Thursday, June 7, 2018

WECAN 1998 to 2017



INTRODUCTION
West End/Clingman Avenue Neighborhood, Inc, (WECAN) is a non-profit neighborhood association formed to promote and guide the process of revitalization of this historic neighborhood located on the edge of downtown Asheville, North Carolina.  Please see the 19 years worth of WECANNewsletters enclosed, as well as The “WECAN Chronology” further down, for more detailed information about all that we do.

The major purpose of our organization is to preserve, protect and promote our neighborhood as a safe place to live and raise a family, with respect for our collective history and reverence for the natural surroundings.  In pursuit of this goal we engage in a number of classes of activities.  With no preference of importance, since they are all essential to the accomplishment of our goals, they are as follows:

Neighborhood Involvement:  Our organization is deliberately structured so that all residents are members, if they so choose.  This includes resident property owners as well as those who rent dwelling in WECAN.  There are no membership fees. WECAN holds monthly board meetings the first Thursday of the month @ 64 Clingman Avenue @ 6:30pm.  Everyone is welcome to attend.

WECAN hosts the website:  www.wecannews.blospot.com as well as a neighbors only Facebook Page titled “West End/Clingman Avenue Neighborhood/WECAN”.
WECAN also hosts a page on Nextdoor.com titled Wecan. In addition, WECAN publishes monthly minutes from its board meetings, produces an annual WECANNews letter and maintains an archive of all of its good works.

Neighborhood Improvement: From an Adopt-a-Highway Program in its 21st year, to regular WECAN Garden Club projects including a Sign Garden & a WECAN Sunny Cultural Garden as well as special workdays to tackle larger projects and the Queen Carson Community Garden for food production, WECAN has been and continues to be a good steward of its environs.  Over the years, WECAN has worked with recruits from The United Way, Warren Wilson College, Asheville GreenWorks, The French Broad River Academy and more for those larger projects.  WECAN also has Memorandums of Understanding with the City of Asheville and the NC DOT to help with the maintenance of Owens-Bell Park, and the many COA & NC DOT right of ways that are locate in WECAN. 

WECAN has encouraged and collaborated with the efforts of the Ashevillle Police Department and the Buncombe County Sheriff to reduce the incidence of crime and improve the safety of the neighborhood.  As a result, we have succeeded in taking back Aston Park for the use of the neighbors, reduced prostitution, worked to
address homelessness in our community and educated our residents as to best management practices for their homes and vehicles.

WECAN has worked closely with the River Arts District artist community on its western edge, to create the WECAN tiles that adorn our sidewalks and homes, the weather vane that graces the WECAN sign garden, three bus shelters & two kiosks along Clingman Avenue to showcase and support the River Arts District that is home to over 200 artists in 2018 (up from 25 in 2003).

WECAN’s volunteers have also served on City Commissions, Boards and community boards including Asheville Area Riverfront Redevelopment Commission, The Coalition of Asheville Neighborhoods, Neighborhood Advisory Committee, Living Asheville Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee, Aston Gateway Community Board, Mountain Housing Opportunities, Asheville Design Center, Green Opportunities and Neighborhood Leadership Roundtable.

Neighborhood Preservation & Celebration:  WECAN is committed to preserving the character, tradition and history of our neighborhood.  This is not without its challenges.  Our application for inclusion on the National Historic Register, for the residential section of WECAN, was unsuccessful, yet the Riverside Industrial District application, for the commercial district, was granted.   While we were unable to save The Ice House property, we were able to convince the City of Asheville to restore the Ice House Smokestack as a heritage landmark. 

WECAN works regularly with the City of Asheville by providing ongoing participation in focus & stakeholder groups working on topics as varied as Gentrification, Riverfront Redevelopment, Affordable Housing, Recreation and Greenways.  WECAN recently succeeded in having a watercourse that runs through WECAN, as well as the proposed Greenway that surrounds that “branch” named after The Bacoate Family who has lived in WECAN since the 1940’s, hence The Bacoate Branch & The Bacoate Branch Greenway!

WECAN regularly celebrates our neighbor’s birthdays & accomplishments with Moveable Feasts & Pot Luck Parties.

Neighborhood Futuring:  WECAN is one of two neighborhoods to create a neighborhood master plan.  The WECAN Citizen’s Master Plan was adopted in 2008, by the City of Asheville.  WECAN’s efforts such as this, as well as constant participation voicing concerns and suggestions around any and all development that effects our neighbors that has won WECAN citywide respect.  WECAN has participated in projects as varied as: RAD TIP, RAD Form Based Code, Clingman Streetscape Project, 2015 COA Alternatives to Gentrification Report, Leadership Roundtable for New Belgium Brewery, Haywood Road Form Based Code, Ice House property & 14 Riverside Drive acquisition, , The Duke Energy Substation @
Clingman & Patton, preservation of the Historic Smokestack @ the Ice House, Asheville Design Center’s Pedestrian Bridge @ Jean Webb Park, The Riverside Drive
Strategic Plan, COA 2025 Plan, The Downtown Development Plan, The WC Reid / Arthur R. Edington Education & Career Center Renovation, East of the Riverway Community Plan, The Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Center, , The Craven Street Improvement Project,  MSD review of sewer in WECAN.

Currently, there are 4 apartment complexes in the planning stages or under construction in WECAN.  Two of these projects are majority affordable units, while the other two are market rate. In the past 5 years, over 20 single-family homes have either been built or substantially renovated, drawing new neighbors to WECAN.  Over the years, WECAN has participated in the planning processes of Merritt Park Condos, Clingman Lofts, Prospect Terrace, 100 Park Avenue, RAD Lofts, 95 Roberts Street, Patton Place Apartments and 338 Hilliard Avenue.

