A capacity crowd turned out for the community forum entitled, “What’s Next for Wheaton” held on July 18. Hosted by the Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee (WUDAC), the forum shared community insights and priorities from a panel of experts, elected officials and community members on their respective visions for Wheaton redevelopment in the coming years.
WUDAC collected information from the forum and gathered input from hundreds of residents who responded to a survey and thorough focus groups. The feedback will be reviewed at the next WUDAC meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 11. The meeting will be held in the upstairs meeting room of the interim Wheaton Library located above the Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad at 2400 Arcola Road. Everyone is invited to the meeting.
Much of the evening’s discussion centered on the desire of the thriving Wheaton community to have an arts and cultural facility. In addition, the evening addressed how to build a better link between the Westfield Wheaton Mall and the downtown district of small businesses that are located nearby. Improving transportation routes for vehicles and bicycles and sidewalks for pedestrians was a constant theme of the forum.
WUDAC consists of 11 residents and business representatives 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 is closely the monitoring the Wheaton Revitalization Project.
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.
More information about the forum and the project is available here