Wednesday, October 16, 2013

WECAN joins NextDoor.com

Thanks to the efforts of our wonderful APD Community Resource Officer, Evan Coward, WECAN is one of several guinea pigs, in Asheville, for a private social media resource called NextDoor.com.  The hope is that NextDoor.com will be an easy way for WECAN neighbors to stay in contact with each other, with our surrounding neighborhoods as well as a way for us to talk with the City of Asheville & the City of Asheville to let us know about events, road closures, planning initiatives, etc that may effect WECAN folks... please sign up if you want to.... not sure if you need to get invited to join... if you do, please send an email and you will get an invite! Thanks

Smokestack Repairs


Harold Whitley, of Western Waterproofing will be up high in the air over WECAN for the next several weeks, re-pointing the brick tile @ the top of the Ice House Smokestack.  Harold says we will be seeing a new copper cap to keep the snow out & a water seal that should help keep the Stack standing a good while longer.  If anyone has a few extra of the brick tile that was used to build this tower, Harold could use a few to fill in several "missing teeth" on the facade of the stack.

ADC Ped Bridge Almost Done




pictures say most of it... forms should come off today... the bridge is scheduled to be craned into place early next week... party next friday happy hour? will keep you posted!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Riverside Drive- Draft Sketches- This Tuesday from 4-7 pm

Hi Neighbors.  “Riverside Drive--Draft Sketches” will be on display from 4pm until 7pm on Tuesday, August 20th at Pink Dog Studios, 344 Depot Street. Please feel free to drop in and share your thoughts on the acres the city of Asheville owns along the French Broad and in our neighborhood!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

WECAN Meeting. Thursday, June 6 @ 6:30 pm

WECAN Meeting: Thursday, June 6 @ 6:30 pm. Merritt Park Conference room: 64 Clingman Ave.

We will be having a presentation from Site Works Studios discussing the Clingman Forest Greenway, which is currently being designed. Also being discussed will the new footbridge at Jean Webb Park. Please come and learn more about these exciting projects and share your ideas. We will also discuss the new pedestrian crossing signal at Clingman and Hilliard.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

WECAN April 4 Meeting Minutes- DRAFT

WECAN Board Meeting April 4,2013 at 64 Clingman Ave.

Board Members Present were:  Byron Ballard, Joe Fioccola, AnnaBeth Hardcastle, Rachel Larson, Luke W. Perry and Pattiy Torno . Board Members not present were Jeff Carnivale, Jessie Nell Coleman, Tom Gibson, Mike Kenton Yuri Koslen, JoAnn Skinner and Suzanne Willis.  Also present were: Lt Jamee Crawford, TSU John Derrick, Shawn Elgin, AFR Deputy Fire Marshal Grover Kent,  Hanni Muerdter, Lt Scott Pruett, CRO Tyler Radford, Marsha Stickford and Tracey Wise.
    Luke officially called the meeting to order at 6:35 p.m. with a round of introductions and what we want to see more of which included social gatherings, saving historic buildings, knowing more neighbors, pedestrian bridges, other neighborhoods as engaged, keep progressing, gardening and maintaining public green spaces and rights of way, calls to APD when problems are seen, Joe's beard, more owner occupied homes.
The draft March minutes were approved by acclamation.

APD CRO UPDATE Traffic Safety Unit Officer John Derrick reported that the unit would be conducting enforcement operations in the area through October. One of these would be for pedestrian crosswalks on Clingman sometime in May using a police decoy in a three hour block to catch drivers who do not yield to pedestrians. The fine with court costs comes to $213. Pedestrian jaywalking may also be addressed. The intersections to focus on are Clingman Extension near the Grey Eagle and the crossing at Hilliard where the promised 'Ped-Heads' have been put to bid and contracted but not yet scheduled. Marsha will follow up on that. The other issue on Clingman was reducing the speed limit. Luke drafted a letter to the DOT (since Clingman is a state road) and will edit and email to John who has a contact at the DOT. Marsha will also check with Jeff Moore to see when the last traffic study was done on Clingman Ave and if there is an issue doing one on a state road.

HISTORIC ASSETS
: Deputy Fire Marshal Grover Kent came to answer questions about the recent fire at the old Cotton Mill ruins. Most of  the Cotton Mill was destroyed in a fire set at the Chesterfield Mill on April 2,1995. A small fire was handled at the ruins on January 17, 2013 set by homeless squatters. After that fire the city asked the property owner to secure the property and Riverlink erected a fence around the buildings but it was very quickly breached and a bigger fire was set there on the 18th anniversary of the first fire. Three buildings remain but they are not well secured. Representatives of Riverlink have stated that there are plans to demolish the buildings but no schedule to complete them. Kent advised that the fire department concerns for safety on some buildings determine the type of response some buildings have red signs with white crosses with warnings such as no roof, holes in floor or avoid fire escape. Buildings so noted will not be entered unless there is a credible reason to that people are inside. Lt Crawford advised that the police will follow the fire protocol in these cases. She also noted that City Council directed staff to look at old procedures for dealing with vacant buildings that are unsafe and a public nuisance such as the recent demolition of the ice house on Riverside Drive. Other properties around town that have been declared unsafe include 22 Church St, 39 Banks Ave and 40 Simpson St. This is now at the city's legal department sorting out issues between public and privately owned buildings and Marsha will follow up on it. Some people expressed the feeling that this is just like the ice house all over again and have no confidence that Riverlink will act responsibly in this.
The Historic Assets Subcommittee Luke, Rachel, Byron Joe and Tom Gibson will meet at Byron and Joes 34 Girdwood St at 6 p.m. on Tuesday April 23. to keep the conversation going and identify properties in potential or imminent danger of loss.

FEEDBACK: Pattiy was tasked with getting feedback on the 'River Music" events held on the vacant land on Riverside Drive just south of the Craven Street Bridge. She indicated that permits were being held up until the sponsor talked to the neighbors. Problems identified included improper parking, trespassing, pedestrian safety with no sidewalks on Riverside, noise and some kind of remuneration to the neighborhood for the inconvenience.

NEIGHBOR UPDATES: No babies yet, but new Jefferson resident are expected soon. Jessie lost two family members recently. Levie Wilson, her mother Hattie' brother, died just short of his 106th birthday. Pattiy noted that he lived on Hill Street and worked for a car dealership and assisted many African Americans to purchase cars. Her brother Carmen also passed and wanted no obituary. She also noted that Jessie was doing better since her recent stroke. She wasn't using a cane to get around and was using a second hand rail installed by Gene Bell, head of the Asheville Housing Authority.  Luke has met the owners of the Club House lot who assured him the replacement building would be up by July. Tracey reported that her grandmother Mattie's house was recently sold to a small private developer Greg Meade who was excited about restoring it. Luke asked about the damaged fire hydrant on Club St not yet replaced and unsure if it was active. When knocked down by a car no water came up. Deputy Fire Marshal Kent explained that all hydrants were checked twice a year and unlike in the movies the hydrants were designed not to shoot up water when knocked down. Green Opportunities wants some planning input and Luke will contact anyone interested in answering some questions.
Pattiy reported that Public Works Director Kathy Ball had announced that to address the city's budget shortfall the staff at Aston Park would be cut. She pointed out that it would not result in any savings since there would be more police response needed. At a Town Hall meeting many people spoke out against cuts at Aston Park. The latest recommendation is to keep one full time employee and temporary seasonal help to keep the tennis courts open. The new fencing was funded by a grant.

