Sunday, December 23, 2012

WECAN December General Membership Meeting Minutes (Draft)

WECAN General Membership Meeting December 6, 2012 at 64 Clingman Ave.
Board Members Present were: Byron Ballard, Joe Fioccola, Bret Frk, Yuri Koslen, Patrick Pearson (Proxy for  Suzanne Willis) Luke Perry and Joanne Skinner. Board Members not present were Jeff Carnivale, Jessie Nell Coleman, Tom Gibson, AnnaBeth Hardcastle, and Mike Kenton. Other Members present were:  Stephanie Greiner, Gray Hayes, Alex Krug, Rachel Larson, Hanni Muerdter, Mark Schieferstein and Addy Wygmans, Also present were:  Lt Jamee Crawford, CRO Evan Coward, Marsha Stickford, Steph Monson Dahl.

    Luke officially called the General Membership meeting to order at 6:38 p. m. with a round of introductions and recalling ones most pleasant memories of the past week.

ICE HOUSE: Lt Crawford gave an overview of the Ice House Property at 91 Riverside Dr. A joint effort of several city departments resulted in the city’s acquisition of the property last Friday. Steph reported that an order of demolition which was on the last City Council Agenda has been removed and rescheduled for January. Comments on the impact of a demolition to the district were collected at a River District Design Review Committee meeting. A diverse range of opinions were presented from Safety: ‘people first’ to ‘it is the most important building and needs to be preserved.’ AB Preservation Society and the NC State Historic Preservation Office say it promotes visual harmony and historic integrity of the Riverside Industrial Historic District.  So demolition has been removed from consideration until additional due diligence has been completed. The current process consists of developing a menu of options, legal analysis with fiscal, environmental, political and economic impacts to City Council by the end of December and reconsider the demolition issue in January. Additional meetings are scheduled for the coming weeks to develop a public safety plan which includes increased patrols of the ice house as well as other vacant buildings in the district. The building is still not completely physically secure but the squatters have been removed, at least once and City staff have put up additional boards and tape at the site.  Lt Crawford said progress is slow  but in the right direction and the police goal is safety not necessarily preservation or demolition.  Canvassing of council members has been going on. Public input is welcomed at the Council meeting. Formal letters from organized groups are effective. Council can  receive comments by snail mail, email, and in person in advance of the meeting. The project has caused the city to look at vacant buildings and review the state statutes, codes and ordinances to develop a comprehensive strategy to deal with these issues city-wide. The law enforcement process of dealing with vacant structures is complaint driven but responsive to criminal and public safety issues. We will see what can be done in the next 60 days. Luke thanked all the city departments for their efforts in this matter.

APD CRO: SFB: Evan came from a meeting with the South French Broad Neighborhood Their organization has had uneven progress but is refocusing on crime issues. Their biggest one is prostitution and Officer Kenny Clamser is the Police Departments spearhead in that effort working with Our Voice and Jail Diversion to redirect and rehab the women. SFB wants to meet with the Housing Authority and they want to have a joint neighborhood meeting for the residents around the Aston Park area in January or February  including WECAN, S French Broad Neighborhood and the newly constituted APD Housing units about the Aston Garden Apartments. Possibly in conjunction with the YWCA.  Other issues   People sleeping on the porch of Jolie DeSheas at 295 W Haywood St.  Evan will talk to them about lighting and signage. The light at the end of Jefferson has been fixed but there is still traffic going there and needles found. Evan encouraged recording tags for research but not physically blocking people in or getting physically involved. That information may not lead to an immediate arrest due to structural problems with the law and the learning curve of lawbreakers but could have other uses

TREASURERS REPORT
: Luke read a report from AnnaBeth. WECAN is tax exempt as a  501c 3 organization. (Incorporated in NC since 1997) The IRS had a question about refilling papers but AnnaBeth found that they are not required unless our annual receipts exceed $25,000. Our current balance is $256.79.

Joe reported  a SUMMARY OF ACTIVITY since our last General Membership Meeting :
Aug 2--General Membership Meeting O-B Park... Bicycle Race… Designs for a New kiosk at the bus stop at Owens-Bell Park… Aug 7--National Night Out… Sept 6…River Music Concerts on Riverside Dr... Sep 13 East Of The Riverway Day: Dog and Pony Show... Sep            18+20 Energy Plan Focus Groups:.. Communication Committee Block Jessies... East West Asheville Neighborhood/New Belgium... Roberts St Traffic Counts… Clingman Bulb out Striping… The Clingman Forest Greenway design team has been selected: Site-works Studios… Oct 4 Hillcrest Walkover bridge after 1 year.... Goat keeper... Bike skills park... Roberts Street Parking Plan ... Oct 10 New Belgium/EWANA Meeting ... 12 Adopt A Highway… 14 Garden Club…           Drainage Repair... IDIOT-ARAD… Oct 22-Master Plan Steering Committee… Nov 1 Ice House Discussion… Oct 19 Master Plan Steering Committee… Nov 26 Newsletter… Dec 3-Evie Littlejohn passed away.. Dec 6 General Membership Meeting… Election of Board Members… Master Plan Process… Refreshments…

MINUTES: The minutes from the August meeting and the minutes from the November meeting as corrected by Cara were approved as corrected:  There were 4 incidents that I know of (I've learned of more since the meeting, though): August: screams, no one located (correct as is) Sept: Man attacked by 4-5 people (correct as is) Oct: A man beat up by two assailants in the Ice House, the police were not called and the man was brought to a Shelter by Wedge employees Oct 27: Melissa Weiss gave her phone to the witness On Oct. 27 to report the beating which resulted in the death of Andrew Stephens Marsh (correction: Melissa was not to one talking to police on the phone). Thanks, Cara

