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  • 11/16/2023 3:46 PM | Christina Maggi (Administrator)

    Kevin Jackson, the buyer of the 26 acre parcel at 767 New Haw Creek Road, previewed his plan for the development of the property at HCCA’s Community Meeting on November 14. Following is a summary of our notes from his presentation.

    ~ Kevin Jackson is the developer. He is an Asheville native and part of a family of builders and real estate developers, now in its fifth generation.

    ~ He plans to build 90 to 95 homes, a mix of single family homes and townhomes. The bulk of the houses will be single family homes located on the larger tract of land that backs up to Alpine Way, on approximately 8,000 square foot lots. There are no plans for section 8 housing.

    ~ The townhomes will be located on the smaller tract of land on the west side of New Haw Creek Road. 

    ~ There will be one entrance into the development located near Bullman field off New Haw Creek Road. There is no plan to connect to any other existing streets. 

    ~ The City’s Department of Transportation will determine if a traffic study is required. 

    ~ The developer is considering creating a greenway along Haw Creek in the floodplain that could connect to Bullman field. Appropriate erosion and storm water management will be undertaken to protect the creek. 

    ~ There will be drainage ponds on the property to help with runoff. 

    ~ The plan is to save mature trees along the perimeter of the property to create a landscape buffer as requested by the City. Details on how large the buffer will be, maybe 20 feet, have yet to be determined.

    ~ Most of the forested area would be removed. New trees will be planted to meet City tree canopy regulations.

    ~ It will take about six months to complete the approval process. 

    ~ It will take about a year to demolish the existing structures, clear the land, and put in infrastructure.

    ~ Building the houses will be completed in phases. He did not show any preliminary plans for how the neighborhood would be laid out or what the houses would look like.

    ~ The City requires the developer to host a public meeting with surrounding residents to discuss the plan. There is a sign posted at the Happy Valley entrance announcing a "Neighborhood Meeting" to be held on November 28, 5:00 - 6:00 pm, via Zoom.

    Use this link to join the Zoom meeting:

    Meeting ID: 882 7917 9995

    Passcode: 605756

    The Haw Creek Community Association has submitted a request to the City's Planning and Urban Design Department for the developer to hold an in-person public information meeting as we believe a project of this scale and magnitudesubdivision of a landmark 26-acre propertyrequires more public review than a one hour Zoom meeting. As we learn new information we will post it here.

    For additional background, see previous news post Landmark Property Under Contract for Sale 8/29/2023, and the feature article in the Winter 2023 Newsletter 2/21/2023. 

  • 11/15/2023 10:00 AM | Christina Maggi (Administrator)

    Jade Dundas, Capital Projects Director with the City of Asheville, joined Dustin Clemons, the Project Manager for the new sidewalk addition on New Haw Creek Road, who provided the following update at HCCA’s Community Meeting November 14.

    The new sidewalk section, between Beverly and Bell Roads, was originally approved in 2016 with a project cost of $3 million, funded by the NCDOT ($2 million) and the City of Asheville ($1 million).

    All easements will be finalized this week. Some utilities have already been moved and other utilities will be relocated during the winter. The final design plans should be ready in the next month, which will enable NCDOT to issue authorization allowing the City to accept bids for construction to start in the spring of 2024. Completion of the nearly one mile route is expected to take about one year—timelines will be built into the contract.

    The sidewalk will cross the street near 655-660 New Haw Creek Road. The City studied the corridor and would have preferred to have the sidewalk on one side only but given the topography, this was the best option for build-ability and storm water management. The pedestrian crossing will include a push button activated flashing signal for residents' safety.

    The construction may be done all at one time or in phases, depending on the contractor. However, past projects were done in sections. Either way there will be lane closures and traffic disruption.

  • 10/29/2023 10:38 AM | Christina Maggi (Administrator)

    HCCA's first-ever Chili Cook Off on October 24 was a success, with 12 chefs bringing their chilis and about 40 people in attendance, tasting and judging. There was a great mix of neighbors, from young families with kids to older residents, with a lot of new faces. 

    The contest was informal and it looked like everyone was having fun. People voted for their top three choices and after the voting was complete, we awarded the top two chefs with gift cards from Chili’s that the restaurant had generously donated. We also raffled off a Black Haw bush, a native Haw Creek tree, and sponsored a bake sale so folks could indulge in a sweet treat.

    This relaxed event provided plenty of time to chat with neighbors, new and old, while enjoying a diverse array of homemade chilis.

