WECAN Board Meeting on Thursday August 4, 2011 at Merritt Park Meeting Room
Members present: Byron Ballard, Jeff Carnivale, Joe Fioccola, AnnaBeth Hardcastle, Mike Kenton, Yuri Koslen, Members not present were: Jessie Coleman, Bret Frk, Tom Gibson, Geraldine Melendez, Luke W. Perry, Jose Ruiz and Pattiy Torno.
Also present were: Lance Hardcastle, Brad Smith, APD Officers Coward, Shelton, Loveless, and Stepp.
Yuri called the meeting to order at 6:36. After introductions the July meeting minutes were approved as distributed.
APD CRO update and questions:
Homeless on DOT property: regarding the homeless camp between Park Ave and I240 while trash remains the camp is gone. Regarding a campsite behind the Phil mechanic Building it has been cleared and arrests were made.
Pedestrian Bridge: Jackie reported that City sidewalks at the Hillcrest Walkover are overgrown. DOT will get that done by November. Jackie relayed from Marsha that there are new LED lights on the Roberts St side and DOT will keep clear a ten foot strip on either side of the stairs leading to Roberts St. Also coming look for new markings for parking and possibly a new stop sign at Roberts and W Haywood by White Duck Taco.
Jackie announced that The City version of National Night Out will be on Saturday October 1st at MLK Park from 4-7 pm (Rain Date Oct 8.) Hoping for improved attendance which has lately been poor at the “Official” date (First Tuesday in August.) Brad reported that “No Trespassing Signs which are posted on the Tennis Court side of the Ravine on the East of Clingman Ave. are not deterring people entering the area from the Merritt St. side. Jackie assured us that posting every entrance is not necessary to enforce trespassing violations.
Jeff reported increased traffic on Jefferson Dr and that the dead end is overgrown with Kudzu it is hard to see suspicious activity or people sleeping in the road at the turnaround. Anna reported signs of activity such as condoms and litter and also reported that the fire hydrant at the dead end is completely hidden. The responsibility for maintaining the overgrowth may lie between the city and DOT.
The D.O.T Contact Committee has not met yet Anna Beth requested maps and more info of what are the issues and what areas are involved. Yuri suggested a brief brainstorming session to generate issues to start the conversation (such as maintenance of plantings/ground cover weeds; homeless camps, etc.) Mike advised that DOT can’t approve a community garden or any use involving people on their property due to liability issues.
Garden Club July date was canceled next date set for Sunday August 21 at Owens Bell Park from 8 am to noon.
Clingman Streetscape has been adopted by Asheville Greenworks with support from Sitework Studios, Mail Management & CURVE studios & garden so far, with more RAD business chipping in thru a possible fundraiser in September 2011.
Neighborhood Watch Block Captains: Block Captain Sub-Committee has not met. Yuri passed around a map and requested suggestions for areas and prospective block captains. Byron noted that West Asheville, a much larger neighborhood, was quickly and efficiently organized on line through face book to respond to their crime wave. He will send a request with a digital map attached before the next meeting.
Clingman Avenue Streetscape: Construction resumes this Monday August 8 on the upper half of Clingman Ave. starting on the lower end. The saw cut lines have already been set. Both lanes will not be closed at the same time. There should be communication between the construction Co and the residents. Brad requested an email schedule of the timeline. (Especially outages such as electric, gas, water and cable.) and residents want their shrubs undisturbed. A flyer of the timeline was suggested with a contact number for the project manager. Lance had heard some questions about the difficulty of cutting concrete and leaving sharp edges and the probability of having to re-pour.
Depot Street Parking Plan: working on a base map with marked parking along the railroad side and sidewalks and crosswalks to the five way.
Zoning Change for vacant lot north of Park Avenue on Club St. It appears that it was inadvertently left off the latest zoning map. The proposal is to match it with adjacent zoning RM8. The 0.27 acre parcel was sold by Urvana LLC to District Development LLC on 6/13/2011. It is unknown if there are any immediate plans to develop the site.
Downtown Market: First Bank was the sole bidder for the foreclosed property. They say they will honor existing leases for Amazing Savings and the two restaurants but may only offer 30 day leases. Lance reported that there is 20,000 sq ft of unused air-conditioned and heated safe walking distance space. He requested Ideas for potential uses. One idea mentioned was to provide a place for the itinerant food vendors like a food court. Other ideas are local retiree training in practical craft skills such as caning chairs, or making apple pies, or free school (Cabin Fever University) where the rent would be modest to zero. The central part of the building is where the majority of the space and energy are. He suggested a letter of support and ideas for usage showing community ties and support from WECAN, SFBN; DARN, ADA, Downtown Commission, AGCB and TWCA. to persuade the bank to sell. Also to use face book and blogs to promote support and ideas. An idea to get people into the space was an open house event like a cookout. Organizations to contact for small business incubator ideas include Mountain Bizworks, Advantage West, AB Tech, Handmade in America. Lance will send out a one paragraph write up about what is needed.
Flea Market Parking on Lyman St behind Paneling World cars may not park in the bicycle lane. Call in violations. They need to start getting the word out or vehicles will get ticketed and possibly towed. Byron will notify Jody with Short Street Cakes.
By-Laws- Joe and Anna Beth will meet to draft proposed changes to WECAN By-Laws.
Annual Meeting: November 3,2011 with potluck.
Meeting adjourned at 7:48 p.m.