Additionally, WECAN has worked for the past two years with Duke Energy to help a new electric substation fit the needs of our community.  WECAN, with its partners from the River Arts District Business Association & the South French Broad Community to our east have convinced Duke Energy to build its firs Gas Insulated Substation, which will provide safer, quieter and less visually damaging energy for the entire Downtown of Asheville.

WECAN Chronology 1998 thru 2018

1998
In March, WECAN started an Adopt A Highway Program.  WECAN does clean ups of Clingman Avenue 4 times a year for over 20 years now!

1999
A Beautification Committee was formed and began its work resulting in plantings at Clingman / Hilliard and the Grey Eagle Intersections.  The plantings were dedicated at the June annual Meeting and picnic at Aston Park.  We did a two-day workshop with William and Marianna Bailey facilitating our work.  At this workshop we AGREED to develop a neighborhood plan, to visually unite and identify the neighborhood, to develop a neighborhood history project and plan a community wide celebration.  In July, a beautification award was made to WECAN. In the fall, we received a second award for neighborhood beautification and conducted a neighborhood Walk-Through with heads of all City Departments.  In December, we all went caroling.

2000
This was a busy year as we prepared to conduct, under the guidance of community planning consultants, a Community Design Workshop.  We approved the Landscape Resources Inventory prepared by Mountain Housing Opportunities (MHO) and
conducted a major clean up on Club and Trade Streets (the site of many years of illegal dumping).  Further work on this site, was conducted by Carolina Power and Light and CP&L agreed to pay for the development of Bianca Gardens, a mini park to be planted with edibles.  Neighborhood clean ups and plantings continued throughout the year.
In November, the Community Planning Process was held.  A completed report of this process, funded by the City of Asheville (COA) and MHO was produced.  Many neighborhood residents participated in the development of these plans which we subsequently announced to the entire community at a public meeting.

2001
In January, we heard updates on 1.) the Community Planing Process, 2.) the plans for the i-26 connector and 3.) the progress on the National Register of Historic Neighborhoods Application.
February saw a report for COA staff on the status of the I-26 Connector project.  At regular meeting in March, April and May, reports were received on the new Merrit Park Condominiums and we discussed uses for the new Community Room there.  We met with Asheville Police Department (APD) about ongoing issues in Aston Park, reviewed infrastructure plans and discussed making Club and Trade Streets one-way.   The Preservation Society proposed use of a vacant lot in the neighborhood as a headquarters and the proposal was discussed at length, as were neighborhood infrastructure plans and the COA neighborhood matching grant program.  We previewed the neighborhood logo and sign.  A student volunteer project in conjunction with Warren Wilson College was also discussed and approved.
In August, 300 students from Warren Wilson College joined the neighborhood residents in a massive clean up and beautification project, which was followed by the WECAN Annual meeting in Aston Park, where WECAN announced the Green Grant program and distributed applications. 
WECAN continued work with the consultant who is preparing our application for the National Register of Historic Districts.  Research for the application was begun.  We also reviewed the streetscape plan for Hilliard Avenue, the major gateway to the West End.
In December, we held a Refreshment Sale for the Annual Asheville Christmas Parade.

2002
WECAN approved 10 residents for Green Grants for small beautification projects throughout the neighborhood.  A planting workshop was held for all WECAN residents and planting began in May.  An Art & Garden project got its start with help from MHO.  More work was done cleaning up Aston Park and making it useable for the neighborhood residents.  WECAN sponsored a workshop on this subject, involving COA, Buncombe County (BC) and community stakeholders.  The COA completed the build out of the Hilliard Streetscape Design.  Neighbors developed a
plan to mow and maintain the new median.  Further consideration was given to a Brownfields grant possibility.

2003
Local Artist, Dianna Gillespie worked with WECAN in 2003 to design and fabricate ceramic tiles which incorporate the WECAN logo designed by neighbors, Joe Fioccola, Luella Heetderks & Jessie Nell Coleman.  The Clingman Forest Greenway is in the planning stages.

2004
Mountain Housing Opportunities breaks ground on Prospect Terrace, a 17 units affordable and green condominium project.  Two sections of WECAN were put on the National Register of Historic Places. The Riverside Industrial District (Ref # 04000825) which is comprised of a number of our historic warehouse buildings down along our commercial end & The Clingman Avenue Historic District (ref# 04000583) that goes roughly along Clingman Avenue from Hilliard Avenue to Haywood Street. WECAN hosted a huge clean up along the Future Clingman Forest Greenway.  Several WECAN board members began serving as stakeholders to the Clingman Streetscape Project.  In September, parts of WECAN were once again underwater from Hurricanes Frances and Ivan.  The French Broad River crested at 14.45 feet. WECAN organizes a Neighborhood Watch Program.
Ongoing for 2004
            Aston Park redesign
            Oral History Project
Clingman StreetScape Project
Garden Club projects

2005
WECAN held an all day Neighborhood Retreat at the Daniel Boone Boy Scouts Council.  Duke Energy Progress does a $2 million restoration of the old Lamp Gas Plant @ 14- 30 Riverside Drive.
Ongoing for 2005
            Aston Park redesign
            Oral History Project
Owens-Bell Park
Clingman StreetScape Project
Annual Pool Party @ Hanger Hall
Garden Club projects

