September 2019 – From the Mayor

Council Member Duane Rollins and I attended the Kensington Volunteer Fire Department’s (KVFD) ceremony commemorating the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. A solemn annual event honoring the nearly 3,000 victims, including 343 firefighters who died in the World Trade Center, KVFD joined hundreds of other fire stations while responding to the Pentagon. While honoring KVFD’s pledge to ‘Never Forget’, the Town donated funding in 2019 to complete a plaque recognizing Flight 93, which crashed into a field in Shanksville, PA. The plaque is included within KVFD’s 9/11 Memorial and is the only Fire Station in Montgomery County to have such a Memorial. I would encourage everyone to take the time to visit the 9/11 Memorial at Station 5 and ‘Never Forget’.

The Town has completed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Konterra Limited Partnership for the use of the property located at 10450 Metropolitan Avenue as a Dog Park. Considering the property is located between the CSX railroad tracks and Metropolitan Avenue, we believe that the Dog Park will be an ideal location, as it is far from any residential properties. The Town Council approved the purchase of a 6’ fence at our August meeting and the staff is currently working with the County on permits. To get the Dog Park opened this fall, we will be placing compacted dust gravel and grass, similar to Dog Parks in Gaithersburg and Rockville, and will also install 2-3 benches, a trash/recycling station, dog waste stations, and signage/regulations for use of the Park. The Town’s Public Works Crew will also provide landscaping upgrades along Metropolitan Avenue. The location does not have enough space for separate large and small dog areas, nor will the Park have water; however, we are very excited to finally find an appropriate location for a Dog Park within our Town. An advisory committee has also been formed to review future upgrades, including art opportunities, shade structure(s), surface material, and agility furnishings.

August 2019 – From the Mayor

The 52ndAnnual Kensington Labor Day Parade and Festival is fast approaching, and our Parade and Festival Coordinators, Lisa Kelley-Connor and Victoria Randall, have been busy, along with the Town staff, preparing for our Town’s signature event. The Labor Day Parade and Festival is a wonderful event for our community, and we are always looking for volunteers to help the day of the event! If you are interested, and would like to receive a $25 gift card to either Starbucks or Strosniders, please contact Lisa and Victoria at LaborDay@tok.md.gov. The Montgomery Art Association will also once again be holding Paint the Town in conjunction with the Labor Day weekend, and will be open Sat., Aug. 31stthrough Mon., Sept. 2nd.

The festivities do not end with the Labor Day Parade and Festival, however, as September is jam-packed with many weekend activities, including: The Kensington Train Show (Sept. 7thand 8th), Opera in the Circle (Sept. 14th), The Kensington Car Show (Sept. 15th), and the Annual Kensington 8K Race (Sept. 21st). Please be sure to check Page 19 of the Around Town Journal, or our website Calendar, for all our upcoming events.

The Town is sponsoring a Design Review workshop, along with Montgomery Planning, Sat., Sept. 14th, to provide residents an opportunity to learn about the design, review, and approval process of development projects. The workshop will be held at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church and additional information may be found in the Journal or on our Town Calendar.

I would like to thank Council Members Crimmins and Rollins, along with Town Manager Daily, for their efforts in securing the Community Parks and Playground funding for the Pavilion at St. Paul Park. The process was lengthy from conception to build, but the Pavilion is a welcomed addition to St. Paul Park.

I would also like to thank and recognize Angie and Stuart Freemen for the many hours they spend each year tending to the Howard Avenue Park garden. Alison and John Oppenheim, along with members of the Kensington Historical Society, have also been gracious with their time attending to our community garden spaces. Please take the time to visit our community garden spaces, as they are beautiful, thanks to our many volunteers.