TREASURERS REPORT: No change since last month.

ASTON PARK COOKOUT: An Aston Park Area Neighborhood Get Together is planned for Saturday April 20th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Tennis Center. 'Come to Aston Park to celebrate spring and get to know your neighbors in a fun filled afternoon of food, games and information.  the City of Asheville Parks and Recreation, Police and Fire Department will provide hotdogs and hamburgers and veggie versions and fixings and drinks. Neighborhood members are invited to bring your favorite side and/or dessert.' Luke has placed posters at the kiosks.(Thanks to Curve Studios and Shawn who helped install our new OB Park Kiosk!) A planning meeting will be held on Tuesday April 9th at the Tennis Center.

MASTER PLANNING Luke tabled it for this meeting but the committee will continue to meet on Thursday April 18th at Rachel's 62 Park Square at 6:30 p.m.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
: Rachel announced that her house would be weatherized by Green Opportunities  and she has flyers and brochures.
Pattiy announced an open House at the Curve Studios next Saturday April 13 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. From 5-8 is a twilight party catered by GO Kitchen Ready (staffed by Rector Street residents Charles and Lisa Hadden and Aisha from Hillcrest.) Also Pizza Pura has opened and may bring gelato.

100 PARK AVENUE: No progress but coring samples were taken from Clingman and Rector site. Marsha will ask  for next month's meeting to get on Alan Glines agenda and get background and plans.

ZERO EMISSIONS DISTRICT: Rachel reported at Councilman Cecil Bothwell wanted to implement a 'zero emissions district' in WECAN. She was not sure what all that entails but was waiting to hear from sustainability manager Maggie Ullman.

SUMMER DESIGN BUILD: May 28 the summer ADC Studio session begins the pedestrian bridges connecting the spaces between 12Bones and Jean Webb Park with a completion date of August 3. Doug Heckers has ideas about using shipping containers.
Luke reported that a Creative Sector Summit SHOWCASE and HOOP-LAH was being planned for Friday May 31 at the PSNC property across from the Curve Studios.
Pattiy reported that the Riverside Drive Strategic Plan was being negotiated with a 24 week consultancy to include an unprecedented 5 public meetings. (Start date unknown.)
Luke noted that deconstruction at New Belgium has begun and he is negotiating for steel salvage, There have been no recent meetings but they have a new link for information and will be publishing construction updates every two weeks.

Hanni reported that Clingman Lofts residents were interested in establishing a vegetable garden.  The groundhogs may enjoy one.
Joe called an Adopt A Highway Cleanup set for Sunday April 7 at 12  noon.  The Garden Club will meet on the next Sunday April 14 at 12:30.
Pattiy announced a Crossfit Event across from White Duck  and south of the Craven Street Bridge expecting 3-400 people this Saturday and Sunday  
Luke received a request from Mountain Housing Opportunities to have a table at the Cookout at Aston Park for Neighborworks surveys.
The meeting adjourned at 8:25 p.m.
DRAFT Minutes submitted by Joe Fioccola.

UPCOMING EVENTS:
Sun Apr 7                                        12-1 PM    Adopt A Highway Cleanup
Tue Apr 9                                        6 pm Aston Park Cookout Planning meeting
Sat Apr 13                                       10-8 Curve Studios 6th Annual Spring Open House at 6,9,12 Riverside Dr.
Sun Apr 14                                      12:30 -3 WECAN Garden Club  
Thu Apr 18                                      6:30 pm Master Planning Sub Committee 62 Park Sq
Sat Apr 20                                      11-3 SFB/Aston Park Cookout
Tue Apr 23                                      6 p.m. Historic Assets Subcommittee 34 Girdwood St
Thu May 2                                       6:30 p.m.  WECAN Board Meeting
Fri May 31                                       PSNC Showcase and HoopLah

Friday, April 5, 2013

River Ruckus, Sat & Sun, April 6 & 7

Cross Fit Pisgah hosts the inaugural "River Ruckus"... a 2 day CrossFit competition, as part of the Garage Games series happening nationwide.  This event takes place @ CrossFit Pisgah @ 151 West Haywood Street & on COA owned property on the corner of Riverside Drive & Craven/West Haywood.  Please expect somewhere in excess of perhaps 300 folks extra in the neighborhood, getting all sweaty and having some fun this Saturday & Sunday, April 6 & 7, 2013... Both days will have 4 sessions of workouts that include powerlifting, endurance, weightlifting, gymnastics & mobility... 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Cotton Mill Ruins Burns Again



Coincidentally or not, the most recent fire @ 159 Riverside Drive, the ruins of the Asheville Cotton Mill, took place 18 years to the day (April 2, 2013) after this property was consumed by fire, that  started @ The Chesterfield Mill on April 2, 1995.  There is great concern in the West End/Clingman Avenue Neighborhood that continued loss of historic structures due to property owner neglect will deplete the neighborhood of its cultural heritage.   The Historic Preservation Society sold this property to Riverlink in the 1990's for the sum of $1.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

WECAN March 7 Meeting Minutes (DRAFT)

 WECAN Board Meeting March 7,2013 at 64 Clingman Ave.

Board Members Present were
:  Byron Ballard, Joe Fioccola, AnnaBeth Hardcastle, Rachel Larson, Luke Perry and Pattiy Torno . Board Members not present were Jeff Carnivale, Jessie Nell Coleman, Tom Gibson, Mike Kenton Yuri Koslen, JoAnn Skinner and Suzanne Willis. 
Also present were: Stephanie Greiner, Hanni Muerdter, CRO Tyler Radford, Marsha Stickford and Dan Suber.
    Luke officially called the meeting to order at 6:42 p.m. with a round of introductions and a leap into some agenda items. Dan Suber from the Green Opportunities Board announced the Hillcrest Garden Party/Celebration with food and music on this Saturday March 9 from 4-6 pm following the Hillcrest Community Garden expansion/workday from 10-3 pm. to plant fruit trees and build raised beds with the Organic Grow School. Treasurer AnnaBeth reported a balance of $359.26 in the WECAN account. Joe called an Adopt A Highway Cleanup set for Tuesday March 26th at 9 a.m. and the Garden Club will work on the sign garden on Tuesday March 12th at 9 am.

