• Oakley Neighborhood Association

Oakley Neighborhood Association Meeting Minutes: 8.24.21

In attendance: 24 neighbors, 5 board members, 5-8 online neighbors. Total=34-37

Location: Oakley Park Pavilion


Upcoming Events/Action Items from meeting:

  • Food Drive for Haywood County Thursday 8.26.21- bring non-perishable food items/diapers/wipes to Shiloh baseball field 5:30-8:30pm.

  • Attend library listening session via Zoom 8.31.21 details online.

  • write/email Buncombe County Board of Commissioners regarding plan to close Oakley library.

  • Consider joining one or multiple NA committees and/or City Boards and Commissions.

  • Write/email city council with your opinion regarding Ramada Inn project.

  • Mark your calendars and invite a neighbor to our next meeting: October 5th 6pm, location TBA.

  • Take City’s Close the GAP SURVEY to increase probability of safer streets, sidewalks, and access to greenways in Oakley

Bess McDavid: Welcome, introductions


  • Received $878 from previous ONA- wahoo!!

  • Board has had 2 meetings in regards to the Ramada Inn project.

  • Had a meeting on transportation issues.

  • We need a lawyer for our 501c3.

  • We need by-law committee members.

  • We are looking to set up a community benefit through the city so that we can use the pavilion or community center, but we have to submit dates way ahead of time.

  • Food drive for Haywood County drop-off non-perishable items, diapers and wipes this Thursday (8.26.21) at the baseball field in Shiloh.

Garden Committee

  • Named Fairview Road Resilience Garden.

  • Made during COVID for community relief.

  • Looking forward to a cooking demonstration/event to teach ways to cook and prepare fresh food.

  • Volunteer work days: Wednesdays 5:30-7pm/Saturdays 10-12am.

  • Currently producing okra, tomatoes, peppers, beans, kale.

  • Planting for fall - cabbages, collards, maybe spinach.

  • FRRG donates to Bounty and Soul which disperses to people in need.

Library Committee

  • Oakley’s listening Zoom session with county boasted over 70 attendees!

  • There are more listening sessions scheduled: 8.31.21 6-7pm via Zoom. Look for details on ONA Facebook page, email send out, and on the website at https://www.oakleyneighborhoodassociation.com, and you can also email prteam@buncombecounty.org.

Q: Is there any way to know if these sessions are having an impact?

A: Unsure, but it seems like the library board does want to hear what we have to say. Also, after public outcry, they delayed voting on proposal and set up these listening sessions


Event Team

  • Would love members.

  • Currently having monthly pizza nights on Onteora. Stay tuned to Facebook/website for dates and times.

Tree Committee

  • Would love members.

  • Would like to do a presentation regarding the benefits of our trees/community info sessions.

  • Maybe participate in Treasured Tree Program.

  • Enlist a task force to address kudzu and ivy.

  • Would like ideas from neighbors.

  • Ricky Hurley offered to get us in touch with Urban Forestry Committee.

Transportation Committee

  • In 2015, City of Asheville (COA) changed our zoning to allow for smaller minimum lot sizes, which increased our neighborhood’s density by allowing for infill. Helps with affordable housing, but can have some negative externalities - increased traffic/speeding.

  • This committee desires to look into increasing walkability, pedestrian safety, increasing transit options. For example, how can we make engineered solutions to combat traffic?

  • Greenway is coming right through our neighborhood connecting the Nature Center all the way down to the River Arts District.

  • Would like to reclaim Thompson Street as a feature of our neighborhood with more walkability.

Media Committee

  • Would love members to help run website, moderate social media sites.

Q: What does ‘run a website’ entail?

A: We purchased a website through Wix, which could use a little design here and there.


Community Watch


Oakley’s numbers for last month:


Incidents:

  • Larceny of Motor Vehicle - 21-016872

  • Victim left his residence for a few months and returned to find 2 vehicles missing from the garage.

