Monday, December 3, 2012
The committee received updates on redevelopment in downtown Wheaton and the selection of an architect for the Wheaton Library and recreation center project.
The Wheaton Redevelopment Advisory Committee discussed the Wheaton Library project, redevelopment on Parking Lot 13, and Wheaton’s small businesses at its Nov. 28 meeting at the Mid-County Regional Services Center. Wheaton Library Greg Ossont, deputy director of the Department of General Services for Montgomery County, presented an update on the progress of the Wheaton Library and Recreation Center project, which would combine the two facilities on Georgia Avenue into new building. Ossont told the advisory committee that the county has decided to use Grimm + Parker, an architecture firm with offices in Calverton, MD, and McClean, VA. Grimm + Parker is already under contract with the county. Redevelopment advisory committee members …
Thursday, November 15, 2012
The survey results will help Montgomery County's Department of Economic Development, as it tries to flesh out a new small business assistance program.
A survey of small businesses in the Wheaton Urban District found that the top three "immediate business concerns" are parking, rent and safety. The Wheaton Redevelopment Program, which is part of the county's Department of General Services, conducted the survey in April and May. There was a 36 percent response rate; of the 298 surveys given to businesses, 108 were returned. Peter McGinnity of the Wheaton Redevelopment Program said the survey will help to inform the county's Department of Economic Development, as it tries to flesh out Bill 6-12. The bill, which was passed earlier this year by the County Council, calls for assistance to small businesses negatively affected by county development projects. The survey showed that the top …
Friday, April 13, 2012
The revised language adds small business and job creation opportunities.
What did the Coalition for the Fair Redevelopment of Wheaton get out of Tuesday's straw vote at the Montgomery County Council? Compare the language originally included in the council staff proposal and the revisions proposed by the Coalition and adopted by the council. Changes are in bold. PROPOSED LANGUAGE: "The Executive will brief the Council regarding the outcome of these studies before the Executive resumes negotiating the terms of any General Development Agreement." PROPOSED REVISION: "The Executive will brief the Council regarding the outcome of these studies and any planning or negotiations regarding job opportunities and training as well as small business protections before the Executive resumes negotiating the terms of any …
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
To prepare for Tueday's council discussion of Wheaton redevelopment, get the overview of the latest memo from council staff.
Tuesday morning, the Montgomery County Council is scheduled to discuss Wheaton redevelopment. The session will be streamed live online at 10 a.m. On Friday, senior legislative analyst Jacob Sesker released a packet of information that will inform Tuesday’s council proceedings. Under discussion is the CIP request for the Wheaton Redevelopment Program. Here’s the packet in a nutshell: Comparing the three visions for Wheaton redevelopment County Executive Isiah Leggett recommended the following (see page 5): At its March 12 meeting, the Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee recommended the following: The alternative PDF, released Friday, recommends the following (see pages 3-4): Parking In response to concerns about parking …
Friday, April 6, 2012
The Montgomery County Council will meet April 10 to consider the three visions proposed by the county executive, the PHED committee, and the council staff.
Tuesday night, as the polls around Montgomery County closed after a day of dismal voter turnout, about 25 people met to discuss the future of Wheaton redevelopment, which the Montgomery County Council will take up again April 10. They were all there to talk with Jacob Sesker, the senior legislative analyst whose alternate proposal in March for Wheaton redevelopment has caused quite a stir recently, and who today released a third proposal. Around the table that night at Crossway Community in Kensington sat representatives from community groups, the county's executive branch, councilmembers’ offices, and county executive-backed advisory committees. Marian Fryer, the leader of the Wheaton Citizen's Coalition, said she had convened the meeting…
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Ash Kosiewicz of the Coalition for the Fair Redevelopment of Wheaton called the legislation "a real commitment to this community."
- Ben Gross
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Several small business owners from downtown Wheaton testified at Tuesday night's public hearing in support of Bill 6-12, Economic Development – Small Business Assistance. The bill would “establish a program to assist small businesses located in either an enterprise zone or an urban renewal area of the County who are adversely impacted by a County redevelopment project or a redevelopment project located on County property.” Many of the hearing attendees were mobilized by the Coalition for the Fair Redevelopment of Wheaton. The Coalition—with more than 500 members—is one of the more vocal and active groups supporting Wheaton’s redevelopment, as long as small business owners don't get the short end of the stick. Ash Kosiewicz, director of …
Thursday, February 16, 2012
As the Capital Improvements Program comes under scrutiny in the Montgomery County Council, supporters of Wheaton redevelopment plans are anxious that councilmembers approve funding.
Wheaton redevelopment would transform the downtown area with a hotel, office buildings and a new town square. But those who support redevelopment fear those plans will slip through their fingers, as competing projects in the county’s CIP budget threaten to edge Wheaton out of the picture. “I don’t want to sound the alarm, but it is not a done deal,” Ana Lopez van Balen, director of the Mid-County Regional Services Center, said at a Feb. 14 meeting of the Wheaton and Kensington Chamber of Commerce, which supports redevelopment. “It is a critical moment for this project.” The Montgomery County Council’s Planning, Housing, and Economic Development committee will meet on Feb. 29 at 9:30 a.m. to discuss the CIP recommendations of $41 million …
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
The Coalition for the Fair Redevelopment of Wheaton says the Montgomery County executive's proposed $40 millon in public money for the Wheaton Redevelopment should come with a clear idea of the benefits to the community.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Wheaton residents asked the Montgomery County executive about redevelopment and the Wheaton Library renovation.
Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett answered questions about his newly released recommendations for the Capital Improvements Program, or CIP budget, during the Jan. 17 budget forum at the Mid-County Community Recreation Center. Wheaton residents asked Leggett about redevelopment’s potential impact on small businesses and the CIP delays for the combined Wheaton Library and recreation center renovations. Although the event was publicized as an opportunity for Leggett "to seek input from residents about Fiscal Year 2013 operating budget priorities," according to the official county news release, many county residents who attended had more to say about the CIP budget, which was made available to the public this week. The county executive …
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Wheaton coalition wants a community benefits agreement as a precondition for the general development agreement.
The Coalition for the Fair Redevelopment of Wheaton has suggested that B.F. Saul, a major developer in the downtown area, negotiate a community benefits agreement, or CBA. A CBA is a legally binding document where the developer agrees to certain requests by community organizations in exchange for the community's support. CBA's have been a contentious topic in Montgomery County recently, as the county council deliberates a bill that would require big-box retailers to sit down with three civic associations and try to produce a CBA. At the Nov. 16 Wheaton Redevelopment Advisory Committee meeting, the Coalition said it wants a CBA as a precondition of the General Development Agreement with B.F. Saul. A WRAC subcommittee has endorsed the …