2006
Jessie Coleman’s mother, Hattie Lou smith passed away after living in WECAN for over 50 years.  Uncle Levie Wilson turned 100 so we made a huge banner & had a
Moveable Feast in his honor! WECAN dedicated Owens-Bell Park on September 4th with over 50 people in attendance including the Honorable Mayor Terry Bellamy.
“WECAN: Finding its Place through Change and Challenge”, an oral history project conceived by WECAN neighbors with help from Betty Hurst from Handmade in America and a Ford Foundation Grant was completed.  WECAN got the City of Asheville to stockpile over 2000 linear feet of granite curbstones, removed from Jefferson Drive & Park Avenues during the installation of new sidewalks, for future reuse in WECAN.
Ongoing for 2006
            Aston Park redesign
            Oral History Project
Owens-Bell Park
Clingman StreetScape Project
Annual Pool Party @ Hanger Hall
Garden Club projects

2007
In 2007, The WECAN Garden Club established the WECAN Sunny Cultural Garden in the City of Asheville’s Owens-Bell Park.  This garden contains heritage plants from many of our neighbors as well as repurposed granite curbstones that came from Park Avenue and a Red Maple in celebration of our Mayor Terry Whitmire Bellamy.  WECAN worked with the NC DOT to get them to fix a broken stormwater pipe that was flooding the intersection of Roberts Street and Haywood Road.  In August, WECAN hosted the National Night Out in Aston Park, resplendent with luminaria glowing all along South French Broad Avenue.  Portraits of Mr. Owens and Mr. Bell were set in the WECAN Sunny Cultural Garden thanks to the efforts of Ms. Gloria Howard Free and the COA Parks & Recreation Department.
Ongoing for 2007
            Aston Park redesign
            Oral History Project
Owens-Bell Park
Clingman StreetScape Project
Annual Pool Party @ Hanger Hall
Garden Club projects

2008
After many years, the City of Asheville adopted the WECAN Citizen’s Master Plan to serve as a guiding document for future development in WECAN.  WECAN lost a good soul when sculptor John Payne passed away in July.  John was responsible for our Bus Shelter on the corner of Clingman and Hilliard.  WECAN is happy to report that construction has begun for the Aston Park Renovations that include new playground equipment, walking trails, a new gazebo & a new Tennis Center.  In October, President Barak Obama made an appearance in WECAN to eat barbeque at 12 Bones. Then WECAN Chair Alfie Rodiguez spearheaded the Aston Park Fit
Initiative, to put a second set of playground equipment in Aston Park through a Fit Communities Grant of $60,000 working with UNCA and the City of Asheville.
Ongoing for 2008
           
Aston Park redesign
            Oral History Project
Owens-Bell Park
Clingman StreetScape Project
Garden Club projects

2009
In March WECAN celebrated the completion of the newly renovated Aston Park. WECAN continued to assist in the Aston Park Fit Initiative.  In August WECAN did a Labor Day clean up in Owens-Bell Park and signed a maintenance agreement with the COA for said park.  WECAN wondered about asking to use the land under the large Pepsi Billboard for a Community Garden. In October, WECAN partnered with South French Broad Neighborhood & COA Parks & Recreation Department and called it our Twilight Together Party in Aston Park!
Ongoing for 2009
            Aston Park redesign
            Oral History Project
Owens-Bell Park
Clingman StreetScape Project
Aston Park Gateway Community Board
Garden Club projects

2010
WECAN hosts SORBA to further the discussion of the creation of an Urban Mountain Bike Skills Park imder the 1-240 Bridge.  WECAN Garden Club hosted another “Love on Owens-Bell Park” days, home to our Moveable Feast Pot Luck Dinners.  WECAN has succeeded in getting the Pedestrian Bridge over I-240 opened back up for foot traffic.  This is a necessary pedestrian amenity for our neighbors to our north who live in Hillcrest.  WECAN worked on the AARRC Between the Bridges Initiative as a stakeholder.   WECAN succeeded in getting the COA to address the ongoing public nuisance that is the Ice House Property.  WECAN Garden Club tackled the encroaching Kudzu on Jefferson Drive.
Ongoing for 2010
            Hillcrest Pedestrian Bridge Issue
Clingman StreetScape Project
            RAD TIP
            Aston Park Gateway Community Board
            Urban Mountain Bike Skills Park under I-240           
            Removal of the CP&L Fence @ 14 Riverside Drive
            Aston Park Civil War Markers
            100 Park Avenue
            East of the Riverway
            AARRC Between the Bridges Small Area Plan           
            Ongoing challenges around Homelessness
Water Challenges @ 96 South French Broad Avenue
Ice House Property
Garden Club projects
Homelessness in WECAN

2011
 In February, WECAN partnered with Warren Wilson College & Yancy Landscaping to clean up the creek bed in Owens-Bell Park, removing the black willows from said
creek, with help from a Warren Wilson College  Farm Crew & three volunteers from
Yancy Landscaping.   The Farm Crew took buckets of Black Willow cuttings back to populate and stabilize a creek bank on the Warren Wilson College campus.In April, WECAN lost another set of buildings… this time it was the Dave Steel complex (circa 1920) to demolition.  The on going problem of graffiti helped bring its demise. WECAN participated the “Stand Against Racism” event in Aston Park on April 29th.
On May 12th, our long time neighbor, Jessie Nell Coleman was honored as a “Living Treasure” of Asheville. WECAN Garden Club hosted a clean up of the dead end of Jefferson Drive.  In November, First Light Solar moved into WECAN @ 130 Robert Street.  On New Years Eve, the old Silver Dollar restaurant that has been in this neighborhood for over 70 years was reopened under the new name of  “The Asheville Public”.
Ongoing for 2011
            Hillcrest Pedestrian Bridge Issue
            RAD TIP
Clingman StreetScape Project
            Aston Park Gateway Community Board
            Urban Mountain Bike Skills Park under I-240           
            Removal of the CP&L Fence @ 14 Riverside Drive
            Aston Park Civil War Markers
            100 Park Avenue
            East of the Riverway
            AARRC Between the Bridges Small Area Plan           
            Ongoing challenges around Homelessness
            Water Challenges @ 96 South French Broad Avenue
Ice House Property
Garden Club projects
Homelessness in WECAN

