At their Feb. 21 meeting, members of the Mid-County Citizens Advisory Board discussed Wheaton Redevelopment and the relocation of Fire Station 18 in Glenmont.
Here are some highlights from the meeting:
Fire Station 18
Khalid Afzal, the chief planner for the Wheaton Sector Plan, spoke to MCCAB about why the Montgomery County Planning Board has disapproved the county’s application to build a fire station on the WMATA Triangle in Glenmont. This fire station would replace Fire Station 18, currently located at the corner of Georgia Avenue and Randolph Road.
The Planning Board objects to the design proposed by the Department of General Services because of traffic circulation concerns, according to a Jan. 4 memo. The county submitted the proposal to the Planning Board for a mandatory referral review, but the county is not bound by the Planning Board’s decision and can still move forward with the project, Afzal said. “It’s advisory, it’s not binding,” he said.
After listening to Afzal’s explanation, MCCAB voted to invite a county representative to come before the board and give the rationale behind the county’s fire station design.
Councilmember Nancy Floreen, who chairs the Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee in the Montgomery County Council, spoke to MCCAB about budget concerns. “We more or less feel like we have a rifle pointed at our heads from Annapolis,” she said, referring to the consideration at the state level to shift teacher pension costs to counties--a move that would drastically affect the county budget.
Kieran McHargue, who chairs MCCAB’s budget committee, asked Floreen about the Wheaton Redevelopment in the county CIP budget, and whether the proposed $41 million is competing with a Purple Line project--construction funds for the Bethesda South Metro entrance.
“Oh, don’t worry about that,” Floreen responded. “Just because people ask questions doesn’t mean the project is in doubt or competing with other projects.”
“I think it’s important to make a major push for Wheaton at this time,” she later added. ”I think there’s general support moving forward.”
Kieran McHargue proposed sending a letter to the county council in support of Wheaton Redevelopment in the CIP budget. “I think it’s critical that we support this effort,” McHargue said. “We in Wheaton have waited a long time for this.”
Councilmember Floreen did not agree with McHargue when he said that the funding for Wheaton Redevelopment is most likely in jeopardy.
“Who told you it was in jeopardy?” Councilmember Floreen responded. “I don’t think it’s in jeopardy.”
MCCAB voted to send an amended version of the letter, softening the tone but staying true to the central concern.
Latino Youth Collaborative
Karla Silvestre, the county executive’s Latino Liaison, gave a presentation about the Latino Youth Collaborative. Silvestre said an oversight group is now working to implement the second round of the steering committee's December 2010 recommendations, which address Latino youth in Montgomery County Public Schools and the wider community.
Position on MCCAB
MCCAB will review seven applicants to fill an open position on the board.
Mid-County Citizens Advisory Board meets monthly on the third Tuesday of the month, starting at 7 p.m. in the Mid-County Regional Services Center.