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APRIL 2016
Newsletter of the Kensington Heights Civic Association
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>>April Executive Committee Meeting -- We're Skipping This Month
We’re going to enjoy the spring weather and try to keep up with our yards. Hope everyone has a great April! 
>>Yard Signs to Discourage Speeding 
KHCA is ordering 25 red and white 18X24” yard signs with the slogan “Drive Like Your Kids Live Here” so we can obtain a bulk price of only $10 per sign. We are making them available to Kensington Heights residents who would like to remind those speeding through our neighborhood to SLOW DOWN AND LOOK AROUND! We especially encourage those on our main thoroughfares – Plyers Mill, McComas, Jennings, and Drumm – to put a sign out. We would ask for a donation of $10 to cover KHCA’s costs, but let us know if you can’t afford that but would still like to join the effort.We expect to have the signs in about 10 days. Please contact Karen Cordry ( if you’d like a sign and she’ll let you know when they come in.

>>KHCA Membership Meeting Held March 16
The Membership Meeting was well attended on March 16 – perhaps drawn by the offer of a $25 gift card to the Mall. Mark Meszaros, our esteemed Vice-President, won the drawing! Our guests were Emily Brophy, the new Manager at Westfield Wheaton, and Luisa Montero-Diaz, the still fairly-new Director of the Mid-County Services Center. We caught up on KHCA news and then had a lively discussion with our guests.
Here are some of the highlights:
Land Use  
Outlot B, which is near the Giant entrance to the Mall is being built on now and will have 23-24 townhomes and 1 single family home. It will be called Kensington Overlook.  The other major area – Mount McComas – is still being held in abeyance until the Overlook property is done and starting to sell so there isn’t the competition there. So, our sledding hill will still be there for another year or so, but we’ll still be missing that link of the sidewalk on McComas until then.
See Traffic Committee Report below. There will be one small sidewalk link built at 3001-3003 McComas. We are also going to see about moving forward with sidewalks on Bentley/Jutland. The neighbors need to support it. We will also be checking to see if the west side of KH can get on the county list for repaving as occurred on the east side.
Treasurer's Report
There is $1345.72 in the KHCA general account – this money is used to rent space for meetings, provide supplies & equipment for summer, and/or other events. We are also spending $25/month on web hosting expenses. Suggested donation for KHCA is $10 per person and $20 per household. You can go online at the KHCA website to make your donation to help support  the Assocation’s work.
Villages of Kensington
VoK opened officially on January 31. MoCo Executive Ike Leggett came to the event, and the open house was visited by 80 people.
West Mall: Emily Brophy, Westfield Mall General Manager
  • AMC Movie Development: AMC took over the existing theater in the mall, and hope to open by summer 2016. There will be a courtyard and open stairwell. The open area will be where the Verizon Wireless was. There will be 9 screens and stadium seating. A full service restaurant, Bar Louie, will come in that area as well. Bar Louie expects to open in April. At least one more restaurant (name unknown since they are still negotiating) will be added there as well. The UPS store will move over to the main mall.
  • Tilted Kilt Restaurant/Bar:: Expect a summer opening. The restaurant sees its heaviest traffic for happy hour 4-7pm. All late night events will have to be approved by mall management. Normal closing hours will be 11-12 pm, not into the small hours of the morning. The Tilted Kilt will be in the old mall management offices. There will also be a patio facing the exterior.
  • Pedestrian Safety: Ms Brophy is trying to get funding from Westfield HQ for an ADA compliant crosswalk across the parking lot to the area of the new developments on the Party City wing. Sending her a letter from KHCA requesting the crosswalk would help her get it done.
Some of the questions to Ms Brophy included: a) whether there are functioning cameras on the staircase and ramps leading away from the mall – Answer: no, not yet, so we need to keep the pressure up for this; b) what are they doing to get trash out of the forest buffer  -- Answer: not enough but she will speak to the Mall’s maintenance team on this; and c) a number of questions about the wall, sidewalk, and pedestrian safety improvements we had discussed with the prior management – Answer: she wasn’t really up to speed on these issues, so KHCA has forwarded her a lot of information on this and we have asked for a meeting to follow up on these so they don’t keep falling through the cracks (some are dependent on getting the gas station appeal off the table once and for all). We also asked about whether the Mall had any plans about doing mixed-use development going forward and she indicated they would like to add residences near the theatre but that’s still a good ways off.
