Friday, September 13, 2019

WECAN Meeting Minutes September 5, 2019

WECAN Meeting Minutes September 5, 2019
64 Clingman Avenue Meeting room Special time 5:30-6 pm

Board Members present:Joe Fioccola, Lynn Hall, Members not presentDanny Aull,Sherrod Barnes-Ginifer, Rebecca LanceLesa Peterson,Rich Peterson, Sandy Sox, and Shelly Schenker.Also present: Mathew Bacoate,Gerald Harbinson, Chris Joyell, Lynn Player, Rafael and Linda Rettig,  APD Lt. Chuck Sams, Pattiy Torno, Steve and Brittany Wager and APD CRO Justin Wilson. 

Call to Order: Lynn called the meeting to order at 5:32 pm with a round of introductions. 
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: In the absence of a quorum this item was tabled until the next meeting.

APD CRO UPDATE: Justin reported an unlocked vehicle break in, an attempted break in of a shed on Clingman Ave, a possibly homeless subject reported being shot in the leg possibly self inflicted, a series of break ins in the RAD may have been stopped with an arrest, a moped was robbed from a person at the Clingman Circle, and city-wide bikes are being stolen using bolt cutters. The safest places are indoors or with heavy duty locks. No info on the body found near 139 Meadow Road. Joe reported a lean to shelter on the Melk Property. Lynn noted campers by the DOT gate and at Roberts south of West Haywood. Pattiy reported taking a picture of a graffiti vandal on her roof. The fence is complete on the Duke property on Knoxville Place. Jason advised the demolition team would begin in the next 2-3 weeks. National Night Out was a success. Some got to meet the new Chief. Joe announced an Affordable Housing Workshop at the Banquet Hall of the Civic Center at 8:45 am on Friday September 6. 

NEIGHBOR/BLOCK JESSIE UPDATES:
Joe reported vegetation clearing at the Melk site, weeding at the sign garden, and at the end of Clingman Place. He announced an Adopt a Highway litter pickup on Tuesday September 10 at 9 am. He reported a Neighborhood Noise Forum on August 3 which will have a follow up on Monday September 23 at 3:30 at AB Tech. There was a concert at New Belgium on September 1 that went on until 10 pm and got a lot of face book comments. The city is looking at naming a tennis court in honor of the late Lewis Isaac. Comments on Open City Hall will be received until noon on Friday September 6. Pattiy requested a WECAN endorsement since he lived on Prospect Terrace, served the city for 3 decades and was an avid tennis player. Pattiy reported removing a 30 year old willow from Jefferson Drive and making a good tree service contact that may become a source of wood chips for future WECAN uses, such as the trail off Jefferson. 150 feet of granite curbstones were delivered and will be used in the next 2-3 weeks at Curve for planters and then some on Jefferson right of way. Lynn noted more house building at the end of Jefferson and on Park Avenue.

TREASURER’S REPORT: None
Meeting adjourned at 5:59 pm.
It was followed by a community input meeting about the impact of the I-26 connector on WECAN by Chris Joyell from the Asheville Design Center until 7:30 pm.
Minutes submitted by Joe Fioccola, Secretary. 

Mark your Calendars for upcoming events, volunteer opportunities and meetings:
September 6    8:45 am     Affordable Housing Workshop at Civic Center   
September 6      Noon        Last input on Naming Lewis Isaac Tennis Court
September 10    9 am        Adopt a Highway Cleanup
September 8      5 pm        Melk Encroachment workday
September 15    5 pm         Kudzu Hill
September 14  10-5          Second Saturday at the RAD: LEAF Easel Rider
September 22    5 pm       Melk Encroachment workday
September 23   3:30-5      Noise Ordinance update at AB Tech
September 29    5 pm        Kudzu Hill
October 3         6:30pm     WECAN Board Meeting

WECAN Meeting Minutes August 1, 2019

WECAN Meeting Minutes August 1, 2019

Board Members present:Sherrod Barnes-Ginifer,Joe Fioccola, Lynn Hall, Lesa Peterson,Rich Peterson, Sandy Sox, Members not presentDanny Aull,Rebecca Lanceand Shelly Schenker.Also present: Byron Ballard, Jessie Coleman,Gerald Harbinson, Sylvia Organ, APD Lt. Chuck Sams and Pattiy Torno. 

Call to Order: Lynn called the meeting to order at 6:29 pm. 
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Lesa moved and Rich seconded a motion to approve the draft June 6 minutes as emailed with the addition of the address of the Patton Apartments at 248 Patton Avenue. The motion passed. 

DUKE ENERGY SUBSTATION UPDATE: Tree removal has been completed. This month should begin fencing and demolition of 3 houses on Knoxville Place and the old car dealer building. Lynn asked about mulch from the trees removed but has not heard back. Chuck will ask Duke for updated demo schedules.

APD CRO UPDATE:  Lt Sams asked about the results of the traffic study. Rich, Lynn, Lesa and Ben had a good meeting with the Traffic Engineer Andrew Cibor and Transportation Director Ken Putnam. Joe noted a few items from Next Door: Package stolen from the porch of 11 Park Avenue North, Sandi’s car was rifled through and she reported a suspicious person she encountered twice. A black male named Gary was on a bike and asked to wash her car and was looking in cars. Also noted was Shane and Mel’s car around 435 W Haywood St was broken into and tools taken.  Pattiy added that when she sees someone and asks for their name they usually leave immediately. Sherrod talked to a very slender female panhandler at Riverside Drive at the Smith Bridge. Lynn asked about ordinances against Loitering and Pandering.