June 2019 – From the Mayor

The Town’s 125th Anniversary celebration at Kensington Cabin Park on June 2nd was a wonderful event celebrating the Town’s history, and I would like to thank Gary Ditto and Julie O’Malley of the Kensington Historical Society for organizing the days activities. I would also like to thank Boy Scout Troop 439, the Kensington Volunteer Fire Department, Kensington CAN!, Friends of Old Time Banjo, The Kensington Parkwood Choir and Instrumental Group, and the Friends of Warner Circle for contributing their time and talent to a great event

The proposed Kensington Dog Park took a step forward at the June 10th Council Meeting when the Town Council supported moving forward with a draft Memorandum of Understanding with Konterra Limited Partners for the use of the property. The Dog Park will be located at 10450 Metropolitan Avenue, across from Trick Trucks, and we hope to have the Park open by Labor Day. If you are interested in volunteering to help with the maintenance of the Dog Park, please contact me at Mayor.Tracey@tok.md.gov, or Jon Gerson at JonAGerson@yaho.com.

The St. Paul Park Picnic Pavilion has been ordered through our vendor and we expect installation to begin the week of June 24th. We hope to have the Pavilion available for use by early July.

Our Community Art campaign will continue later this year as the Town has contracted Nicole Bourgea to paint a mural at 10405 Montgomery Avenue, Dr. Ho, DDS’s Office; and the Town’s Public Works Supervisor, Jason Swain, will also be carving a bench for St. Paul Park. We are excited about both projects and look forward to presenting these to the community later this summer. In addition, we just completed installing new window art at the Kensington Safeway, along Armory Avenue, so please stop by to check our the new window art by local artisans.

May 2019 – From the Mayor

The Town’s 125th Anniversary celebration will continue Sunday, June 2, 1 – 4 pm, at Kensington Cabin Park (10000 Kensington Parkway).

This is a great opportunity to celebrate the Town with your family and neighbors by learning about local history and checking out the newly restored Mayor Jayne H. Plank Kensington Cabin Park Activity Building. The event will also include live music, activities and games, and free hotdogs. I want to thank the Kensington Historical Society for organizing the event, along with Boy Scout Troop 439, Friends of Warner Circle, the Noyes Children’s Library Foundation, and Kensington Can!

The June 3rd Town Election will be uncontested, with Council Members Conor Crimmins and Darin Bartram running for re-election unopposed. Although uncontested, I still encourage everyone to participate within the June 3 Election to show your support for our community and also invite everyone to our Candidate Meet & Greet on Tuesday, May 28, 7:00 pm, at Town Hall.

Finally, I would like to thank Town Resident Andrew Roud for securing a Governor’s Citation from Governor Hogan to commemorate our 125th Anniversary. The citation has been framed and placed within the Map Room at Town Hall.

April 2019 – From the Mayor

I would like to acknowledge the 125thAnniversary Committee: Nicole Andrews (Chair); Judy Beach-Uhlman (Co-Chair); Gloria Capron; Dawn Frattarelli; Megan Griggs; Kyle Richards; Angelika Stablow; Katherine Wood; and Council Member Duane Rollins. The Committee did a wonderful job planning this fabulous event and I continue to receive compliments from Residents who have expressed a desire to hold a similar event sooner than later.

If you were not able to attend our formal event on April 6th, the Kensington Historical Society (KHS) will be hosting a 125thAnniversary event for the community at Kensington Cabin Park on Sunday, June 2nd, 1 pm – 4 pm. The details for this event are still being planned, so additional information will be provided within our May Around Town Journal.

There was great representation by Town Residents for the March 28thCommunity Meeting, which was hosted by the developer for the proposed Kensington Square Self Storage project (10619 Connecticut Avenue). Following the community meeting, the Town Council and I held a separate Listening Session on April 3rd for additional feedback from our Residents on the project. While we are appreciative that the developer, 1784 Capital Holdings, made some significant changes to their original plan, specifically by focusing the first and second floors around a potential restaurant and artist space, the Town Council remains unanimous on our October 8, 2018 position that we will not support this project as a conditional use.

I have informed the representatives for 1784 Capital Holdings that the Town Council and I have not received adequate support for the project following the March 28thCommunity Meeting, and that we will not be considering the project for further review by our Development Review Board (DRB). If 1784 Capital Holdings wishes to re-submit their revised plan to Montgomery Planning, we will require 1784 Capital Holdings to attend a Town Council Meeting where we will formally reject the proposed plan.

