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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: Grove Park/Sunset Mountain Neighborhood Association
Formed when: 1973
What qualities make your neighborhood unique?
The Grove Park neighborhood is an excellent intact example of an early twentieth century planned suburban residential development, featuring a wide array of revival and eclectic domestic architecture in an appropriately landscaped setting. The Grove Park plan was the first in Asheville to abandon the typical grid street layout and to provide curvilinear streets, parks, and trees in a naturalistic setting.
Who are the people that make up your neighborhood?
The Grove Park Community is an active one with many of the residents often being seen on a walk, jog, or taking in the magnificent views of the surrounding mountains and the Grove Park Inn. The neighborhood is comprised of a significant number of doctors, lawyers and a wide range of professionals and business managers and owners. There are many families who reside in Grove Park with both young and college age children, empty nesters and retirees. All these factors contribute to being a vibrant and engaged neighborhood.
What is some of your neighborhood history?
Grove Park Inn builder Edwin Wiley Grove purchased the land surrounding the Grove Park Inn and sold it to developers and prominent individuals who created a housing stock of remarkable and delightful dwellings, while Charlotte Street became the setting for a number of important buildings, such as the Manor Inn.
Richard Sharp Smith, the supervising architect of the Biltmore Estate, influenced much of the neighborhood’s distinctive architectural style, “English Derived Craftsman”, which was inspired by the American and English Arts and Crafts Movement.
The streetcar lines in the turn of the last century and the accessibility and affordability of the automobile played an important role in the neighborhood’s platting as a “streetcar suburb” with garages, communal parking and larger lots for homes.
Today, three of the neighborhood’s areas, Grove Park, Proximity Park and Sunset Terrace are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The current residents share a passion to maintain and protect that legacy.
What role does your neighborhood play as part of Asheville’s community?
In 2013, the Grove Park Sunset Mountain Neighborhood Association (GPSMNA) announced restoration plans for three historic parks that are an integral part of the neighborhood (E. W. Grove Park, Sunset Parkway and the Griffing Blvd. Rose Gardens). To implement these plans, the GPSMNA entered into a multi-year partnership agreement with the City of Asheville. Revenues generated from the annual Tour of Homes and Gardens fund the initial costs of restoring the parks, and further fund raising options are under consideration to advance these efforts and restore the fountain that was part of the original E. W. Park design.
What are some of the things you look forward to in the future of your neighborhood?
Over the next year, the neighborhood association will make a concerted to expand membership level to fifty percent of its residents. In addition, the association is considering the possibility of extending its north and northeast boundaries to include the adjacent streets that are not currently organized or part of an existing recognized neighborhood association.
Under consideration is a launching of a capital campaign in 2015 to raise money to restore the historic fountain that was part of the original E. W. Grove Park until the early 1960s. A plan will be laid out to present to potential donors with the idea of showing donors where and how their money will be directed to a project that will further enhance the neighborhood and the beauty of the park. A feasibility study will be conducted in advance of the campaign where if the requisite amount of money is achieved the project will be undertaken.
Name something that you would like to see to make your neighborhood better?
The association, working closely with Asheville Police Department, has an active community watch program which sends out crime alerts and crime prevention techniques to deter crime and make our neighborhood safer.
We continue to focus on building the sense of community for the neighborhood. Upon identifying new residents, a welcome email letter is sent to the household providing background information on the neighborhood, its history, ongoing social activities and a calendar of events. In addition, new families are asked to join Nextdoor, a free and private social networking website for neighborhoods that can be a valuable tool to make our neighborhood safer and stronger.
Click here to see all of the neighborhoods profiled so far.
November 5, 2014
On October 29, Asheville Police officers, friends and family gathered outside the Buncombe County Courthouse for a candlelight memorial in honor of Officer Robert A. Bingaman who died one year earlier.
The service was held in the building’s courtyard, home to a stone memorializing emergency and police personnel who have died in the line of duty. APD Chief William Anderson and District Attorney Ron Moore both spoke to the gathering of approximately 100.
Bingaman died in 2013 when the car he was driving left the Capt. Jeff Bowen Bridge over the French Broad River. Bingaman, who served in the traffic division, was also a former Marine and a well-respected officer in the Asheville Police Department.
October 30, 2014
Everyone needs to get around. That’s the simple idea behind Asheville In Motion, an evolving and exciting community-based initiative designed to increase access to all forms of transportation.
On October 25, the public is encouraged to participate in a symposium on Asheville’s transportation future. The event will feature a panel discussion, community exercises and opportunities to let the community know your biggest priorities for mobility in Asheville.
Input and information will become part of the city’s AIM mobility plan, which will meet Asheville’s growth and transportation needs by changing how we think about getting around.
“In the past, we have thought of sidewalks, bicycle infrastructure and streets as being in different silos,” says Transportation Manager Mariate Echeverry. “The best way to build a mobility network that gives attention to all forms of transportation is to examine them in a holistic, interconnected way.”