NEIGHBOR/BLOCK JESSIE UPDATES: Joe thanked whoever (Lynn) trimmed the sign garden hedge.  Long time neighbor Howard Hanger is retiring. And Prospect Terrace neighbor Lewis Isaac passed away on June 2. Pattiy announced that she purchased 34 Jefferson Drive and now owns a big tree. Rebecca, Charlie and Joe helped clear the vines from it and she has mulched the front and is meeting an arborist on Tuesday at 10:30. Also curb, asphalt and gutters are complete on River Arts Place. Planting beds should be done by the end of the month. She also announced a 30thanniversary party to celebrate ownership of the Curve Studios. On October 12 the celebration will be from 2-6. She also heard that Duke Energy’s Robert Sipes was retiring and since his leadership was so critical to our progress so far with the substation she is concerned about his replacement.

NATIONAL NIGHT OUT:Sandi passed out flyers. National Night Out is on Tuesday August 6 at the Aston Park Tennis Center from 6-9 pm with a hot dog cookout with tea and water, Eco-Depot Kids Zone Tent, games and prizes and visits with S French Broad Neighbors and Asheville’s Police and Fire Departments. All ages are welcome. Neighbors are asked to bring their own chair and pot luck side or dessert to share.

STREET SAFETY:Rich reported back on the results of the traffic study: Hilliard between Clingman and Park showed an increase since 2009 from 1100 to 1500 cars per day and average speeds increased from 26 to 37 mph in that same period. Roberts Street from the traffic circle to West Haywood Street showed an increase from 900 to 2000 cars per day but showed a decrease in average speed from 37 to 30 mph. West Haywood had no earlier study to compare but showed 500 vehicles per day averaging 19 mph. One suggestion was to codify the speed limit on Hilliard which currently shows 20 mph but should be 25 mph and should not necessarily increase speeds there. In the next 30 days they will check three intersections for possible stop signs: Roberts at W Haywood, Green at W Haywood and Hilliard at W Haywood. Barb Mee will be asked about completing the sidewalk at W Haywood across from the Boy Scouts and maybe putting in a crosswalk with a 3 way stop.


NAC NEIGHBORHOOD TRAFFIC FORUM: Rich and Lynn attended on June 22. A major takeaway was why traffic laws aren’t enforced. Chuck responded that it is being done. Each district submits reports on traffic enforcement efforts. It isn’t clear how to access those reports. Sylvia asked why traffic citations are only issued for speeding and DWI’s, when there are many other violations on interest to pedestrians. There is a need to change the culture and respect all users of transportation in Asheville. Pattiy remembered a time when random license checks were a regular patrol effort but she no longer feels their presence. Chuck will locate traffic enforcement data. Others are frustrated by traffic congestion and want to tell people: you are in Asheville now, so slow down and enjoy the view.   

144 RIVERSIDE DRIVE: Lynn reported that Jettie Rae’s was taken off the Planning and Zoning’s agenda for a few months. There was some discussion about what is proposed. Apparently public meetings were held months ago for this and also for 163 and 144 Artful Way (aka Park Avenue N) but very few people attended.  NAC and CAN are working to get the city to extend the 200 foot rule for notifying neighbors about development variance requests to include organized and registered neighborhood groups.

NEIGHBORHOOD ADVOSORY COMMITTEE PRESENTATION: Lynn made a presentation of WECAN’s history and accomplishments. He found it beneficial to learn some of our history and review our many accomplishments and thinks sharing some with our neighbors might bring some enthusiasm for what WECAN can still do.

NAC NEIGHBORHOOD NOISE FORUM: Joe announced that NAC was conducting a second Neighborhood Forum on Neighborhood Noise. It will also be at AB Tech on Saturday August 3 from 9:30-noon.The format is similar to the Neighborhood Traffic Forum. There will be area groups and several types of noise will be considered and how to write an enforceable noise ordinance.

GRANITE CURBSTONES: Pattiy found a public use for some of the granite curbstones harvested from Jefferson Drive and W Haywood that the city has stored. She explained the history and the city’s agreement. Lesa moved to allow Pattiy to request about 100 linear feet of the granite curbstones to be used on River Arts Place next to the curb and the sidewalk to mark plantings. Sandi seconded and the motion passed.

TRANSIT ISSUES: Lee and Lynn met with Barry about cutting grass, who was misinformed that the community garden was moving which would accommodate needed additional transit parking. The electric buses are not able to hold a charge for a full shift.

WATER VALVE REPLACEMENT: Pattiy announced that the entire intersection of Riverside Drive and W Haywood St at the Craven Street Bridge will be closed late on August 10ththrough Monday August 12 to replace old broken valves 14 feet below street level. Water will be cut off on Sunday which may affect pressure in WECAN and will affect West Asheville.  
Meeting adjourned at 8:03 pm.
Minutes submitted by Joe Fioccola, Secretary 
Mark your Calendars for upcoming events and meetings
August 3         10-12 am    Neighborhood Advisory Committee Neighborhood Noise Forum 
August 4         5 pm         Kudzu Hill
August 6         6-9            National Night Out cook out/pot luck at Aston Park 
August 10       10-5         Second Saturday at the RAD: LEAF Easel Rider 
August 10-12    ****      Riverside/W Haywood Intersection closed for water valve replacement
August 11        5 pm        Melk Encroachment workday
August 18       5 pm         Kudzu Hill
August 25        5 pm        Melk Encroachment workday
September 5    6:30pm    WECAN Board Meeting

