Chamber of Commerce and the Mid-County Citizens Advisory Board. They are selected by the county executive and confirmed by the county council. The committee meets on the second Tuesday of the month in the from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Commentous September 13, 2012 at 02:20 PM
I'd like to see residences as part of the Wheaton Triangle. I know that we already have the MNCPPC building and Safeway property coming in, but I still think that if we have solely businesses in the heart of the Triangle, we will lose a great opportunity. I would suspect that we'd get insufficient foot traffic with disposable income to support the growth of the types of businesses many residents want. I am not talking about the development of big box stores either; I am talking about restaurants, art stores, ice cream stores, jewelers, bike stores, places for kids to do things, etc. I am talking about truly eclectic and diverse businesses; such businesses reflected Wheaton a decade ago much more than they do today. As a secondary issue, without significant foot traffic at night, there may not be a feeling of safety in the Triangle, which would further diminish the area's possibilities. It's true that if rents go up, some businesses with tight profit margins will struggle. Such is capitalism. On the other hand, many existing businesses could get a boost from more disposable income. In addition, desirable new businesses might consider opening in one of Wheaton's seemingly endless for-lease storefronts. Good luck to WUDAC and thanks for your commitment to the area.
Henriot St. Gerard September 13, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Commentous we welcome your input at our meetings. Feel free to attend for we have time blocked off to allow members of the community to speak.
Commentous September 14, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Thanks for the invitation. If I can make it, I certainly will come, but if I can't I wanted to make sure that my viewpoint was at least considered.


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