2012
In February, WECAN set up our Block Jessie program to help with neighborhood communication, so named in honor of two of our favorite people, Jessie Nell Coleman and Jessie Mae Jones. In March, WECAN hosted a clean up around the Hillcrest Pedestrian Bridge and celebrated the installation of a Bike Fix IT station on Haywood Road at the Roundabout. In May, New Belguim Brewery announced it selected Asheville for its East Coast Brewery and Distribution Center, right across the river from WECAN.  In June, the COA received a donation of the building @ 14 Riverside Drive from PSNC/ Scanna, our gas utility. It will be part of a large infrastructure project to be known as RAD TIP.  On June 5th, WECAN hosted a huge street parade and party called the Clingman Circle Celebration to cap off an 8 year planning process that culminated in the beautiful new $1.2 million Clingman
Streetscape.  Thank YOU! To the NC DOT and the City of Asheville!  In November, WECAN published its annual WECANNews letter and the COA purchased the Ice House property.  WECAN was successful in lobbying to save the Ice House Chimney.  In December we received an update on the I-26 Connector Project and we lost another of our elders, when Miss Evie Littlejohn passed away in her home on Rector Street.
Ongoing for 2012
            The Ice House challenges
            Hillcrest Pedestrian Bridge
Sustainable Communities Intiative: East of the Riverway
Neighborhood Kiosk @ Owens-Bell Park
Bike Fix It Station
WECAN Garden Club
Aston Park Gateway Community Board
NC DOT ROW conversation
Clingman StreetScape Project
Clingman Ped Head conversation
2025 Neighborhood Plan
Bike Skills Park under I-240
RAD TIP
I-26 Connector
Garden Club projects
Ongoing challenges around Homelessness

2013
2013 was a year of loss for WECAN.  In January, WECAN wrote a letter to Asheville City Council about the Ice House property… demolition of the Ice House began the same month.  Neighbor, Luke Perry did a digital projection project on the side of the Ice House.  At the end of January, The Benjamin Boling House aka The Club House, circa 1891, was demolished.  Uncle Levie Wilson (just shy of his 107th birthday) & Carmen Smith passed away in late February & early March. Twice in April, the Cotton Mill ruins were set on fire.
In May we had a Baby Boom on Jefferson Drive, welcoming Alton & Jango & Rowan to WECAN..  Asheville Design Center hosted their summer intern Design Builders, with the resulting “13 Bones Bridge Project” next to Jean Webb Park.  WECAN joined NextDoor.com at the suggestion of our Community Resource Officer. In August WECAN hosted an Aston Park Cookout! In September, WECAN earned a donation from the Asheville Half Marathon by providing staff for their event
Ongoing for 2013
Riverside Drive Development Plan
Ice House & Smokestack
RAD TIP
New Belgium Brewery Construction
ADC Summer Design Build Project
RAD Lofts
Alternatives to Gentrification Study
East of the Riverway Initiative
Ped Head Installation
100 Park Avenue
Roberts Street Sidewalks or lack there of
Ongoing challenges around Homelessness
Garden Club projects
I-26 Connector


2014
WECAN hosted Jeff Staudinger from the COA for a chat about the Parks & Recreation Maintenance Facility at 338 Hilliard.  The COA is interested in this becoming more affordable housing.  WECAN once again worked with NC DOT Division of Highways to get them to fix the same broken stormwater pipe above the Haywood Road Roundabout.  WECAN continues to research the possibility of a community garden for food production. Neighbor Rafael Rettig brought a stormwater issue to the WECAN board for consideration.  WECAN notified the COA of a large sinkhole that has developed under the sidewalk on Haywood Road. Neighbor Luke Perry invited WECAN to “Open House” to review his plans for the renovation of one of the two remaining hand built brick houses on the old Yarrow Place, now Rector Street.  WECAN held its first annual Halloween Celebration!
Ongoings for 2014
RAD TIP
14 Riverside Drive
RAD Lofts
Alternatives to Gentrification Study
East of the Riverway Initiative completed
New Belgium Brewery Construction
Short Term Rentals
Sink Hole on Haywood Road
            Parks & Recreation Maintenance Facility
Ongoing challenges around Homelessness
Queen Carson Community Garden
Garden Club projects
I-26 Connector

2015
WECAN signed the paperwork to establish the Queen Carson Community Garden, on City of Asheville Right of Way, at the corner of West Haywood & Jefferson Drive, for use by the entire community, for food production & neighborhood interaction.  An Ice Cream Social was held in June.  WECAN participated in a conversation about making Clingman Avenue Extension a one-way street.  The NC DOT fixed the large
sinkhole on Haywood Road. In August, the Patton Place Apartments were announced which brings over 100 more market rate apartments to WECAN.  WECAN held it 2nd annual Halloween Party. WECAN is seeing a building boom
for single-family homes.  Neighbor Jessie Coleman’s photo was included in the time capsule placed in the Vance Memorial.
Ongoing for 2015
            Creation of an Edible Garden
RAD TIP
Sink Hole on Haywood Road
14 Riverside Drive
Garden Club projects
I-26 Connector
RAD Form Based Code
RAD Lofts
New Belgium Brewery Construction
Short Term Rentals
Alternatives to Gentrification Study
Parks & Recreation Maintenance Facility
Queen Carson Community Garden
Ongoing challenges around Homelessness