Better mobility means easier access to jobs, better neighborhood connectivity, a boost to business, and a safe, healthy, sustainable transportation system. Help Asheville take AIM at the future of mobility by attending this exciting event.
The Asheville In Motion symposium will take place Saturday, October 25 in the U.S. Cellular Center Banquet Hall from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Find more information about Asheville In Motion here.
October 9, 2014
The Neighborhood Advisory Committee of the City of Asheville invites residents and business and property owners of West Asheville to a neighborhood meeting Monday, September 22, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the West Asheville Library, 942 Haywood Road.
Please join us for this opportunity to express your ideas for improving your neighborhood and to hear about city projects and services in West Asheville. The meeting will provide a public forum for representatives from neighborhood associations and groups to share information about their neighborhood and the work of their groups.
In addition, Cathy Ball, Executive Director of Planning and Multi-modal Transportation, will give an update on the study on short term rentals. Ken Putnam, Director of Transportation, will share information on transportation related projects, including plans for a Haywood Road parking study. Greg Shuler, Public Works Director, will present information on ongoing Public Works projects. Police Department representatives for the West Asheville District will give updates on police related topics and Jayden Gurney, the Chair of the Citizen-Police Advisory Committee, will share information on the work of that group. Fire Department Chiefs Wayne Hamilton and Barry Hendren will give updates on fire and emergency services for West Asheville.
The Neighborhood Advisory Committee’s mission is to foster effective communication between and among Asheville’s neighborhoods and with the City of Asheville.
Click here to learn more about the Neighborhood Advisory Committee of the City of Asheville.
For more information about the Neighborhood Advisory Committee or the September 22 meeting, contact the West Asheville representative Elaine Poovey at email@example.com or 253-3514
September 11, 2014
July 1 marks the start of the 123 Graffiti Free cleanup initiative, and in anticipation of the date, the City of Asheville will host a Question and Answer session on Facebook this Friday, June 27, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Cathy Ball, the city’s Executive Director of Planning and Multimodal Transportation, will be on hand to answer questions related to the city’s new graffiti policy and to the coming 90-day cleanup assistance program. The online conversation will also address what happens next as we transition as a community into a graffiti-free city.
“We know that residents and business owners alike have questions about how this program works, and a lot of those questions show up in online conversations,” Ball said. “So this seems like a perfect opportunity to get clear information out there.”
See the city’s updated graffiti policy and 123 Graffiti Free campaign announcements here.
The time of the Q&A was picked in hopes that as many businesses and residents as possible could participate, and to steer clear of the lunch and dinner rushes experienced by Asheville’s many restaurateurs, so join in the conversation this Friday at facebook.com/cityofasheville between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Look for the Q&A post, and post your questions in the comments section.
June 23, 2014
Public Works crews are patching, milling and repairing road surfaces around Asheville ahead of a coming repaving project that will address streets throughout the city.
In May, Asheville City Council approved a $1.12 million contract to repave 5.44 miles of city streets, the majority of which are residential neighborhood roads. The repaving will take place this summer and fall, but city crews are currently patching holes and milling surfaces so those streets can be ready when the contractor begins paving.
“We’re trying to get out ahead of them and get the things done that we can,” said Streets Operations Manager Jerry Yates. Taking care of the work in-house also saves the city money in the long run.
Crews will be patching surfaces on Ambler Road and Vermont Avenue and milling the surface of Fairway Drive and Brookwood Court. Additionally, concrete crews are pouring new sidewalks on Hilliard Avenue and Stormwater Services is tackling drainage improvements ahead of the paving schedule.
The repaving project is funded through a portion of the three-cent increase to the property tax rate approved by Asheville City Council during the 2013/2014 budget process. One cent of that increase is dedicated exclusively to infrastructure maintenance. Work is anticipated to take place throughout the summer and fall.
The list of streets being repaved during this project can be found below:
Stratford Rd from Windsor Rd to Elmwood Pl
Vermont Ave from Haywood Rd to Davenport Rd
Fairway Dr from Governor’s View to Swannanoa River Rd
Ambler Rd from Gladstone Rd to Governor’s View Rd
Shiloh Rd from Hendersonville Rd to Caribou Rd
Brookwood Ct from Brookwood Rd to end
Cherokee Rd from Mayflower Rd to Bluebriar Rd
Church St from Patton Ave to Hilliard Ave
Swift St from Dover St to Culvern St
Hilliard Ave from Biltmore Ave to Clingman Ave
Sunset Dr from Baird St to new pavement
June 5, 2014
The City of Asheville’s proposed budget is more accessible than ever thanks to a new tool developed in collaboration between the city and the volunteer group Code for Asheville.
The tool, available at www.avlbudget.org offers an illustrated breakdown of how the city’s revenues and expenditures fit together and gives the public a picture of where the money goes.
“The city’s budget process is probably the most intricate and involved decision City Council makes, and this tool offers the public a chance to see how it all works,” said Dawa Hitch, the city’s Director of Communication & Public Engagement. “We are so appreciative of the efforts of Code for Asheville in making this happen.”
