WECAN General Membership Meeting December 5, 2013 at 64 Clingman Ave.
Board Members Present were: Byron Ballard, Joe Fioccola, AnnaBeth Hardcastle, Rachel Larson and Luke W. Perry. Board Members not present were Jeff Carnivale, Jessie Nell Coleman, Tom Gibson, Mike Kenton, Yuri Koslen, Marc Schieferstein, JoAnn Skinner, Pattiy Torno and Suzanne Willis. Also present were: Officer Evan Coward, Officer Sean Davis Lance Hardcastle and Marsha Stickford.
Joe called the meeting to order at 6:40 p.m.
MINUTES: After introductions and refreshments the Draft November minutes were approved.
TREASURERS REPORT: AnnaBeth reported that the current balance was $302.79 with an outstanding bill for $55.20 for postage for the newsletter. Also the check from the Half Marathon has still not been received.
APD CRO Update Evan reported that regarding the open door at one of the small houses on Yarrow Place that he is attempting to contact the owner who lives out of state. Some graffiti problems happening at Ferguson Enterprises and The Odyssey Center on Clingman Avenue Extension. He has been actively dispersing campers from the lot north of Park and West Haywood and also under the Smith Bridge.(Craven at Riverside) He also alerted WECAN residents to be aware that in north Asheville some people are following UPS trucks around and stealing the packages they deliver. (Good information to put on Nextdoor.com.)
ACTIVITY REPORT Joe read a list of board activities for the year. They included Ice House discussion, Public Housing Authority Team, New Belgium discussion, Election of officers: Luke, Rachel, AnnaBeth and Joe, 100 Park Avenue, Club House demolition, Master Planning, ADC Bridge, Historic Assets Committee, Jefferson Baby Boom, Cotton Mill Ruins fire, Aston Park Cookout, Dave Steel Apartments, Proposal for Master Planning and a Community Garden, Clingman Forest Greenway, Misplaced Ped Heads, Riverside Drive Strategic Planning, East of the Riverway Connections, Neighborhood Advisory Committee, Police to Citizen website, Half Marathon Fundraiser, Festival of Neighborhoods Showcase, Traffic Calming Policy changes, City Neighborhood E-newsletter, NEXTDOOR.com, Garden Club Tuesdays, RAD Lofts, Annual Newsletter, Election of Board members and Planning for 2014. (Whew!)
ELECTION: Joe reported that the current Class of 2013 consisting of Jessie Coleman, Joe Fioccola, AnnaBeth Hardcastle, Jeff Carnivale and Tom Gibson were all eligible to serve a second term. He nominated them all to serve and AnnaBeth seconded. The motion passed and the Class of 2013 is now the Class of 2016. Welcome back.
PLANNING 2014: A list was started of what we want to do in 2014: The list included: [_] Community building activities such as yard cleanup assistance for elderly residents;[_] Garden Club Tuesdays (or some other day?); possibly combined with an afterwards gathering for a beer at the Wedge; [_] A supplemental census of the East side of Clingman Avenue (which the National Census lumps in with Aston Park Towers and S French Broad Avenue.) [_] WECAN Master Planning; [_] Updating the WECAN Mailing List [_] Meet with EWANA for a social and brainstorming session to consider what is appropriate compensation for the construction disruptions from New Belgium; [_] A community Garden across from Asheville Transit; Marsha reported that some movement was occurring. An encroachment agreement with DOT was initiated for a temporary community garden focusing on public safety issues. It was also reported that a resource to contact was Diana Schmidt who started a community garden in Black Mountain using native plants, edibles and trees. Also that several of the city community gardens (I.e. Pisgah View, Burton Street, Montford, Oakley) were in a somewhat perilous situation with their Bountiful Cities sponsors and should come together to form a coalition or have a summit meeting to network.