2016
The RAD Edible Garden in front of The Grey Eagle Music Hall was established in 2016 through a partnership with the NC DOT.   After the NC DOT fixed the large sinkhole we brought to their attention, they agreed to contribute 3 Kousa Dogwoods, 3 Fig Trees & 6 Oak Leaf Hydrangas to replant the corner of Clingman Avenue and Haywood Road on NC DOT ROW.  CURVE studios & John Webster provided mulch & funding for / or the actual 18 blueberry bushes while WECAN and Asheville GreenWorks provided tools and labor and more mulch.  Duke Energy cut down 12 Sycamore Trees along Clingman Avenue, while doing distribution line work.
Ongoing for 2016
Ongoing challenges around Homelessness
Getting Duke to replace the trees they cut down
            RAD TIP
14 Riverside Drive
Garden Club projects
I-26 Connector
RAD Form Based Code
RAD Lofts
Queen Carson Community Garden
Parks & Recreation Maintenance Facility
Duke Substation
RAD Form Based Code

2017
In January, WECAN celebrated the 81st birthday of long time resident, Mrs. Jessie Mae Jones.  Sadly, we buried her in August this year.  In February, the WECAN Garden Club hosted work days on Kudzu Hill and at Luke Perry’s new home on Rector Street as he has renovated one of our two remaining historic brick houses (circa 1900) on what used to be known as Yarrow Place. In April we attended the Ribbon Cutting for the River Arts District Transportation Infrastructure Project (RAD TIP) and celebrated Dee Dee Littlejohn’s birthday at All Souls Pizza.  May had us partying again, this time in Owens-Bell Park for Jessie Nell Coleman’s 79th Birthday.  In July, WECAN & RiverLink  & a group of COA dignitaries celebrated our neighbors Matthew & Osie Bacoate, at the dedication of the Bacoate Branch and Bacaote Branch Greenway, that took place at 14 Riverside Drive.  In August, there was a WECAN GC workday @ the RAD Edible Garden pulling weeds and laying down a fresh layer of mulch provide by our friends at Asheville GreenWorks. Sadly, in September, we lost another neighbor, Sam Hartshorn, son of Majorie Vestal of Park Avenue.  Then in October we celebrated the 60th birthday of Pattiy Torno plus a getting bigger every year Halloween Party on Jefferson Drive thanks to all the great work of Rebecca Lance and family! WECAN succeeded in getting 12 Washington Hawthornes planted by Duke Energy Progress. WECAN had to work with the NC DOT, to allow these more appropriately sized, as well as more bird & bee friendly trees to be used, as they are not on the NC DOT recommended list but matched others already in our landscape.
Ongoing for 2017
Duke Substation
RAD Form Based Code
RADTIP
RAD Lofts
14 Riverside Drive
Parks & Recreation Maintenance Facility
Bio Hazard Waste Burying by NC DOT
Clingman Forest to Bacoate Branch Greenway
Adopt A Highway 20th Year
Kudzu Hill/ Clingman Avenue Trees
Asheville Comp Plan
Ongoing challenges around Homelessness
MHO New Offices & 80 Affordable Apartments
Queen Carson Community Garden
Garden Club projects
I-26 Connector





Tuesday, May 8, 2018

WECAN May 2018 Board Meeting Minutes • Draft


WECAN Board Meeting Minutes May 3, 2018
Board Members present: Danny Aull, Joe Fioccola, Jared Fischer, Lynn Hall,
Rebecca Lance, Rachel Larson, Caroline Mullis, Luke Perry and Pattiy
Torno.  Members not present: Byron Ballard, Jessie Coleman, Also Present:
Bill McCurdy, John and Lynne Diamond Nigh,