APD CRO UPDATE Officer Radford announced that CRO Evan Coward has been reassigned to supervise the downtown bike squad night shift and his replacement should not be expected until the current round of promotions is complete in the next few months. In the meantime he can be reached at 251-4078: Office or 545-8374: Cell or email at TRADFORD@ASHEVILLENC.GOV. He also announced that the security contract for the Ice House expires next Wednesday. Most of the building is down and the contractors will continue the removal. Not sure if a fence will be erected to secure the chimney. Several homeless camps were identified: Riverside near Craven; behind Bartlett at the walking path; and Patton at South French Broad Ave.

CLUB STREET activity was reported by Club Street resident and ambassador Luke. The 'Club House' is gone and a sign is up about a 'compact cottage' going in. Tracey's mothers house (the red one) has been sold in the last two weeks and the new owner is eager to fix it up. Luke repaired a hole in the roof of Jimmy Smiths house which should slow down the building deterioration.

JEFFERSON BABIES: Yuri and Myra, Zac and Lyn and Steve and Britanny are all expecting additions to their families this spring.  


HISTORIC ASSETS: Old house above the Grey Eagle with access problems; 2 small houses on Yarrow Place with graffiti and unsecured windows and doors; small building under the old streetcar bridge. Marsha will contact DOT about activating some spaces such as the pedestrian bridge area, the kudzu area north of the circle, and getting a maintenance agreement for the Clingman Streetscape areas.   Luke reported that a Creative Sector Summit will be held over the next 6 months with intensive planning exercises for the area from 12 Bones to the railroad trestle (To begin March to June.) Luke suggested a Historic Assets Subcommittee to keep the conversation going and identify properties in potential or imminent danger of loss. He will call on Byron, Joe, Rachel, and Tom Gibson to meet.

WATER DEPARTMENT is working on fire hydrant lines on West Haywood Street. Messages have gone out about water interruption on March 14th.

100 PARK AVENUE: Marsha reported that plans are moving ahead with one design. Letters of availability have gone out for water and sewer. Next will be the conditional re-zoning process and she will ask Alan Glines to keep us informed on that process and about the affect of the steep slope ordinance on the Jefferson side. His input should also be included in Master Planning updates.  She announced that on Monday March 11th at the Coalition of Asheville Neighborhoods meeting at the Murphy-Oakley Community Center 749 Fairview Rd  7 pm. Shannon Tuck will talk about Conditional Zoning. Stephanie was concerned that increased traffic for a commercial clinic was not appropriate for a residential neighborhood.

MASTER PLANNING: The sub committee met and Rachel presented a short draft survey. There followed an extended discussion on survey fatigue, the reasons why we need another survey (to supplement or refine existing census data) what we hope it to show, how the best way to get a good response (in person, on line, door-to-door or at an event) (whether we want to get information or give it) and funding. Luke suggested going back to to the original Master Plan funders. Email Marsha for connections with prior funders.  Regarding funding Rachel met with Cindy MacMahan with Non Profit Pathways which trains non profits in how to be successful with board development and fund raising. WECAN was not a good fit for their current programs. Some names that came up to help us were Jane Mathews involved in the original Master Plan. Look at Cabbagetown in Atlanta for artists and affordable strategies. Chris Joyell with ADC and Tom Gallegher may suggest other places to look for land bank, land trust, co-ops, and other models for affordability. Pattiy noted that the Haywood Road Corridor group has been meeting for over ten years and has had very good survey results and she will ask for a copy of their questionnaires. Luke noted that subcommittee progress has been slow and Pattiy suggested that there needs to be more organization setting deadlines for funding, vision, consolidation and work plans for the process such as number of public meetings, number of surveys completed by a concrete date identifying hot topics and visions and ranking priorities. Unless there is a time-critical deadline, it could cover a number of years as long as it keeps it on the radar. Next meeting at Rachel's Thursday March 21.

SUMMER DESIGN BUILD: Pattiy reported that the ADC has narrowed their submissions to two: one of which is the WECAN bridges at Riverside. There are actually four bridges needed and with the potential for artistic expression and funding they are excited and say that even if not chosen this round it will get done. Pattiy recalled that in the RADTIP there was an art component possibly in Phase 2 for creative place-making devices.   

CLINGMAN AVENUE SPEED LIMIT:  Luke will draft a letter or delegate about speed limits and crosswalks impact on Clingman Avenue safety. Officer Radford said the Traffic Team had done an operation at the crosswalks at Patton at Coxe and Asheland and made 37 charges. He will check with John Derrick about an operation on Clingman.

EOTR SCENARIO PLANNING: Luke attended a four hour training session and there are two more coming up. They are asking us to lead the next sessions but not funding them.. He said it was a straightforward conversation about community dynamics  such as what are the things we have to think about if public housing doesn't exist? what does it mean for our community? what if public housing stayed the same or increased? and what if incomes stayed the same or decreased? Some observed that transparency might really be a technique to exhaust participation.

VERVE MAGAZINE: Byron wrote and interview with Pattiy in this month's issue.

NEIGHBORHOOD CLEANUPS: Need to schedule one for Club/Trade Street to the pedestrian bridge. Marsha will see about using Nuisance Court obligated time.

THE FEBRUARY MINUTES were approved as distributed.

UPCOMING EVENTS:
Sat Mar 9                                         10-3      Hillcrest Garden Workday
                                                        4-6        Garden Celebration at 2 p.m  
Mon Mar 14                                      7          CAN Meeting Murphy Oakley Community Center
Tue Mar 26                                        4          RADBA
Tue Mar 12                                        9          WECAN Garden Club       
Thu Mar 14                                        6:30     SFB/Aston Park   Cookout planning meeting
Thu Mar 21                                        6:30     Master Planning Meeting at Rachel's   
Tue Mar 26                                        9         WECAN Adopt A Highway       
Thu Apr 4                                      6:30 p.m.  WECAN Board Meeting
Sat Apr 20                                        11:30-3 SFB/Aston Park Cookout

Monday, March 4, 2013

WECAN meeting Thursday- 6:30- 8pm

Hi Neighbors. Please join us this Thursday, from 6:30- 8pm for our neighborhood monthly meeting at 64 Clingman Ave (Jessie Nell Coleman community room in Merrit Park apartments.)  Here is the tentative agenda:

APD/CRO Update
Treasurer's Report
Neighbor/ Block Jessie Updates
City of Asheville Updates (pedestrian fence/railing, greenworks agreements, roundabout erosion, etc.)
Master Plan
 funding opportunities
Historic Assets-how to protect/activate?
Hillcrest Community Garden Activities- Celebration March 8
Updates:
  • 100 park ave
  • Ice House Demolition
  • summer design build project
  • clingman ave speed limit
  • East of the Riverway scenario planning
Upcoming events
  • New Belgium Open House- March 7, 5:30-7:30- Isis Music Hall
  • Garden Club/ Adopt a Highway?
  • RADBA.  Tuesday, March 26, 4pm
  • South French Broad, Aston Park Cook out- Sat, Apr 20, 11:30-3pm

New Belgium Open House- this Thursday


Monday, February 18, 2013

Open Speakup. Designing a public space in RAD.

