June 7, 2017

Groundbreaking Ceremony Held for the Wheaton Revitalization Project

The groundbreaking ceremony for the Wheaton Revitalization Project was held on June 4. The project will transform the existing Mid-County Regional Services Center building and adjacent parking lot into a County office building, Town Square civic space, underground parking garage, Triangle Lane retail space and ultimately, a residential building. The new development will remake the downtown Wheaton Triangle which is located at 11219 Grandview Avenue.

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation is leading the effort for the project. The 308,000-square-foot office building will house six Montgomery County departments and agencies and the headquarters for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

The first level of the building will add more than 11,000 square-feet of new retail space along Triangle Lane. The project will include an underground parking garage with 397 public parking spaces and a 35,000 square-foot Town Square. Other amenities will include a stage, amphitheater-style seating, publicly available WiFi, a community water feature, an art sculpture and open space for community gatherings and activities.

For more information about Wheaton Revitalization, visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/wheatondev

County Executive Ike Leggett Joins Thousands of Leaders Who Say “We Are Still In” on Paris Climate Agreement

On June 5 County Executive Ike Leggett joined more than 1,000 U.S. governors, county executives, mayors, businesses, investors, and colleges and universities in declaring their support for U.S. leadership in reducing carbon emissions.

The leaders sent a strong signal to the international community and the 194 other parties to the Paris Agreement about their continued ambitious action on climate change absent leadership at the federal level. To read the letter go to wearestillin.com.

Montgomery County has always been a leader in reducing emissions and is nationally recognized for its best practices in increasing energy efficiency, growing renewable energy sources and reducing greenhouse gases as much as possible.

To reduce its own footprint, County Government has increased the number of electric and hybrid vehicles in its fleet, installed solar energy panels on many County buildings, and continues to be one of the nation’s largest local government purchasers of renewable energy. For details on these and other initiatives and accomplishments in energy sustainability in County facilities, see the FY16 Sustainable Government Operations Report.

The County has adopted a transportation policy that considers ecosystem and climate impacts, reduces and prevents waste and pollution, and focuses on reducing energy consumption. The result is a balanced approach that includes extensive transit, ridesharing, bicycling and walking opportunities that serve all County residents, visitors and workers. For details on this policy, see Sustainability Policy: Moving Forward Together.

To help businesses and residents in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the County has established innovative financing tools to increase investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades through the implementation of a Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, and by becoming the first County in the nation to establish a Green Bank. For details on these and other initiatives and accomplishments to promote sustainability in the County in collaboration with residents, businesses and other community-based organizations, see the 2017 Office of Sustainability Annual Report.

Calling all Film Fans! Free Montgomery College Summer Foreign Film Festival

A free foreign film festival is coming to Montgomery College this summer. The Monday evening film series will explore the 1960’s. The films will be shown at the Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center located at 51 Mannakee Street in Rockville.

All films begin at 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public. Visit website for more information.

Montgomery County Council Unanimously Approves Budget for Fiscal Year Beginning July 1

The Montgomery County Council unanimously approved a $5.4 billion County operating budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, a 2.8 percent increase over the approved budget for FY 17 on May 25. The budget strongly supports Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery College, the County’s public safety programs and the safety net services provided by the County and non-profit organizations. The Council gave preliminary approval to the budget on May 18.

The budget will go into effect on July 1. Find more about the updated information available.

County Executive Ike Leggett’s Statement on Lawsuit Brought by Montgomery County to Recover Costs Associated with Delivering a Safe and Durable Silver Spring Transit Center

County Executive Ike Leggett made the following statement about the lawsuit brought by Montgomery County to recover costs associated with delivering a safe and durable Silver Spring Transit Center.
"I am pleased that the County has settled the lawsuit we brought to recover taxpayer costs associated with the repair and remediation of the Silver Spring Transit Center. This is very much in the public interest. The $25 million payment to the County will cover 90 percent of the hard costs we incurred to deliver a safe and durable Silver Spring Transit Center.”

Local Elected Officials Request the Federal Aviation Administration to Address Airplane Noise

County Executive Ike Leggett joined by Senator Chris Van Hollen, Senator Ben Cardin, Representative John Delaney, Representative Jamie Raskin and County Council President Roger Berliner are working together to relieve the increased air traffic noise that is impacting more than 20,000 homes in Montgomery County.

The increased air traffic is caused by the 2015 implementation of the Washington, D.C. Optimization of Airspace and Procedures in the Metroplex. These procedural changes shifted flight patterns into Ronald Reagan International Airport, which caused the increased noise.

