RADBA Meeting Minutes – September 2015

The meeting was called to order by President Daniel McClendon at 4:05 pm.
Minutes from August meeting were approved.

All present seemed to be familiar faces, so introductions were skipped and the sign in sheet was passed around.

Treasurer’s Report/Jenny Lumb: We have 33 members who are current with their dues. Those who were members last year who have yet to renew are: Asheville Adventure Rentals, Brian Boggs Chairmakers, Clingman Cafe, Crossfit Pisgah, River Arts Yoga, Roots Food, Sarver Realty Group, and Splurge. If you see any of these folks around, please invite them to get involved again. We have just over $9,300 in the bank account. The only outflow from the account is the $300 for the landscaping on Clingman. We are committed to paying monthly through October. Sitework Studios has volunteered to pay one of the remaining months.

A larger conversation about the landscaping on Clingman unfolded. Marsha Stickford from the City of Asheville suggested that once the city has a handle on landscaping upkeep downtown, the RAD may get more support with landscaping. However, she encourages us not to spend too much on plants, etc., as the city may eventually take out those plants and/or cement areas that are currently landscaped. Matt Sprouse of Sitework Studios requested to review any future plans the city may develop, as choices of plants in the past have not been easy to upkeep. Pattiy Torno/Curve Studios has been footing the bill for any extra costs from the current landscapers for spraying, etc. Joe Ransmeier suggested that the landscaping be used as a visual welcome to the neighborhood, mentioning daffodils in particular and stating he is not in agreement with using harsh chemicals. Pattiy mentioned the full landscaping plan that the RADBA membership considered about a year ago that came in at a cost of 20K with about 6-7K allocated for mulch and that the current scaled back landscaping was agreed upon by the membership at that time. It was suggested and agreed upon that we revisit this topic in a monthly meeting sometime before the spring.

RADPAC/AARC: Daniel McClendon began a discussion about a possible allocation of RADBA funds for political outreach in organizing a tour of RAD with elected officials. Darren Green picked up the thread, explaining that the idea arose in a conversation with RADA about on preserving the artistic and creative focus of the RAD with a particular concern that the Ice Plant property would go to the highest bidder and bring something not necessarily desirable by RADBA and RADA interests. Marsha Stickford suggested that we follow the city’s lead in using the term “Place Making” in our political outreach. Pattiy Torno suggested that we look out for information on upcoming stakeholder meetings about “Innovation Districts” and also said that, as an AARC member, she can take any of our feedback to AARC for consideration in answering what our top priorities are in the RAD. Their next meeting is 10/7, and she would need the input definitely within the next month. Pattiy also stated that she will be vacating her position with AARC. The city council will consider candidates for the open position in Dec and appoint in Jan. Candidates must be an Asheville property or business owner and reside in the city of Asheville. Matt Sprouse suggested that a future monthly RADBA meeting be focused on defining our top priorities as the RAD continues to evolve.

Land Trust: Daniel McClendon introduced a brief conversation about using the model of Land Trust in the RAD. Karen Cragnolin acknowledged that RiverLink uses the Land Trust model and also said that the city “does not like it.” It was suggested as a model for the Ice Plant property and many agreed that would be a long process.

NBB: They will be pouring beer in February and begins tours in March. There will be a big party for Asheville locals, probably in March. Date to be determined as building progresses. There will be a national party on Aug 27th, celebrated here in Asheville, in honor of NBB’s 25th anniversary. (Suzanne welcomes all suggestions on how local businesses can participate.) The greenway is getting paved and foot bridges will be installed in mid-Oct. 40 people have been hired with a goal of hiring 80 people before opening with 150 people at full build out. Karen Cragnolin/RiverLink asked for a storm water update. Suzanne said she did not have one.

RiverLink/Karen Cragnolin: New access river access on Amboy Rd. Boat access at Pearson Bridge is complete, and there will be a dedication in November. They are thinking about separating RiverFest and the Anything that Floats Parade into two stand-alone events beginning next year, with RiverFest happening on/around Earth Day. The last RiverMusic concert is on the 9th with James Brown’s backup band.

RADTIP: Helaine Greene/Riverview Station recently had a meeting with the city to review the “65%” plans that will affect the road and right of way in front of Riverview Station. She invited Matt Sprouse of Sitework Studios to the meeting, as they have been assisting Helaine with a site improvement plan. The 65% plan was a “real shocker” for them in how it will impact the use of the land in front of the studio, potentially loosing up to 48 parking spaces and cutting the dog agility course in half. A petition asking for the city to reconsider their plans was sent around the table for consideration of RADBA members’ to sign.

Asheville Police/Ofc. Sean Davis: Last Sunday night/Monday morning, two cars on Roberts Street were set on fire. Pattiy Torno mentioned that she had called the ADP regarding camp fires. Karen Cragnolin requested that we refrain from using “Craven Street Bridge” and instead use its proper name “Smith Bridge,” preserving the history.

Final call for last business: Pattiy Torno had recently attended an MPO meeting in which it seemed that the improvements to I-26 is becoming a much higher priority. It remains to be seen how that would affect the RAD.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:05pm.

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