No July 2019 Meeting

Monday, June 10, 2019

WECAN General Membership Meeting Minutes June 6, 2019

Board Members present: Sherrod Barnes-Ginifer, Joe Fioccola, Lynn Hall, Rebecca Lance, Lesa Peterson, Rich Peterson, Sandy Sox, and Shelly Schenker. Members not present Danny Aull. Also present: Carol Allison, Gerald Harbinson, Walter Hartheimer, Rachel Larson, Martie Scull, Sylvia Organ, Peter, Chris Pittman, APD Lt. Chuck Sams, Jeff Santiago, Robert Sipes, Liz Tallent, and APD CRO Justin Wilson.
Welcome!-Introduction/Orientation to WECAN organization/history-Lynn called the meeting to order at 6:35 pm with a round of introductions. Joe explained that the WECAN By-Laws call for monthly meetings and at least two general membership meetings. The one in the fall is to elect new board members. This is the other. He summarized WECAN’s activity since the last general membership meeting in December when Rich, Lesa, Sandra and Sherrod, were elected as resident board members and Shelly was elected as an at-large member. In January the board selected Lynn as Chair, Lesa as Vice Chair, Rebecca as Treasurer and Joe as Secretary. They identified goals for this year including: Adopt a Highway, National Night Out, July 4, Halloween social, WECAN News, Landscape maintenance, Community Garden and Communication policy. Over the following months there has also been some movement on the Encroachment agreement with the city,( Contract is signed and only waiting on answers to some questions.) Neighborhood tiles, Aston Park Advisory Board, 36 Jefferson, Mountain Housing Opportunities, Recycling 101, Opportunity Zones, and an invitation to present to the Neighborhood Advisory Committee in (May, June, July) August.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Lesa moved and Rich seconded a motion to approve the draft May 2 minutes as emailed and corrected. The motion passed.
APD CRO UPDATE: Officer Wilson reported two vehicles were broken into, one was occupied and someone reached in to tried to take the keys, at the end of West Haywood. The other one, on Jefferson, was unlocked and a gun was stolen. ADVICE: if you leave a gun in your car, make sure it is locked. Firearms were also stolen in the middle of the day from a house on Rector Street which was broken into through a window-installed air conditioner. A vehicle was stolen from West Haywood at Club, unlocked with keys inside. He also reported walking through the Duke property with Jason and their security folks and reported that the buildings on Knoxville Place were boarded up, which should prevent problems until the construction fence goes up around the property. Lynn reported a parked vehicle was hit more than once on West Haywood Street.  Lt Sams talked to Traffic Engineer Andrew Cibor who is catching up on multiple requests and should respond in the next few weeks with the compiled data from the traffic tubes.
NEIGHBOR/BLOCK JESSIE UPDATES: Lynn reported bear sightings in WECAN on Club Street, Jefferson and on Green Street. There was some discussion about the Transit Center opening a rear driveway onto Park Avenue and concerns about Transit employees speeding. Report problems to the transit manager: Joseph Brooks at (828) 301-6463, or josephbrooks@RATPDEV.com. There was also some discussion about Jetty Ray’s proposal for a restaurant on Riverlink property between Riverside Drive and the River. The issue is whether to grant a variance for what was originally proposed as a green space and what kind of precedent that would set for the rest of the area. Joe noted a zoning hearing coming up on June 19 at 8:30 Planning and Zoning considering MHO development on Clingman and Hilliard. Lynn noted a meeting on June 14 for that at the Downtown Commission meeting. Joe also noted a design charrette for the East Patton Area of downtown on June 19 and 20 from 1-5 pm. Rachel was told to limit WECAN to 1 or 2 reps. Rachel and Rich will attend.
DUKE ENERGY SUBSTATION UPDATE: Robert Sipes announced that all approvals were in hand both internal and external. An RFP has been issued for the demolition portion which is set to begin in August and will take about four months. Early next year site preparation will begin, with drainage and setting the retaining wall and then construction of the substation expected to be finished and energized in 2021. The vacant homes on Knoxville Place have been posted and boarded up. In August they will come down along with the Volvo building and the site will be fenced. Rebecca was concerned about trees and plantings but none have been marked for removal yet. Lynn asked about a 30-day notice policy for removing homeless persons. Robert will check on that. He also shared that Duke’s CEO Lynn Goode was at a Bloomberg Conference in the last two months on a panel talking about the transformation of their industry and how the way they interact with customers has to change from what it’s traditionally been. She made reference to this project as an example of how they are learning from people like us of the right way to do that. We should be very proud that our actions have had that kind of impact. Another example he shared was that Jason Walls was asked to come to their state presidents’ annual meeting where everybody from across the state who has responsibilities to interact with communities and other stakeholders. Their state president asked Jason to share our story because the state president (who happens to have a residence in Asheville) believes this is the right way to do business going forward. He wanted us to know that our impact is greater than just this little corner of the world but more importantly that it is changing their company and with what’s going on with their industry those kinds of changes are really important. He thanked us for that. He urged residents not to hesitate to report problems of any size. He also advised that all the other real properties they owned here have been released for sale except for one near the hospital.
ORANGE PEEL CONCERT ON S. ANN ST: Liz Tallent Special Events and Marketing Manager for the Orange Peel for 13 years and Jeff Santiago, Operations Manager for almost 13 years came to inform neighbors about an upcoming event behind 45 S. French Broad Avenue. On Saturday July 13 indie-folk band Lord Huron will play an amplified concert from 5pm-10-pm. S. Ann Street from Patton Avenue to Pearl Street will be closed on Friday night through Sunday with overnight security. They were asked to contact residents on S. Ann Street directly. They are directing concert goers to park in nearby parking decks and not in the residential neighborhoods and the will make sure no litter will be left in or around the area. She also left some free tickets to the event. Contact information before event: 828 398-1837 or managers@theorangepeel.net; Day of event: Liz Tallent 828 775-2136, Justin Ferraby 828 450-3796 or Dana Roberson 828 450-2597.
MOBILE ART LAB IN THE RAD: Shelly announced the LEAF Easel Rider mobile art lab will be stationed across from the Curve Studios for the Second Saturday events on June 8, July 13 and August 10 from 10-5 pm. WECAN is listed on the poster among the other sponsors: River Arts District Artists, North Carolina Glass Center, The Old Wood Center, Curve Studios and Garden, Sitework Studios, River Arts District Business Association, Eco-Depot Market Place and The City of Asheville.
NATIONAL NIGHT OUT: Sandi and Shelly are working on a flyer and on getting gift certificates from area businesses donated as prizes. One activity planned will be a dog parade. The theme for this and other events is to take back the park. The event will have tents and hot dogs and buns from the city. Neighbors will be asked to bring their own chair and potluck to share.