  • 10/24/2023 3:16 PM | Christina Maggi (Administrator)

    The HCCA board voted to fund a Little Free Library at Spruce Hill Apartments in Haw Creek, a 174-unit complex serving about 500 low- and moderate-income residents. HCCA board member Liz Polfus took on the construction job and, using her fine art skills, created a beautiful little library with a theme of colorful native plants.

    To maximize the reading opportunities the Little Library provides, we turned to the Friends of East Asheville Library for help. They were eager to provide books that would best serve the many children and teens living at the complex.

    Liz, along with a few Haw Creek friends and neighbors, installed the Little Free Library on October 21. The residents and management of Spruce Hill now have a new asset that will strengthen the culture of the apartment complex for years to come.

    Meaghen McCoy and Carol Waters, the managers at Spruce Hill Apartments, said “We ABSOLUTELY LOVE LOVE, LOVE IT!!!!  It is more than we could have imagined. Thank you and your team for all of your hard work and it will be used and loved for many years!!!”

  • 10/16/2023 7:50 AM | Christina Maggi (Administrator)

    The latest improvement to Masters Park is now complete with the installation of an information kiosk in early October. Funded by a $5,000 Neighborhood Matching Grant from the City of Asheville, the kiosk build was led by valley resident Frank Maggi, with several other Haw Creek residents helping with the heavy lifting.

    The kiosk includes information about Masters Park history, trail information, park flowers and trees, as well as a list of major benefactors. HCCA appreciates this collaboration with the City, which has resulted in an outcome that will benefit all park users.

  • 10/13/2023 7:30 AM | Christina Maggi (Administrator)

    The Haw Creek Community Association has many responsibilities, the most important of which might be serving as the voice of Haw Creek residents in conversations with the City of Asheville. A good example of this involves the sidewalk that’s scheduled to be built along New Haw Creek Road as part of the 2016 capital improvements bond referendum. 

    As much as many residents are looking forward to the increased safety and walkability the sidewalk will bring, others have been concerned about the project’s design. Beyond a six-foot sidewalk, the project, as it was originally designed, included in some spots a retaining wall, a chain-link fence, and a four-foot-wide concrete “cut ditch.” The inclusion of the concrete ditch seemed excessive to many Haw Creek residents. It’s also been the most contentious aspect of the project.

    At a December 16, 2021 meeting, representatives from the COA’s Capital Projects Construction Program, Dustin Clemens and Lora Sepion, assured Lee and Hunter Carson, homeowners who live on New Haw Creek Road, that “an earthen ditch with natural low maintenance vegetation” would be used to control the drainage behind the retaining wall and not a concrete ditch.

    During the COA’s Online Community Engagement meeting on March 28, 2022, which was the City’s final public outreach prior to easement acquisition, Sepion and an engineer from Mattern & Craig stated once again that an earthen swale would be part of the project. Many homeowners who live on New Haw Creek Road subsequently signed easement agreements with the City.

    On July 11, 2023, a member of the Haw Creek Community Association’s board of directors, Storms Reback, had a phone conversation with Dustin Clemens, in which Clemens stated that the earthen swale had been replaced by a concrete ditch in the project’s design because NCDOT, which maintains New Haw Creek Road, required it. No one had informed residents of Haw Creek about this change, so once they discovered it, many were upset. According to them, the concrete ditch has very few positive qualities and numerous negative ones. 

    First, such a ditch would create an industrial look and feel to what is a rural residential road. Concrete ditches of this size are typically observed adjacent to major highways, interstates, and airports. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to find such a ditch in any other residential neighborhood in Asheville.

    There was also reason to believe that the concrete ditch was unnecessary. New Haw Creek Road currently has minimal existing stormwater infrastructure, and very little, if any, water collects on the west side of the road during rainstorms. Stormwater is currently allowed to infiltrate the ground, improving water quality and reducing flood impacts to Haw Creek. The proposed concrete ditch would create an impervious surface that would funnel water into Haw Creek (and subsequently the Swannanoa River), potentially increasing flooding, erosion, property damage, and the spread of pollutants in our watershed. 

    On July 26, 2023, HCCA’s president Chris Pelly sent a letter to the COA’s Director of Transportation Department Ken Putnam, the COA’s Capital Projects Director Jade Dundas, and Billy Clarke and Tim Anderson of NCDOT’s Highway Division 13 relaying these concerns. On September 19, Putnam responded to Pelly with a text that said, “Public Works prefers the concrete ditch for long term maintenance.” The HCCA was in the process of drafting a letter to the mayor and city council members expressing our dismay about this decision when, on October 11, Putnam reversed his decision, stating, “PW [Public Works] has reconsidered and we will be moving forward with a grass ditch. Not concrete.”

