March 31, 2015 Meeting Minutes

Meeting called to order at 4:05 by Vice-President Daniel McClendon.

All those present introduced themselves and signed in. Treasurer Jenny Lumb announced new member, Grey Eagle Taqueria represented by Russ Keith, and returning member, The Village Potters. The one-year free membership drawing from the January Social, was announced by Vice-President McClendon. It was awarded to Dave Campbell of MMS Marketing. (You need not to be present to win, Dave!)

Treasurer Lumb explained a new policy, that both new and returning members may join RADBA by paying pro-rated dues anytime prior to July 1st, (which is the start of the RADBA calendar year), along with the $100 full one-year membership for the next year. In this way, all can enjoy full membership privileges without interruption, or having to pay a full years of dues for less than a 12 month period. Please contact Jenny to check the status of your membership at  jennylumb@gmail.com

AAARC Report / Pattiy Torno:  City Council met last week to hear the whitewater park presentation, and approved a 15K feasibility study for the project, with 3 possible sites under consideration. The preferred location of the applicant is between the Jeff Bowen Bridge and Craven St.  Pattiy noted that it is a private individual expressing the preferred location, and no one has approached stakeholders in the RAD for their input/opinion. The same presentation on the whitewater park will be made to the AAARC at their next meeting which is April 11th at 4PM, second floor, City Hall.  RADBA and RADA members are encouraged to attend. Some of the anticipated results of the whitewater park would be increased vehicle traffic on Riverside Drive, which will already have increased substantially due to New Belgium Brewery employees and visitors, users of the extended Greenway, and the Smoky Park Supper Club.  Council also asked staff at the meeting to look into look into wrapping the whitewater project into RADtip.  AAARC plans to add some items of concern about the project that have not yet been voiced. Pattiy acknowledged her appreciation of the support shown to date on this topic by RADBA/RADA members.   Karen Cragnolin of Riverlink stated that in theory, Riverlink supports the project, but needs more details.  Tim Schaller added that since the floodplain would be affected, there will definitely be trade-offs on the table. He also said that parking is and will always be the main issue, and said planners tend to react rather than plan in this area. The Ice House parking project may be back on the table, and if such a plan were put forth, RADBA and RADA could offer more support.

RADPAC report / Tim Schaller:  the Harry Pilos project (Dave Steel site) is going forward. The closing of the property has happened and as of April 1st, the newest plans submitted will be under review by Planning and Zoning. Some possible outcomes regarding parking concerns (put forth in the letter to the City from RADBA last month), include Clingman becoming one-way, creating diagonal parking and possible straightening of Roberts St. to push the new roundabout at Depot St. closer to the RR tracks.  There are 100 spaces shown in the new plans which is one per tenant, although the real number may be less. Pilos also wants the City to manage the new parking, which would probably happen only if it is at least a break-even situation for the City.  Will the RAD end up with metered parking? Many questions still remain, and Tim urged that now is the time to get involved, not after the Planning and Zoning review is final. On a positive note, the Depot St. Parking on the Pink Dog side will be done very shortly and will add about 30 new spaces.  The City has made their decision on the firm (not named as of the date of this meeting), that will design the new Form Based Code, and we can expect the first Charrette to take place around June 1st.  Again, it behooves all RAD stakeholders to educate themselves about Form Based Code (West Asheville’s example is still available to view on the City’s website, under “projects”), before the design process is too far along.

One Neighborhood Event Report / Daniel McClendon and Tim Schaller:  This Event comes out of the after school project that was begun at the Wesley Grant Center, to bring kids from the neighborhood together with artists to create projects and feel they are a part of the RAD. The Event will take place on June 14th from 2-4 pm at the Wesley Grant Center on Livingston. It is designed to be a fun annual event for neighborhood kids and their families, offering interactive projects with at least three RADA artists, a Kid’s Zone hosted by Stu Helms of Asheville Flyers, participation from Fire Station #2, and several showings of the One Neighborhood video.  A motion was made by Tim to approve a $500 expenditure to pay for the Kid’s Zone, and seconded by Helaine from Riverview Station. Motion was passed unanimously. Volunteers are being sought to serve on one of three committees; Event, Marketing/Promotion, and Fundraising.  Please contact any RADBA Board Member with your interest.  While the event itself will not be a fundraiser, money will be needed for ongoing projects between kids and artists, so we will be reaching out to members and the larger community for donations.

NBB Report:  Susanne Hackett:  on behalf of NBB, Susanne expressed thanks for the efforts of APD, and everyone in the RAD for assistance and cooperation during the delivery of the large vats. All went well, and the overall project is still on schedule. The last vertical element of the project, the Liquid Center, is underway. This is the visitor building which is located closest to the Haywood/Craven corner of the NBB property. The tasting room is expected to open early 2016 (with RADBA and RADA members enjoying a pre-opening event)!  The 25th anniversary of NBB is June of 2016 , and plans for events to celebrate are already underway.

Riverlink report / Karen Cragnolin:  the river music series of events begins on Friday May 9th, and continues every second Friday through October 9th.  There will be three performances at each event, with the earliest beginning at 5:30pm this year, to be more family friendly. Music ends at 10pm. The line-ups are excellent this year..contact Riverlink for details.  The trolleys will run for the events, and river access, bike parking and picnic tables are available this year. Karen also noted that the GearFest was well received, and may be back next year.

City of Asheville / Marsha Stickford:  the  WECAN Community Garden, a joint project with the City, at the City Transit Center has been approved.

Neighborhood Update / Ofc Sean Davis:  a reminder was given to lock your vehicles.  A car was stolen (and later recovered) from the FLS Energy parking lot in March. The vehicle was unlocked, and the keys left in the ignition.  It was also reported that an individual died the morning of our meeting from injuries sustained by falling from the Riverlink Bridge.  The incident is under investigation, and no other information was available at the time of our meeting.  Ofc. Davis asked that RADBA members keep APD in the loop about camps by the river and other observed problems as the warmer weather approaches. There was also discussion about the continued problems in the condemned buildings behind Riverview Station.  The police say they can do very little since the property owner has given permissions for entry into the buildings. A recommendation was made to take down the sign on the utility pole that says “studios” that points to those buildings.

Old Business:  Pattiy Torno updated the membership on the Clingman Ave. Streetscape.  The initial clean up and pre-emergent application will take place very shortly. Pattiy has donated the money for this.  The  ongoing mowing and weeding will be done 3x per month, and members are encouraged to donate toward this expense. Contact Treasurer Jenny Lumb to do so.  Marsha Stickford added that the City is re-focussing efforts on some of the areas in the City that need more attention and that we should see results here soon.  She expressed appreciation for our patience.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:05pm.  Respectfully submitted, Susan Kaagan, RADBA Secretary

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