The success of the budget tool rose out of a Code Across Asheville meeting in February in which the volunteer group of local developers, designers and self-described “data geeks,” expressed enthusiasm for finding opportunities to utilize City of Asheville open data to increase the public’s access to information.
Code for Asheville worked closely with an interdepartmental city government team that provided information on typical resident inquiries and the data necessary to develop the tool.
“Publicly available data is a fantastic resource, and groups like Code for Asheville show what can happen when the community jumps in and provides solutions to presenting that data,” said Scott Barnwell, the city’s Business & Public Technology Manager. “Those folks deserve a lot of credit for making this a reality.”
Asheville City Council will hold a public hearing on the 2014/2015 budget at its June 10 meeting, with a final vote on June 24.
Find out more about Code for Asheville at CodeforAsheville.org.
June 3, 2014
Asheville Fire Department Captain Jeff Bowen, who died in the line of duty during a 2011 fire, was honored Saturday, June 2 in a ceremony at the Buncombe County Courthouse.
Capt. Bowen’s name was added to a memorial stone located outside the courthouse dedicated to emergency personnel who have lost their lives in the service of protecting others.
AFD Deputy Chief Michael Knisely and Buncombe County District Attorney Ron Moore spoke at the ceremony, which was attended by family, friends, fellow firefighters and other emergency responders.
Capt. Bowen’s name is the 19th to be added to the memorial. See pictures from the dedication below.
Click here for more on Capt. Bowen and tributes to his sacrifice.
June 2, 2014
From left to right: Lieutenant Aaron O’Hern, Commander Doug Bradley, Ken Vasilik, Petty Officer Anh Tinh, Petty Officer David Christensen
The Commander and several officers of the USS Asheville visited an exhibit at Asheville City Hall dedicated to the naval vessels that have borne that name throughout history.
Commander Doug Bradley, alongside Petty Officer Anh Tinh, Lieutenant Aaron O’Hern and Petty Officer David Christensen visited the exhibit located in the lobby of City Hall on Tuesday. Commander Bradley was the keynote speaker for Monday’s Memorial Day service held in Pack Square Park. The visit was organized by Ken Vasilik from the Mayor’s Committee on Veterans Affairs. Vasilik is a retired Naval CEC Captain.
Four ships have had the name USS Asheville since 1920, the most recent being a Los Angeles-class submarine. The Walter F. Ashe USS Asheville exhibit at Asheville City Hall pays tribute to all of these vessels and displays a collection of photos, uniforms, pennants and other artifacts as well as models of the ships.
May 27, 2014
The City of Asheville is proud to announce the incoming class of the City of Asheville Youth Leadership Academy (CAYLA). CAYLA, created in 2007, places Asheville High School students in prestigious summer internships and offers ongoing leadership development throughout the academic year. The vast majority of CAYLA students will be the first in their families to attend college. The program is supported in part by Buncombe County.
CAYLA students are chosen from eligible applicants at Asheville High School by a committee of community leaders. Each student is required to submit an essay application and two teacher recommendations to the committee, and attend an in-person interview. After attending an orientation in June, students will begin 8-week internships at the both City and County Departments, as well as with a number of participating nonprofits and businesses including Moog Music, AVL Technologies, the Chamber of Commerce, the United Way, Sisters of Mercy, MAHEC, JB Media and Habitat for Humanity.
“CAYLA provides talented students with the opportunity to experience a professional environment while still in high school,” said Erika Germer, CAYLA coordinator. “I encourage Asheville businesses to consider hosting a CAYLA student next year or sponsoring a placement at a local nonprofit. Through public-private partnerships, CAYLA can promote economic self-sufficiency and strengthen our community as a whole.”
CAYLA students earn $8.00 an hour. Each student will also receive a $2,000 scholarship at the completion of the program to support their goal of attending college.
In addition to the summer internships, the CAYLA program places a significant emphasis on community service. Over the years, the CAYLA students have dedicated more than 2,600 hours to nonprofits such as MANNA, ABCCM, the Salvation Army, Brother Wolf, and Habitat for Humanity.
More than 100 local students have participated in CAYLA since its inception. More than 85 percent of CAYLA alumni are still attending college or have completed their degree.
The members of the 2014-2015 Class of CAYLA are: Candida Alas-Ortega, Kanaje Allen, Brittany Boseman, Korina Dariy, Michael Davis, Joshua Garcia-Billings, Itzel Garcia-Ruiz, Jahni Gilliland, Raekwon Griffin, Taekwon Griffin, Ella Heldreth-Schmitt, Phoenix Keyser, Antares Lance, Mariah Lee, Josue Lomeli-Garcia, Shaunessy Lofton, Diana Marquez, Oscar Marquez, Cindy Marquez, Randesha Neely, Mikayla Ray, Jamie Rhodes, Symone’ Simmons, Satorrius Uddyback, and
Click here for more information about the City of Asheville Youth Leadership Academy.
April 23, 2014