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This is the latest in a series of profiles highlighting the City of Asheville’s vibrant and diverse neighborhoods. The City of Asheville maintains a list of neighborhoods who have registered as official organizations. Each month we will invite one of these to tell you a little more about the place they call home. If you are not sure if your neighborhood is on our listing, please contact Neighborhood Coordinator Marsha Stickford at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Name of group: Five Points Neighborhood Association
Formed when: Formed in the mid 1990s
Location: Five Points neighborhood is situated about a mile north of the city of Asheville. It sits between Merrimon Avenue and Broadway and continues north to North Street near UNC Asheville.
What qualities make your neighborhood unique?
Many of the houses are historic and beautiful wooden bungalows and craftsman 4 squares built between 1900 and 1925. The neighborhood is centrally located, and great for walking or biking into town, Montford, UNC Asheville, and local schools. We have sidewalks on most of our streets.
Who are the people that make up your neighborhood?
There is an eclectic mix of people living in Five Points–the neighbors generally know each other and help each other out. Some folks have lived in the neighborhood for generations, but now we are seeing more young families moving in, as well as recent retirees looking for a walkable neighborhood experience. We have professionals, craftsmen, teachers, professors, students, chefs, acupuncturists, health care workers, many artists, activists, musicians, photographers and fantastic gardeners.
What is some of your neighborhood’s history?
The neighborhood was one of the first bedroom communities in the City of Asheville. The streetcar service used to run up to Mt. Clare Avenue and end at Hillside, an area we call Little Five Points. That is why that street is wider than any of the others. The estate of Mr. George Pack, of Pack Square fame in Asheville sat where the new Harris Teeter site sits today. The estate was called Many Oaks and there was a large mansion there with a grand stone wall encircling it. In the 1970s the building fell into disrepair and it was demolished. The neighborhood, like most of the city of Asheville went through a rough patch but began to revive again in the 1990s.
What role does your neighborhood play as part of Asheville’s community?
Our neighbors care deeply about local government, the environment, safety and helping Asheville to be a more progressive city. We are a vocal group of concerned citizens. We have worked closely with the city, helping government understand our needs and concerns, most recently regarding the highway business zoning of the Harris Teeter site. Also, there is a program going on to help solarize Asheville neighborhoods. Many of our neighbors in Five Points will be incorporating solar power into their homes in the coming months. There is also talk of a community garden.
What are some of the things you look forward to in the future of your neighborhood?
We look forward to traffic calming on some of our streets because of new development on Merrimon. We have concerns about cut through traffic and congestion on our very narrow city streets. We have been working closely with the city’s traffic department to facilitate this. We’d like to see sidewalks on streets that are lacking them. Graffiti is also problem in our neighborhood; we’d like to see less of it, and possibly more art in its place.
Name something that you would like to see to make your neighborhood better.
We would like a good buffer between the Harris Teeter site and the neighborhood homes, safe streets without fear of speeding cars and cut through traffic. Less graffiti and more gardens and art, more block parties, pot luck dinners, preservation of houses and good neighbors.
October 24, 2013
September 6, 2013
The public is invited to come to 344 Depot St. (Pink Dog Creative) between 4 and 7 p.m. Tuesday Aug. 20 to see conceptual designs by eight local designers for 10 acres of publicly-owned property on the French Broad Riverfront. Your input is wanted!
Details on the flyer below:
August 19, 2013
The Asheville Police Department has the following information and video about staying safe as school starts back:
On Wednesday August 21, 2013, Asheville City Schools will be back in session. We ask for your assistance in keeping our children safe as they return to school. Please remember that traffic will be congested near city schools and plan your route accordingly. Remember to look for kids at bus stops and be aware of when you need to stop for a school bus when it is loading or unloading passengers.
Traffic in both directions must stop on two lane roads, two lane roads with a center turning lane, four lane roadway without a center turn lane or median divider (for example Merrimon Ave, Charlotte St). Only traffic following the school bus needs to stop on a four lane road with a center divider or median separation of a center turn lane (North Carolina General Statute 20-217). Be aware that school zone speed limits will be enforced and that APD officers will be running radar.
Please see the Asheville Police Department Traffic Safety Unit’s PSA regarding safe motoring as school starts.