Mid-County Regional Services Center: Luisa Montero, Director
In the next 3 years there will be significant changes in the Wheaton Urban District.
  • Library: An interim Wheaton Library will open up on the second floor of the Wheaton Rescue Center with a few books and some laptops. This interim library will be there for 21/2 years.
  • Used Books: Will move to the Silver Spring Library on Colesville Rd until Wheaton re-opens. It will move back then.
  • Parking & Construction in Lot 13: parking lot will close in October. Reedie will close in 2017. Grand View will remain open. Some tenants in the Mid-County Services Building will move to the North and South Towers in Wheaton. The Regional Services Center will stay in Wheaton, they are not sure where yet.
  • Parks and Planning, plus the new Regional Services Center, and some other MoCo departments will move into the new building. Parks and Planning will have a large presentation areas that community groups could use
  • Residential building: still in the works, not designed yet.
  • Small businesses: for 109 small businesses around Lot 13 MoCo will partner with them, give technical assistance, allow them to apply for grants if they can prove that their business will be hurt by the construction.
  • At Blueridge and Georgia, Avalon Bay is building apartments focused on Millennials

>>Costco Gas Station
The Court of Special Appeals has finally set a briefing schedule for Costco’s appeal.Their opening brief is due on May 10; our brief (and the County’s brief) will be due 30 days later.The oral argument will be scheduled for some time during the first two weeks of January 2017 and the decision will issue after that when the court gets it done (there is no timetable for how fast they will act). At a minimum, this means we’ll celebrate the seventh anniversary of our first meeting with Costco about the station (February 4, 2010!) before this ends.    
[Submitted by Karen Cordy, President, KHCA]
We have finally received the results of the County’s measurements along McComas and Jennings Avenue. The study covered two full 24-hour days in late February 2016 with counts taken both east and west bound. The results were broken out at 15 minute intervals and showed how many cars were going at 5-mile speed intervals: so, from 7:30-7:45, there were V number of cars at 20-25 mph, W number at 26-30, X number at 31-35, Y number at 36-40, Z number at 41-45, etc.  They also calculated where the 85th percentile of speeds fell (i.e., 85 percent of the cars were driving at or below speed X.)  Surprisingly for those of us living near those roads, the results came in lower than expected. The 85th percentile on Jennings was only about the 25 mph speed limit and on McComas, it was 31 mph one direction and 32 mph the other. While that is above the 25 mph speed limit, it was not dramatically so. The cover email from the County indicated that traffic calming measures are usually only implemented when the 85th percentile is at 7 mph above the posted speed limit. We are right on the edge of that so there may still be room to do something and the Traffic Committee intends to discuss these results further with the County. There will, in any event, be some additional pavement markings (crosswalks, etc.) being added in the near future. If you are interested in working on these issues, please contact Andy Fraser
We have also heard from the State Highway Department about our request that they consider making the left-turn arrow at Plyers Mill and Georgia a blinking red outside of rush hour. They said, however, that their studies showed that there were accidents during non-rush hour periods as well and that they believed it was necessary to keep the restrictions as is. Again, we intend to follow up on this further, but for now, we are all still left to practice patience while sitting at that light.
[Submitted by Karen Cordy, President, KHCA]
Study Released on MCPS Choice and Special Academic Programs: Call to Participate in Community Dialogue
MCPS will engage with the community and work to develop a plan to enhance choice programs and broaden access to more students in accordance with commitment to equity and excellence. To access the report, findings and other details click hereApril 6, Gaithersburg HS—7 to 8:30pm / April 18, John F. Kennedy HS—7 to 8:30pm / May 5, Walter Johnson HS—7 to 8:30pm
Applications Now Available for MCPS Elementary Immersion Program. Deadline for 2016-2017 school year is Friday, April 8
Elementary school language immersion programs begin in kindergarten and are offered in Chinese, French and Spanish. Applications for students entering kindergarten through Grade 5 in the 2016-2017 school year are now available at the elementary schools. For more information about elementary immersion programs and to download the Immersion Interest Form, visit the Special Programs website
MCPS Kindergarten Orientation to Begin April 4
The 2016 kindergarten orientation for children who will be five years old by September 1, 2016, and their parents is scheduled at every elementary school between April 4 and May 27. Parents should call their home school to make an appointment to register for that school’s specific date(s). For more information, call the Division of Early Childhood Programs and Services at 301-230-0676. 
