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Navarro, Riemer Introduce Wheaton Working Group

The redevelopment working group's members would be appointed by the Montgomery County Council.

Councilmembers Nancy Navarro and Hans Riemer introduced a resolution to the Montgomery County Council Tuesday morning calling for a Wheaton Revitalization Implementation Working Group, whose members would be appointed by the Council.

Action on the resolution tentatively is scheduled for July 17.

Here are some key aspects proposed for the Wheaton Revitalization Implementation Working Group, according to the resolution:

  • "The Working Group has 10 to 15 members. Members include community residents, business owners, other stakeholders in the Wheaton community, and a designee of the County Executive.  The Council must also invite representatives from the Maryland-­National Capital Park and Planning Commission and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to be members of the Group."
  • The group would "meet quarterly to review reports and studies from the Executive Branch, Council Staff, outside consultants, or any other entity determined relevant or necessary by the Working Group.  The Working Group may make recommendations to the Council and Executive."

The Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee, which met Tuesday evening, expressed some concern about how the working group would be formed.

WUDAC member Devala Janardan said that he saw the plans for the working group as “a tad bit hostile," since two groups already exist for discussing Wheaton redevelopment and revitalization--WUDAC and the Wheaton Redevelopment Advisory Committee.

“I think the existing groups should have enough notice and enough time to respond," Westfield representative and WUDAC member Matt Barry said.

Janardan added that the resolution was unclear on the definition of "stakeholders" and did not specify how the council would select working group members from the community.

WUDAC voted to send a letter to the council asking for more details about the selection process--and for more time to engage in dialogue with the council about the working group.

The Wheaton Redevelopment Advisory Committee is not scheduled to meet until July 18, the day after the council is tentatively scheduled to take action on the resolution.

Read the full resolution on the county council website.

ED July 12, 2012 at 02:27 AM
Anton - As I said before, I am not a staffer and have no official role with the County. I am a resident that is extremely concerned (like you and Commentous) about the future of Wheaton, my quality of life, and my property values. As such, I watch what the County Executive and the County Council are proposing very carefully. When I say "I've heard", I mean exactly that - I have no more information than any other resident in this area, I'm only relating what "I've heard". Commentous - "stakeholder's" are normally anyone that will be affected by a proposal. Personally, I don't believe "stakeholder's" should be renters because they have nothing to lose and do not have the same investment in the area, but, as far as the dictionary, they are considered "stakeholder's". I don't think anyone will have answers to your questions until the resolution is proposed by the County Council. In my opinion, this is a worthwhile group and I hope the group is formed. Also, I don't think the bar "is set low", I think the bar has been readjusted so that the taxpayer's are not stuck with some unrealistic expectancies. I firmly believe that Wheaton will redevelop (it's already started with MetroPointe, Safeway, & the Lowe's building) and that the Council plan will spark other investor's interest. I hope I am right.
AntonFisher July 12, 2012 at 12:37 PM
Let us be real here. The library is mostly used by high school students who depend on their parents to drive them to the library. A very very few take public transport, walk, or ride a bike there. The cost of metro and public transit in the County is prohibitive for students to use them for that. Most parents anyways, regardless of the cost of public transport, prefer to drive their kids to the library. Still, if public transportation is the only means for those people to get o the library, it is well served by WMATA and Ride-on buses.
Mike Smith July 12, 2012 at 02:46 PM
While high school students are major library users, they aren't the only users. Students also have the benefit of their libraries at school. According to the most recent library report to the community http://www6.montgomerycountymd.gov/content/libraries/newsandevents/reporttothecommunity.pdf 21% of MC survey respondents said they used County libraries to research job opportunities and 26% to improve career options, so libraries are providing important services to adults. Also downtown Wheaton is considerably better served by both Ride On and WMATA than the current location.
Sean August 04, 2012 at 07:27 AM
Couldn't reps from neighboring homeowners associations join the WRAC? There are currently some vacencies. My impression is that people haven't been applying.
Sean August 04, 2012 at 07:37 AM
My wife have been considering whether to renovate our Wheaton home. I have to say, however, that I'm having second thoughts. I believe that checks and balances are good but I'm concerned that the politicization of Wheaton's redevelopment is counterproductive. I don't remember Silver Spring encountering so much infighting. Maybe we should just make some minor changes and just sell. Sigh. The sad part is that no one is listening.

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