MOUNTAIN HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES DEVELOPMENT: Lynn reported that not much has changed, except that one story of the building has been removed from the plans. Downtown Commission and Planning and Zoning meetings coming up on June 14 and 19 and construction may begin as early as the fall of this year.
NEIGHBORHOOD ADVISORY COMMITTEE:  The Neighborhood Advisory Committee invites you to attend the first of two "Neighborhood Issue Forums." These forums will provide an opportunity for neighborhoods to discuss and explore solutions to a particular issue.  The first Issue Forum is on "Neighborhood Traffic," including pedestrian, vehicle, etc. Refreshments will be provided. Please register at: www.eventbrite.com/e/neighborhood-issue-forum-tickets-61662548342 For more information contact Brenda Mills at 828-259-5506 or bmills@ashevillenc.gov
TREASURER’S REPORT: Rebecca reported the balance is $985.99. She received a payment from Matt Bacoate Jr.
Meeting adjourned at 7:45 pm with a yummy potluck and thanks to The Patton for use of their space.
Minutes submitted by Joe Fioccola, Secretary.
 
Mark your Calendars for upcoming events and meetings
June 8      10-5   Second Saturday at the RAD: LEAF Easel Rider
June 10      4-6 pm   CAN Meeting
June 22      10-12 am  Neighborhood Advisory Committee Neighborhood Traffic Forum
July 4         NO WECAN Meeting, just fireworks
July 13        5-10 pm   Orange Peel Concert behind 45 S French Broad Ave
Second Saturday at the RAD: LEAF Easel Rider 10-5    
Aug 1        6:30 pm    WECAN Board Meeting
Aug 6      National Night Out cookout/potluck  at Aston Park
Aug 10    10-5   Second Saturday at the RAD: LEAF Easel Rider

WECAN Meeting Minutes May 2, 2019

Board Members present:Joe Fioccola, Lynn Hall, Rebecca Lance, Lesa Peterson, Sandy Sox, and Shelly Schenker.Members not present: Danny Aull, Sherrod Barnes-Ginifer, Rich Peterson.Also present: Jessie Coleman, Gerald Harbinson, Sylvia Organ, APD Lt Chuck Sams, Pattiy Torno, APD CRO Justin Wilson.  

INTROS:Lynn called the meeting to order at 6:27 pm with a round of introductions.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Shelly moved and Pattiy seconded a motion to approve the draft April 4 minutes as emailed. The motion passed. 

APD CRO UPDATE: Officer Wilson moved the campers on the I240E shoulder behind Haywood Street. Home security cameras caught a suspicious and possibly confused female entering a residence on West Haywood Street as well as some Jehovah’s Witnesses peeping in windows on Jefferson Drive. On the19th three subjects were arrested from inside the Duke (former Volvo) building. An increase in reports of property crime were reported: (8 this month compared to 7 last year and 2 last month) a card taken and used from an open car window, a package taken from a porch on Jefferson, attempted break in of a vehicle on Rector, a bike taken from a porch on Jefferson and a safe taken from All Souls Pizza possibly by a former employee. Lynn found a bike with no chains in the woods and mail was stolen on Jefferson yesterday. Jessie reported that between trips when she moved from Knoxville Place two chairs and a rocker were stolen. She believes a neighbor may have took and painted them. She will try to follow up with them. Pattiy reported art at the stone yard had been tagged with graffiti. Other tags have been seen at Crossfit on W Haywood and on the greenway near New Belgium.  Lynn asked Lt. Sams about how to get a response from the Traffic Department. Joe noted that NAC was planning a Forum on Neighborhood Traffic on June 22 from 10-12.

NEIGHBOR/BLOCK JESSIE UPDATES:Joe reported ivy removal from trees at Owens-Bell Park and weeding and planting some irises from Jessie’s in the sunny cultural garden. Lynn wants to trim the hedges at the sign garden.

TREASURERS REPORT:Rebecca reported that the 2018 tax filing was successfully accepted. The balance is $785.99. She received a payment from Shelley as the Easel Rider Second Saturday fiscal agent. 

OLD BUSINESS
STREETS SAFETY: Sandy reported a reckless vehicle: a small black car with repainted panels almost hit her head on, on West Haywood St.

 34 JEFFERSON DRIVE LOT (OLD OAK TREE):Pattiy reported that MHO has received 2 offers to purchase the property and are willing to sell for what value they have put into it. Both bidders address preserving the tree and keeping the property under control.

