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.
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