CIBO meeting tackles Occupy Asheville and other questions

7:16am: At CIBO meeting. #occupyasheville, County lighting ordinance, downtown parking app, 3-laning Charlotte St on agenda

Lighting ordinance, parking app, three-laning Charlotte
• First up: Tom Alexander, Buncombe planning chair, talking about lighting ordinance
• Alexander: Commissioners asked to take a look at addressing light pollution
• Alexander: “we’ve been barraged” by e-mails supporting lighting ordinance
• Alexander: Proposed ordinance focuses on “cut-offs” to redirect light. Everything now will be grandfathered.
• Alexander: Only future construction subject to new rules, no need for cut-offs if lighting under certain thresholds.
• Alexander: Mostly heard from dark skies ppl, business community needs to get involved
• ? time. CIBO member Carl Kane: what cost will this add to construction. Alexander: don’t know, on agenda for Mon.
• One CIBO member observes Biltmore Sq Mall taken dark skies to a whole new level, as some of the lights won’t turn on
• #occupyasheville reps just parking, so that presentation delayed. Next up: downtown parking app
• Transportation Director Ken Putnam: Have sensors on Grove Arcade parking spots, testing this app
• Putnam: Parking app helps staff track usage, improves enforcement
• Putnam: Want to know what biz comm thinks. Haven’t put out RFP yet.
• Putnam: Sensors are embedded, wireless so snow won’t destroy them
• Putnam: Still analyzing cost/benefit. We already have high parking occupancy, 80-85%
• IT Director Jonathan Feldman: Users can navigate to parking instead of circling around, that’s poss benefit
• Putnam: Studies have shown that as much as 30% traffic in downtown Asheville people trying to find parking
• Putnam: 750 spaces downtown, this will tell us where high/low demand is. “We’d have real data”
• ?: doesn’t city already count when collects from meters? Putnam: Not individually
• Putnam: San Francisco, Hollywood testing this parking app. “They’re bigger than us.”
• Putnam: Costs right now for planning, will put this project out for bed. Cost of planning $200,000
• ?: are you going to use this to ticket ppl. Putnam: We could see if a cluster of violations
• ?: Will this let users pay for a space via cell-phone? Putnam: Testing new type of pay system w former AT&T lot.
• Putnam: Planning cost estimate doesn’t incl staff time

OccupyAsheville
• City Council mem Gordon Smith: CIBO asked me to talk #occupyasheville, asked them to invite Occupy reps
• Smith: See role as liaison, see a lot of promise in Occupy movement, we’re having overdue conversations about economic justice
• Rosetta Starr of Rosetta’s Kitchen: Independent business owner employing 20-25 ppl, active w #occupyasheville as longtime activist
• Starr: Wanted to create better workplace, capped salary at same as long-time managers. From McDowell, where there’s no jobs
• Starr: Feel gov at natl level no longer represents ppl as whole, but ppl w $. It’s a toxic situation
• Starr: Don’t agree w every voice coming out of #occupyasheville, but glad people are voicing. Organizing outreach.
• Michael Kirk, #occupyasheville camper: relative newcomer to Asheville, impressed by creativity here.
• Kirk: Impressed by blossoming place has undergone. Circumstances led to #occupyasheville movement coming into awareness
• Kirk: This was diff from previous marches, became involved in #occupyasheville security team at Lex Ave, impressed by murals
• Kirk: Haven’t liked everything I’ve seen from #occupyasheville, but like spirit.
• Kirk: People not involved in #occupyasheville because have nothing better to do, because worried might be out of a home
• Kirk: See poss of something really diff happening here, beyond protests/arrest. Vision I’ve got is reviving unused space
• Question time. ?: What is the goal of #occupyasheville Starr: Not an org, collective of ppl to come up w solutions
• ? to Smith: Are you, Cecil Bothwell empl by #occupyasheville Smith: No, I didn’t know y’all were hiring, can’t speak for Bothwell
• ?: What’s union involvement? Starr: At natl, local level, AFL-CIO is supporting Occupy movements, loaned equip
• Dwight Butner: How do you see Avl needing this, we don’t have same problems as other cities? Starr: We could use some galvanization
• Smith pointing to levels of underemployment, school lunch, we need conversation about this
• One CIBO member: Need to give police chief mounted patrols do a baton charge, clear #occupyasheville out
• Smith: Gave APD direction to respect free speech rights, peaceful response to peaceful #occupyasheville actions
• CIBO mbr to Starr: See where you’re coming from, angry at political system, but #occupyasheville looks like “revolutionary thugs”
• Starr: Don’t support actions by every #occupyasheville participant, but dissent important to democracy, support peaceful action
• Scattered clapping for Starr after end of last question
• Putnam back up to discuss 3-laning Charlotte St. Staff investigating possibility, ext public hearings before any decision.
• ? about previous studies, city discussions. Putnam: don’t see major shift in any traffic patterns
• CIBO member: against reducing traffic in front of ppl trying to run a biz. Also concerned about cyclists in “maiming” accidents
• Putnam: Crash history on this stretch of Charlotte St. well below state avg.
• Butner: Don’t think this sort of decision is handled well by democracy
• CIBO mtg is done. 8:31am.

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