The meeting was called to order at 4:05PM by President Darren Green. A sign-in sheet was circulated and those present introduced themselves. The July meeting minutes were approved.
The winner of the first “monthly member highlight” was Asheville Running, and they were awarded a $25 gift certificate to Blue Kudzu Sake. The following information was presented by Randy about the business: Asheville Running is a retail running specialty shop. A goal is to partner with local fitness groups to give classes and host events in their space both before and after business hours. Beginning in September there will be at least 6 group runs per week…all levels of runners are welcome. The grand opening party will be the evening of Friday, September 12 with the opening of the store taking place Saturday, September 13th. Store hours are M-F 10-7, Sat. 10-6 and Sun.12-5. RADBA wishes Asheville Running success in their new venture.
The video “One Neighboorhood” was shown by Matt Sprouse. The short video shows highlights of youth from the neighborhood in and around the RADBA boundaries, creating art at various studios in the RAD. The One Neighboorhood program was created to introduce children to what is happening in their neighborhood and to become a part of it. Ginger Hubner of Roots and Wings, Tim Schaller of The Wedge, and Big E are all featured in the video. The video is designed to help make this program sustainable, primarily by donations from the community. Donations pay Ginger for organizing the encounters and also the artists for their time and materials.
AARC Report/Pattiy Torno: Riverside Drive Development Board is a joint commission with the City of AVL, Buncombe County, Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Woodfin. The commission is charged with creating the vision and plan for economic development on our riverfront. The commission meets the 2nd Thursday of the month at 4PM at the Chamber’s meeting room. Pattiy serves on the board, and Matt Sprouse is a member of the design sub-committee which looks at any project over 1500 sq ft. The purpose is to liaison with all the various gov’t and business community entities, to ensure that the riverfront (not just within the RAD, but the entire 17 mile length), receives the attention needed.
The commission was created in May 2010 and is modeled on the Downtown Commission because of their success in dealing with economic development issues. Large projects like RADtip ($25 million), require working with the City and all invested parties for successful planning and inception. Steph Monson, staff liaison at the City, calls it the “small town connection”…finding how to get the right people in the room, at the right time, to accomplish more.
The final draft of the Riverside Redevelopment Plan has been released, and will be on the agenda of the full City Council meeting of September 9th for consideration of adoption as recommended by staff and the AARC. The report is intended to serve as a roadmap rather than a prescription to council. Included in the plan is the “Alternatives to Gentrification in the East of the RiverWay Report as a companion informational piece. Both are available for viewing prior to the council meeting. Contact Steph Monson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt Sprouse proposed that at a future meeting we invite a representative to attend and give the RADBA membership a complete overview of the project recommendations.
RADPAC Report/Tim Schaller: the property at 339 Lyman, recently shut down for safety reasons by the City, may have possible good outcomes. The City has proposed ways the property may still be used for artists at affordable rates in a safe building. One of the Wedge Building partners is currently looking at the building in conjunction with the City’s proposal. (Note: at the very end of the meeting, general discussion returned to this property. It was clarified that although the AVL/ FD has posted the buildings as unsafe, the City has not placed No Trespassing signs).
The RADLofts project developer is to appear before Council on 8/26 to request a total of $770,000 in tax abatements for the project in return for 5 affordable artists units. One aspect of the earlier mentioned Gentrification Study indicates that a necessary positive factor is the presence of affordable housing and studio space. RADBA members can individually affect this, through appreticeships, mentoring and designation by builder owners of a percentage of affordable space in their rental units. Buildings like 339 Lyman, when safe, can also add to the affordable space inventory. Tim invited RADBA members to “join the conversation” about how to create affordable space. The City needs to know that we’re already making efforts in this direction. Marsha Stickford added that the RAD has been more intentional in their efforts then was done Downtown.
Finally, it was noted that another volunteer weeding day should be scheduled for the Clingman Avenue median, perhaps an early September Sunday. A date will be chosen and an email sent to members asking for participation. There was brief discussion about making a change in 2015 for the landscape contract.
RADBAT Report: This committee has been re-formed, consisting of Jenny Lumb, Treasurer, Helaine Green and Pattiy Torno. There is space for another member if anyone is interested, contact Jenny at Nourish and Flourish. The committee will meet quarterly. and will establish guidelines for allocating RADBA funds.
Marketing and Promotion Committee: This committee will consist of Susan Kaagan, Secretary, Sarah Pelchat and Robert Gardner. (A new acronym will be announced!). The committee will focus on a possible replacement of the Word Press system, perhaps switching to Mail Chimp, among other issues. Window clings for all RADBA members current on dues were distributed. Many thanks to Sarah Pelchat at MMS for facilitating this..they look great!
RADA Report/Julia Fossom: The new RAD studio guide is being designed by “Big Bridge”. RADBA members will be encouraged to participate, as in past years. RADA membership now stands at 192. A vote is expected by mid-October to determine whether dates for Studio Strolls next year will remain the same or be changed.
New Belgium Report/Susanne Hackett: Pile driving will begin again, possibly as soon as next week and is expected to last 2 weeks. Craven St from Haywood to Waynesville will close August 28th. The malt silos will go up in mid-fall, giving the site its first vertical element. Details about stream restoration will be forthcoming.
City of Asheville Report/Marsha Stickford: Haywood Rd from the Riverlink Bridge to the curve has now been re-striped for bikes and a climbing lane to accommodate slower traffic. This was done in anticipation of the Craven St closure since many bicyclists will not be able to use that section of Craven.
Neighborhood Crime Update/OFC Sean Davis: an influx of transients has been reported, partly due to Asheville becoming known as a “train hopping” destination. Please call AVL PD if you see evidence of these transients, camping etc.
Meeting adjourned at 5:05PM