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.
Chris Pelly, President
Haw Creek Community Association
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.
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.
Lora Sepion, PEProject Manager
Capital Projects Department
The City of Asheville
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.
Chris Pelly, President
Haw Creek Community Association
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.
Buncombe County Library’s Director Jim Blanton reports Spring, 2021 remains the target date for opening the East Asheville Library presently under construction. Structural steel is up and the roof panning is complete. Exterior walls are being framed up. Underground utilities are connected and repairs have been made to the fire station. He reports good weather has helped keep things moving forward. Certainly exciting to see the building taking shape. Thanks to Jim Blanton and our commissioners for their leadership and support.
After reading the April 2020 edition of the Haw Creek Community Association newsletter, Hawthorne Villages resident Linda Kooiker had an idea. The front page of the newsletter addressed places in the Asheville area that were providing food support due to the hardships that came along with Covid-19. To Linda, this became a call to action to love her neighbors- her immediate neighbors in the Spruce Hill Apartments- and to bring her community together for a common good.
In mid-April, Linda spearheaded a movement in her Hawthorne Villages community and fellow villagers eagerly joined in. Linda contacted Karyn Solomon, the property manager at Spruce Hill Apartments, and offered to fill a pantry with necessities for residents who might be in need. And every Tuesday since then, the Hawthorne Villages residents have filled the backs of a couple of cars and delivered the goods to the Spruce Hill management office.
Since schools were providing breakfast and lunch to school aged children, Linda was concerned about other needs that might be outstanding. Since SNAP doesn’t cover items like paper goods or even diapers, those items are often included in the deliveries. And while canned goods and other non-perishables are weekly additions, Linda and her crew also deliver fresh fruits, vegetables, and even fresh meats. Karyn and her super assistant Emma sort and organize the donations and have created an eye pleasing grocery set up in a small IOx10 room for residents to come in and shop.
*** With the pandemic still causing havoc, Linda and her neighbors decided to do a little more. They organized and provided complete Thanksgiving meals to 15 families in Spruce Hill Apartments.
According to Linda, it’s all very informal. It’s just neighbors helping neighbors.