BLOCK JESSIES: AnnaBeth reported that something needs to be done to restore the pedestrian path from Jefferson to Park Avenue damaged by M.S.D. Marsha reported that Parks and Rec has committed to funding and installing a chrome vapor light at the new pedestrian bridge. It is considered temporary until a lighting plan for the area is developed. Luke reported that the hole at the south side at the bottom of the Hillcrest steps was getting bigger. He also noted that Mountain Housing Opportunities had conducted a Neighborworks survey which may have the census data we were looking for. Rachel reported one house for sale and one for rent on Park Square. AnnaBeth reported her son has moved into an apartment on Clingman Place and that Trio Construction in clear cutting trees had damaged a vehicle. She helped identify all the residents on Jefferson Drive. Rachel asked about steep slope regulations. The city website will have answers. Luke is now a member of the East End/Valley Street Neighborhood who meet on the 3rd Thursdays.(Except in winter)
FIFTEEN YEARS OF WECAN CELEBRATION: On WECAN's fifteenth anniversary Joe reviewed a list of accomplishments from our Festival of Neighborhoods display: Beautification: Neighborhood Clean-ups (1997-8) Buncombe County Cleanup on Club/Trade Street (1998) Community landscaping Planting (1999) Decorative Street Signs (2000) Green Grants homeowner yard plantings (2001) Public Art sculpture by Julia C. Burr and sculptural bus stop bench by John Payne (2003) Clingman Forest Clean Up (2004) Sunny Cultural Garden at Owens-Bell Park (2006) Communication: Minutes of every meeting written and distributed and annual newsletter mailed (1997-present) Email Newsletters begin (2005) Email Newsflashes (2011) WECAN Website (2006) Facebook page (2010) Kiosk at the Circle (2012) Kiosk at Owens-Bell Park (2013) Next Door.com (2013) Community Building: United Way Day of Caring (1997), Adopt a Highway cleanups begin on Clingman Avenue (1998-present) Picnic (1999) Warren Wilson College Service Day (2001) Neighborhood Watch organized (2004) Garden Tour (2005) Aston Park Picnic (2005) Moveable feast picnics (2005) National Night Out Luminaria (2007) Twilight Together Celebration (2009) Jefferson Drive Turnaround clean-up (2011) Clingman Circle Celebration Parade (2012) History: Neighborhood History Exhibit at Pack Place (1998) National Register Historic District Nomination filed for West End Historic District (2001) Riverside Industrial District and Clingman Avenue Historic District placed on National Register of Historic Places. (2005) Oral History Project (2005) and Documentary Video: WECAN: Finding its place through change and challenge (2006) (funded by Handmade in America/Ford Foundation grant) Levie Wilson 100th birthday Banner (2006) Naming Owens-Bell Park (2007) Identification: Logo Design (2002), Neighborhood sign (2002) Ceramic Tile (2003) Infrastructure: Walk-through with city departments (1998) Sewer lines, granite curbstone replacement, LED Streetlights, sidewalk on Hilliard, adopting Owens-Bell passive park, Clingman Enhancement: (traffic circle, streetscape, bike lanes, bike repair station, landscaping, bulb outs, ped heads) (2004-13) Pedestrian bridge at Jean Webb Park (2013) Planning: WECAN 2010 Plan (1996) Neighborhood Visioning (1999) Citizens Master Plan (2000) Open Space Planning Retreat (2005) Aston Park Playground (2005) Clingman Forest Greenway (2003) East of the Riverway (2013) Riverside Drive Strategic Plan (2013).
RIVERFRONT DEVELOPMENT MEETINGS: Joe and Pattiy attended the November meeting (Third Thursdays from 3-5 p.m. 5th Floor City Hall.) The new owner of the Burco Building next to Phil Mechanic was there as was the developer of the RAD Lofts and a representative of the Norfolk Southern Railway.
EAST OF THE RIVERWAY Report: Joe and Luke attended the final follow-up meeting of stakeholders in the Scenario Planning for EOTR. Luke said they have taken credit for things other groups were already doing. Their deliverables were: 1) A transformational Development Project: The renovation of the Reid Center and the city's acquisition of the Ice House and Progress Energy Building on Riverside Drive. 2) Construction ready drawings for the Clingman Forest Greenway and the Town Branch Greenway. 3) EOTR Connections: transportation plan for the next 5-10 years. Joe noted reports of other activities which included: Youth Build training; Free or low cost broadband; AB Tech looking for community projects; Low Cost Housing: Eagle-Market (62 units by end of 2014) and Glen Rock (22 units); Better communication about eligibility for affordable housing; Personal Development: credit workshops; Family Self Sufficiency program for public housing residents; Community Navigators; Changing Together: call-ins providing options to reduce reoffending gang members, violent and youth offenders; AB Tech College Readiness Center for Asheville High students; Green Streets--training on energy efficiency in the home; African American History--taken up by UNC-CH and Duke; Looking at trends in the history of grants received by the city; Hillcrest developing a community based alternative to childcare vouchers-- a cooperative. There was no clear plan to continue meeting and collaborating. The goals of EOTR Initiative were: Provide more transportation choices; Promote equitable, affordable housing; Enhance economic competitiveness; Support existing communities; Coordinate policies & leverage investment; Value communities and neighborhoods. Marsha noted that an effort is being made to layer the various city plans and that the EOTR website has been re-launched. www.EastoftheRiverway.com They are funded through the end of this year.
HISTORIC PRESERVATION: Joe attended a Pennsylvania based consultants first meeting to develop a preservation plan. The plan will be complete by the end of August and several meetings are planned before then.
COMPOSTING: Compost Now offers curbside compost pick-up for a fee to Asheville residents. They provide members with bins to throw their food scraps (including meat, bones, and dairy) and other compostable materials in. Each week, they come by and swap it out for a clean bin. From there, it's taken to their facility where they turn it into nutrient rich finished compost comprised of 15% worm castings. They deliver the soil members earn right back to them or they have the option of giving it to one of the local community gardens they've partnered with like Oakley Community Garden, Pearson Gardens, Falconhurst, etc. Their mission is to educate the community on the value/benefits of composting, make composting easy, and support our local community food system by keeping local nutrients in it! Their members are reducing up to 1/3 of their waste.
DOWNTOWN MARKET FUNDRAISER BOOTH: AnnaBeth reported that the Down Town Market has a holiday booth to which several venders have donated items and the funds will go to a needy local family. She encouraged everyone to stop by and make someone's holidays special. Rachel will put it on the Face book page.
The meeting adjourned at 8:25 p.m.
DRAFT Minutes submitted by Joe Fioccola.
Dec 6 4pm Blue Ridge BioFuels Tour with WNCA, Phil Mechanic Building, downstairs
Dec 14 Studio Stroll: Art for the Holidays
Jan 2, 2014 6:30 WECAN Board Meeting 6:30 at 64 Clingman Avenue