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Wheaton Residents Discuss Future Development Plans (PHOTOS)

Over 50 Wheaton residents came out for a walking tour on Saturday to discuss future development plans of the area. The Wheaton Walking Tour was hosted by the Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee (WUDAC) and the Coalition for Smarter Growth.Wheaton Redevelopment Plan

A new redevelopment plan for downtown Wheaton would include construction of a new Montgomery Parks and Planning office building, a town square area and an apartment building. Infrastructure upgrades in addition to the buildings, would aim to make pedestrian and transit options more accessible for residents. The plans also include an underground parking structure with nearly 400 parking spaces.

Luisa Montero-Diaz is the director of the Mid-County Regional Service Center.

“This is a real opportunity for residents and business owners that are interested in downtown Wheaton to come out and talk to officials and experts about resources on the different issues that are of interest,” Montero-Diaz said.

Top concerns for residents include, pedestrian safety, access to affordable housing, relocation of area businesses, and automobile traffic. Several people voiced opposition to a plan to keep Reedie Road open to traffic rather than closing the street completely to make way for a plaza. Wheaton 4

Marian Fryer has been a Wheaton resident for over 40 years and has previously served as chair of the WUDAC.

“It’s important for me to know what’s going on in my community and to be a part of that and to make sure our citizens are getting what they need,” Fryer said. “I just feel its my responsibility to be involved in the town where I live.”

County officials say the first stage of the redevelopment plan would likely start later this year and take nearly 28 months to complete. The first phase of the plan which includes a new office building, would likely be complete sometime in 2019. Phase two of the plan which includes apartments, remains under discussion.

The County and WUDAC plan to hold more meetings on the project in the near future. To learn more, visit the WUDAC website.

Willie James Inman

About Willie James Inman

Willie James Inman is a Community Engagement Specialist and Multimedia Journalist at Montgomery Community Media (MCM). You can email story ideas at winman@mymcmedia.org or reach him on Twitter @imwilljames.

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