ENCROACHMENT AGREEMENT: The consent agenda item was approved at the April 9 City Council Meeting. This has been in the works on one form since 2013, but more actively since January 2018. Joe has received a draft contract that requires insurance. When that is deleted, he is ready to sign and call a work date to start clearing the stone wall. 

JESSIS’S BIRTHDAY PARTYwas set for 2 pm on June 2 at her new abode 58 High Meadows Drive, Candler.

NEIGHBORHOOD TILES:There was an extended discussion of how to decide on distributing them. Rebeccasubmitted a protocol last month. It was agreed to go ahead and distribute tiles, since there does not seem to be a large fundraising need on the horizon in which we might use them for larger donations.  Rebecca asked that we first secure the legacy list. Joe suggested 25 years as the time frame since the 2010 WECAN Plan began in 1994.There are approximately ten residents who have lived in WECAN more than 25 years. The consensus was to use up to ten for a legacy award (some longer residents may already have one.) and decide later on uses for future awards and for thanking for donations between $25 and $200. An announcement needs to be written for the next WECAN Meeting.

COMMUNICATIONS TEAM:Some procedures need to be clarified such as Face Book Admin duties. Lesa will reach out to the board and invite those interested to a meeting of the subcommittee.  

WECAN BYLAWS:Lynn posed a question about whether the bylaws should be reviewed and updated, perhaps add a clause to remove inactive members if reducing board effectiveness. The by-laws originally written in 1999 were last updated in November 2011. They are general and satisfactory for our purposes. They do call for two General Membership meetings each year. There was consideration of having one at the July Board meeting, but since that falls on Independence Day (July 4) the date was revised. Thursday, June 6 will be a General Membership/Pot luck and there will be no July meeting. 

NATIONAL NIGHT OUT:Shelly will email Helen Hyatt from S French Broad Neighborhood about submitting the application (before July 1). 

NEIGHBORHOOD ADVISORY COMMITTEE INVITATION: Lynn was contacted about making a presentation at the April 22 meeting. Some members are interested in hearing how WECAN got a neighborhood plan adopted by the city. They have heard from Burton Street and Shiloh which both have adopted plans. Due to a conflict it was moved to the June 24 meeting. But since then the June 24 meeting was rolled into a Retreat/meeting on Thursday June 27 from 9-1, it is not clear if the invitation holds.  Lynn will follow up with Brenda.

Meeting adjourned at 8:03 pm 
Minutes submitted by Joe Fioccola, Secretary 

Mark your Calendars for upcoming events and meetings
May 4             9 am           Adopt a Highway Cleanup
May 5              5-7 pm       Kudzu Hill Workday 
May 13            4-6 pm       CAN Meeting
May 19            5-7 pm       Kudzu Hill Workday
May 27                              Memorial Day
Jun 2               2pm           Jessie Coleman 81 Birthday/new home party at 58 High         Meadows Dr.   
Jun 6               6:30 pm     WECAN General Membership Meeting/Pot luck
June 22            10-12 am  Neighborhood Advisory Committee Neighborhood Traffic Forum 
June 27            9-1 pm      NAC Retreat/Meeting  
July 4                                 NO WECAN Meeting
Aug 1              6:30pm       WECAN Board Meeting
Aug 6                                 National Night Out cook out at Aston Park 

WECAN Meeting Minutes April 4, 2019

  • Board Members present: Sherrod Barnes-Ginifer, Joe Fioccola, Lynn Hall, Rebecca Lance, and Rich Peterson.Members not presentDanny Aull, Lesa Peterson,Sandy Sox, and Shelly Schenker.Also present:Jessie Coleman,Gerald Harbinson, Rachel Larson, Leslie Meyers, Amanda Paffrath, Bruce Sales, APD Lt Chuck Sams, Pattiy Torno, APD CRO Justin Wilson. 

    INTROS: Lynn called the meeting to order at 6:33 pm with a round of introductions.

    APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Rebecca moved and Lynn seconded a motion to approve the draft March 7 minutes as emailed and corrected. The motion passed.

    APD CRO UPDATE: Officer Wilson followed up on the Duke Property issue. Two homeless campers were evicted from behind Knoxville Place and he asked Duke to clear the debris left on their lot. There was a legal question about removal of personal property from privately owned land (possibly requiring 30 days written notice) confused with the city policy of 7 days notice to remove personal belongings from city owned land. There was a homeless camp reported behind Club Street which has been removed and Carrie notified NCDOT to clean up the debris.
    A few incidents of property crime were reported:  a car window smashed on Jefferson, the lock on a storage shed at Curve Studios was cut and a bicycle and chop saw stolen. The bike was recovered at the Mall. Last week the burn pit was used at Curve and some items were left there unsecured. Pattiy reported that the stone yard property was now posted but there is still a lot of activity in the area. Justin also reported a person with a bicycle stolen from Coxe avenue was found and arrested on Clingman Avenue.
    Finally, a rape was reported on the NCDOT hill behind the Boy Scout’s building. It involved three homeless subjects who knew each other and were involved with drugs. Lynn reported homeless campsites visible off the shoulder of I-240 E between Clingman Avenue and Montford Avenue behind the businesses on Haywood Street.
    A short discussion followed about approaching the Haywood Street Congregation or others about promoting good neighbor behaviors among their people. Justin suggested checking with Homeless Lead Brian Huskey. The issue of Traffic Counts on West Haywood and Roberts Street came up again. The weather was cited as a reason for the delay. Chuck will check and see where this is on their list.