 

 

 

 

February 2019 – From the Mayor

The Council and I have been receiving many questions of late with regards to a number of development projects that have been presented to the Town. The process for evaluating these projects actually began in 2008 when County Planning took steps to update our 30-year-old Sector Plan. This was a lengthy process that involved the Town Council, Town Residents, and the surrounding Kensington Community.

Adopted by the County Council in 2012, the Kensington and Vicinity Sector Plan placed parameters on height and density by developing two mixed-use zones: CR Town (CRT) and CR Neighborhood (CRN). The intent behind this was to cap density within the CRT zone, while tapering density and heights through the CRN zone as the mixed-use area drew closer to our residential zones. Essentially, this was done so we would not become a second Bethesda and to help maintain our strong sense of community.

Although development was slow to happen following adoption of the Sector Plan in 2012, this began to change in late 2016 with the sale of the old Hawkins Produce property, which has been redeveloped into Knowles Station and will be anchored by Wine & Co. Additional projects have also been presented, which has led to much uncertainty within the community about traffic, density, and design. With each proposed development project, there is a standard process of working with both the Town’s Development Review Board (DRB) and County Planning in order to evaluate each project in accordance with our Sector Plan.

While the Council and I know that a few of the proposed projects have caused concern to some, we encourage you to please reach out to us, along with the Town staff and County Planners to ask any questions you may have about certain projects. I also encourage you to check our Calendar for upcoming DRB meetings, but mostly pay attention to our Council Agenda’s, which will provide information on any development projects, by signing up for our Town emails on the homepage of our website.

December 2018 – From the Mayor

December 2018 – Around Town Journal

Aside from Safeway and Strosniders, when was the last time you shopped local? With a thriving business district, along with a new bakery (Metropolitan Avenue) and Knowles Station set to open in early 2019, we are very fortunate to have so many local shopping options.

In fact, if you have not had the chance to ‘Explore’ Kensington’s businesses of late, I would encourage all to attend Antique Row’s annual Holiday Open House on Friday, December 7th. Although still famous for antiques, Howard Avenue has become quite eclectic these last few years, encompassing women’s apparel, gifts, home décor and art, vintage clothes and furnishings, along with consignment and repurposed furniture. This would be a great opportunity to enjoy the business community’s warm hospitality this holiday season.

Our local businesses are not just along Howard Avenue, as great holiday gifts may be found at one of our newest shops, Tumbleweed, located within the Kensington Shopping Center; along with The Oak and La Maison de Laurette located on Metropolitan Avenue.

With many unique shopping, dining, and services right here in Kensington, please visit ExploreKensington.com to see what our business community has to offer.

The Town’s annual Menorah Lighting will be held on Sunday, December 2nd, 5:00 pm. Music, cider, and cookies will be provided for all. In addition, the organizers of the event will be accepting donations this year for the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), which helps place refugees from around the world.

The Town’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting will be held on Sunday, December 2nd, 7:00 pm. The Kensington Volunteer  Fire Department (KVFD), along with Santa Claus, will arrive at 7:15 pm. Music, cider, and cookies will be provided for all.

 

 

 

 

October 2018 – From the Mayor

October 2018 Around Town Journal

We recently installed new Wayfinding signs along Connecticut, Armory, Howard, and Metropolitan Avenues to help direct visitors to our Historic Business District, along with other points of interest. Also, you may have noticed that we have temporarily removed our Gateway signs, which are currently being refurbished and will be back by Thanksgiving.

The ‘I Found it in Kensington’ campaign officially kicked-off on October 22nd and will run through December. The campaign will include advertising on Ride-On buses and help promote business within the Town.

Kensington Cabin was recently restored and formally dedicated in honor of former Mayor Jayne Plank on October 20th.

Many thanks to Kensington Can! for organizing the 1st Annual Explore Kensington Day on October 21st.

SAVE THE DATE .  . . Sat., Apr. 6, 2019, as the Town will be celebrating our 125th Birthday at Town Hall. Additional information will follow.