    Ever since its formation in 1983, the HCCA has earned a reputation for its activist spirit, working on behalf of the community to protect the natural beauty of the valley. This victory is another example of such activism and the positive results it can produce.

    Example of sidewalk with retaining wall and chain link fence: 

    Diagram of proposed sidewalk, retaining wall, concrete ditch and chain link fence: 

  • 09/30/2023 7:00 AM | Christina Maggi (Administrator)

    A celebration of our valley’s past and current community spirit was on display at the inaugural Haw Creek Heritage Festival on September 23. This free, family-friendly event was a successful collaboration with Central East United Methodist Church, the Haw Creek Commons, and the Haw Creek Community Association.

    Held at the Haw Creek Commons, the festival featured live music from three local bands: the Haw Creek Sweet Hots, the Walker Family Band, and Wayne Erbsen and the UNCA Bluegrass Band. There were food trucks, a documentary featuring local storytellers, and lots of kids’ activities, including a bouncy house, face painting, and games.

    We hope to make this celebration of Haw Creek an annual tradition.

  • 09/28/2023 10:00 PM | Christina Maggi (Administrator)

    The City of Asheville approved funding in March to develop a comprehensive parks and recreation plan, called Recreate Asheville: Shaping Our City’s Parks. The plan is being developed to inform and steer the next 10+ years of planning and decision-making for Asheville Parks & Recreation (APR). 

    The first step is to assess the community’s needs, which includes four open house workshops in October to give residents a chance to offer their ideas and feedback. There will be fun kids’ activities at each workshop.

    • Thursday, Oct. 5, 5-7 p.m. at WNC Nature Center
    • Friday, Oct. 6, 8 a.m.-12 p.m. at Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Community Center
    • Monday, Oct. 9, 2-6 p.m. at Linwood Crump Shiloh Community Center
    • Thursday, Oct. 12, 5-7 p.m. at Carrier Park

    For those who can’t attend in person, you can share your thoughts in the online survey available through Monday, Nov. 20 — or look for the APR team at local farmers markets, festivals, and park events as they gather community comments.

    After the needs have been determined, the next step will consist of drafting recommendations for the City and sharing them with the public and City advisory groups, which is expected to last from this winter to the spring of 2024.

    Once draft recommendations have been finalized, APR will develop a strategic action plan to present to the City Council for adoption — aiming for the summer of 2024.

    Phase 1: Community Needs Assessment, Summer-Winter 2023; Phase 2: Draft Plan Recommendations, Winter-Spring 2024; Phase 3: Strategic Action Plan, Summer 2024

  • 08/29/2023 6:23 PM | Christina Maggi (Administrator)

    When word got out last winter that the 26-acre Burnett/King parcel on New Haw Creek Road was to be sold, the Haw Creek Community Association set to work trying to find a buyer who would be interested in preserving some of this exceptional property. We found a local buyer committed to preserving the pasture area in a conservation easement, however, his offer was not accepted when the property went on the market in late July.

    The buyer, whose higher-priced offer was accepted, is now in due diligence, a process that can take several months. Actual transfer of ownership will likely not occur until early 2024. The new owner and his family have a long history in Asheville. He has graciously agreed to attend HCCA’s community meeting on November 14, to share his vision for the property. We're hopeful the new owner will be open to partnership opportunities such as, perhaps, a greenway along the creek.

    See our events page for details on and to register for this public meeting.

  • 06/21/2023 7:00 AM | Christina Maggi (Administrator)

    We are delighted to announce two new and significant additions to the HCCA website: Masters Park Wildflowers and Masters Park Trees. Over 200 different wildflowers and over 40 tree leaves have been photographed and identified by long-time Haw Creek resident and Blue Ridge Naturalist Bernard Arghiere. 

    For more than two decades, Bernie has been hiking the trail in Masters Park, and the connecting section of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail that leads to the Haw Creek overlook rock. Using his iPhone camera, he captured the wildflower and tree leaf images at their seasonal peak. This archive of botanical images is an outstanding collection of Haw Creek-area flowers and trees from the early 21st century. 

    We encourage you to explore these two new sections devoted to the wildflowers and trees found in our Haw Creek neighborhood, and then try to find your favorite flower or tree growing in the park.

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