Parkside: TRC Meeting


I’m not there, else I’d be liveblogging up a storm. However, astute Hooligan Lindsey Simerly is there, and she emailed to tell me that the place is packed with people spilling out into the hall.

Those of you who are/were in attendance, please let us know the latest in the comments.

Categories : Local, Parkside


  1. Lindsey Simerly says:

    I can’t type fast, so bear with me. I am just going to do summaries.
    Currently they are going over concerns from other city departments. Traffic is up right now. Police want at least one lane of marjorie to stay open at all times.
    THey are wanting a street in front of the building. They (blackdog) wants it pubicaly maintained.

  2. Lindsey Simerly says:

    THey are possibly going to be limiting public comment. Coleman or representative is coming to podium.

  3. Lindsey Simerly says:

    architect asked TRC if they have questions… they said no

  4. Lindsey Simerly says:

    thats it for coleman’s people…. public comment starting. pack square conservancy (director?) speaking. Asking for considerations. Wants compatible landscaping with the park. Road- wants a design review before permiting. doesn’t want a loading zone on the park. wants an alternative location than the road going through the park. Storm drainage- has already been stalled for park. North of new building site, south of current sidewalk the drainage system would need to be reinstalled. wants developer to pay for it and wants their designer to be consulted…. any damage or demo to existing park improvements be replaced or compensated in full.

  5. Gordon Smith says:

    Thanks for doing this, Lindsey!

  6. Lindsey Simerly says:

    Steve Rasmusen speaking… reading an email from the APD where they requested marjorie remain 2 way street. He wants to know if police have a voting representative. .. They are not…. wants to know why police do not have a voting rep… TRC looks all flustered. Bob Oast is giving some roundabout answer…. Steve is asking for a specific answer from UDO…. TRC says that they make comments but do not have a vote… Stating that county is not going to allow for an easment of staging of equipment…

  7. Lindsey Simerly says:

    jake quinn… asking for a review of square footage to make absolute sure it is not level 3…. Court plaza require easements from city and county which seem that they will not be granted…. lack of trafic analysis. requests a traffic anyalysis of project because of large volumes of traffic in park because of pedestrian safety….

  8. Lindsey Simerly says:

    dude i don’t know…
    traffic concerns….
    talking about the old days of the TRC…. talking about past projects that have been passed TRC then failed.
    It perminantly changes the neighborhood.
    where is the staging? Lives in the city and has to go odd routes because of other projects being built.
    he is on the tree commishion- united against the taking of the magnolia.
    they are asking him to stay technical.
    developer asks to replace trees… which will require maintiance and cost money to the taxpayers..

  9. Lindsey Simerly says:

    dixie (lady passion)
    court plaza road can not be built according to recomendations…no easements. other easements are also unlikely… too many to list.

  10. Lindsey Simerly says:

    Olivia (11 year old)
    born here. notices changes that are some good and some aweful… decision impacts kids her age and the way they interact with asheville’s parks. need input from kids. Looks forward to having fun with her kids and grandkids in this park

  11. Lindsey Simerly says:

    jenny bowen
    windows that face city hall- dangerous
    would have to redo sulivan acts.
    costs the city and county taxpayers so much money.

  12. Lindsey Simerly says:

    Richard b
    Impact on park itself- turns public space into condo’s front yard
    one time decision that changes things forever.
    park overshadowed. in viewshead.

  13. Byron Belzak says:

    Hello Lindsey Simerly and Peter Loewer: Sorry I can’t make it to City Hall today. But I look foward to receiving, if you are so kind and have the time, your thoughtful eyewitness perspectives of the TRC proceedings concerning Parkside and a town gone “Tower Happy.”

    I will post your insights and perspective on DowntownAsheville.com, ASAP, upon my return. Thanks for attending the meeting on the public’s behalf.

  14. Lindsey Simerly says:

    i am going to speak

  15. Lindsey Simerly says:

    mr isreal said there would be a “possible road”

  16. Lindsey Simerly says:

    Donna bateman
    Takes away our parks… (really pissed) we have worked to hard for our parks. Wants gurantees from trc guraenteeing that the tree isn’t coming down. Bad for our community.
    would old people like being chopped off at old age.
    she thinks the tree is beautiful.

  17. Lindsey Simerly says:

    clare h.
    narrowing a sidewalk? why are we doing this… how is construction staging going to affect to affect pedestrians

  18. Lindsey Simerly says:

    clay jensen
    there for the 4th for fireworks… no view for half of the people who were enjoying the fireworks. impacts citizens.

  19. Lindsey Simerly says:

    frank adams
    (TRC informs people that they have no technical standard of view or tree)
    Blocks view of historic church and YMI.

  20. Lindsey Simerly says:

    Coleman smith
    fire department- wants to go out with a decible meter because of the marketing on the building. the fire department side of the building is really loud!
    has issue with the way the commish sold the land because it was technically incorrect.
    council or commishioners could use emminent domain because of the thousands of signatures! (he had a huge poster about it… it rocked)

  21. Lindsey Simerly says:

    public comment closed. open to committee for discussion.
    regarding pack square conditions- endevor to ensure landscape is compatible.
    no specific standards limiting loading on the park.
    storm drainage- will be the responsibility of developer.
    Comments about staging: marjorie street- when project is completed it will still be a 2 way street. would look at staging on a case by case basis. in the past some projects have taken up a whole street for an entire year. other times staging is turned down or with conditions. marjorie carries less than 400 vehicles per day and half the street is a reasonible request. would still have a sidewalk on 1 side.

  22. Lindsey Simerly says:

    police rep (not a voting member)- feels that the concerns that they had have been voiced to the committee. needs 1 way access for leaving the building. concerns have been met.