 

 

 

 

September 2018

September 2018 Around Town Journal

How do you know when it has been a busy weekend in Kensington. Count the number of portable restrooms scattered about the Town. September 22nd was another busy Saturday in the life of our small Town as we welcomed hundreds (if not thousands) of people from surrounding communities to multiple events throughout the day. Streets started to close at 7 am in preparation of the 25th Annual Kensington 8K Race, the Farmers Market opened at 9 am, and the Kensington Historical Society’s Summer Concert Series began at 10 am (Howard Avenue Park). Following a short lull in the afternoon, we ended the first day of Fall with Opera in the Circle at Warner Circle Park.

Many thanks to the Friends of Warner Circle Committee: Jason Gerson, Ann Lichter, Sue Gander, Katherine Wood, Jenny Gurney, John Doherty, Alizon Reggioli, and Julie Mueller and the Montgomery Parks staff. I would also like to thank John Seabreeze and Kathryn Markey and all of their faithful volunteers and runners, along with Joe Natali, Shirley Watson, and Matt Hoffman of the Town staff.

In partnership with our business community, the Town will launch our ‘I Found it in Kensington’ advertising campaign on October 22nd. The campaign has several components, including an increased social media presence; placing ads on RideOn buses; and a banner at the intersection of Connecticut and Howard Avenues. We have a wonderful business community with many shopping and dining opportunities, but to keep our businesses in business, we need to make our Town a destination by inviting more shoppers to come and Explore Kensington.

Annexation Resolutions Adopted

The Mayor and Town Council adopted Annexation Resolution No. AR-01-2018 and Annexation Resolution No. AR-02-2018 at the September 10, 2018 Town Council Meeting. The Annexation will bring 40 single-family homes and three commercial properties into the corporate limits of the Town of Kensington.

Annexation Resolution No. AR-01-2018

A RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND TOWN COUNCIL AUTHORIZING THE ANNEXATION TO THE TOWN OF KENSINGTON OF APPROXIMATELY 12.585 ACRES OF LAND LOCATED ADJACENT TO THE PRESENT CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE TOWN LOCATED NORTH OF THE CENTER LINE OF PERRRY AVENUE TO UNIVERSITY BOULEVARD AND CERTAIN INTERIOR AND ADJACENT RIGHTS-OF-WAY THEREIN.

Annexation Resolution No. AR-02-2018

A RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL OF THE TOWN OF KENSINGTON TO ADOPT AN ANNEXATION PLAN FOR THE ANNEXATION OF APPROXIMATELY 12.585 ACRES OF LAND BOUNDED BY PERRY AVENUE, ST PAUL STREET, AND UNIVERSITY BOULEVARD WEST AND CERTAIN INTERIOR AND ADJACENT RIGHTS-OF-WAY.

The Annexation Resolutions will take effect on

Friday, October 26, 2018.

 

 

June 2018 – From the Mayor

June 2018 Around Town Journal

Thank you again for the opportunity to serve as your Mayor for a second term following the June 4, 2018 Town Election. The last two years has been a wonderful experience and I am proud that we have been able to accomplish many of the goals that I set out within my first term. I expect that the next two years will be exciting as well, especially with a number of redevelopment projects on the horizon. With this in mind, I continue to ask that both residents and the business community remain engaged with Town activities by signing up for our official email notification system on the homepage of our newly redesigned Town website: www.tok.md.gov.

Council Member McMullen was presented with a Mayoral Proclamation, brick for the Flinn Park Fountain walkway, and a cake from Jenny Cakes at the June 18th Town Council Meeting.

I would also like to thank Sean McMullen for his ten years of service on the Kensington Town Council. Sean has been a tremendous asset not only to me, but the Council, Town staff, and community this past decade. Sean’s tranquil demeanor, quick wit, and belief in transparency towards our Town Government has been a staple of our Council Meetings.

Finally, I would like to congratulate Duane Rollins on his re-election to the Kensington Town Council and welcome Bridget Hill-Zayat on her election.

Bridget, Conor, Darin, Duane, and I are committed to overseeing a Kensington community that is active, liveable, and dedicated to providing the services that make Kensington a wonderful place to live and work.