MCPS Youth Invited to Audition for MoCo’s Got Talent Show
All MCPS middle and high school students are invited to audition for the MoCo’s Got Talent show which will be held on Sunday, May 22, at The Fillmore in Silver Spring. Auditions will be held on April 8  at Jane Lawton Community Recreation Center, and April 15 at the White Oak Community Recreation Center. Students who are interested in auditioning or submitting a work of art must register online. For more information, call 240-777-8080.
USDA 1890 National Scholars Program: Application Deadline is Monday, April 11
This program is available to high school seniors entering their freshman year of college as well as rising college sophomores and juniors.You can download the 2016 USDA/1890 National Scholars Program High School Application, or download the 2016 USDA/1890 National Scholars Program College ApplicationFor more information and questions, call 202-205-4307 or email
White House Internship Program and the D.C Scholars Program at the White House
Open to U.S. citizens,18 years of age or older, the Fall 2016 White House Internship Program application cycle closes on Sunday, April 17, 2016 at 11:59 PM, EST and the application for the D.C. Scholars Program at the White House closes on Sunday, April 24, 2016 at 11:59 PM EST. This is an opportunity for young leaders to develop their leadership skills and gain exposure to the public service sector through the White House Internship Program. This program was developed to provide hands-on experience and cultivate such skills.Information on both programs, including eligibility requirements, application materials, and internship timelines are available on the website
 [Submitted by Shruti Bhatnagar, Chair, Education Committee]

>>Montgomery County Council FY 2017 Operating Budget 
The Council has scheduled hearings on the County budget for April 5, April 6 and April 7. You can get more information about the budget, specific times for the hearings and sign up to testify at click here. You may also call 240-777-7803. 
>>Take the Wheaton Arts and Entertainment District Survey
The Mid-County Citizens Advisory Board is asking for feedback and opinions to help with future planning for the Wheaton Arts and Entertainment District. Click here to access the survey.
>>April 9 "Arts on the Block" in Kensington 
The Spring Open House of the Arts on the Block studio will take place Saturday April 9 from 12noon-4pm. Located at 4218 Howard Avenue in Kensington, Arts on the Block is a place for Washington DC area youth to learn about the creative process, to experience the world of a working artist and develop a better understanding of themselves and their community. Admission is free to the open house and art will be available for purchase. More info.
>>May 7 Save the Date: Walking Tour of Wheaton 
The Mid-County Regional Services Center is planning a Wheaton Walking Tour on Saturday May 7, 10am-1pm. More information will be made available soon. KHCA will keep you posted. 
>>Kensington Park Library Reopened March 28; Wheaton Regional LIbrary Opens in Interim Space 
After many weeks of closure for refreshing, the Kensington Park Library is back. More info. The Wheaton Regional Library has closed and will be demolished as part of a major renovation of that library and the adjoining Recreation Center building into a brand new facility a couple years from now. In the meantime, a scaled back library space will be in the Volunteer Rescue Squad at 2400 Arcola Avenue. Library hours will be the same.
>>Villages of Kensington: Building Communities for a Lifetime
    The VoK website has increased its functionality, and now allows donations and membership by credit card. To check it out, click here.There are already dozens of members and services are starting to be provided. We encourage all to look into joining this valuable new community resource.

    President:                            Karen Cordry (Torrance Drive)
    Vice President:                     Mark Meszaros (Peregoy Drive)
    Secretary:                            Wendy Core (Torrance Court)
    Treasurer:                             Erl Houston (St. Paul Street)
    Immediate Past President:     Danila Sheveiko (Melvin Grove Court)
    Communications Chair:          Shruti Bhatnagar (McComas Avenue)
    Education Chair:                    Shruti Bhatnagar (McComas Avenue)
    History Chair:                        vacant
    Land Use Chair                     Donna Savage (McComas Court)
    Safety Chair:                         vacant
    Traffic Chair:                         Andrew Fraser (McComas Avenue)
    Newsletter:                           Christine Taylor (Torrance Drive)
    Kensington Heights Civic Association
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