August 16, 2013
In a continued effort to reduce waste headed for the landfill, the City of Asheville is restructuring its fees for recycling and solid waste collection.
Beginning July 1, the city will replace the $3.50 per month recycling fee with a $7.00 per month solid waste fee. This fee will continue to appear on the combined utility statement and will apply to all customers using the city’s solid waste collection services.
The fee change more accurately represents the high cost of waste disposal. Solid waste services use about 80,000 gallons of fuel each year. These costs continue to rise and make it difficult to continue delivering quality service with the same amount of money.
Replacing the $3.50 per month recycling fee with a $7.00 per month solid waste fee will generate an additional $750,000 that will be used to further reduce materials going into the landfill through the installation of downtown recycling containers and allow for optimization of solid waste collection routes in order to reduce fuel costs.
The City of Asheville’s Zero Waste campaign is aimed at reducing landfill waste. The “Big Blue” recycling carts rolled out in 2012 have resulted in a significant increase in recycled materials in the city. The City of Asheville remains dedicated to reducing its waste and carbon footprint.
Find out more here.
June 7, 2013
Reposted from the City of Asheville web site:
In an ongoing effort to communicate fiscal realities and identify community priorities in the upcoming budget year, Asheville City Council will hold a community budget meeting Thursday, April 18, 2013, at 6:00 p.m. The meeting will take place in the gymnasium of Charles T. Koontz Intermediate School, located at 305 Overlook Road, Asheville.
The community budget meeting is another step in engaging residents in the ongoing budget process.
At a March 12 work session, city staff presented City Council with preliminary balancing strategies to close a $2 million budgetary gap.
On April 3, the public was invited to a town hall meeting at the U.S. Cellular Center where a deeper level of budget balancing strategies were introduced based on forecasted revenue impacts of recently proposed state legislation.
At the April 18 meeting, staff will once again update Council and the community on new developments, following which, members of the public will be asked to participate in small group budget discussions to help prioritize and weigh impacts of budget balancing options.
Background, staff reports and updates on the 2013-2014 budget discussion can be found at: ashevillenc.gov/budget.
Koontz Intermediate School is located shares an entrance with Valley Springs Middle School. The entrance is located on Overlook Road just north of the intersection with Long Shoals Road and south of the South Asheville Library.
April 15, 2013
The City of Asheville’s Public Works Department hosted a visiting class of pre-kindergarten students from Carolina Day School at its South Charlotte Street Facility Feb. 15, showing the children and some parents around the big trucks and equipment the department uses.
Teacher Cathy Walters says that the field trip is part of the school’s curriculum focusing on the seasons of the year, and the children get to learn about how Public Works crews salt and plow the streets during winter weather storms. “They’ve been very excited,” she said.
The visit is an annual tradition, and the department has been hosting the groups for some time.
“We’ve been doing this for years,” says Streets and Engineering Manager Greg Shuler. “The kids really love this stuff.”
The tour isn’t limited to snow and ice removal. The children get to learn about equipment that keeps the city’s storm drains clear, the trucks that pick up trash every week, and see the tall bucket truck city arborist Mark Foster uses to trim trees.
The Public Works Department takes on projects throughout the City of Asheville such as sidewalk construction and roadway improvements, maintains the city’s fleet of vehicles and operates stormwater and sanitation services.
But Walters says the big finale is the gigantic pile of salt and sand Public Works keeps on hand in the shed for winter weather. It’s such a big deal, the Carolina Day School children even sang a song written just for the occasion, which ends in a refrain about the Public Works crews who drive salt-spreading trucks when snow and ice threaten roads:
“Salt and sand go out and get spread about
City workers spring into action
Salt melts the snow and helps us go
By giving wheels some traction.”
The City of Asheville Public Works Department is pleased to accommodate schools and groups interested in visiting its facility. Anyone who would like to arrange a field trip can contact Greg Shuler at (828) 271-6146 or email@example.com.
February 19, 2013
This Saturday! From the WNC Nature Center:
The 36th Annual Hey Day Fall Festival will be held at the Western North Carolina Nature Center on Saturday, October 6th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The event features animal encounters, craft demonstrations, face-painting and live entertainment. Food and beverage vendors will be onsite and other activities will include pumpkin painting, arts and crafts, and many local exhibitors. “Hey Day is our biggest event of the year,” notes Chris Gentile, Director of the WNC Nature Center.
