Since 2001, numerous plans for the space have been proposed, argued, voted on, and scrapped. In 2017, a committee of local residents joined forces and created a vision report for City Council, and over the last few years, consultants drafted a variety of scenarios known as the Haywood Page Project, and after addressing input from residents, issued a final proposal for what to do with the city-owned property.
The proposed plan(which received a unanimous recommendation from the Planning and Zoning Commission during its Oct. 7 meeting last week) calls for a 1.25-acre park on Haywood St. + Page Ave. At the heart of the park is a large elliptical plaza paved in granite that will also serve as a central square or plaza. Click here to see renderings of the proposed park.
In order to accommodate the $13.2 million park, streets would have to be rerouted, and trees + plants would be prominently featured throughout. Roughly 20% of the park would be taken up by a private building. The proposed park’s other highlights include community gardens with raised beds, perennial + woodland gardens to showcase the area’s diverse flora, and a possible sculpture.
The plan is set to go before a vote by City Council Oct. 27, but even if it’s approved, the park will remain only a plan until other factors, including the cost of the park itself, are decided. Officials note that while it’s an exciting prospective development for the city, it’s also coming at a time when city finances are already strained by the pandemic. Officials say it will likely be at least another two years until construction will begin.
What do you think about the proposed plan to create a park + gathering space at the pit of despair?
Will the new plans transform the pit of despair into a slope of hope?
Weather ○ 67º | A.M. Clouds, P.M. Sun | 20% chance of rain
ComingSoon ○ Good news for those hungry for Cuban eats. Cousins Cuban Cafe (108 Broadway St., Black Mountain) is setting up shop in nearby Black Mountain and hopes to be open for business by next weekend. The eatery will serve traditional Cuban fare like croquetas(fritters stuffed with ham + bechamel sauce), empanadas, Cuban sandwiches, flan cake, pastelitos pastries + more. There’s no word on their hours of operation yet. 🥟
Civic ○ The resignation of Equity Director Kimberly Archie is raising questions about the future of the city’s reparations initiative. Councilman Keith Young and Racial Justice Coalition Community Liaison Rob Thomas are concerned about the hostility and lack of communication Archie says she encountered from major department heads + City Manager Debra Campbell regarding the initiative. Young says the city must take action, and Campbell says she has not addressed the initiative because she and other city staff have been focused on the APD budget. (Asheville Citizen-Times) ○ The significant increase in the volume of absentee mail-in ballots in the state has changed how county elections offices are running the election. One change is that the legislature has allowed counties to meet earlier + more frequently to begin processing mail-in ballots so they will be ready to be counted on Election Day. Already in this election, NC has received more than twice as many absentee ballots as in the 2016 presidential election. 🗳️ (Carolina Public Press)
Development ○ Two separate applications for new apartments in Asheville will be part of this week’s Buncombe County Board of Adjustment agenda. One proposal is for 852 apartments in South Asheville and the other is for 660 apartments in West Asheville. Both proposals are for locations that are right outside the city limits, and while they must obtain all the proper building, inspection + stormwater permits, the county and not the city will decide. The Board will address both proposals virtually from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Oct 14. 🏠 (Asheville Citizen-Times)
Outdoors ○ Officials with Great Smoky Mountains National Park are seeking public input on ways to address the park’s enormous crowds + the problems they can bring, like congested overlooks, fully booked campgrounds, + overflowing parking lots. Beginning Oct. 19, the park will offer virtual interactive workshops to address these issues. Want to take part? Register here by tomorrow, Oct. 14. Not interested in online forums? Submit feedback here through Oct. 31. ⛰️ (Asheville Citizen-Times)
Learn ○ The Western North Carolina Historical Association (WNCHA) and UNC Asheville’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) are presenting a virtual symposium on local monuments + commemoration. Designed to facilitate community dialogue + engagement in advance of the Vance Monument Task Force’s report with their recommendations for the monument and square Nov. 19. The event is free to WNCHA + OLLI members and available to non-members on a sliding scale. Reserve your ticket here. 💻
Coronavirus ○ Check out the latest COVID-19 stats for NC from the Department of Health and Human Serviceshere. As of Monday afternoon, 3,591 cases and 92 deaths have been reported in Buncombe County.
Gallery ○ If you’re anything like us, you want fall and its brilliant, blazing leaves to last as long as possible. That’s why you’ll want to take in this glorious gallery of imagesthat captures autumn in all its splendor at Grandfather Mountain. 🍂 (Asheville Citizen-Times)
TheBuy ○ Wanna look good while doing good? You’re in luck. Nonprofit My Daddy Taught Me That has launched MDTMT Apparel, a new apparel brand designed to bring awareness to the org and its work of aiding underserved communities. The athleisure collection is locally sourced + designed and includes hoodies and tees. 👕 ○ Want show-stopping eyelashes without getting extensions? Meet Thrive Causemetics’ Liquid Lash Extensions ($24), the mascara made with a five-star formula of clean and nourishing ingredients. Shop here.Ⓟ
FeaturedJob ○ We’re hiring! Come work with us at RALtoday, and join our team as an Editor. Key responsibilities include educating Raleigh through our daily newsletter and social platforms. Learn more about the position here. Ⓟ
Click the button below for local resources regarding the coronavirus.
Health officials are encouraging folks to get their flu shots this year to help counter the possible effects of a “twindemic” with flu season + COVID-19. And you can do that on Fri., Oct. 16 at the Stephens-Lee Center(30 George Washington Carver Ave.)
The Center will offer free flu shots with drive-up service from 2-6p.m. — no registration needed. Hooray for easy peasy health care. 💉
#DYK that your photo could be featured in our newsletter? Just use #AVLtoday on social media.
Show ○ Outdoor Movie Night: Beetlejuice| Tues., Oct. 13 | 6:30 p.m. | Rabbit Rabbit, 75 Coxe Ave. | $5 | Beetlejuice…Beetlejuice…decide if you want to say it again + get into the Halloween spirit watching this seasonal classic for a second showing. Tickets sold per table. 🎥 ○ The Greenliners| Tues., Oct. 13 | 6 p.m. | One World Brewing West, 520 Haywood Rd. | Free Entry | Sounds of progressive + traditional bluegrass, Southern Americana, folk + jamgrass paired with a collection of cold brews. 🎶
TryThis ○ Painting + Pints| Tues., Oct. 13 | 6:30 p.m. | Catawba Brewing, 32 Banks Ave. | $40 | Get boozy + crafty and paint a spooky 22” door hanger. 🍷
PlanAhead ○ WNC Fall Career Expo| Wed., Oct. 14-16 | 8 a.m.-5p.m. | Virtual | Free, Register | Chat with WNC employers live during the three day Career Expo. ○ Travis Book Happy Hour| Wed., Oct. 14 | 7 p.m. | The Grey Eagle, 185 Clingman Ave. | $20+ | A 90 minute variety show featuring Travis Book, Mike G. + Barrett S. of the Steep Canyon Rangers. Reserved seating. ○ Gerrymandering, Mathematics, and Fairness | Thurs., Oct. 15 | 7 p.m. | Virtual | Moon Duchin of Tufts University will deliver UNC Asheville’s 2020 Parsons Lecture, free to all via Zoom. Ⓟ
Find more of this week’s local events in our October PlanAhead.
Disclaimer: It is up to readers’ discretion to determine whether they feel comfortable participating in any mentioned events based on COVID-19 protocols and precautions. If you have questions, please contact the event’s organizers directly.