Draft Minutes of FoWF’s Sept. 19th Board Meeting
** The following are draft minutes of the meeting held on September 19, 2013, of the Board of Directors of Friends of White Flint. These minutes will remain in draft form until approved at the next Board meeting. In the meantime, please email suggested edits to Info@WhiteFlint.org **
**Updated 10/16/13 to reflect italicized edits**
Draft Minutes of the May 23, 2013 FoWF Board of Directors Meeting
2013 Board of Directors Meeting
September 19, 2013, 6:30pm
Offices of Shulman Rogers, Potomac MD
The Friends of White Flint (FoWF) Board Meeting was called to order at 6:36pm at the offices of Shulman Rogers in Potomac. The agenda was prepared by Lindsay Hoffman. Present were Directors David Frieshtate, Mike Springer, Evan Goldman, Mike Smith and Greg Trimmer. Also present were approximately forty members and guests. Not present were Directors Suzanne Hudson, Todd Lewers, Ken Hurdle and Barnaby Zall. A quorum was present.
Approval of Minutes from May 23, 2013 Board Meeting
Draft minutes of the May 23, 2013, meetings were circulated via email, posted on the blog and available in hard copy. The motion to approve the minutes as written was made by Mike Smith, seconded by Mike Springer and unanimously approved.
No Treasurer’s report was available. We can incorporate a written report into the minutes
Friends of White Flint Update from Lindsay
**Membership: There are over 100 declared resident members and two new civic association members. New business members include Barwood Taxi, Chesapeake Public Strategies, the Bozzuto Group, Ize’s Deli & Bagelry, and Paladar Latin Kitchen. There are about nine total property owners.
**Events: Events since the May board meeting have included a monthly presence at the Pike Central Farmers Market, attending the Implementation Advisory Committee and Downtown Advisory Committee meetings, and participating in a video about Bus Rapid Transit. A fundraiser with Paladar Latin Kitchen is underway, taking place from September 18 to October 8. So far $300 has been raised. A future fundraiser is currently being planned for the winter, and may be a Monopoly tournament or casino night. Evan Goldman offered to help start the process of getting new members with the new businesses coming in; there may be possible fundraising opportunities with them. Amy Donin noted that during her outreach with old businesses, many of them seemed more hesitant to join.
Property Owner Updates
**Mike Smith, LCOR: Closing in The Aurora on schedule and under budget. Initial units will be delivered in May of 2014. The Aurora has 341 units; all Moderately Priced Dwelling Units (MPDUs) are spoken for. LCOR is thinking about the next project. Their parcel contains 32 acres and 2.7 million square feet of density; they built a million with the Aurora. They have a couple million more square feet of old grandfathered density, which they plan to use first.
**Greg Trimmer, JBG: Did not have many updates; they are happy with the opening of Paladar.
**Eddie Meder, Gables Residential: Their sketch plan is scheduled to go before the Planning Board on October 24. Their plan includes 450 to 475 units directly north of Wall Park, including the area that is currently the surface parking lot for the Kennedy Shriver Aquatic Center.
**Francine Waters, Lerner: The USPS told Francine that they received 40 letters from community members to keep the post office at White Flint Mall. However, it is impossible for the post office to stay in its exact location, so it would have to move to a temporary site. Francine said more letters need to be sent to USPS real estate specialist Richard Hancock. Francine relayed the message that Lerner wants to keep the post office on site in a temporary location; after redevelopment of the mall property it would move into a permanent space. Paul Meyer pointed out that USPS doesn’t like temporary spaces (as was explained at a community meeting on July 10), however, Brian Downie pointed out that the post office in Garrett Park moved to a trailer for a year. Mike Smith has a contact at USPS and will get Francine in touch with him.