This Wednesday, February 20, from 4-6 pm at the Artery.


WECAN February 7 Board Meeting Minutes - DRAFT

WECAN Board Meeting February 7,2013 at 64 Clingman Ave.
Board Members Present were:  Byron Ballard, Joe Fioccola, AnnaBeth Hardcastle, Rachel Larson and Luke Perry.
Board Members not present were Jeff Carnivale, Jessie Nell Coleman, Tom Gibson, Mike Kenton Yuri Koslen, JoAnn Skinner, Pattiy Torno and Suzanne Willis.
Also present were: Dr Jim Biddle, CRO Evan Coward, Lt. Jamee Crawford,  Brett Frk, Stephanie Greiner, Grey Hayes Hanni Muerdter, Jeff Palmer, CRO Tyler Radford, CRO Brandon Shope, Marsha Stickford,  and Addy Wygmans,
    Luke officially called the meeting to order at 6:34 p.m. with a round of introductions
THE JANUARYMINUTES were approved as distributed.
TREASURERS REPORT: Treasurer AnnaBeth reported a balance of $359.26 in the WECAN account. (not including the Sven collection)

NEIGHBOR NEWS Sven and Melissa were thankful for the WECAN support recovering from the fire at 11 Park Avenue.
WECAN Founding Board member Jessie Nell Coleman suffered a number of strokes in the last month but is recovering and can walk with a cane and is staying home with the help of her family and therapists. She and her family welcome visitors, cards, and diabetic friendly food at the home 10 ½ Knoxville Place off Hilliard. Evenings are best. Current Board member JoAnn Skinner’s husband was ill but has been released from the hospital. And AnnaBeth announced that 2 future WECAN residents would be born in March on Jefferson Dr.  Stephanie asked about the vacant lot next to The Asheville Public that had the ‘Paris of the South Flea Market.’ It is not known who will be responsible for it when All Souls Pizza opens soon. She said it would be an opportunity for the neighborhood to make it better or help out.

APD CRO UPDATE:  Since the Ice House was secured there has been increased activity at 159 Riverside Dr. The old Cotton Mill Ruins. Tyler reported that Pattiy called in a smell of smoke and the Fire department responded and put out a fire set inside the building and notified APD who contacted Riverlink--which owns the properties, and they responded quickly to board them up and post ‘No Trespassing’ signs. He also notified the city Homeless Initiative for some outreach. Riverlink has plans to fully fence in the properties soon. Evan noted that thanks go to the WECAN community as a model for communicating problems and helping facilitate the city’s multi-department response in comprehensively addressing them. Notifying him was a big help in taking care of a rumor growing about a sniper at the old Stockyard demo site. They quickly investigated and found the rumor was unfounded. Evan also noted that he was in touch with Deconstruction/Reconstruction manager Kent Calvert with Adolphson/Peterson who would keep everyone informed about progress, noise levels, traffic interruptions etc. Marsha encouraged everyone to go to the city website (Ashevillenc.gov) on Page 1 to Citizens Alert Services to Citizens Alert Sign-up to register your email and the way you prefer to receive alerts affecting your neighborhood.(i.e. cellphone, land line etc.).  The Ice House demolition set to begin yesterday was delayed by a ‘stop order’ from Norfolk Southern Railway because of issues that might impact their tracks. Demolition should resume in 3-4 weeks. Since mid-January the police have checked the Ice House 149 times and the Cotton Mill about 55 times. Evan advised there would soon be marked and unmarked operations about nuisance crimes: prostitution, drugs, alcohol intoxication in the South French Broad and WECAN areas. He also noted that every 6 months the Traffic Unit analyzed hot spots for traffic accidents and the area on Hilliard Ave and Patton Ave from Clingman Ave to Coxe was targeted for enforcement and accident reduction.

100 PARK AVENUE FUTURE DEVELOPMENT: Dr Jim Biddle who owns Asheville Integrative Medicine presented his site plan for developing 100 Park Avenue property. The property would be divided into 16 parcels. Seven would become affordable lots facing east at the end of Jefferson Dr. His home would be built on three lots at the south end and a clinic was planned for the first two lots off Park Avenue past Asheville Transit. The clinic would be a 3000 sq ft. one story building open Mon-Thu 8:30-5:30 and would average 30 clients a day and some deliveries. The remaining four lots would be reserved for 4 larger single family residences. The plan requires a zoning variance to allow a commercial business to operate in a residential area. (He is also considering building on the NE corner of Hilliard and Clingman Ave.)  Dr. Biddle has spoken with the three immediate neighbors affected: Howard Hanger, The Heetderks and Pete Basset and they have expressed no objections.  The previous plan would have doubled the size of WECAN but this one is more in scale with the existing neighborhood. Joe observed it appeared to be respectful of the current residents and neighborhood-friendly. Bret thought a future issue might be increased traffic on Park Ave and the potential solution of making it a one way street.

CLINGMAN AVENUE TRAFFIC AND PEDESTRIAN SAFETY: Jeff presented his problem backing out of his driveway at 120 Clingman Avenue. It is directly across from the bus shelter at Owens Bell Park in a blind curve. He has researched several solutions each with its own set of problems such as a convex mirror (Progress Energy owned poles); a ‘Hidden Driveway’ sign, reduced speed limit and rumble strips. DOT permission is required on this state road. The road is too steeply pitched for things like speed humps but some ‘visual friction’ may be possible in the form of painting to make the road appear narrower. Pedestrian safety at the crosswalks is also an issue. Hanni read some feedback from some residents of the Clingman Lofts. Almost a third of the 21 units responded. 5 favored traffic calming; 4 preferred the speed limit reduced and 2 wanted speed humps.   For DOT to define a problem their study must show 85% of traffic must be 7-10 miles over the speed limit. Marsha referred to some contacts with the DOT left over from the Clingman Streetscape and may be able to engage them on some possibilities. Marsha will meet with Jeff about options and alternatives and see about a traffic study that will at least identify peak periods. She said that traffic signals are not an option between Hilliard and Beechum’s Curve. Evan noted that the Traffic unit would be using plain clothes units to enforce pedestrian crosswalks.

MASTER PLANNING: The ad-hoc committee has been meeting monthly to review the Citizens Master Plan from 2000 looking at what is in the plan and what needs a second look.  The next steps are to collect existing conditions data to determine what has changed and then get public input on what needs updating. Joe and Rachel reported on a meeting last Wednesday with NEMAC, who is working on the East of the Riverway project in regards to Data collection/analysis. There is a lot of data available thru the Census even though it is 3-4 years old but there is a problem with the East side of Clingman Ave being lumped in with the block group from Hilliard to South French Broad to Bartlett St.  This combines data from Aston Towers, the Aston Garden Apartments, Bartlett Arms Apartments and the Overlook Apartments—all of which are not in WECAN. The data we are looking for there may need to be collected manually by going door to door in person. Additionally, there is still a lot of data to be culled from two East of the Riverway surveys. Rachel warned against survey fatigue and the need to focus on the information we really need. Concurrently, we should use the next survey to connect personally and invite residents to participate in WECAN. Next the group will look at resources and prioritizing issues and looking at the scope of the work. Brett said it was a good first step but it will be a lot of work to update the plan. We may need a bigger resource to continue such as a consulting group which may include some WECAN residents to actually rewrite the plan as well as design professionals to help visualize ideas. Marsha will set up a meeting with Judy and Steph Monson about planning resources available to an area identified as important to partner with. The choice ahead of us may be between doing a comprehensive update or just an addendum to the current plan. The Master Plan Committee’s next meeting will be at Hanni’s at Clingman Lofts at125 Clingman Ave on February 21 at 7 p.m. Luke will report on local non-profits and grant research.

