'What's Next for Wheaton' will be subject of community forum hosted by Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee (WUDAC) on Wednesday, July 18

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For Immediate Release: Friday, July 13, 2018 Community insights and priorities will be the focus from 6-9 p.m.at the Ana G. Mendez University A community forum entitled, “What’s Next for Wheaton,” will be hosted by the Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee (WUDAC) from 6-9 p.m. on Wednesday July 18, at the Ana G. Mendez University. The forum will share community insights and priorities and encourage stakeholders to commit to a vision for Wheaton redevelopment in the coming years. Ana G. Mendez University is located at 11006 Veirs Mill Rd. / No. L1 in Wheaton. The event will begin with a networking reception sponsored by the Wheaton/Kensington Chamber of Commerce from 6-6:30 p.m. WUDAC consists of 11 members—residents and business representatives—who were appointed by County Executive Ike Leggett and approved by the County Council. The committee provides guidance and advice on matters affecting the Wheaton Urban District and it has been closely the monitoring the Wheaton Revitalization Project. “While excited about its positive impact, we advocate for continued attention to the issues Wheaton faces,” said Leah Haygood, chair of WUDAC. “The three categories of priorities we have identified are Civic Space, Connectivity and Infrastructure/Administration.” In preparation for the forum, WUDAC collected input on those issues through surveys and focus groups. The survey received more than 300 responses. Those committed to participate in the forum include County Councilmembers Marc Elrich and Nancy Navarro, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Director Gwen Wright, Westfield Vice President for Development Jim Agliata and Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation Director David Petr. Wheaton is a diverse, transit-accessible community currently undergoing significant changes as part of the Wheaton Revitalization Project. The County is building a 14-story government office building that is scheduled for completion in 2020. In addition to the construction of the office building, the project will provide 397 below ground parking spaces, first floor retail space and a new town square. Most significantly impacted during construction is the Wheaton Triangle area between Veirs Mill Road and Georgia Avenue. The local roads that form the Triangle area include Grandview Avenue, Reedie Drive and Triangle Lane. The main occupant of the new building will be the relocated Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, which is now in Downtown Silver Spring. The 308,000 square-foot, LEED platinum certified Wheaton office building also will be home to several County departments including Permitting Services, Environmental Protection, Health and Human Services, Recreation and Community Use of Public Facilities. In addition, relocating to the new building will be the Wheaton Urban District and the Mid-County Regional Services Center. The construction of the office building and town square, a project managed by the Montgomery County Department of Transportation, is considered the start of revitalizing the area. “This community forum will bring together a host of County and private authorities on topics such as the revitalization project, traffic, pedestrian, bicycle and public safety, green spaces, needs of small businesses and Wheaton as an arts and entertainment district,” said Chair Haygood. “WUDAC is inviting the community to attend the forum to find out more about plans and to participate in the visioning for Wheaton’s future. We realize that our challenges require cooperation and coordination among the public and private sectors, and we are counting on the public and private sectors to work together.” Although registration is not required to attend the forum, the organizers would appreciate RSVPs to help in their planning. Those planning to attend can confirm by contacting Chair Haygood at leah@buzzword.com. They can also contact Luisa Montero-Diaz, director of the Mid-County Regional Services Office, at 240-777-8100 or at luisa.montero@montgomerycountymd.gov. # # # Release ID: 18-618 Media Contact: Patrick Lacefield 240-777-6528