**Brian Downie, B.F. Saul: There was a full review of the sketch plan for Metro Pike Shopping Center, including the McDonald’s nearby two days ago. The entire sketch plan included 5 buildings with retail lining the street. There will be one office building and four residential buildings (all rental apartments). There are a lot of streetscape activities and B.F. Saul is doing a lot of community outreach and is willing to meet with groups. So far, there is no schedule for this redevelopment (the sketch plan will be heard before the Planning Board on December 12).
**Evan Goldman, Federal Realty: FRIT has topped out two buildings of their Pike + Rose development. The first building will deliver next spring; the second will deliver in early 2015. Retail will be opening in September or October of 2014. They are leased/have letters of intent for 74% of the retail spaces. FRIT expects to be 100% leased when retail opens. FRIT recently released a list of six restaurants that will be part of phase one of the project. They are hoping to announce a lease with a local restaurant entrepreneur within the next two months, and recently signed a lease with a high end fitness club (Sport & Health Clubs). The site plan for phase 2 will be heard on October 10th. This plan includes another seven buildings, five of which will likely be built soon with an expected delivery in 2016. On October 26, FRIT will be at Pike Central Farmers Market to launch a “RePIKEalization” strategy. This event will be for all ages, and include wine/beer tasting. Invitations will be sent to local communities. FRIT is focused on creating place with neighborhood-oriented events. When asked about La Madeline, Evan responded that FRIT is working with them and they understand that there is a lot of community support to keep them. FRIT is moving Chipotle to where Sereneberry was, and they are spending money to renovate that corner of their land, which will include new landscaping and a façade. That corner piece will be one of the last parcels to redevelopment because of its proximity to metro; it has the most density.
Issues for Discussion
**Bus Rapid Transit: David Moon from Communities for Transit (CFT) was present to introduce the organization to the group. He circulated informational materials. FoWF is a member of CFT and has signed its Rapid Transit sign-on letter.
**Capital Improvement Projects Budget Requests: Requests from FoWF include the Western Workaround and Wall Park. Lindsay, Amy and Dan Reed from FoWF were present at the CIP Budget Forum in Bethesda on July 30.
**Western Workaround Status: There was a public hearing on September 18 on the abandonment of Executive Boulevard. Lindsay and others present were at the meeting. There was pushback from one community member who said her neighborhood didn’t receive notice and wanted a cost/benefit analysis as well as information about traffic calming. The record will remain open for two more weeks and anyone can weigh in. Dee Metz from the County Executive’s office explained that the road won’t be abandoned until a new road is open for traffic. This hearing was the County Executive’s public hearing; the issue will go before the County Council next. Greg Trimmer pointed out that the cost/benefit analysis was completed during the sector plan process. Dee said because there were people present from many different organizations that supported the abandonment as a necessary part of the sector plan, writing letters was probably not necessary, though a letter from Luxmanor would be helpful since most of the people against abandonment were from that community. Jordan Cooper from the Luxmanor Citizen’s Association explained that there will be an event on October 10 for developers in the White Flint area.
**Wall Park: There were about 40-50 people at a community meeting held by the Department of Parks on September 18. Dan and Amy from FoWF were present at the meeting (read our blog post about the meeting here). There were many concerns about parking, safety, and disruption to current pool activities.
**Department of Health and Human Services Shelter: At the previous Downtown Advisory Committee meeting, director of DHHS Uma Ahluwalia explained that the county will be consolidating two shelters, currently located in Bethesda and Rockville, into one in at 5320 Marinelli Road. Lindsay is concerned that there was no community engagement on this decision, and both she and Evan Goldman support keeping the existing shelters open in addition to adding a shelter to better meet the needs of the homeless population in the county. While the current facilities are in poor condition, they noted that the new facility is currently in an office building and would have to be renovated anyway. Amy spoke to Uma Ahluwalia earlier in the day; she said DHHS could be present at the next board meeting.