SUMMER DESIGN-BUILD PROJECT: Proposals for sustainable building ideas for about a dozen students to design and build in 8-10 weeks were solicited from residents. Rachel made a chart comparing 5 ideas received: Community Space; Jean Webb Park Stream Bridge; Trails on NCDOT; Clingman Trail; Historic Information Stations; Pattiy submitted a four page illustrated proposal for the Stream bridge. The Asheville Design Center will choose one project from all proposals received from all neighborhoods.  We are looking for input to support the strongest idea.  Luke said it was important for neighbors to be involved in the design, implementation and maintenance choices.

It was noted that the installation of equipment at Aston Park has made a big difference in the uses of the park and ideas such as a canoe launch or dock or picnic tables will broaden the scope of the impact on the use of the Jean Webb Park. Luke noted that a comprehensive planning process was due this spring to cover the Riverside area. He suggested that we move forward with Pattiys proposal to activate the park and stream bridge trail idea. When the idea of sculptures in the park was mentioned Bret recalled an artist who created ‘temporary’ structures made of ‘green’ materials that only last a few years that are natural and sustainable.

CLUBHOUSE: Luke reported that the Benjamin Boling House (1891) aka the Clubhouse was now gone. It came down in a few minutes and was hauled away. He suggested a group be formed to identify other vacant structures in jeopardy of a similar fate.

UPCOMING EVENTS:
Sat Feb 9 at 2 p.m                               Owens Bell Kiosk Installation-will happen on this. All appropriate permits in hand.
Saturdays in Feb 9-11 am                   Hillcrest Community Breakfast for Black History Month
Wed Feb 13 7:30-10 p.m.                   Asheville Area Arts Council Annual Membership and Friend Raiser Party at the Artery 346 Depot St. 
Wed Feb 20 4-6 p.m                           RAD Parklet (Parking space sized parks) Design Session at the Artery 346 Depot St. 
Tues Feb 26 4 p.m.                              RADBA  at FLS Energy Board Room  130 Roberts St
Thu Mar 7   TBD                                New Belgium Open House(Before WECAN Meeting)
Thu Mar 7 6:30 p.m.                           WECAN Board Meeting

Agenda items not covered:
[_] Clingman/Hilliard Ped head [_] Roberts St Traffic Calming [_] Roundabout Erosion [_] Pedestrian bridge fencing and railing [_] Greenworks pedestrian bridge landscaping/maintenance [_] Historic Assets-How to protect+ activate? [_] Update-New Belgium Truck Routing [_] Future Endeavors: [_] Fundraising ideas? [_} Goats? [_] Social Gatherings? [_] South French Broad joint cookout in Aston Park? [_] Neighborhood cleanup-march? [_]Garden Club set a date [_] Adopt A Highway set a date.

The meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.
DRAFT Minutes submitted by Joe Fioccola.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

WECAN Newsflash- February 04

Greetings Neighbors, here is an update on things going on in the West End / Clingman Avenue Neighborhood.

WECAN February Meeting:  Thursday, February 7th, 6:30 pm (64 Clingman Ave- MHO/ Merrit Park conference room).  Please join us this month as we will be discussing:
Speed/Safety issues on Clingman Ave.
How to protect historical assets
Updating our Master Plan
Updates on Ice House demolition and New Belgium Brewery

WECAN Master Plan.  The neighborhood is slowly working on updating its 2000 Master Plan to more clearly understand the current make-up of the neighborhood and provide a clear vision and more accurate framework for the future of our community.  This includes ensuring that future development and housing remains affordable, increasing pedestrian safety and connectivity, activating our natural space, and strengthening our outreach and communication amongst ourselves and surrounding neighborhoods.  We are currently assessing the current social and physical infrastructure of our neighborhood, and soon will be expanding outreach efforts.  In addition, we are looking for sources of funding that can help pay some of our residents to lead this process.  If you would like to help or have ideas, please contact Luke W Perry (perrylw@gmail.com).

Neighborhood Connections.  In early January, the South French Broad neighborhood held a meeting in conjunction with the Asheville Housing Authority and the Asheville Police Department.  WECAN members also attended in an effort to build broader community patnerships and collaborations.  Stay tuned for a joint spring cookout in Aston Park.  Additionally, WECAN has been working closely with the newly formed East West Asheville Neighborhood Assocation (EWANA) in regards to New Belgium truck traffic.  We look forward to future collaborations and support as our neighborhoods grow and change.

Club House.  Last Wednesday, the Club House, a significant historic community structure was demolished to make way for a new house.  Built in 1884, the boarded up house on Club Street had once served as a social gathering place for Cotton Mill workers, and later as a community bathouse.  Over the years, it had fallen into neglect, and the current and future owners could not make it a priority to salvage the structure or the materials.  With the demolition of the Ice House sheduled to begin any day, this is a reminder that we have a lot of work to do in order to protect the many historic structures that still remai in our neighborhood.  Have ideas or know of buildings/structures that need some attention?  Join the conversation this Thursday or reply to this email.

Ice House Demolition.  On January 8, City Council approved the demolition of the Ice House on Riverside Dr.  The City has reported that demolition was scheduled to begin last week, although any tangible work has yet to begin.  The intention and goal is to keep the brick chimney intact. 
New Belgium Update:  On January 22, City Council approved the New Belgium Brewery conditional site permit.  In addition, City Council also allocated funding to install bike lanes and sidewalks on Haywood Road (from the river to Beacham's curve) to mitigate truck traffic in addition to studying and exploring the feasibility of routing truck on Riverside North.  This includes widening the turning radius at Craven and Riverside as well increasing the clearance underneath the Norfolk Southern railroad bridge.  WECAN's statement on this project and impacts can be found here.

Neighborhood Design Build Project. From the Asheville Design Center:  This summer, ADC will be hosting a ten week program comprised of collegiate level students in the fields of design, planning, and construction to design and build a small community-based project.  We are looking for project ideas and would like to know if your community would like to be the host for the summer studio.  We are looking for a community or neighborhood that:
has already identified a small scale public space project that could be designed and built within ten weeks (bus shelter, community garden pavilion, sports shelter, ampitheatre, etc.).  This project ideally integrates a physical structure/space with the surrounding landscape.
has community members that would be able to work closely with the students in both the design and building stages of the project would be able to help contribute a small percentage to the cost of buildings materials ($500-$1000) would be able to help maintain the project after it is completed
If you have any ideas for a project like this in WECAN, contact Rachel Larson  (rachel@mathisconsulting.com) by February 7th.