On May 5, the officials sent a letter to Federal Aviation (FAA) Administrator Michael P. Huerta requesting a thorough review of the increased aircraft traffic caused by the shifted flight paths and all documents relating to the environmental review.

Concerned residents have formed the MC Quiet Skies Coalition, which is an alliance of concerned citizens and community associations in the County who are living under newly formed flight paths. The group is committed to work with residents, elected officials, the FAA and others to resolve the excessive levels of noise, air pollution, and health and safety risks imposed on our communities by the FAA’s flight paths and procedures at Reagan. Visit website for more information on the coalition.

Montgomery County to Host a Public Meeting to Discuss Proposed Zoning Changes to Address Small Cell Antennas in Neighborhoods

Change is coming to wireless technology at a swift pace. On one hand, we all welcome the coming transformation that will allow us to stream information and videos at high speed in our homes and businesses, but on the other hand, many of us are questioning the need for the antennas and equipment that will deploy this technology in our residential neighborhoods.

Montgomery County is on the forefront of these challenges for two important reasons: 1) Montgomery has recently received an unprecedented number of applications to deploy these small cell antennas in residential neighborhoods around the County, and 2) the Federal government (Federal Communications Commission - FCC) is right now considering preempting local governments’ zoning authority over siting these antennas. It is this local zoning authority that allows local governments across the country to regulate how and where these antennas are placed in residential neighborhoods and commercial areas.

In May, County Executive Ike Leggett took a delegation of County technology experts, Councilmember Hans Riemer, Congressman Jamie Raskin and representatives from the offices of Senators Ben Cardin, Senator Chris Van Hollen, Congressman John Sarbanes and Congressman John Delaney to the FCC to meet with Chairman Ajit Pai and his staff. Leggett strongly advocate against federal preemption of local zoning authority, and asked Pai to help allay the public’s health concerns about these small cell antennas by updating the federal RF emissions standards, which have not been revised since 1996.

Leggett requested the County’s Department of Information Technology Services (DTS) to work with the County Attorney to develop zoning regulations to protect residential neighborhoods from a proliferation of small cell antennas while still allowing wireless providers to deploy their new technology in the County. Federal law is clear on this matter: local governments cannot put regulations in place that would prohibit providers from providing service.

The County will hold an information meeting for the public on these proposed zoning changes on June 14 at 7 p.m. in the Cafeteria at the Executive Office Building at 101 Monroe Street in Rockville.

View the County Executive’s letter to the FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

Office of Community Partnerships Middle Eastern American Advisory Group Denounces the June 3 Terrorist Attack in London

The Middle Eastern American Advisory Group -- volunteers with the Montgomery County, Maryland Office of Community Partnerships serving as advisors to the County Executive made a statement denouncing the June 3 Terrorist attack in London. Read the full statement (pdf).

For more information, visit Middle Eastern American Advisory Group website.

Get Ticked Off About Lyme Disease; Here’s What You Need to Know to Protect You and Your Family

deer tick
As summer moves into full swing, County health officials urge residents to learn about Lyme disease and how to protect themselves when they are outdoors.

Lyme disease is an illness caused by the Borrellia Burgdorferi bacteria and is spread by the bite of a tick infected with the bacteria. Symptoms of Lyme disease may include headache, fever, muscle and joint-aches, fatigue and a rash often characterized by a distinctive “bull’s-eye” appearance. If left untreated, Lyme disease can progress to more serious problems, including joint and muscle-swelling and heart disease.

Read more about how to protect yourself and your family from Lyme Disease at montgomerycountymd.gov/lymedisease.

Montgomery County Department of Recreation’s “MoCo’s Got Talent” is a Winning Event

Montgomery County’s Department of Recreation held the grand finale performance for the fourth annual MoCo’s Got Talent contest on Sunday, May 21. The Recreation department’s Youth Development Team hosted the special event at the Fillmore in Silver Spring. This unique talent competition took place throughout the spring as more than 70 youth competed to earn a spot in the finals. The emphasis of the show was to promote the importance of keeping the Arts alive and thriving in the County for all young people.

Winners were selected by local art professionals who rated finalists on the following criteria: creativity, originality, quality, audience appeal and skill level.

See photos from flickr album.


Music Category

  • 1st-Leanna Rathbun, junior at Sherwood HS
  • 2nd-Lancie Kear, freshman at Paint Branch

Dance category

  • 1st-Tribal Dancers from Blair, Wheaton, Springbrook and Watkins Mill HS
  • 2nd-Unique Image, Gaithersburg HS

Visual arts awards

  • Middle School-Larisa Kachko from Rosa Parks MS
  • High School-Will Flaig from Northwest HS

Created with flickr slideshow.