ELECTION OF BOARD MEMBERS: Bylaws call for 3 year terms for board members who may serve up to two full consecutive terms, then they must rotate off the board for at least a year.  Attendance at meetings is not restricted to board members. So the fun may continue even while technically off the board. We meet the first Thursday of the month at 64 Clingman Ave at 6:30 p.m. Current Board composition is as follows:
Class of 2012::: Yuri/1*Expiring term renewable  Byron/1*Expiring term renewable Brett/2*Expiring term non-renewable
Class of 2013::: Jessie/1  Joe/1  AnnaBeth/1  Jeff/1  Tom/1     Class of 2014::: Mike/1  Luke/1  JoAnn/1  Suzanne/1
Joe thanked Bret for his service over the last 6 years as well as his continuing participation in the Master Planning process. Luke opened the floor for nominations. Joe nominated Byron and Yuri.  Yuri nominated Mark, Grey and Stephanie. Luke Nominated Rachel and Hanni, and Byron nominated Pattiy provisionally.  Then Stephanie, Grey and Hanni declined their nominations.  The slate of Byron, Mark, Rachel, Yuri and Pattiy (provisionally) was nominated to the Class of 2015 and approved by acclamation. Welcome aboard the board!
Officers are elected by the board at the January meeting.

MASTER PLANNING
: Luke gave an overview of the Ad-Hoc Master Planning Steering Committee meetings. They began to meet in August with awareness of the changes since the plan was written in 2000 and the changes and challenges that are immanent. The group has met monthly since then to review, study and analyze the Citizens Master Plan to see where we are now and facilitate a discussion with the neighborhood in the coming months.  Chapter assignments were made as follows: Yuri: Patton Avenue and Interstate I-240; Luke: Infill Opportunities; Pattiy: Riverfront Area and The Arts District; Bret: Green Infrastructure and Ecological Restoration Plan; Hanni: Main Street on Clingman Avenue and Lower Clingman Avenue; Joe: Top of the Hill; Bret: Existing Conditions (Data); AnnaBeth and Rachel Existing Conditions (Social);  Bret gave a brief overview of GIS. Geographic Information Systems integrate hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically connected information. GIS lets us visualize, question, analyze, interpret, and understand data to reveal relationships, patterns, and trends. The use of  GIS has been enhanced by the city by providing access to a lot of their data. GIS will be a useful tool to inform the planning process.

EAST OF THE RIVERWAY: Luke continues to be in contact. As part of the nation-wide Sustainable Communities Initiative, the City of Asheville received a TIGER II Planning Grant to work with the neighborhoods of the “East of the Riverway” area.  Asheville is one of a few cities in the country to be awarded this grant which is helping fund planning efforts in the Southside, South French Broad, Hillcrest, Lee Walker Heights, WECAN and River Arts District.  The City of Asheville has partnered with Green Opportunities, the Asheville Design Center and many others to build stronger communities with a voice that is heard across the greater Asheville community. Some of the funding will be used to produce working drawings for the Clingman Forest and Town Branch Greenways, the Wilma Dykeman RiverWay Plan, RADTIP, the Reid Center Job Training Center and organizing the Southside neighborhood.  Luke shared some graphic Census Data that includes only Census tract 9 which excludes Hillcrest Apts. He also distributed a copy of the RADTIP Preferred Alternative which was presented earlier today. Steph explained that the main focus for us was the 2.2 mile multimodal build out through the River Arts District and WECAN. The next steps are working with consultants to develop detailed drawings. RADTIP should be complete in about 5 years.

IN4M On Wednesday there was an informational forum about Buncombe County's 2013 Property Tax Reappraisal. At the meeting the main concern was gentrification and the impact of the New Belgium Development. NB should not have a direct impact on residential property values since it is a commercial property. Since no inspections are done beforehand the question was brought up that if one leaves the outside of a house looking shabby any improvements on the inside could not be assessed. However, assessors are aware of permits for major renovations. Luke passed around an information sheet and will present a graphic flow chart explaining the process by the next meeting.

RIVERSIDE DRIVE STRATEGIC PLAN: Steph announced a community planning process in March to develop a vision  and preferred use for the Progress Energy Brick Building behind 12Bones among other buildings in the area.

NEW BELGIUM DESIGNS: Luke showed some architectural renderings of the final designs for the brewery. Deconstruction should begin in January, site work begins in April and construction in September of 2013.

BLOCK JESSIES
: Yuri explained that Block Jessies are a development of the Communication Committee. Named in honor of longtime WECAN resident Jessie Coleman of Knoxville Place, they will be collectors of contact information and dispersers of  community interest and public safety information in their "block." They would not need to attend monthly meetings just be in touch with their neighbors on their block. However, monthly board meetings are fun and open and anyone may attend. Committed so far: Block 1) Chicken Hill: Luke; Block 2 ) Patton to Hilliard: Jessie; Block 3) Rector: ?; Block 4) Merritt Park:?;  Block 5) Prospect Terrace:? Block 6) Clingman Ave:?; Block 7) Clingman Lofts: Hanni; Block 8) Jefferson: Yuri; Block 9) Park Ave: Bret; Block 10) Grey Eagle:?; Block 11) Roundabout:?; Block 12) Riverside: Pattiy;  Contact any of them with questions, issues or problems. Some more Block Jessies are still needed.
Thanks to all those who brought food.
The meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Joe Fioccola

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