Upcoming Events:
  • Thursday, February 7th, 6:30 pm. WECAN February Meeting (64 Clingman Ave- MHO/ Merrit Park conference room)
  • Wednesday, February 13th. 7:30-10 pm.  Asheville Area Arts Council Annual Membership and Friend-Raiser party (The Artery, 346 Depot Street)
  • Saturday, February 16th.  Sven Hoosen benefit concert @ the Grey Eagle.  Details forthcoming.
  • Thursday, March 7th.  New Belgium Open House.  Details forthcoming.
  • Thursday, March 7th.  6:30 pm. WECAN March Meeting (64 Clingman Ave- MHO-Merritt Park conference room)
Stay Updated:  www.wecannews.blogspot.com or join us on facebook at West End/ Clingman Avenue Neighborhood (WECAN)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Riverside Drive Strategic Plan Hiring Process Underway

The City of Asheville has  released an RFQ to obtain planning services to develop a community supported Strategic Redevelopment Plan for a section of Riverside Drive in the River Arts District.  Visit  http://www.ashevillenc.gov/Departments/Purchasing/RequestsforBidsProposals.aspx
And scroll down to RFQ 298 to view the full document.  We are requesting this be advertised locally through the AIA Asheville and Design Center, as well as being available through the City’s Website. It will be advertised  on a state wide basis (at minimum) through the North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association, and nationally by the Planetizen website.  This opportunity closes on January 25, 2013.

SUMMARY OF THE STRATEGIC PLAN TO BE DEVELOPED:
The project objective is to produce a plan that develops, integrates and synthesizes:
• A re-use strategy and urban design concept for the City-owned 14 Riverside Drive (aka
the PSNC) building, which is currently vacant and in disrepair;
• A redevelopment feasibility analysis (RFA) and recommended strategy for selected
City-owned economic development property to the east of the proposed realignment of
Riverside Drive that will occur on account of the River Arts District Transportation
Improvement Project (RADTIP).
• An open space concept plan (OSC) and recommended strategy for City-owned green   
space to the west of the proposed realignment of Riverside Drive that will occur on
account of the River Arts District Transportation Improvement Project (RADTIP).
• An appendix of issues, projects and concerns identified by the consultant, the City and
the community, that reside outside the scope of work of this project but that need
further consideration.
The recommended strategies developed as a result of these activities must aim to transform
this area’s underperforming features into assets of regional significance.

Special attention shall be given to strategies that strengthen the district as a place that supports arts and culture, that feature sustainable riverfront redevelopment practices, and provide a high return on investment for the community.
  
Call me with questions,

Stephanie Monson Dahl,  AICP
Riverfront Redevelopment Coordinator and Urban Planner for Economic Development
City of Asheville, North Carolina
(828) 232 4502 office
(828) 337 4111 mobile

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

City Council Approves New Belgium Site Conditions

Last night, City Council voted unanimously to move forward with New Belgium's proposed brewery on Craven Street.  In addition, City Council also approved related bike and pedestrian improvements to Haywood Road as well as a feasibility study to explore using Riverside North as a preferred truck route to and from the facility.  Next steps will likely include studying how the turning radius at the Craven/Riverside intersection can be improved as well as increasing the clearance of the road at the Norfolk Southern Railroad trestle on Riverside Drive. Read more about this.

Below is a statement that was read to City Council last night on behalf of WECAN:


January 21, 2013
Dear City Council and the Honorable Mayor Bellamy,
As you are planning to vote on the New Belgium brewery project, please consider the perspective of the West End/ Clingman Avenue Neighborhood (WECAN).  WECAN sees our future quality of life tied together with our surrounding neighborhoods, and would like to take this opportunity to address the impacts of this project.
WECAN is primarily interested in seeing our neighborhood develop as laid out in our Master Plan, including more affordable infill development, safer pedestrian access and routes, multimodal transit, and ecological restoration enhancing the public experience.  The recent upgrades along Clingman Avenue is one example of this, with the City and NCDOT responding to the requests of a neighborhood to improve a major thoroughfare with traffic calming devices, better signage, bike lanes, sidewalks and adequate lighting.  Whether through improved safety & wellness, or reduced household transportation costs, infrastructure can improve quality of life. We would like to see City resources continue to be used to enhance the economic vitality of neighborhoods through a diverse mix of property and transportation uses.  
We appreciate New Belgium’s interest in a centrally located site, adjacent to the French Broad River.  Our neighborhood was established when the cotton mills built housing for its workers, creating an early sustainable community in the heart of Asheville. The creation of new jobs in the middle of Asheville’s residential core that will be accessible through multiple modes of transit is a huge benefit to our community and the city.  While many residents are excited about the potential of this project, many others are quite concerned about the unknown impacts including, but not limited to the scale of the facility, increased traffic, odor issues, and noise.
We believe this is an opportunity to address existing deficiencies in infrastructure that will only be magnified by the increased traffic to the New Belgium Brewery due to truck, employee, and visitor traffic.   We recognize that in order to enable additional job growth in our neighborhood, including the River Arts District, ease of access for freight vehicles (Riverside Dr, Hazel Mill Rd, etc.) needs to be resolved.   In addition, Haywood Rd. and Clingman Ave. will see increased traffic volumes, whether from visitors or from business operations.  We seek a commitment from NCDOT and the City to prioritize developing Haywood Road as a complement to Clingman Ave, serving as a continuous multimodal, mixed-use corridor as laid out in the Haywood Road Corridor Plan. This includes but is not limited to complete street planning: slow speeds, beautification through design and landscaping, pedestrian, bicycle and transit facilities, and narrow travel lanes.  Inevitably, we recognize that large freight vehicles may use these corridors; a corridor design that promotes safety on shared roads in a residential area will promote successful economic development and strengthen neighborhoods.
We support the city staff’s recommendation to Council, with the following adjustments.
1.     Broaden the language to complete a feasibility study that identifies how to provide freight vehicle access to I-240 in the shortest route possible without crossing through neighborhood corridors.  This includes more due diligence and communication about the feasibility of the Riverside north route, including prioritizing improvements to the Craven Street Bridge in the RADTIP funding to enable truck turning.
2.     If and when changes are made to the Craven/Riverside intersection, we ask that utmost importance is placed on improving pedestrian and bicycle safety, including improving the connection to and from Roberts Street.
3.     Fund a shovel ready design for the Haywood Rd. corridor to make it multimodal and effective as a mixed-use neighborhood as laid out in the Haywood Rd. Corridor Plan. This design and construction should continue through Beacham’s curve to I-240, whether using city funds, or French Broad River MPO funds (either through amending the TIP or using STP-DA funds).
4.     Changing Clingman Extension and Roberts Street to one way is not a priority for the neighborhood and we do not currently see the need for it if this area will not be seeing increased truck traffic.  While we have no problem with studying this option, we would like to have more feedback and discussion with our community if this study moves forward.
5.     Finally, we ask the city to consider new approaches to understanding and communicating with impacted neighborhoods earlier in the process as other projects such as New Belgium come to the table. 
In conclusion, WECAN welcomes New Belgium to our neighborhood, and it is clear they take being part of the community very seriously.  We are grateful for the extensive efforts they are making to ensure open communication, solve problems creatively, and generate high quality jobs for those who need them.  We also appreciate the time, effort, and sensitivity the City has put forth to be responsive to neighborhood concerns. We look forward to proactive and increased collaboration among all parties as this project moves forward and others come down the line, in order to create healthy, prosperous, and truly sustainable neighborhoods.
Sincerely, 
West End / Clingman Avenue Neighborhood (WECAN)