  • Business B&E - 21-017080

  • Unknown subjects broke into business and stole electronic equipment. No surveillance available.

  • Larceny of Tag - 21-016231

  • Unknown person stole tag off of the vehicle.

  • Residential B&E - 21-016762

  • Victim left his residence for a few days and returned and found that items were missing from the residence. No force was used.

Pro-Activity:

  • 24 Calls for Service

  • 5.8 hours of pro-activity

Community Recommendations/Comments:

  • Continue securing vehicles and residences each night and when going out of town.

  • Utilize tip411 (https://home.tip411.com/), Asheville App, and P2C (https://ashevillepd.policetocitizen.com/Home) to report non-emergency issues

  • Democratic headquarters were broken into, most items were recovered, but flares were lit and placed in the surrounding grass.

  • Catalytic convertor stolen.

  • Hit and run on Onteroa.

Design and Branding

  • Lead not in attendance

River Clean-Up Committee

  • Idea: clean up banks of Swannanoa River along Thompson Street

Neighborhood Advisory Committee

  • Neighbor was elected to NAC!

  • Lucy Crown did a survey regarding Close The Gap; call for all neighbors to take survey.

  • In Oct. there will be matching neighborhood grants.

  • NAC meets 4th Monday @5pm

Michael Stratton: 3pm 8.25.21, Lucy Crown will be giving an update on Close The Gap to the Multimodal Commission.


Q: Are we interested in council meeting in our neighborhood.

A: Consensus: yes


Ramada Inn Project, presented by Rich Lee

  • City has been renting rooms from Ramada to house homeless since beginning of pandemic.

  • Have 2 peer specialists on site, who were former homeless.

  • COA is looking into using federal COVID stimulus money to purchase property as a low barrier shelter, which is a shelter that has fewer rules than other shelters. For example, it will be ok to have an entire family unit, dogs, not be recovered from additions.

  • Plans to include help with employment, ID support, drug addition services, mental health services.

  • City council was set to vote on the 24th, but delayed until November.

  • River Ridge business owners report increased crime, vagrancy, break-ins that they connect with the shelter. They have retained a lawyer to fight purchase.

  • ONA board has met with both COA and the lawyers representing River Ridge owners.

Q: will they kick people out because of the delayed vote?

A: No, the shelter will operate as is until January.

  • Shelter needs a fence and other security measures to keep residents safe.

  • What is there now is not a low-barrier shelter.

Q: what does Haw Creek think?

A: Meeting with lawyers has a Haw Creek resident and a Beverly Hills resident present. They were frustrated with a lack of transparency with the city and want to see a concrete plan before making a decision. Overall, their position was negative.


Q: Does the city have to be under contract to make an RFP?

A: Doesn’t seem so.


Comment: Not for the homeless shelter, will be a terrible thing for the neighborhood, citing significant concerns with low-barrier provision.


Q: Will conditions improve with sale?

A: Likely; homeless have already chosen to be here. It is extremely important for us to be a voice for our community’s concerns with this project.


Comment: ONA board posed this question to COA: What will be the measure of success here? See problems associated with homeless decrease, we want a seat at the table.


Comment from Facebook Live: Simply storing folks is not a good plan.


Comment from Facebook Live: Folks need help, are camping here already.


Comment: No one is more dangerous than those with nothing to lose, not for shelter.

  • Anyone who bids for the RFP must ensure this is a transitional situation

Comment: We as a city cannot accommodate everyone, we will be overrun.

  • There will be ongoing budgetary concerns; there is an opportunity for a campus on the property with onsite services, potential transitional/ affordable housing.

Comment: If part of contract is providing addition/mental health services, that would likely increase effectiveness of program.


Comment: Anchor, Sunrise, VRQ, etc., get together monthly to try to tackle homeless problem.


Q: Security for residents seem ideal, but what about security for neighborhood?


Comment: do not support COA being involved.

  • COA will outsource running of shelter

Bess McDavid: Close, let’s have a city representative come speak to us at the next meeting on October 5th.


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