    TREASURERS REPORT: Rebecca reported that the 990 tax form was filed today. WECAN is set up in the IRS system and she will add that info to the Treasurer’s file. The actual filing only took 5 minutes and all the previous filings are stored and available online. There was no other activity last month the balance is $760.99.
    Pattiy requested assistance for the RADBA second Saturday’s effort. In June, July and August at 14 Riverside Drive as part of the One Neighborhood program they partner with the City of Asheville to hire the LEAF Easel rider van for art projects for neighborhood children. The cost is $900 and the request is for WECAN to act as fiscal agent for RADBA like we did for New Belgium last year. It would mean some additional work for WECAN’s Treasurer. Rebecca moved and Lynn seconded that WECAN function as co-sponsor of One Neighborhood project as fiscal agent for RADBA. The motion passed.

    OPPORTUNITY ZONES: What they mean for WECAN:
    Paul D’Angelo, Housing Development Specialist with City of Asheville explained the ongoing history. One adjustment to the 2017 Tax code was the opportunity to invest capital gains in lower income census tracts. The city was approached to identify these tracts with a focus on equity and community issues. Buncombe County qualified for 20 Census Tracts and five were chosen: 2, 7, 9, 14, and 20. (WECAN is in Census Tract 9.)
    Since they were identified the equity issues seem to have been dropped in favor of focusing on deferring, delaying and reducing Capital Gains taxes. There has been no legislative action since October 2018 and Pisgah Legal has asked the city to delay taking action until they have completed their study. The funds could be used for new construction and rehabilitation (but not renovation.) They would delay, deduct or divert Capital Gains taxes due but any gains on the investment would also be tax free.
    One criticism of the scheme is that it looks like Urban Renewal 2.0. City Council passed a resolution to pay attention to equity issues and the Planning department now has a checkbox to ask about Opportunity Zones for new development projects but the city is limited in enforcing except through the conditional zoning, community input and having a neighborhood plans. There is more information on the City Website, Buncombe County (Rebecca Brothers), The Chamber of Commerce, and Pisgah Legal who is also looking for ‘angel investors’ who would be more concerned with the equity issues.
    Paul also noted that there would be more information soon on 360 Hilliard Avenue. Payne Kassinger would now be going for 80 units with 34 affordable.
    There was some discussion of the WECAN Citizen’s Master Plan created in 2000 and adopted by City Council in 2008 and which can be viewed on the city website.

    NEIGHBOR/BLOCK JESSIE UPDATES:
          Joe noted that the big tree in the field at 339 W Haywood Street was removed today. It is sad to see it go but it was not a healthy tree.
          He set an Adopt-a-Highway litter pick up date for Tuesday April 16 at 9 am starting at the WECAN sign garden at the corner of Clingman and Hilliard. Bring gloves, orange bags provided.
         National Night Out applications should be arriving soon. They are due by July 5 and include a registration form and Street Closure permit. (Fees are waved for street closures and park usage.) NNO is a national event to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie.
         We are looking at partnering with S French Broad neighborhood with a cook-out at Aston Park and walk through the neighborhoods on Tuesday August 6 from 5-7. For additional questions contact APD Crime Prevention Officer Ryan Justus: rjustus@ashevillenc.govor Officer Keith McCulloch at kmcculloch@ashevillenc.gov.
         Rich reported that on April 11, 2019 - The Jeff Bowen Bridge / Patton Avenue Subcommittee of the I-26 Aesthetics Committee will be meeting at 230 Pearson Drive from 2:00 pm until 4:00 pm.

    OLD BUSINESS
    FOLLOW UP 2019 OBJECTIVES and CAPTAINS:  Lynn continued this item from the last two meetings to get some leadership on these items.
    EXISTING OBJECTIVES:   
    --Adopt A Highway: Joe
       --4th of July—Not really a thing. Maybe the second General membership meeting?
       --Halloween Party: Rebecca
      --Newsletter: Joe editor
       --WECAN Garden Club: Sign Garden, Edible Garden, O-B Pk Sunny Cultural garden, Kudzu Hill: Joe and Pattiy
       --Communications: Lesa, Rebecca
       --Street Safety: Rich, Lynn
       --Queen Carson Community Garden organizing: Sherrod (Byron set up Face Book page)
    Goals Suggestions: Build neighborhood participation and enthusiasm: Lynn
    NEW OBJECTIVES:
       --Christmas caroling: Rebecca, Pattiy, Joanne
       --Welcome Wagon Effort: Rachel? Lesa?
       --Board Member Outreach: Lynn
       --Block Jessie Captains: area point person, informal communication getting    info out and distribute newsletters: Rebecca 

     ENCROACHMENT AGREEMENT: The consent agenda item was moved to the April 9 City Council Meeting. The main goal is to keep it clear and visible to discourage camping and to make it look cared for and not abandoned.  Any planting must be approved by the city and the state.

    34 JEFFERSON DRIVE LOT (OLD OAK TREE): Leslie contacted Patchwork Gardens at Bountiful Cities.  Nicole Hinebaugh advised that they are rewriting their by-laws to be able to manage properties donated to them but currently are not able to buy or receive the lot for preservation. There was some discussion of raising money to purchase lot from MHO and questions were raised about a non-profit owing property taxes. Lynn will ask Mike for more time to make a proposal and ask what the minimum cost would be to purchase. (FYI: The lot is 0.18 acre. And the tax value in 2006 was $24,800 and in 2019 is $97,300.)