Friday, January 11, 2013

MLK Day Tree Planting @ Pisgah View

MLK Day of Service at the Pisgah View Peace Garden

In honor of MLK Day on Saturday, Januaray 21, 2013, Asheville Greenworks is partnering with the Pisgah View Apartments Peace Garden and Green Opportunities to plant an additional 50 food bearing trees and shrubs. If you are interested in participating in this meaningful, and fun project, the more, the merrier!  Short planting tutorial @ 1pm and then we'll get the trees in the ground.

RSVP to Rachel at 254-1776 or Rachel@ashevillegreenworks.org.





Wednesday, January 9, 2013

City to Demolish Ice House

Last night, City Council voted to demolish the Ice House on Riverside Drive with an intention to preserve the brick chimney.  Below is a statement from WECAN that was read at the meeting:


January 8, 2013

Honorable Terry Bellamy, Mayor of Asheville

Asheville City Council

Gary Jackson, Asheville City Manager

Stephanie Monson, COA Riverfront Redevelopment Coordinator and Urban Planner for Economic           Development



Dear City Council,

We are writing this letter in regards to the future of the Ice House property on Riverside Drive.  First of all, we would again like to acknowledge our appreciation to the City of Asheville for the efforts it has taken to address the numerous problems at the site.  While the building is still not fully secured, action has been taken and the situation has improved.  Additionally, the City has been in open communication and dialogue with us about permanent solutions to address the public safety problems as well as the long-term possibilities for the site. 

Within our neighborhood, there are varying opinions about the future of the Ice House.  Most people support the demolition of the building, acknowledging that this process began many years ago through neglect. Others feel that it should not be demolished and we are repeating past failures of vision and political will to preserve a special piece of history.  Yet, there is a broad feeling of concern about the public’s safety in and around the building as well as the loss of history that has already taken place through neglect, and that may yet still take place through demolition.  Because there wasn’t a greater effort put forward years ago by the property owners, the City of Asheville and the community to better secure, protect and envision a new future for this historical asset, we are now left with few options, with demolition being the easiest path.

Beyond the Ice House, many WECAN residents are concerned about the continuing loss and deterioration of significant historic structures in our neighborhood.  We hope that a renewed effort can be harnessed between a range of public, private, and civic partners to create the vision and funding to give new life to these structures before we are, once again, faced with demolition as a seemingly reasonable solution.  Additionally, since this numerous people were using this building as shelter, it is a reminder that we still have much work to do to eliminate homelessness and solve the problems that communities such as ours face as a result of the many people who cannot, will not, or are unable to find permanent housing.

If City Council decides to move forward with the demolition of the Ice House, WECAN would like to recommend that it proceed under the following conditions:

·       Every effort is made to preserve and save any existing significant historical elements of the building including but not limited to, the large brick chimney, any old remaining machinery and other contributing elements so as to leave remnants of the building for future reference. 

·       Once the building is demolished, we would like to see a kiosk or informational display that references historical information about the history of the site and the building.

·       City Council require the demolition contractor (Taylor and Murphy or whomever is selected) to have at least one employee working on the demolition, who resides in one of the surrounding neighborhoods (WECAN, Hillcrest, West Riverside, East-West Asheville Neighborhood, South French Broad, Southside, etc) and to work with Green Opportunities to ensure this occurs.

·       The City should remain in constant and open dialogue with the public and surrounding neighborhood about the future development possibilities of the Ice House, and consider how this site and those around it can engage and create productive public spaces that reference the exceptional history of the riverfront area and surrounding residential community, while also providing a place for a range of people and incomes to work, play, and live. 

We appreciate the City’s leadership on this issue and look forward to this site becoming a significant community asset. 



Sincerely,

West End / Clingman Avenue Neighborhood (WECAN)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

WECAN Jan 03, 2013 Board Meeting Minutes (Draft)

WECAN Board Meeting January 3,2013 at 64 Clingman Ave.

Board Members Present were:  Jeff Carnivale, Joe Fioccola, AnnaBeth Hardcastle, Yuri Koslen, Rachel Larson, Luke Perry and Pattiy Torno. (She agreed to serve!).
Board Members not present were Byron Ballard, Jessie Nell Coleman, Tom Gibson, Mike Kenton JoAnn Skinner and Suzanne Willis.
Also present were:  CRO Evan Coward, CRO Tyler Radford, Mike Sule and Addy Wygmans,

Luke officially called the meeting to order at 6:35 p.m. with a round of introductions and recalling something interesting or unusual over the holidays.

THE MINUTES
were approved with the following corrections: Luke will 'TRY TO'  (present a graphic flow chart)...and the following paragraph edited by Steph Monson:
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.

NOTE: due to sensitivity of this and other issues, future minutes will be published as DRAFT minutes until they are approved and corrected by the board.

APD CRO UPDATE:  Ice House increased patrols have been noticed and appreciated. Increased patrols at the dead end of Jefferson have also been noticed thanks to the enthusiastic new officers recently released to solo status. More homeless camps have been noticed with campfires south of the Riverlink bridge on the west bank. "Open Burning" is permitted by the fire department (literally--they issue permits) and is allowed on days designated by Air Pollution Control as 'open burn days' before 3 p.m. Contained burns such as fire pits or steel barrels do not require permits. Luke reported a break in on Club Street with a description of two possible suspects who have not been seen since. Evan encouraged neighbors to call in any suspicious activity or unusual people in the neighborhood. Officers will respond and at least get their names on record. A Community meeting on Tuesday January 15th  from 6-7:30 at the Housing Authority Board Room at 165 South French Broad Ave will be held with Aston Park neighbors, SFB and WECAN and the new police department Housing Units. Yuri expressed a need for there to be a place where it is legal for homeless people to camp outside and avoid the restrictions placed by the nearby homeless shelters. Pattiy noted that if campers were responsible and cleaned up after themselves it might be different. Luke said he would invite Heather Millstein with the Homeless Coalition to come to a future meeting to converse on these issues.  