The Friends of the Nature Center will offer opportunities to become a member, Adopt An Animal, purchase raffle tickets, and other great ways to support the Nature Center and its mission of connecting people with the animals and plants of the Southern Appalachians.
Admission to the WNC Nature Center is $8 for adults ($6 for Asheville residents) and $4 for ages 3-15. The Nature Center is located at 75 Gashes Creek Road in Asheville. Hey Day is produced by the City of Asheville in collaboration with the Friends of the WNC Nature Center.
For additional information on Hey Day and the WNC Nature Center including directions, exhibits, and special programs, visit the website at www.wncnaturecenter.com or call 828-259-8080.
October 4, 2012
Dozens of requests for data come through the City of Asheville every month – private businesses, media outlets and other members of our community all benefit from the availability of public records. So how do government organizations make those records easier to access and how can technology help? That’s the point behind Open Data Day, a conference designed to bring community visionaries and technology experts together in the same room to discuss the opportunities, challenges and implications of using technology to make government information easier to get your hands on.
“In response to feedback from last year’s Cloud Day, we reached out to the community to see what kind of interest there was in an open data day this year,” says Jonathan Feldman, the City of Asheville’s Information Technology Services Director. “It turned out that there was a great deal, from the entrepreneurship community to the technology community, and of course, from government and academia.”
In response to that demand, the City of Asheville is participating with ERC Broadband, BuildFax, VentureAsheville, Epsilon Technology Solutions, Meet The Geeks, and a growing list of partners to hold Open Data Day in Asheville.
Open Data Day will feature national keynote speakers from Code for America and Open Data Philly as well as break out workshops and cross-discipline collaboration to examine the opportunities technology and real-time data access provide.
Technology like email has already proven itself an asset to the convenience of conveying government information. Speeding up access to data has the potential to benefit news organizations requesting information, government staff who spend time retrieving it and entrepreneurs who could tap into a wealth of data they can use to build value in their community. Open Data Day aims to approach the possibilities from every angle available.
“When there is a problem that affects multiple groups of folks, getting together to plan and act is always a good idea,” Feldman says. “When you do, generally, people start to have good ideas and create relationships that they need to execute on those ideas. That’s where Open Data Day comes in. Civic engagement is especially high in Asheville, so we think this is a perfect venue for the discussion.”
Open Data Day coordinators are still looking for workshop proposals, panels or even “hackathons,” where multiple programmers combine their efforts to code new examples of useful applications onsite. Anyone interested in pitching an idea can sign up here.
Open Data Day will be held October 16, 2012 in the U.S. Cellular Center, Asheville, NC. For information about attending, click here. Tickets will be available through Oct. 12. Early bird tickets available Sept. 30.
Follow Open Data Day on Facebook and Twitter.
For more information about Open Data Day, contact Jonathan Feldman at firstname.lastname@example.org
September 21, 2012
In an August 3 ceremony in Asheville City Council chambers, Mayor Terry Bellamy and APD Chief William Anderson oversaw the promotions of three of the department’s officers.
Sgt. Mark Byrd was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and Officers Jackie Stepp and Louis Tomasetti were promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
“These individuals worked extremely hard to prepare for this day and we are extremely proud of their accomplishments,” said Chief Anderson. “For me, it is an honor to be in a position to promote these individuals.”
Lieutenant Mark Byrd has 13 years of experience with the Asheville Police Department. During those 13 years he has served as a Patrol Officer, Drug Suppression Officer and Team Leader on the Emergency Response Team. He has a Masters in Criminal Justice from the University of South Carolina.
Sergeant Jackie Stepp has 7 years of experience with the Asheville Police Department. During those 7 years she has served as a Patrol Officer and Community Resource Officer. She has a Bachelors in Criminal Justice with a minor in Marketing from Western Carolina University and is currently enrolled in the Masters in Public Affairs program at Western Carolina University. She was selected in 2008 for the Asheville Buncombe Community Relations Council Community Service Award.
Sergeant Louis Tonasetti has 7 years of experience with the Asheville Police Department. During those 7 years he has served as a Patrol Officer, Community Resource Officer and Gang Investigator. He has a Masters Degree in Management and Leadership from Montreat College. He was selected as the Asheville Optimist Club Officer of the year in 2011.
August 8, 2012