Showing posts with label Renaissance Street. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Renaissance Street. Show all posts

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Helen Heneghan Way is "choice" in Rockville street name change

View down the future
Helen Heneghan Way
Former Rockville City Clerk Helen Heneghan's big contributions to the city will be memorialized in a big way. In a 4-1 vote by the Planning Commission last night, commissioners chose to rename Renaissance Street to Helen Heneghan Way, barring final objection by Montgomery County officials.

No current street in the county is named Helen or Heneghan, according to city staff who researched the many names submitted. The name change was initiated by Choice Hotels, which is headquartered across E. Middle Lane from Renaissance Street, and who have a new Cambria Suites hotel along it.

Commissioners whittled down the dozens of choices to 5 finalists, through straw votes. The 5 candidates were Randy Caruso Lane, Helen Heneghan Way, variations on Cairo or Cinema, and Crutchfield.

Randy Caruso Lane had a lot of emotional support from many in the community, garnering the most votes from the public. Caruso is fondly remembered by many residents, including two who spoke at last night's meeting. "Randy touched a lot of lives in the city," one said. Caruso "was a special needs person," he continued, "and this was during a time when people were not very kind to special needs persons." Yet he affected a generation of residents with his positive interactions at community and sports events, supporters testified. Caruso was known to many as the "Mayor of Rockcrest."

Commissioner David Hill said he thought the heartfelt support of residents who submitted Caruso's name, and who don't ordinarily engage in government meetings, deserved extra consideration from the commission.

Heneghan had numerous supporters who had worked with her during her time as City Clerk, or were familiar with her many contributions to the community.

Former mayor Steven Van Grack testified in support of Heneghan last night, saying naming the street after her would be "a certain way of letting people know about" her contributions to the city. Heneghan passed away on July 13.

Van Grack recalled a time when he remarked that "Bill Hanna may have been the finest mayor in the history of Rockville." Rockville racked up 2 of its 4 All-American City awards during Hanna's time in office. Van Grack said Hanna responded, "there wasn’t much done during that tenure without Helen Heneghan." Heneghan's contributions to the city weren't merely in the civic and government realm, Van Grack added. "She raised 5 boys in Rockvllle, who have all excelled in many ways," he noted.

Several commissioners also voiced support for Heneghan. "She did yeoman duty for the city of Rockville," Commissioner Anne Goodman said. Commissioner John Tyner credited Heneghan for the flag in Veterans Park, and in particular, raising the funds for it. "She, frankly, kept St. Mary’s [Church] running," Tyner recalled, adding jokingly that she also "kept Steve Van Grack out of trouble." Commissioner Jack Leiderman said his former neighbor was greatly missed since her passing.

"I'm speechless," Chair Don Hadley said. "It's really a very tough decision." In a second set of straw votes, both Heneghan and Caruso received unanimous support from commissioners.

Ultimately, the commission voted 4-1, with Hill dissenting, for Helen Heneghan Way. Commissioners were eager to ensure Caruso would not be forgotten, suggesting the potential for renaming Hillcrest Park after him. There would also be additional street names in Town Center Phase II to be decided, as well.

Heneghan's name surfaced late in the search process. After resident Patricia Woodward asked the Mayor and Council Monday night to consider Heneghan for the street name, she was encouraged to approach the Planning Commission by Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton. Woodward testified at last night's meeting.

Is Choice Hotels satisfied? Choice representatives declared City Center Way and Peerless Way their favorites prior to the commission's deliberations.

The name now will be run by the County to find out if they have any objections to it.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Rockville construction update: Renaissance Street (Photos)

Here's an updated set of photos from the newest street in Rockville Town Center, temporarily known as Renaissance Street. As you may recall, Choice Hotels has asked the city to consider renaming the street, which has a moniker uncomfortably similar to a competing hotel brand.

The Rockville Planning Commission is expected to act on the request at next week's meeting.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Choice Hotels street renaming request needs more...choice in Rockville

The decision on what - if anything - to rename Renaissance Street to in Rockville Town Center has been delayed again by the Rockville Planning Commission. Last night, representatives of Choice Hotels appeared before the commission in person. Previous discussions, at which Choice did not appear to personally plead the company's case for the name change, were unsuccessful.

Despite the in-person plea, the commissioners did not find the present options any more appealing than they were a few weeks ago. Commissioner Charles Littlefield, echoing the efforts of many in the community to establish a Rockville Science Center and promote science in the city, suggested Galileo as a potential alternative. Chair Don Hadley said he didn't think most people visiting the street were there for science. Hadley and some commissioners thought Hospitality might be an appropriate name. He said it would show the city's appreciation for Choice locating its headquarters there, and also emphasize that the town center is a welcoming place.

Commissioner Jack Leiderman wasn't as enthusiastic, noting that there are Hospitality Ways all over the country, "one off every off-ramp." He said he wasn't so much concerned with having a name that reflected a particular industry, as having one that was specifically related to Rockville. "I'd like some more choices," Leiderman said.

More choices are what the commission will get, a Choice representative promised. "I appreciate that none of these names resonate with the [commission]," he said. He added that the company was very appreciative of the commission's time in taking up the request, and that it is very important to them. Choice will now try to generate some additional name possibilities over the next couple of weeks, and submit them to city staff.

The commission will then revisit the discussion of the change at its July 22 meeting, Staff Liaison Andrew Gunning said.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Rockville construction update: Renaissance Street (Photos)

Renaissance Street has been in the news recently for having a name that neighbor Choice Hotels would very much like to change. That's because the new street's name is similar to a competing hotel brand.

But today, we're taking a look at the street itself, which is coming together nicely even as the Rockville Planning Commission considers what it may eventually end up being called.
Beyond the barricades 
Looking back toward
E. Middle Lane