TREASURERS REPORT: AnnaBeth noted a donation by Joe and Byron and will have a complete treasurers report for the next meeting .

ONGOING UNRESOLVED ISSUES
: Luke mentioned the following to keep them on our radar:
    Clingman Hilliard Ped Heads: Bids have been received, contractors contacted and waiting on contracts.
    Clingman Speeding: problem backing out of driveways safely--possible solution convex mirrors?
    Roberts Street Traffic Calming: no progress on sidewalks from circle to White Duck.
    Pedestrian bridge fencing and railing: somewhere between the city and DOT no progress yet. 
    Greenworks pedestrian bridge landscaping/maintenance: no progress.
    Kiosk Permit: Still not issued. Parks and Recreation was supposed to pay for it.
    Pattiy reported that RADBA was asking for parking space striping and bulb outs on Roberts Street between the circle and the five points.

BLOCK JESSIE UPDATE: Luke brought up the pre-Christmas house fire at Sven and Melissa's at 11 Park Avenue. There was minor structural damage, a lot of smoke damage and Sven was severely burned. A collection from those present raised $100 as a gesture of neighborliness. AnnaBeth will remit to them. Yuri made  a resolution to get the Block Jessies actively going in 2013.

ICE HOUSE DISCUSSION: The decision to demolish the Ice House will go before City Council on Tuesday January 8th at 5 p.m. Staff is recommending it be demolished and be replaced with a surface parking lot.

There appeared to be a need for overflow parking in the area for Jean Webb Park , for river access and the concerts that were held there last summer. There is also an opportunity for a pedestrian walkway from the Curve Studios north almost to the Railside Studios. Pattiy reported that the River District Design Review Committee considered the demolition issue and did not come forth with a formal recommendation but there was enough discussion to suggest a reconsideration. One proposal was to install a museum (estimated cost $86 million.) Any suggestion will come with a price tag and funding that will be a challenge with several capitol campaigns currently in the works. RADBA and RADA are sending letters of support for the demolition but retaining the smoke stack as an icon with special lighting. However, since "to be lit is must be a designated landmark" (whatever that means legally) no one knows if is structurally sound enough to withstand the nearby demolition. Pattiy noted that the entire district is on the National Register of Historic Places. Other considerations discussed included: could the graffiti be preserved? since there are two ground levels and a wall surface would remain could it be used  for graffiti? (Whatever the artistic value may be, Joe expressed resistance to encouraging graffiti anywhere since the allowed graffiti at the Chesterfield Mill site spilled over to other buildings and structures in the neighborhood.)  Is the chimney a home to swifts? Is that an endangered species angle? Could the machinery be preserved? (Evan noted that there is minimal machinery left.) Rachel referred to the Seattle Gas Works Park where machinery was made safe after the building was removed. Will there be Historic markers to tell the story of the industrial development in the area? The question of the remnants of the Asheville Cotton Mill which also has a smoke stack and does have some machinery and which Riverlink has owned since 1995 and has no plans for other than holding the site for a future unknown large project. Luke volunteered to draft two letters one in support of the Ice House and the one about the Cotton Mill.

NEW BELGIUM: Luke reported on the Planning and Zoning Meeting on Wednesday which included Craven Street improvements and the whole project. EWANA  expressed concerns about truck traffic on Haywood Rd. After four hours of discussion they settled on two conditions: one that 70% of truck traffic not use Haywood Road but use alternate routes. Second that yearly traffic counts be done to determine if other changes are called for. Luke expressed concern for the Roberts St alternate route. Luke asked for feedback to take to Council for their January 22nd meeting. Pattiy noted that even though EWANA wants to keep truck traffic off Haywood Road the West Asheville Business Association wants the traffic. Luke mentioned that for a southbound alternate route through Roberts Street at the NB Meeting Thursday morning it was suggested to make Clingman Extension and Roberts Street one way around the Grey Eagle.  Pros include a wider lane, both sides parking and bicycle lanes. Cons include turning radii. Consideration of the northbound route focused on the height of the Riverside Drive Rail Road Trestle. Problems noted are that it is too low for the height of the trucks needed and the turning radius from the Smith Bridge to Riverside is not big enough to accommodate the larger trucks. The turning radius issue is being considered by the RADTIP plan. The Trestle appears to be the holy grail of solutions. The possible solutions include: to lower the road, to replace the trestle to increase the opening and/or raise the tracks, use smaller trucks, and pave over the spur over the east side of the trestle. Each of these presents obstacles but each also deserves to be compared with the others in terms of cost and benefits. At the NBB meeting it was noted that city staff has not been in contact with the railroad, but anecdotally that the Riverside Trestle may bes on the Railroad's maintenance list to be repaired or replaced. Pattiy countered that RADTIP had recently been in contact with the railroad and they were adamant that they would not alter or replace the trestle. Mike cited the Haywood Corridor Study which noted current problems such as inability for handicapped to reach crosswalk buttons, no bicycle lanes, etc. He noted  that it's not just trucks it is also infrastructure. As far as DOT is concerned two traffic signals and painting 'share the road' is all they have committed to but there is a feeling that there is a fleeting opportunity to get more infrastructure such as bike lanes, parking, sidewalks, bus stops, etc to accommodate trucks, pedestrians and bicyclists.  Truck traffic is coming and will continue to increase. This could be a win-win for true multi-modal transportation which is a stated but apparently low priority goal of the NC DOT. WECAN and EWANA both want what's best and doesn't want to simply shift the problem to another neighborhood. It is not known if they realize that shifting truck traffic will also lower the possibility of getting the infrastructure improvements that would enhance the Haywood Road corridor.  Luke suggested that the northbound route has to be ruled out first. The advantages that recommend it are that it is the closest route to an interstate and to all directions and it would not pass through any residential area and therefore have the least impact on any neighborhood traffic. That said, it would also reduce the opportunity for infrastructure improvements through neighborhoods. Mike also noted that the issue of truck traffic should be considered separately from New Belgium visitor traffic for those reasons and that the Chamber could get involved with the tourist routing issue. Pattiy noted there is a lot of passion about the issue and it should be tempered with facts.  Rachel and Yuri will draft a paragraph or two about our discussion and the need to do due diligence and consider every obstacle to the north bound route before it is ruled out and distribute it for review and comment.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS: Yuri nominated the slate of officers as follows: Luke as Chair, Rachel as Vice Chair, Anna Beth as Treasurer and Joe as Secretary. Motion passed unanimously.

MASTER PLANNING: Next meeting at AnnaBeth's at 26 Jefferson Dr on January 17th at 7 p.m.
For next meeting: Garden Club Work Days Needed.
Upcoming Events: 'Hard to Recycle' Event Saturday January 12th 11 a.m.-3 p.m. At Aarons (Park Terrace Center)-1298 Patton Avenue.
Thanks to Luke and Rachel for shortbread cookies, chocolates and toffees.
The meeting adjourned at 8:35 p.m.
DRAFT Minutes submitted by Joe Fioccola.