     NEIGHBORHOOD TILES: Rebecca picked up the 36 remaining tiles.100 tiles were originally produced in December 2002 but there is no list of distribution. Rebecca suggested several things; Present a tile to long time residents; Sell on a sliding scale between $25 and $200; or an opportunity to support the neighborhood with a special large project. Some should be set aside for awarding participation or contributions to the neighborhood but there was no consensus yet.

    Meeting adjourned at 8:29 pm
    Minutes submitted by Joe Fioccola, Secretary

    Mark your Calendars for upcoming events and meetings
    April 7            5-7 pm       Kudzu Hill Workday
    April 8            4-6 pm        CAN Meeting
    April 13          10 am         GreenWorks Hard 2o Recycle @ First Baptist                                Church  Oak Street
    April 16           9 am          Adopt a Highway Cleanup
    April 21           5-7 pm       Kudzu Hill Workday
    April 22           6:30 pm      Neighborhood Advisory Committee
    May 2              6:30 pm     WECAN Board Meeting
    May 26            TBA           Jessie Coleman 81 Birthday/new home party

WECAN Meeting Minutes March 7, 2019

WECAN Meeting Minutes March 7, 2019  

Board Members present: Sherrod Barnes-Ginifer, Joe Fioccola, Lynn Hall, Rebecca Lance, Rich Peterson, Sandy Sox, and Shelly Schenker.
Members not present: Danny Aull, Lesa Peterson
Also present: Matt Bacoate, Byron Ballard, Maggie Carnivale-PFA, Gerald Harbison, Chip Howell-PFA, Julia Kress-Moberg-Asheville GreenWorks, Rachel Larson, Leslie Meyers, Brenda Mills—Neighborhood and Community Engagement Manager, Amanda Paffrath, Jeff Poe, Mike Vance-Mountain Housing Opportunities, Janet Webber, APD CRO Justin Wilson.

INTROS: Lynn called the meeting to order at 6:30 pm.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Rich’s name was inadvertently omitted as a January and February Board member. He is a board member and was present in February. Lesa submitted corrections to the New Business section of the draft which should read as follows:
COMMUNICATIONS UPDATE: Lesa met with Pattiy and got the WECAN admin and login information for Google and Mailchimp. She is in the process of culling and updating the various mailing lists within Mailchimp and creating templates for ease of future mailings. She observed that the WECAN BlogSpot acts as an archive or repository of the minutes, agendas and financial information but a website would be more interactive and user friendly. We could drive traffic to the website for neighborhood announcements, events and pictures. She indicated that she would pay for the creation of a new website on SquareSpace but that the ongoing web hosting fee would cost $12-15 per month. Cost may be an issue as the BlogSpot is free but it hasn’t had minutes posted since August and most neighbors are unaware of its existence. Joe will send her copies of the approved minutes since then to post.
Sandi moved and Rich seconded a motion to approve the draft February 7 minutes as emailed and corrected. The motion passed.

APD CRO UPDATE: Officer Wilson reported vandalism on Roberts Street at White Duck and report of drug activity at the end of Park Avenue North off Girdwood. He reported a new campsite behind #8 Club Street that is still there and a campsite cleared by NCDOT by the Hillcrest walkover. Another new one was reported on the steep slope behind Knoxville Place and another inside the chain link fence on Duke’s property closest to Clingman and Hilliard. He recommended contacting Jason Walls about the debris left in the area of the bushes on Clingman at Hilliard. In response to a question about statistics for traffic stops he suggested using the City Open Data for official numbers.

NEIGHBOR/BLOCK JESSIE UPDATES:  An uptick in prostitution sightings was reported at the end of Jefferson and a suspicious person in a hoodie and scarf on a bike from the nature trail up Jefferson.

TREASURERS REPORT: Rebecca reported no activity last month the balance is $760.99 The IRS form 990 is due by May 15 and she will have it ready to review before then.

OLD BUSINESS
NEIGHBORHOOD TILES: Mike noted that MHO was storing the box of tiles. Rebecca will pick them up and store them as Treasurer.

SAFE STREETS: Rich did not have an update, but Brenda Mills, Neighborhood and Community Engagement Manager did advise that Andrew has it on his schedule but will not use sensitive equipment until the weather warms up, like in late March or April. Rich noted that there wouldn’t be any new signs until the counts were completed. Lynn suggested the use of radar controlled speed bumps to deal with cut thru traffic.

COMMUNICATION UPDATE: Rich read an email from Lesa that work was ongoing to refine the Mailchimp list and comparing it to the neighborhood spread sheet and updating it contacts with names and addresses. Once completed an announcement email will be sent to request info, make changes and direct to the website for information. One idea is to publish a neighborhood directory to get to know neighbors or ask for help. Rebecca acknowledged Joe’s contributions in keeping the email list over the years.

NEW BUSINESS: 
ASTON PARK ADVISORY BOARD: Shelley attended an organizational meeting on Tuesday. The goal is to have the entire park better used by the community and not just the Tennis Players. Helen Hyatt from South French Broad Neighborhood, brought up the idea of the two neighborhoods coming together for a barbecue and walk through the neighborhoods on August 5 for "National Night Out". Brenda observed that this advisory board was not appointed by the city and will have to identify their needs as they begin to organize. Asked about the replanting of trees removed from the Hilliard side of the tennis courts Brenda will find out.

