Neighborhood update

Dear Haw Creek Community Asso. member,

With this message, your board of directors is excited to report two important developments.

First, we now have a direct method for communicating with you. This Listserv is only for dues-paying members. Instead of hoping you spot our messages on Facebook or Next Door, we can now communicate directly with Haw Creek Association members. We won’t flood your in-box but will share timely and relevant news that affects you and the Haw Creek community.

Second, the board of directors is undertaking our first fundraising campaign to make tangible improvements here in Haw Creek. Below is our campaign plan and goal for building a parking lot and kiosk for Masters Park. We’re hopeful you agree and consider supporting this initiative.

For more information and a flyer you can print and share, follow this link.

Thank you,
Chris Pelly, President

Masters Park Challenge

Longtime residents of Haw Creek may recall the 2009 campaign which led to creation of Masters Park. Our community association partnered with Buncombe County and the City of Asheville with each providing a third of the $720,000 purchase price for the nine-acre site on Maple Drive which is now Masters Park. At the time the plan was to build a parking lot but it was during the Great Recession and funds were limited.

Fast forward twelve years. The park is well loved with an estimated 15,000 visitors a year. However we still only have roadside parking with erosion and congestion worsening. For this reason our community association is undertaking a fundraising campaign to build a 12-vehicle parking lot and kiosk for Masters Park.

We successfully fundraised before and we feel like we can again–with your help. The budget for these improvements is $25,000. Our goal is raising this amount by June 30th with improvements completed by September 30th, 2021.

Tax deductible donations can be made via our website: ilovehawcreek.com Donate button at bottom of homepage.

By mail, please send donation checks to HCCA at P O Box 9193, Asheville, NC 28815.

To print a handy flyer about this project, Click Here.

Current parking at Masters Park

Q and A about this plan:

Why isn’t the City of Asheville building the parking lot?

This parking lot is considered a ‘Capital Improvement’ by Asheville Parks & Recreation. At present, this department has a 4+ year waiting list of capital improvements. As roadside erosion at Masters Park is worsening, the board of directors of the community association determined we cannot wait four years to fix this problem.

Why is an off-road parking lot needed?

Current visitors can only park alongside Maple Drive which tends to block traffic on this narrow roadway, especially delivery trucks and other larger vehicles. If needed, once the parking lot is completed, ‘No Parking’ signs may be posted on the road.

How many vehicles will the lot hold?

Our goal is a parking lot for twelve vehicles.

Why do we need a kiosk?

The kiosk is to provide information about Masters Park and its unique eco-system. To learn more, please read the Summer, 2020 newsletter linked on this website under the Community News header.

Who is Masters Park named after?

Rory and Hazel Masters were life-long Haw Creek residents who helped found the Haw Creek volunteer fire department among other contributions. For more about the Masters family, please read the Fall, 2008 newsletter linked on this website under the Community News header.

East Asheville Library update Feb 23

“East Asheville Library fans are eager for a construction update, and we aim to please. While construction on the new facility is moving along and on schedule, there are still some important steps to go before we turn the final page on this project.”

Click through for more info and a picture gallery of the current state of the library.

https://www.buncombecounty.org/countycenter/news-detail.aspx?id=19163

 

Bad News and Good News in Haw Creek

Sadly, Haw Creek Park was defaced by graffiti vandals Tuesday evening, January 26th. History markers that tell the story of our valley were desecrated and shelters and signs were defaced. Anyone with information on those responsible please call the police non-emergency number 252-1110.

The good news is the Public Works Dept. responded fast and by Thursday morning were hard at work removing the offending graffiti. Thanks for Public Works director Greg Shuler and his able staff for addressing this quickly.

A Pump Track in Haw Creek Park?

Haw Creek residents Ofri Hirsch and Griff Gamble are promoting a pump track in Haw Creek Park and would like your support. They are circulating a petition, along with pump track details, within the attached link: Sign the pledge to support our proposal for a pump track at Haw Creek Park http://chng.it/SJMPBTTSFD

Although our community association has not taken a formal position on this idea, we believe it is important to learn if there is community support before deciding.

Are You a Member of Our Community Association?

Haw Creek residents know our valley is the best kept secret in Asheville. We’re not subject to cut-thru traffic, congestion, or high density development. We’re close to nature and close to town with a country-in-the-city vibe. We have a lot for which to be thankful.

Still, like the rest of Asheville, growth and development continues as more people move in. Stopping growth is not an option, nor should we seek to. Rather, our community association seeks to balance growth with improvements that benefit all residents.

Haw Creek Park and Masters Park were initiated by our community association as are on-going efforts to expand our sidewalk system and other projects. Neighbors united under the banner of the Haw Creek Community Association have, since the 1980’s, worked to affect positive change while welcoming all who choose to call Haw Creek home.

Your $20 a year tax-deductible membership in our community association helps make this positive change possible. Please become a member today as well as consider becoming a volunteer as we can always use the help.

Thank you,

Chris Pelly, President
Haw Creek Community Association

What’s up with the New Haw Creek Rd sidewalk expansion?

A recent questioner on Next Door asked for a progress report on the New Haw Creek sidewalk, set for expansion between Beverly Rd and Bell Rd.

