September Minutes 2014

Meeting called to order by President Darren Green at 4PM

Motion made and seconded to approve the August Minutes.  Motion passed.

Introductions were made by all those present, and all present were invited to sign in to qualify to win the “business of the month” award for the October meeting.

Darren called for all those present to network the businesses around them to recruit new members, so that everyone in the RAD can have a voice at the table.

Julia Fosson/Encaustic Artist was awarded the “business of the month” award and received a $25 gift certificate from the Grey Eagle Taqueria.  In her 5 minute spotlight time, Julia described moving in to the Hatchery in Oct/2011 and her happiness with the busy location above the White Duck. One of the characteristics that sets Julia apart from other encaustic artists is her technique of working “smooth” with the medium. Julia is the Exec VP of RADA and will be President next year.

Darren and Julia will be meeting with the Asheville Art Museum in October to discuss a joint effort of organizing tours which would include a visit to the Museum as well as to the RAD. These could be general or specific tours, with possible stops at restaurants in the District.

AAARC/Matt Sprouse and Pattiy Torno reported on the USDOT / TIGER IV Grant of $14 million awarded to the City for Multi-Modal transportation improvements, with matching funds from the City of Asheville, specifically benefiting the RADTip with 3 or more new Greenways and beyond, to be known as “The Greater RAD Project”.  The grant was announced by the US  Secretary of Transportation who came to Asheville for the announcement.  Asheville is number 1 of 71 US cities to receive grants, and it is the 14th largest grant awarded in the US, and by far the largest of the several smaller grants awarded to other NC cities.  The earlier TIGER II Grant paid for the planning and set the stage for future grants.  Stephanie Monson and Jennifer Bale of the City are to be congratulated for their dedication to this project.

Also in the AAARC report, Matt explained there may be a new zoning code adopted in the RAD.  It would be a form-based code versus the current land-based code now being used.  A form-based code is more descriptive than land-based, invoking a “what does it look like…what’s the size and shap and, form” approach.  The form-based code is now being used in West Asheville.  The RAD will be competing with the Charlotte St. corridor for City funds to do a code study, likely in the next 1 or 2 budget cycles.  Marsha Stickford confirmed that there are funds allocated for such a code study.  The  meeting next Wednesday 10/8 for planning and design and to discuss stakeholder’s roles will be attended by Matt, who will be our conduit of information for this process.  Matt also reinforced that we, as stakeholders, will be looked to for input.  If we want a true voice in the process it will require individuals/businesses stepping up to volunteer for committees or other opportunities to serve and show our commitment.  As a footnote, Pattiy stated that WABA (West Asheville business association) did a survey on their own prior to their code study, and received a nearly 50% response.  RADBA may want to consider following suit and being a leader in the code change process.

City of Asheville/Marsha Stickford:   The City recently allocated $100,000 to clean up some of the most poorly maintained medians in the City.  The Clingman Street median was selected, and was mowed last week.  This is not meant to be the longterm solution to the need for an ongoing landscape maintenance plan. When the median was installed, no permanent agreement was made. We may get some ongoing attention from the City, but not on a regular basis.  The attention is generally given to the areas that the City receives the most complaints about. There was brief discussion among those present about how to form  better partnerships for subsequent years, as well as what RADBA can do on its own between now and next Spring to plan for next year.

The timeframe for the graffiti assistance program has been extended, although through what date is still unclear.  If you have already requested to be put on the list, you are covered, and if you have not done so, go ahead and sign up online. There is still ongoing debate in City Council on what to do with the large-scale assistance requests…stay tuned..

There is now a committee within the City for review of special event applications.  The committee is meeting quarterly to get ahead of the issues that these special requests often raise. Set routes for runs will be established, with caps on the number of runners that may participate in various events.  Marsha also noted that the City is pleased that The Studio Stroll is now a permitted event, and that questions or concerns about special events may be directed to her.

With regard to the proposed Municipal Service Districts, letters have gone out to those property owners who would be within them. If you visit the “Projects” page on the City’s website, they are referred to as “innovation” districts.  More information and better maps will be provided shortly. The conversation on this is just beginning and there will be a lot of discussion prior to decisions.  An informational meeting will be help shortly and RADBA members will be informed.

Riverlink/Karen Gragnolin:  The 2014 summer concert series has ended and was a success with good turnouts.  The business series are well attended with most sessions at capacity. The performance park will begin to have more permanent infrastructure with bike racks and picnic tables being added.

RADBAT/Jenny Lumb:  Treasurer  Jenny reported that she is working on a template for dues reminders to current members, and may also modify it to send to former members to encourage them to rejoin.  The committee is also working on updating the master membership/mailing list.  The current RADBA membership is about 35.  Darren congratulated Jenny on recruiting the Grey Eagle Taqueria as a new member..

RADMAD/Sarah Pelchat of the Marketing and Promotion Committee reported that they are researching an alternate host for the RADBA website.  A more user friendly and attractive platform is the goal.  WIX is a possible host.  The basic site is free of charge, and the next level offering additional features is available for around $10/month.  A sample will be presented to the membership at the October meeting for comments.

New Belgium Brewery/Susanne Hackett was unable to attend, but sent an email indicating that construction is still on schedule, and the Craven St closure will likely continue for another 6 weeks.  Marsha Stickford cocncurred.

Neighborhood Crime Report/Ofc. Sean Davis:  There have been increased complaints by RADBA and WECAN about campers in the area.  18 different camps have been identified and been informed of the timeframe in which they must leave.  Some are already gone, some remain, and there are some new ones as well. Helaine reported some particularly unfriendly ones near her.  Sean will investigate.

New Business:  Julia Fosson announced that RADA has contributed $500 to the “One Neighborhood” program,  and she will also announce the 2015 Studio Stroll dates next month.  The dates are likely to be sometime in May and 2nd week of November.  Karen Cragnolin reported that next year’s concert series will be on the 2nd Fridays of the month.

Meeting adjourned at 5PM