November Minutes 2014

Meeting Called to Order by President Green @ 4:05

Motion requested for approval of October minutes. Motion made, seconded and passed.  Sign-in sheet passed around to those present.

Member of the Month:  Joe Ransmeier of Ransmeier Woodworking was chosen as member of the month.  Joe recently celebrated 20 years in his studio on Roberts Street.  He explained he is moving away from larger jobs, and beginning to focus on selling smaller items that may have greater appeal for the tourist trade as well as local buyers. He encourages all RADBA members to drop by and see his work.  Joe also shared flowers and cupcakes from his 20th anniversary part last weekend…thanks, Joe!  Joe was awarded a $25 gift certificate from the Bull and Beggar.

RADPAC UPDATE:  Darren Green and Matt Sprouse gave the update.  There was a meeting held with City Staff, including Steph Monson Dahl and Harry Brown, on November 17th. The major topic of this meeting was parking, and how future development will affect areas which already have very limited parking, particularly Clingman Ave Extension and Roberts St.  Currently cars are illegally parked along the Dave Steel side of Clingman Ext., parking partially on the sidewalk to keep two-way traffic open. Public safety officers are not ticketing illegally parked  cars, as the existing businesses may not survive without the additional parking this provides. These 30-plus spaces will permanently disappear once the RADLOFTS project is underway.  Long-term parking solutions include the planned public lot under the Craven St bridge, additional parking at the planned new boat ramp south of the Craven St bridge,  as well as a parking garage concept for the ice house property for 300 vehicles.  On street parking will be available everywhere possible along the 2.2 mile corridor. Construction on the public lot is likely 2017. In the meantime, businesses can let their customers know that they can park on the vacant  lots on Riverside Dr.

Additionally, the City has reapplied to the Railroad to allow encroachment on the RR owned property along Depot St.  to add additional parking and sidewalks, and is awaiting a reply. The City also encourages those businesses along Depot St. to reach out to the RR individually, as Hedy Fischer from Pink Dog already has.  City staff has made the comment that this process “could be a long road”.

President Green has proposed, that by Spring, RADBA create an unofficial “master plan” which would be a notebook that updates current maps and timelines of proposed projects, as a reference and a way to track progress and promises. Marsha Stickford interjected that Steph Monson Dahl and her team will be doing something very similar to this and encourages RADBA to make this project a joint effort.  It would very helpful to create this “plan” prior to the consultant being hired in Mar-Apr 2015, to facilitate creating the new Form Based Code.  Matt Sprouse also commented, saying that the best way to have strong input in the creation of the new code, is to show up in numbers at the public opinion sessions that will be held by the consultant.  Being pro-active, by having compiled information, and doing the groundwork prior to the consultant beginning to work on the project will help insure that stakeholders have influence on the process.

President Green also stated that in January of 2015, the executive boards of RADBA and RADA will hold a meeting to be sure the goals and visions of these two closely allied organizations is congruent, and that nothing is left out.

Beautification Committee: President Green announced the formation of a Beautification Committee, whose primary objective will be to plan and implement the re-planting of the roundabout and the median.  Recommendations will be made to the City, requesting an ongoing agreement to maintain the new landscape plan on a regular basis.  RADBA would offer to at least partially fund planting and installation.  Marsha Stickford asked to be kept informed and indicated that DOT and the City working together will be key.  She also indicated that she will be meeting with the new director of Asheville Greeworks shortly.  Pattiy Torno will head and Matt Sprouse will assist the new beautification committee.

AAARC UPDATE:  Matt Sprouse / AAARC has a planning and design committee which Matt serves on. This committee will be a part of the advisory team reviewing the RFPs (requests for proposal) used to hire the consultant for the Form-Based Code project. As stated earlier, the consultant could be hired as early as March or April ’15. It was also noted that City Council, within the authority of the new MSDs, has designated the RAD as an “Innovation District”. One primary purpose of this would be to allow for special fund-raising and financing tools.

New Belgium Brewery Update:  by Darren Green for Susanne Hackett.  Pile Driving has started again, but will be completed by the end of the week of December 1st.  No pile driving will take place on Thanksgiving or that Friday/Saturday following the holiday.  The site is now being prepared for the arrival of the brewhouse vessels and the fermentation tanks, both scheduled to arrive in early Spring 2015.  Also by Spring, up to 400 people will be working on the site each day, many in buildings, which will have roofs by then.

City of Asheville Update:  Marsha Stickford reported that the road closing of Craven at Emma will remain closed until March, and also that the Greenway design is underway and will be ready by Spring.

Neighborhood Update:  Ofc. Sean Davis reported on numerous break-ins of unlocked cars along Roberts and Depot Sts. When the subject of speeding on Depot St. was raised, he also indicated that he will seek assistance in monitoring this area.  Darren Green also asked for help in removing some camps along the river across from his building on Riverside Dr.

New Business:  The Hot Chocolate 10K will be held on Saturday, January 25th.  Lyman St will be closed from 9am to 10am, from 12 Bones to Amboy Rd.  Affected businesses should plan accordingly.  Tim Grotenhuis is the contact for any questions/issues.  He can be reached at 828-338-8380

Meeting Adjouned at 4:53….Happy Thanksgiving!