**Washington Gas: is reassessing and, possibly, scrapping plan for their tower.
**Bethesda Trolley Trail lighting: the Timberlawn HOA is still very concerned about the lack of lighting on the Trolley Trail. Parts of it are lit by different HOAs. The Timberlawn HOA is currently door knocking to gain support for this issue. Sergei Chernov, of Timberlawn Homeowners Association, explained that Montgomery County DOT (MCDOT) has requested a grant from Maryland DOT to light part of the path; ultimately a certain portion would be funded by the state, another portion by the county and another portion ($5,000 to $10,000) by the community. The grant MCDOT asked for was $120,000. There is some concern about light shining into homes, but the light can be shielded to directly light the path. Originally the community was looking at shorter lights but county code requires taller lights. The community is also concerned about the trail itself; some parts are in bad shape which presents a serious safety issue. Some noted that the Capital Crescent Trail has more ambient urban light, which may happen with the Trolley Trail as White Flint develops. Evan Goldman suggested that the NIH bikers club should send a letter. Cindy Gibson from Councilmember Roger Berliner’s suggested they reach out to him as well.
**FoWF Website: Paul Meyer mentioned that the FoWF website should have a “Key Links” page, with information on major developments. Chad Salganik, technology manager for FoWF, is working on this page with Lindsay. It should be online in early November. Amy added a calendar to the website earlier in the week.
Items from the floor
** Ed Reich from Georgetown Village Condominium mentioned a concern about being able to get out of his development. There is a continuous stream of traffic from Old Georgetown Road to Nicholson Lane, including a free right turn lane so there is constant traffic in front of his development. However, it is difficult to make a left turn. He is worried that additional development will aggravate this traffic, and requested that the free right be governed by a light. This concern led to a broader discussion of how the light at Nicholson and Executive has been raised in the past; it doesn’t stay green long enough for people to cross the street, particularly for seniors, parents with children, etc. Ed requested an evaluation; Dee said she will take this issue to MCDOT and loop back with Ed, Cindy Gibson, and FoWF. Paul Meyer who is on the safety subcommittee of the Downtown Advisory Committee will bring this issue to that forum. Lindsay and Dan pointed out that bike and pedestrian areas are part of the Countywide Transit Corridors Functional Master Plan. Dee said the state created this concept, though it hasn’t been implemented yet. Evan Goldman added that it is good to be specific about concerns as more bicyclists and pedestrians come to the area. David Walters wants to do a survey about sidewalks; not all sidewalks are part of the plan. Lindsay said she would look into it; the original planning group walked around the area to see what streets needed. Dee said the sidewalks along Wisconsin are state roads, which need repairs; they are looking at repairing and not replacing these sidewalks. The Downtown Advisory Committee will look into these issues further.
**Montrose East: Cindy Gibson explained that this is in the capital budget and will be looked at in the Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment (T&E) committee at the County Council. Dee added that a lot more will be clear at the end of the year.
At 8:15pm the quorum was lost. Voting on the following items will take place online.
Discussion of proposal by CityBlock Solutions to continue providing professional services
CityBlock Solutions currently provides services for all FoWF activities. FoWF’s contract with CityBlock is due to be renewed. Lindsay offered a presentation incorporating the proposal. Because no quorum was present the final discussion and vote will occur over email.
Election of new members to Board of Directors
At the May board meeting, the Board of Directors voted to add 1 board member to each of the three categories of membership (resident, business, and property owner/developer), bringing the total number of the Board of Directors to 12. FoWF received one application for each category: Chad Salganik for residents, Howard Feldman for businesses, and Francine Waters for property owners/developers. There were no other nominations from the floor. Additionally, there was a proposal from Mike Springer of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to have Jim Schaeffer, director of space planning and consolidation for the NRC, to take over his board position. Mike Springer is leaving the NRC before his term is over. Because no quorum existed, the final discussion and vote will occur over email.
Greg Trimmer motioned and Mike Smith seconded to adjourn the meeting; adjournment was unanimously approved at 8:29pm.
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