Bill Wheeler, Secretary
The regular monthly meeting was called to order on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at 7:04 p.m. in the Montford Community Center on Pearson Drive by President David Patterson. Other board members present: Susan Eggerton, vice president; Bill Wheeler, secretary; and at- large members Karen Kellow, Laura Lowe, Pam Brown, Elizabeth Hunter, and Ron Phillips. Also present were Asheville Police Department (APD) Community Resource Officer Jeremy Woody and more than 20 other neighbors and community members.
David Patterson reported no significant news in the budget.
Safety and Security
CRO Jeremy Woody reported that another assault has occurred on Cumberland Avenue involving a pedestrian struck in the head from behind. The victim required hospital care including stitches. Asked by neighbors if there was a link to a very similar incident in June, Officer Woody agreed there were similarities but said that police had no evidence to link the two events. He also noted that there have been no new leads in the June assault case on Cumberland Avenue.
Officer Woody also reported two larcencies in the past month, both described by him as easy – target crimes involving unsecured items.
Several complaints about aggressive door-to-door salespeople have reached the police. Officer Woody reported that he interviewed one individual who presented a peddler’s license allowing the solicitations. Officer Woody recommended that people call the police if a salesperson does not leave private property when asked to.
Officer Woody noted that the APD has increased patrols in the neighborhood and is keeping a closer eye on Montford Park. Several neighbors thanked Officer Woody for his hard work and quick response on the list serve to inform neighbors of safety and security news.
Pam Jo Brown gave an update on efforts to improve lighting in the neighborhood. One new light will be installed on Houston Street near Courtland Avenue. Pam has not heard back from the Parks Department regarding lights needed in Montford Park, but the City Superintendent of Planning has stated that the city will replace four burned-out lights as well as evaluate additional lights for the east side of Montford Avenue. All burned-out lights are being replaced with LED lamps. Neighbors who wish to discuss a new light or the replacement of a burned-out light can contact Pam at firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Patterson started a discussion about the possibility of employing additional social media outlets to keep neighbors better informed. One neighbor has recently started a Facebook page devoted to Montford safety and security news, and another neighbor has started a site on Home Elephant.
Meet the City Council Candidates. David Patterson reported that he is seeking a date in September to hold a forum for City Council candidates to meet and speak with Montford neighbors. Please see David’s article on the front page of this newsletter for information on the session that has been scheduled for Thursday, September 15, at 7:00 p.m. in the Randolph Learning Center.
Music and Arts Festival Logo Contest. David Patterson reported that details on the logo contest are on the Montford website. Details are also provided in Jerry Conner’s article on page 4.
David Patterson reported that this delayed project near Hill Street may start construction as financing may be secured soon. He asked that a neighbor in that area of Montford volunteer to act as a liaison to report to the neighborhood on progress.
Neighborhood Yard Sale. David Patterson reported that a neighborhood-wide yard sale will be held on Saturday, September 10. For information, contact Sharon Fahrer at 777-1014 or email@example.com.
Montford Park Players
Travis Lowe announced that the Montford Park Players are presenting Julius Caesar on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from August 12-September 4, to be followed by the Asheville Shakesperience. See the calendar on page 2.
Chris Joyner, representative of the Asheville Design Center, discussed the means, methods, costs, and possible outcomes of having the ADC run a design charrette this fall. The intent of the charrette would be to allow Montford neighbors to have input into how they would like the now-defunct Momentum site to be developed. The charrette would be a one-day affair with a morning and afternoon session, preferably on a Saturday, to involve as many participants as possible.
Neighbors’ ideas would be translated into drawings by volunteer professional architects and landscape architects to reflect the neighborhood’s aspirations. This “preferred outcome” would serve as a community statement about what Montford would be willing to support as development on the property. Joyell encouraged the neighborhood to invite as many participants as possible to join in the process, including city officials.
One neighbor said that being proactive on this issue may well avoid future legal costs when a development is proposed that the neighborhood may need to battle, like the current case in Kenilworth. Several neighbors encouraged Mr. Joyell to search for possible grant money to help pay for the costs after he said his estimate for the project would be around $2,000.
A motion was made, seconded, and passed to have ADC submit a proposal for approval. See David Patterson’s story on the front page for more details.
Soco Street Rezoning
Karen Kellow reported that she attended a recent meeting where the owners of a lot on Soco Street, who had previously requested approval to subdivide the property to allow a new duplex house to be constructed, withdrew the proposal, presumably because city staff had recommended that the proposal be denied. A motion was made, seconded, and passed that Karen Kellow act as the neighborhood representative to express the neighborhood’s desire to oppose the rezoning request at future zoning meetings should this issue reappear.
Planning and Zoning Candidates
Karen Kellow reported that the City Planning and Zoning Board will be filling three open seats. City Council will be interviewing all candidates on August 23 and selecting the new representatives. Karen asked that neighbors contact City Council members about their preferences. She also noted that one candidate, Abbie Emison, is a Montford resident and planner. Laura Lowe will post candidates’ names and profiles on the list serve to provide more information. For the results of the selection process, see the story on page 9.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:40 p.m.