17 September 2008

Community Development Project - Sideline Issues 2.0

Just an update on my last post about attempting to contact the police department. On Monday I received an e-mail from City of Asheville IT Department stating that the Police Department e-mails should be working. I resent my e-mail to police@ashevillenc.gov on Monday and sent the same e-mail to internet/police@ashevillenc.gov (one of the e-mails specified on their site) this afternoon. Both appeared to have gone through okay. I will post the response once I receive it.

Community Development Project - Map 1.5

Here are some maps of the Oakley area I was able to obtain from the City of Asheville. I will be working over the next few days to get it in the Google Maps format in order to be able to overlay the neighborhood with areas where traffic calming and pedestrian linkages might be most vital.

15 September 2008

Community Development Project - Policy Guides

As required by the context of my assignment in the Community Development course, I need to select the Policy Guides from the Policy Guide on Neighborhood Collaborative Planning published by the American Planning Association that my Community Development Initiative will adhere to. Below are the Policy Guides that I see my initiative adhering to at this time:

  • POLICY 1. Comprehensive plans provide the framework for neighborhood planning and should be done within the context of a community-wide plan.
  • POLICY 2. Where there are identifiable neighborhoods, a jurisdiction's comprehensive plan should reflect neighborhood plans and neighborhood plans should support the broader needs of the community and region.
  • POLICY 3. Planning decisions should be directed to the most appropriate level. Planning decisions that have limited impact on the community as a whole should be made by, or on the basis of advice given by, those neighborhood groups primarily affected. On the other hand, planning decisions that affect the community as a whole should not be overly influenced by a single neighborhood's needs or interests.
  • POLICY 4. Neighborhoods should be encouraged to seek the best organizational structure that is suited to achieve their goals and objectives such as, but not limited to neighborhood associations, co-ops, development corporations.
  • POLICY 7. To be effective in many cases, neighborhood planning needs to go beyond addressing the physical conditions of the area and also examine issues of social equity.
  • POLICY 10. Citizen participation should be required in sufficient form and detail to ensure the broadest possible participation opportunity for the widest variety of residents and stakeholders.
  • POLICY 15. City plans should incorporate neighborhood level perspectives to the city's decision-making and planning processes. The city should also establish the neighborhood as a basic area for needs assessment, provision and improvement.
  • POLICY 16. City government should establish city-wide goals and criteria for approving neighborhood plans. These criteria should be developed with the participation and support of the neighborhoods. Goals and criteria should address the issue of neighborhood boundaries and how neighborhood organizations are recognized as "official".
  • POLICY 18. At a minimum, cities should be encouraged to provide financial assistance for a variety of categorical programs for undertaking comprehensive neighborhood vision programs, planning efforts, and establishing indicators of performance.
  • POLICY 19. City government should be encouraged to coordinate the resources of the city according to approved neighborhood plans. This includes funds for transportation, community policing, solid waste services, housing and community development, school and library funding and economic development and tourism among others.
  • POLICY 24. Neighborhood plans and planning should address a wide range of issues, but should be tailored to meet their specific needs, for example: a. A definition of neighborhood boundaries--a description of how they were derived and how they apply to municipal service areas; b. A directory of who is involved and who should be involved in the planning process; c. A vision statement; d. Overall objectives for each element of the vision statement; e. Physical plan of the neighborhood indicating proposed improvements to the neighborhood f. Specific tasks and assignments; g. Design guidelines h. Links to city-wide objectives; i. A directory of resources; j. Short-term implementation projects to build support and momentum. k. Statistics about the neighborhood, including population, employment, education, etc.; l. Maps showing neighborhood resources such as churches, libraries, parks, historic sites, neighborhood landmarks and characteristics such as demographics m. An implementation chart n. A date of adoption and date for the next review or update o. Statement of acceptance by the municipality

14 September 2008

Community Development Project - Sideline Issues

After experiencing continual problems with traffic in my neighborhood, I decided to notify the Asheville Police Department to request some means of increased enforcement regarding several traffic related issues in the Oakley area. My e-mail is below.

I was wondering what the procedure would be for filing a traffic related complaint. I live directly on Fairview Rd and have witnessed a large number of vehicle drivers moving through the area recklessly (largely moving through the area at speeds that appear to be greater than the speed limit). I have also seen several instances of vehicle drivers failing to display the proper caution toward pedestrians and vehicles attempting to enter Fairview Road from side streets and driveways.

Additionally, there are several vehicles that move through the area playing stereos at a volume that I would consider in violation of the noise ordinance. Many times this activity takes place during the later hours of the night (after midnight) making it difficult to sleep.

Any assistance I could obtain in formalizing my concerns and attempting to achieve some reductions in the noted behaviors would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Josh O'Conner

I attempted to send the e-mail to the address listed on the Asheville Police Department's website (police@ashevillenc.gov), and have received several bouncebacks stating that no such e-mail exists (I have attempted to send this e-mail from two different e-mail addresses). I want to have a record of my conversation to use it as part of the source materials for this project (thus it is very important to use e-mail). I called Asheville Police Department's administration line on Friday afternoon and had my call forwarded to the City of Asheville's IT deparment. I was asked to place a work order concerning the problem I was experiencing. To my knowledge the e-mail address is still not operation (on Sunday, 14-Sep) and I am supposed to receive a call or an e-mail when it is.

Community Development Project - Boundary Delineation

I spent quite a while trying to figure out the "official" boundaries of the Oakley neighborhood. I attempted to do some research concerning maps of the area, but I wasn't really able to isolate anything specifically. I used Google Maps to generate what I believe to be the approximate boundaries of the area. If anyone has a better idea what the boundaries should be, please let me know in the comments and I can make the changes or add you as a collaborator on the map.

View Larger Map

Community Development Project - Project Intent 1.0

My idea is to evaluate and propose methods of traffic calming and pedestrian linkages for the Oakley Neighborhood (my neighborhood). The neighborhood is currently one that is transitioning in the Asheville area (in terms of becoming safer and ), but it contains many disadvantaged residents (it has a large elderly population and many residents are below Asheville's AMI). The pedestrian linkages would allow residents easy access to retail services (grocery and dry goods) as well as the neighbor elementary schools and several area employers and would allow improved accessibility to the transit system. Additionally the traffic calming will help to stimulate social activity among residents and increase the likelihood of use for the pedestrian linkages.

Community Development Project

For one of the classes I am enrolled in this semester, we are required to develop an idea for a Community Development project and gather some resources and information on it. My hope is to introduce my ideas on this blog in order to allow others access to them and the ability to comment on them. The ultimate goal would be that since I selected a project that would take place in my neighborhood, that I could continue it outside of the context of class and see if I could reap any tangible results. Below you will find a copy of the assignment. As the I develop components of the assignment, I will publish them on this blog for anyone who might happen to stumble upon to comment on. If you have any additional resources that might be beneficial to me, please leave me links in the comments.

Read this document on Scribd: 22-Sep-2008, Community Development Assignment 1

Chicken Paper (Urban Chickens)

I wanted to post the document below to get comments on the subject matter.  I originally wrote about this topic because I wanted to attempt to create a linkage between urban agriculture and ways it could be integrated into communities in and around Asheville.  If anyone would care to read over this paper (originally submitted as a term paper for an Environmental Planning Class), I would very much appreciate any comments you might have.  It can be accessed at the link below.