INTROS: Rachel called the meeting to order at 6:33 pm.
MINUTES: Joe read his comments during the public comment period of the NAC
Central Area Meeting. Rachel was disappointed in the comments and feels
bad about not showing up. Lynn felt upset reading the minutes and took the
comments about gentrification personally. Pattiy suggested the challenge
was to word it better and not represent it as WECAN’s view of
gentrification.  Lynn sees the challenge as how to manage it better going
forward and engage the neighborhood.  Luke always looks at who benefits
and WECAN helps bring people together. How we participate in the community
is what is important. Jared empathized with both sides and lauded what
Byron and Joe have done for the neighborhood over the decades of service,
care, honor, passion, justice and wants to honor that as well. Dan offered
that everyone want a clean, safe neighborhood without traffic congestion,
and is that wrong? Joe explained that his comments were given at a public
meeting of a committee on which he serves and which is reflected in their
minutes. It came to WECAN minutes as a report on that Central Area
Meeting. It represented his opinion. Lynn moved and Pattiy seconded a
motion to approved the Draft WECAN minutes from April 5 with the assertion
that the comments about the Central Area Meeting did not reflect the
opinions of everyone in WECAN. The motion passed.
CRO Update: Pattiy noted the huge and growing homeless camp on the west
bank of the river. Rebecca noted that CRO Justin Wilson had sent her some
information to pass out about safety.  She will post it on the FB Page and
make some copies to distribute door to door. Two lights have been placed
at the end of Jefferson but no signs about community watch.
TREASURER’S REPORT: Rebecca reported the checking balance was $811.42.
HomeTrust Bank has requested a resolution authorizing them to sent
statements to the treasurer.
Joe Moved and Pattiy seconded the motion to change account information for
the WECAN account at HomeTrust Bank, the WECAN Board hereby adopts the
Written Consent of the Board of Directors document from HomeTrust Bank,
and authorize the WECAN Recorder to deliver a signed copy and copies of
the by-laws, and minutes appointing the treasurer and any other documents
required by the bank.
Joe moved and Pattiy seconded a motion To make the permanent legal mailing
address of WECAN as c/o MHO 64 Clingman Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801 The
motion passed.
Joe moved and Pattiy seconded to adopt draft financial procedures which
call for annual financial reporting, 990 filing and orderly transition of
oncoming treasurers. The motion passed.
Joe moved and Rachel seconded a motion to permit all IRS filings for tax
emption to be available for public inspection by the general public as
required by IRS rules by request on the WECAN Website for a link to the
Google Drive. The motion passed.
Joe moved and Jared seconded a motion to approve payment of the balance of
the $275 fee (including costs for printing and postage) for the
retroactive reinstatement application form 1023 and form 990’s from
2010-2017 supplemented by additional funds donated by Pattiy Torno and
Lynn Hall. The motion passed.
After an explanation of the Reinstatement process a reading was waived of
the Reasonable Explanation for Late Filing and Reasonable Cause Statement
(which were passed around)
Lynn Moved  and Rebecca second a motion to accept the advice of the
subcommittee and all the  documents for the Application for Retroactive
Reinstatement of 501(c )3 tax exemption. The motion passed.
Rebecca noted for information purposes that the subcommittee received
assistance from a friend of Katy Aull who is tax attorney. Rebecca
informed the board that she will acknowledge the assistance and proposes
to name one bed in the community Garden for the late pet dog named Mr.
Burns.
Luke thanked the subcommittee for their work.
REZONING REQUEST at 339 W Haywood St.:  Rachel, Jared and others  attended
and spoke at the Planning and Zoning meeting concerning the proposal to
change the zoning from Neighborhood Business to Commercial Business
Industrial. She reported that unsurprisingly P&Z approved the change and
passed it anyway despite her opposition. She noted that the fight can
continue with public comments at city council meetings, emailing
councilors, further meetings and petitions showing opposition. Joe
observed that the Neighborhood Business zoning was intended to provide a
transition from commercial and residential areas. Some differences are
allowing single family residential and size restrictions. Developers were
asking for some single family which Residential Multifamily 8 units per
acre (RM8) or Commercial Business might allow. There are also issues of
on-site patking and lot sizes. Some presidents like CB1 and some are
afraid of density and traffic. Some like RM8 and NHB. There is not a clear
consensus. Lynn suggested that we develop systems to collect and
disseminate information about issues. In each of the three possible zoning
categories the outcome is unclear. Luke pointed out that P&Z may want
increased density but single family housing has the lowest density.
Rebecca pointed out that traffic will increase under each zoning option.
Lynn suggested a fact-based, unemotional explanation of the issue. Rachel
wants a community survey.
Luke noted the key point is good accurate information spelling out the
trade-offs and explanatory links and bullet points.  Joe inserted that
the Living Asheville Comprehensive Plan was going to City Council in June
and calls for increased density along main travel nodes. People should
look at it on the city website. Also after it is accepted the Unified
Development Ordinance (UDO) will be rewritten and other zoning changes
may emerge. Rachel, Jared and Luke will form a subcommittee to format the
issue with facts. Rebecca observed that the current email list is out of
date and hard to update unless you go door to door and canvassing the
neighborhood works best person-to-person. Perhaps a piece of paper on
every doorstep with a link would work
NCDOT ENCROACHMENT AGREEMENTS: Joe expected Brenda to be at this meeting
with a progress report. There was a vague issue about planting on the
site. Not sure if that is holding it up. Joe repeated that NCDOT did clean
up the site on April 6.
STEPS TO HILLCREST: Luke repeated his concern about the erosion at the
base of the steps that he reported years ago.  Some markings have appeared
at the steps that imply something is being done. He will check with Greg
Shuler at Public Works for an update.
DUKE SUBSTATION: Luke summarized the meeting yesterday which was the first
since October 2017. Pattiy outlined the four basic principles: 1-Alignment
with community goals, 2-Community Benefit (leaving an easement on Clingman
to allow increased lanes for bikes, turning, etc to be developed by the
city after the substation is completed in a public process.) 3-Make it as
invisible as possible and 4-Respectfully deal with residential neighbors.
All four goals are still in play. Luke explained the process the group has
gone through so far and what options and trade-offs have got us to this
point after two years. There is an emotional issue about Jessie’s house
one of the longest occupied in WECAN. There may be some naming opportunity
in future development. He wants it to be documented before it is lost
forever and also to attempt to understand the impact on the neighbor
across the street.
WEST HAYWOOD DEVELOPMENT: Bill McCurdy went to P&Z with the goal of
subdividing 4 lots into 5. They advised they could approve it only if
1-rear access is mandatory, 2-there need to be sidewalks on West Haywood,
3-a requirement for front porches and 4-no driveway cuts on W Haywood.  He
showed an illustration of how it would look with a single space driveway
in each.
Parking on W Haywood is an issue that is being used to justify the ban on
driveways.  John and Jared both have concerns about using the rear access
which would despoil their views from the back of their Club/Trade Street
houses.
MSD NEW LINE: Rachel wants to thank MSD for their work. Pattiy offered to
send a photo and will bring a thank you to the next WECAN meeting.
RADTIP: Road closures begin on Monday. The stop lights between Southern
States and Smoky Park Supper Club will control traffic in both directions
through one lane of the railroad trestle for the next six weeks.
JESSIE MAE MEMORIAL GARDEN; Rachel thanked Pattiy for the face Book
picture of a yellow iris given to her by the late Jessie Mae Jones. She
will reach out to JoAnne Skinner for info on getting plants..
QUEEN CARSON COMMUNITY GARDEN: Wood chip mulch arrived thanks to Duke Energy.
It has been spread to cover the garden paths and around the perimeter. 
Rebecca announced there is room for more gardeners to participate. The
regular meeting is on Tuesdays at 6 pm.
KUDZU HILLWORKDAY: The first will be this Sunday May 6 at 5 pm  starting
at the Roberts Street side to keep the invasive plants off the new
hawthorn trees.
Meeting adjourned at 8:33 pm
Minutes submitted by Joe Fioccola, Secretary

