Richmond Hill Woods City Park

This blog is dedicated to preserving Asheville, NC's largest wooded green space, Richmond Hill Park, from becoming an athletic field complex and National Guard armory. If you want to Save this wooded park WRITE, CALL or email all City Council and Parks and Recreation TODAY. TEll them you oppose the ball fields in this unique, hilly and amazing wooded park. There are better places for ball fields than in the exceptional city park.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Armory Changes Plans and Traffic Flow, more impact on Neighborhood

The plans for the new National Guard armory in Richmond Hill neighborhood have changed from that of what was presented to the Asheville City Council in 2003. Now the main and only entrance to the Armory is set for placement at the end of Richmond Hill Drive, instead of having an access to the armory through Richmond Hill Road. This new plan will in effect have a larger impact on the neighborhood as ALL PARK AND ARMORY TRAFFIC WILL HAVE TO TRAVEL THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF NEIGHBORHOOD.

It appears that residents of this neighborhood have not been notified of this change in plans for the development, but the city’s Technical Review Committee is scheduled to meet about this project’s final plans on Monday, March 20. The new plans were submitted to the Asheville Parks and Recreation Dept. on Feb. 24. I received my requested copy of the new plans last week, and today is the 17th so time is running out!

We feel that the neighborhood has a right to publicly voice their concerns and comments about these new plans in a public forum, in front of city council and city officials, before these plans are approved by the TRC.

Tonight until 3/20 we are working on informing the neighborhood and attempting to halt the TRC’s currently scheduled review of this project in favor of a public comment session with city council and officials.

<>The Final Environmental Assessment of Asheville Armed Forces Reserve Center and Maintenance Shop, 11 July 2005states on page 10-11, section 4.2 " The ordinance specifies.... improvements of the intersection of Richmond Hill Drive and Pearson Bridge; side walks and traffic calming measures (e.g. speed bumps or traffic islands on Richmond Hill Drive)." These aspects need to be addressed before construction begins as (page 10 section 4.2) "use of the roads by medium and heavy trucks during construction" is underway.

We use Richmond Hill Drive as our neighborhood’s primary road. This road is used frequently by pedestrians; residents who push stroller walk pets, and park cars along the curb. The neighborhood children ride their bikes in the street; employees of the Baptist retirement home and the senior citizens who live there walk the road for exercise on their lunch break or as part of a healthy lifestyle.

We need appropriate traffic calming measures and sidewalks before our neighborhood road is used by large and medium sized truck. When they begin logging and clearing trees for the armory, the neighborhood residents, pedestrians, and bike rides would like to avoid being hit by a logging truck in our own neighborhood!

Please join us in the fight to protect the neighborhood, and protect their right for a legitimate public comment session on a project that has the potential to have many negative and regrettable impacts on a quiet and safe Asheville neighborhood


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