36 JEFFERSON DRIVE lot (OLD OAK TREE): Discussion –Leslie Meyers: Mike Vance reviewed the situation. Last fall it came to light that the lot was only to be held for 10 years for affordable housing and that back taxes were due. They were paid and the issue was opened. MHO sees it as a resource but with the cost of construction and the steepness of the lot they are better off selling rather than building. Leslie lives at 53 Jefferson and appealed for ways to save the tree. She observed that it is a home for 3 hawks and other wildlife. She heard of a program called Patchwork Urban Farms which plants food and supplies co-ops in the city. She pointed out that food, farm and conservation was a better option than a city park with maintenance costs and vagrants and the steep slope problems. An idea of Community Land Trust was suggested but Rachel inserted that they are looking at bigger tracts and perhaps an Audubon group would be approached for funding and perhaps the Jefferson neighbors would assume liability or a conservation group for tax credits. Mike offered that MHO was ready to sell but would delay for one month to see if a plan or proposal could be made. Leslie, Lynn and Rachel will dive deeper and use the 30 days to research plan options. Brenda offered to invite Paul Deangelo to come to a WECAN meeting with a presentation about Economic Opportunity Zones. Julia acknowledged that ‘Tree City,” Asheville has among the weakest tree protection ordinances. We recognize Treasured Trees by hanging a plaque on them, we don’t do well at saving them.

MHO: CLINGMAN AND HILLIARD DEVELOPMENT UPDATE: Mike explained that Dr Biddle owns the lot and MHO has an option to purchase. They did not get tax credit funding last year and now may be ineligible in future due to proximity to the Duke Substation. They have gone to 60 West and Partners Preserving Communities to propose a use that includes office/retail, mixed use and some affordable housing. Chip Howell and Maggie Carnivale from PFA Architects showed preliminary plans for an 80ft tall building with 88 units, 67 parking spaces on two levels, 6000 sf retail space for 4 tenants and 6-8,000 sf office space upstairs. While not finalized the project is moving forward. There will be a community meeting on March 27 at 5 pm at Pack Memorial Library and final Planning and Zoning in June. There was discussion of the pros and cons (mostly) of parking and traffic associated with the site. These will be considered by the TRC (Technical Review Committee.)

RECYCLING 101: Julia Kress-Moberg from Asheville GreenWorks explained the two biggest problems that single stream recycling faces are using it as an overflow bin for trash and ‘wishful recycling.’ The rule of thumb is: when in doubt-keep it out.  A lot of recycled items have no value. The highest value is for cardboard, #1 and #2 plastics, and aluminum and metal cans. Ironically glass and mixed paper cost the recycler to handle. Anything that can’t be recycled has to go to the landfill and the recycler has to pay. The main contaminants are Plastic Bags (All kinds but may be recycled at grocery stores), soft paper (napkins, tissues and paper towels,) Aluminum foil (but pie tins and catering trays ate okay,) and Styrofoam (which can be recycled at GreenWorks special events.) For plastics the three questions we need to consider are did it come from a grocery store? Is it a container? And does it have a recycling triangle symbol? Additionally, the caps on soft drink bottles can be recycled but have to be left on the bottles or they will get lost. Orange juice containers are ok, but grease on pizza boxes makes them unusable (except for clean lids can be removed and recycled.) Finally, coffee cups and lids are not recyclable only the cardboard sleeves are. We are at risk of losing single stream recycling if it is not economically viable for the Curbie business. The complete list of what is and isn’t recyclable is on the city website.

NEIGHBORHOOD AND COMMUNIY ENGAGEMENT: Brenda Mills announced a biweekly newsletter that has news items from the city of interest to neighborhoods.

ENCROACHMENT AGREEMENT: Since May of 2013, WECAN has tried to take care of the empty lot with behind the stone wall on West Haywood Street. On May 5, 2016, neighbors met with Green Works and NCDOT engineers after a clean-up of the site for a possible win-win but with the big questions unanswered: is it right of way, or excess property? Does it belong to the city?  At a WECAN meeting on January 4, 2018, in response to a complaint of NCDOT burying trash on the site, NCDOT Engineer Troy Wilson told us that we could get an encroachment agreement. On June 11, Joe met with Transportation Director Ken Putnam and Public Works Director Greg Shuler, Brenda Mills for a site visit to see if the city could enter an agreement with the NCDOT. Since then Joe has emailed Ken several times for updates.  On February 21 he received an email from Ken stating that we are now moving forward with the City Council process and a tentative date of March 26, 2019 is set on the consent agenda.  An agreement between the City and WECAN is also needed and he asked if the following conditions are acceptable to WECAN: 1-WECAN will be responsible to properly and continually maintain the vegetation in accordance with generally accepted horticultural practices including all costs. 2-All new plantings or other amenities must be coordinated with the City and WECAN will need to submit landscape design, plans, and specifications in accordance with NCDOT's standard landscaping policies and procedures. And 3-Before any existing trees are removed, WECAN must coordinate the request with the City (Public Works Department) and/or the Tree Commission.
Joe responded positively and asked if the ‘No Trespassing “signs would remain and for a list of the NCDOT Policy and procedures.
Meeting adjourned at 8:17 pm. Minutes submitted by Joe Fioccola, Secretary

Mark your Calendars for upcoming events and meetings
Mar 11             4 - 6           Coalition of Asheville Neighborhoods  (CAN) Meeting

Mar 25             6:30           Neighborhood Advisory Committee

Mar 30             10 am        GreenWorks Tree Giveaway at First Baptist Church on Oak Street

Apr 4               6:30pm      WECAN Board Meeting

WECAN Meeting Minutes September 5, 2019

WECAN Meeting Minutes September 5, 2019 64 Clingman Avenue Meeting room Special time 5:30-6 pm Board Members present: Joe Fioccola, L...