Thursday, April 5, 2018

WECAN April 2018 Board Meeting Minutes • Draft


WECAN Board Meeting Minutes April 5, 2018
Board Members present: Joe Fioccola, Jared Fischer, Rebecca Lance,
Caroline Mullis and Pattiy Torno.  Members not present: Danny Aull, Byron
Ballard, Jessie Coleman, Lynn Hall, Rachel Larson and Luke Perry. Also
Present: APD Officer Justin Wilson, Brenda Mills, Neighborhood
Communication Manager.
INTROS: Joe called the meeting to order at 6:36 pm.
APD/CRO Update: Justin reported recent crimes in March included a bicycle
theft by a BM 5’-8” dreadlocks from a porch on Jefferson, the theft of two
chained mopeds taken from a yard on Jefferson. Follow up on the Jefferson
turn around area were three calls of suspicious activity: two were for
prostitution but they left before officers arrived and the third found
someone claimed picking nettles for a restaurant. 130 Roberts St, Cypress
Creek had a grab of a cell phone from the desk. A house was broken into on
W Haywood Street through an unlocked ground floor window and a TV and
jewelry was taken. He also showed a snapshot comparison of the locations
of property crimes in March 2017 compared to March 2018. Rebecca asked
about pre-packaged advice for crime prevention. Justin will try to locate
a current pdf notice. Pattiy asked about a traffic incident where cars
parked on Clingman were hit by a blue truck. It was witnessed and drug
related and the driver was charged.
NATIONAL NIGHT OUT: Brenda urged WECAN to prepare and think about what we
want to do. NNO is on August 7 and is an opportunity for neighbors to
interact with police and get to know each other. In the past WECAN has
gathered at Aston Park with a cookout and luminaria. In other years there
was a more concentrated event in city-county plaza or Carrier Park with
prizes and hot dogs provided by Target. Last year WECAN opted out and it
also rained heavily. This year a more dispersed observance in
neighborhoods is encouraged. Brenda will send out information and ideas
from other neighborhoods by next week.    There is no fee for a city
permit and applications should be received by late June. We may want to
contact Target directly about sponsorships.
MINUTES: Joe read an amendment to the minutes:
WECAN HISTORY FLASHBACK FROM MARCH 1998: WECAN residents motivate County
officials to initiate a $30,000 cleanup of a 25-year old dumping site at
the intersection of West Haywood and Club/Trade Street.   WECAN Board
members meet with the Asheville Greenway Plan consultants to encourage
neighborhood ravine as possible route for greenway connector from downtown
to the French Broad River, which leads to consultants’ recommendation of
this site.   Letter sent to (and meetings with) Parks and Recreation halts
expansion plans for maintenance facility that is incompatible with WECAN
Neighborhood 2010 Plan   WECAN Board appoints members to meet with
Hillcrest Community to discuss working together on problems affecting both
neighborhoods concerning the bypass walkover bridge.   WECAN adopts
Clingman Avenue through the Adopt a Highway program.   Jared moved and
Pattiy seconded a motion to approve the draft WECAN minutes from March 1
as emailed. The motion passed.
TREASURER’S REPORT: Rebecca reported the March 30 balance was $1072.42.
Following up on the revoked tax-exempt status she noted there are two
options. The first is called a postmark reinstatement which will cost $275
is easy to file with IRS and just reinstates the status from the date of
the postmark going forward but also needs more notifications to donors.
The second is a full retroactive reinstatement when revocations are older
than 15 months and which may cost $600. Pattiy offered to pay the
difference between the $275 and $600 and do the extra paperwork in order
to do the right thing. After discussion it was the unanimous opinion of
those present and 3 absentees to go for the second. There is a deadline of
May 15 to submit the application and a subcommittee of Rebecca, Pattiy and
Joe will meet on Sunday to begin the 6 month application process.
NCDOT ENCROACHMENT: Brenda has talked to Ken Putnam about the neighborhood
maintaining what we call the Melk Garden across from the bus garage and an
agreement with the city is needed like the one the city had for the mural
on N Lexington under the I-240 bridge. The city is the intermediary
between WECAN and NCDOT but NCDOT has a rule against planting on their
right-of-ways. There was some confusion about what the main goal was
(planting vegetables or keeping it clear of campsites.) Brenda will check
with him later this week about current vegetation and Transportation will
begin to draft the agreement with NCDOT and it shouldn’t take long for the
one between the city and WECAN. Rachel noted that NCDOT reneged on
removing trash they buried. Joe noted that Eric at Asheville Green Works
plans to follow up on the illegal process they used but will wait until
after WECAN has our encroachment agreement. [**Joe observed that NCDOT did
clean up the buried debris on April 6**]
DUKE RIGHT OF WAY: Duke’s power pole installation has begun. Some trees
have been removed from the Trade Street ravine others saved and only
trimmed. . Jason had offered wood chips for the community garden and Joe
met with the crew leader on Thursday March 29th and showed him where to
leave a load of wood chips but as late as Tuesday April 3 none were
delivered. Joe ran into Jason on Tuesday and he said he would follow up on
it. Jared was called by Kyra Thompson 828 279-0083 what kind of trees he
would like to be replaced there. He will ask for a medium height native
evergreen tree from their approved list to visually block sight of the
power lines.