As you might recall, this sidewalk expansion was included in a package of improvements Asheville voters approved in a November, 2016 bond referendum. The terms of the bond required all improvements be made within seven years, meaning work completed by November, 2023. As we are now 4+ years into the 7-year program, it is fair to ask when we can expect completion of the New Haw Creek sidewalk expansion.

I asked Lora Sepion, Project Manager with the City, the same question in November, 2020. Below is the answer she provided.

Hi Chris.
I am not able to get you an answer as yet regarding the schedule for installation of New Haw Creek Road Sidewalks. A large portion of the funding is coming from the NC DOT. Their projects have been put on hold due to cash flow / revenue issues. They are by state law unable to commit funds that are not actually available. Meanwhile, the City is continuing with the design and Right-Of-Way acquisition so that once the funds do come available at DOT we will be ready to go with this project. All that said, we are hoping to bid this project in early 2022.
Meanwhile, the new community engagement platform is operational. We will be working with our consultant to reach out to the community in the near future.
Again, I am sorry I could not be more definitive, but I hope this information helps.
Thank you,

Lora
Lora Sepion, PEProject Manager
Capital Projects Department
The City of Asheville
Phone: 828-575-4385
eMail: lsepion@ashevillenc.gov

Ms. Sepion mentions a ‘community engagement platform,’ which is designed to allow the public to give virtual feedback. At some point in 2021 we expect the City of Asheville to release the proposed design plans for the sidewalk and with this platform you will be able to give feedback.

Like most everything else, the pandemic has slowed progress on this important and needed improvement. That said, it is my goal that when our world reopens, hopefully later this year, we can use the full range of citizen advocacy tools to address the needs of Haw Creek.

Thank you,
Chris Pelly, President
Haw Creek Community Association

January 2021 News from the Board of Directors

In a January 4th, 2021 virtual meeting of the leadership of the Haw Creek Community Association, a number of items were discussed including:

1) A review of 2020 accomplishments which included:

  • Revamping the Ilovehawcreek.com website;
  • Sponsoring food trucks over three seasons as a way to provide safe social engagement during the pandemic;
  • Multiple litter and landscaping cleanups
  • A May 30th community parade to honor Haw Creek graduates
  • Advocating for protection and replacement of trees lost at Haw Creek Elementary School during facilities expansion
  • Leadership in advocating for the Arco Rd greenway scheduled to open in 2021
  • Publication of two issues of the Haw Creek newsletter to all Haw Creek households
  • Creation of mission statement for our community association–posted on this website

2) Creation of standing committees to advance the work of the association.

The committees, their roles, and their membership are as follows:

Community Engagement Committee Communications with the greater Haw Creek community. Responsible for content for the website, Facebook page, Next Door posts and periodic newsletters. Members are Wayne Robbins, Wyndy Bonesteel, Michael Harrison and Chris Pelly

Clean and Green Committee Initiates and leads cleanups and beautification efforts. Responsible for identifying needs and organizing litter cleanups, landscaping and flower plantings. Members are Renate Rikkers, Elizabeth Matthews, Susan Michael and Holly Arghiere

Infrastructure Committee Initiate and lead on expansion of needs identified in 2018/19 survey of Haw Creek residents. Responsible for building collaborations with institutions and people capable of helping address identified needs. Members are Patrick Gilbert, Barber Melton, Holly Arghiere, Susan Michael and Chris Pelly

Food Truck Committee Responsible for scheduling food trucks, site management, as well as to seek opportunities to integrate food trucks into overall association activities. Members are Renate Rikkers, Georgena Millar and Chris Pelly

Budget and Fundraising Committee Establish annual budget for association and make fundraising goals. Responsible for creating fundraising plans to support infrastructure development commitments and other identified needs. Members are Bruce Michael, Georgena Millar and Chris Pelly

3) Discussion of Annual Mtg of the Haw Creek Community Asso.

Because of the on-going pandemic the board of directors voted 12-0 to cancel the annual meeting scheduled for Monday March 1st. The primary goal of the annual meeting is to elect six of 12 members to the board of directors. Each year half the board is elected to two-year terms. The board will instead have elections for all twelve seats in March, 2022.

City of Asheville Greenway and Sidewalk Survey

Lucy Crown, the City of Asheville’s greenway coordinator, has asked the Coalition of Asheville Neighborhoods (CAN) to help promote a survey, gathering public input into updating the City’s Greenway Plan, ADA Transition Plan, and Pedestrian Plan.

 This combined planning process, known as the Close the GAP, will identify a network of the pedestrian, greenway, and accessibility networks for our community as well as programs and policies to support it.

The Close the GAP survey addresses sidewalks and greenways in Asheville. It also has questions related to a new initiative for natural surface trails (aka dirt trails) in Asheville, called “Asheville Unpaved

To take the survey, please click on this link: ashevillenc.gov/closethegap.

The survey will be live until Dec. 31.

Please take this survey if you’re interested in more and better sidewalks and greenways within Asheville city limits. The City recommends watching an overview presentation found on the Close the Gap webpage, before taking the survey.

The link to that presentation is https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/660321958f834674928a07ff4dda823b

CAN encourages public input into all City of Asheville’s initiatives that could help build better neighborhoods.

TAKE THE OPPORTUNITY. TAKE THE SURVEY.

Respectfully

Patrick Gilbert

Vice President, Government Relations

Coalition of Asheville Neighborhoods