MSD NEW LINE: Pattiy noted that MSD has mulched the top at the end of Park
Avenue and noted that trees cannot be replanted within ten feet of the
sewer line on either side. She is in touch with Shane Meadows from MSD
about the replanted Duke tree along Clingman.
RADTIP: April-June road closures: Pattiy reported that starting April 21
the section of Riverside between Craven Street and Hill Street will be
reduced to one lane under the railroad trestle for about six weeks with an
unmanned traffic signal that is triggered when a vehicle approaches from
the north or south.
OWENS-BELL PARK: Joe observed that the lyriope around the metal Owens-Bell
Park sign had been mowed just like the mulch and the mums that were
planted there before. Pattiy offered some corrugated metal that could
serve as a barrier to mowers.
QUEEN CARSON COMMUNITY GARDEN:   Rebecca noted that there is still room
available for others interested in participating. The regular meeting day
is Tuesday at 6 pm. Byron received three water funnel kits ( like the one
in the garden now.) for a community garden that went defunct To complete
use as water catchment we need trash cans and cement blocks. Pattiy moved
and Jared seconded a motion to authorize spending around $50 to complete
them. The motion passed.
CENTRAL AREA MEETING: Joe attended the Neighborhood Advisory Committee
area meeting on Monday March 19. Only five neighborhood representatives
attended from two central neighborhood groups. Joe was disappointed that
the WECAN Chair didn’t show up. He offered that issues of a Duke Energy
substation proceeding in WECAN and three or four large scale apartment
complexes on Clingman Avenue between Hilliard to Patton that when complete
will double or triple the current resident population. A single family
house near his is being listed for almost a half million dollars. When
people pay that much for a house they come with expectations and community
is often not one of them. When gentrification comes-- like it has here, it
destroys community. It increases property taxes and only benefits
residents if they chose to leave and cash out. The next area meeting is in
North area in May. A brief discussion of purpose of meetings for input
rather than from organized group meetings followed.
COALITION OF ASHEVILLE NEIGHBORHOODS (CAN): Joe read an invitation from
CAN to attend their monthly meeting on Monday April 9. They have decided
to waive their 2018 membership fees to encourage participation. Their
meeting will cover neighborhood concerns, election of officers, future
meeting sites, new website and visioning. Pattiy’s experience is that CAN
is not an effective organization. Joe has issues with their membership
fees and they are struggling with their organization. The difference and
overlap between CAN and NAC leads to confusion. Controversial issues
brought to CAN and NAC include noise from businesses affecting residential
neighborhoods, and the road diet for Merrimon Avenue.
ADOPT A HIGHWAY: Last cleanup was on March 13 the next litter pickup will
be in June.
KUDZU HILLWORKDAY: The first was set for Sunday May 6 at 5 pm to keep the
invasive plants off the new hawthorn trees. Green Works will be asked for
use of the tool trailer.
AT-LARGE BOARD MEMBERS:  Joe noted the WECAN By-Laws call for two classes
of membership. The first are Resident Members and the second are At-large
members. Up to 15 may serve in the 60/40 proportion. That means that with
9 current board members there should be 5 At-large members. Pattiy moved
and Jared seconded a motion to appoint Floree and Rafael back as At-Large
Board members. The motion passed Pattiy will ask Joe Faffy if he is
interested in serving.
RAD BANNERS: Pattiy explained a MOU between the city, RADA and RADBA which
allocates $25,000 to maintain vitality in the River Arts District during
the construction on RADTIP. Enthusiastic response was shown for 114
way-finding pole banners color-coded to the guide map with different
images and sponsors. They will go up in the next two weeks. Some of
Riverside should be done by June and due to loss of some parking at Jean
Webb Park there will be more parking under the Bowen Bridges and some
detours when apartments are constructed.
DUKE SUBSTATION: Pattiy heard from Jason that he is ready to reconvene the
working group which hasn’t met since September. Some progress has been
made on Knoxville Place with assurances that they are ‘looking after the
residents’ and had made contact with Mr. Harrison and expect to close by
August. Duke is ready to move forward.
BLOCK JESSIES: Jared’s neighbor gave up on dealing with the damage to his
house from the broken fire hydrant.  Joe observed that it was 23 years ago
this day that fire destroyed the Asheville Cotton Mill and Chesterfield
Mill. Also that tree removal had begun on Girdwood Street next to the
Davens. With all the trees removes he considered changing the street name
to “Gird.”  Pattiy explained that when RADTIP is complete her road would
be renamed River Arts Row and be one way north bound and need new
addressing for Curve Studios and 14 Riverside Drive. There will also be
artist housing north of Curve Studios and some realignment of Riverside
Drive by the Old Wood Co.
Meeting adjourned at 8:32 pm
Minutes submitted by Joe Fioccola, Secretary
Important Upcoming Dates:
April 9 CAN Meeting 7 pm
April 17 Opioid Crisis-A Call To Action @Dr Wesly Grant Cntr 285
Livingston St 6-8 pm
April 20 NH leaders Roundtable 8:30 @ Riverlink
May 3    Next WECAN Board Meeting Thursday 6:30 pm
May 6 Kudzu Hill workday-5 pm

LIVING ASHEVILLE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN: The final draft is published and
there are several public meetings scheduled before it goes to City Council
for adoption in May.