  23. Lindsey Simerly says:

    TRC says that they have not yet submitted the building plans, and they will assure that the building is under 100,000 sq. feet.
    In regards to easements- they have no info stating that easements will not be granted.
    traffic analysis- will the project generate 100 vehicle trips per hour? (which is how they look at it). It is well below the threashold for required traffic study. he thinks the new road would give more access for cars to park, therefore is good. doesn’t think there are any safety concerns with the new street.

  24. Lindsey Simerly says:

    it would be problematic if easements were not made…. TRC says they rule only on what they have before them today. The recomendation is based on the roads existance. If easements are not granted, then the project would have to return to TRC.
    staff had received numerous emails about a continuance (and my comments) and the ordinance sets forward that they can only delay for a “valid technical concern”
    they have no technical standards to address other comments.

  25. Lindsey Simerly says:

    dude, stewart is giving me the evil eye like crazy… by the way, he about hit me on my bike in his SUV on the way to the meeting!

  26. Lindsey Simerly says:

    architect is speaking again- blah blah blah… saying nothing… blah
    says the landscaping is going to be really pretty. it is going to be coordinated with the park (isn’t that sweet)

    Buyers in a downtown environment won’t care about the noise.

  27. Lindsey Simerly says:

    tree commish woman (on committee)
    says they have a net gain of trees. has a concern of a large area because of some steps.
    magnolia is the owners responsibility.

  28. Lindsey Simerly says:

    motion to vote

  29. Lindsey Simerly says:

    staff moving to approve with conditions. unanimous.

  30. Lindsey Simerly says:

    we are now outside… we got kicked out.

  31. Lindsey Simerly says:

    those shit heads are out here smirking about another victory.

  32. Low Key says:


    stewart is giving me the evil eye like crazy… by the way, he about hit me on my bike in his SUV on the way to the meeting!

    Careful Lindsey, Coleman has a history of violence. Don’t look at him in the eye – he will take that as a challenge to his status in the pack.

    Did anyone get ticketed for the accident?

    Buyers in a downtown environment won’t care about the noise.

    I don’t believe it. The first time those millionaires hear a drum-circle, see a protest, or are otherwise forced to view plebes – they’ll call the cops faster than you can say “Trust Fund.”

  33. Gordon Smith says:

    Thanks for covering it, Lindsey. I’m unsurprised that the TRC rubber stamped the thing.

    Now it’s up to the City and the County. Deny easements.

    Unless, of course, Mr. Coleman wants to wise up and listen to the community.

  34. Tim Peck says:


    Asheville Technical Review Committee
    re: Parkside
    City Hall
    July 7, 2008, 1:30 PM


  35. Low Key says:


    Congrats on not winning anything. That parkland belonged to you too.

  36. Arratik says:

    LK – It’s not about winning or losing, doncha know. It’s about watching your political nemeses squirm.

  37. Chuck A. says:

    Did anyone ask about the title? How is it that Black Dog Realty, LLC, was able to get clear title? How did the county, sole Grantor in the Non-Warranty Deed at Book 4321, Page 342, clear the Pack restrictions? Did the Pack restrictions not apply to this land, and if not, why not?

    Is anyone in the “Stop Parkside” movement in touch with the Pack heirs? Is there any information available about their lawsuit? (Surely there is; all pleadings would be on file.)

  38. Lindsey Simerly says:

    In response to todays TRC decision, many people have now decided to sit with the tree 24/7. If you are in the area come on down. We will be here.

  39. Tim Peck says:

    Did anyone ask about the title? How is it that Black Dog Realty, LLC, was able to get clear title?

    This aspect was not within the purview of the Technical Review Committee.

    Many people made comments that, while good, were not relevant to the matter before the committee.

    I was unsure that this meeting should be taking place at all since the legitimacy of the land sale was in dispute and presently the subject of litigation.

  40. David Roat says:

    I’m sorry that I couldn’t make it, but from what I can tell, we had a pretty good day today. Its almost impossible to kill a project at TRC. “T” stands for technical, not policy. All the developer did today was demonstrate that the roof wouldn’t cave in and that the emergency vehicles had access.

    But filling a TRC meeting with concerned citizens is a BFD. Elected officials take notice of that sort of thing.

  41. ashevillein says:

    you mean “normal”

    Elected officials take notice of that sort of thing.

    I don’t think our elected officials are anywhere near normal.

    and I agree with you 100% that,

    But filling a TRC meeting with concerned citizens is a BFD.

  42. Jensen says:

    Today’s meeting is a lesson that we need to be aware enough of what our government is doing (or force them to make us aware, or elect people we can trust) to be able to take action way earlier in the process. I saw a lot of angry people today, and some of them took it out on the TRC. Whether the TRC cares about this issue is irrelevant because the only thing they did (and could do, under the law) was approve or reject the project based on very narrow technical guidelines.

    Whether this project is approved or not, the moral of the story is that we need to get in on the ground level of planning for big projects like this. And we need to elect officials who will assist us in doing that.

  43. Gordon Smith says:


    Thanks for popping in.

    While folks have spent a lot of time talking about the City’s responsibility, the County’s responsibility, and the public’s responsibility, I don’t read anything about Stewart Coleman’s responsibility as a citizen.

    His lack of civic concern is the reason this thing isn’t over. He can solve the problem whenever he chooses.

    I’m willing to scrutinize my government, but Stewart Coleman’s paying people to do his work. I pay the City staff with my tax dollars and expect them to represent my interests.

  44. Tim Peck says:

    One barrier for the Parkside project is the need to get a waiver for county stormwater ordinance compliance. The developer said at the meeting that this “has already been dealt with.”

    What does this mean?

  45. Jenny Bowen says:

    While I applaud those who are sleeping, knitting, and passively fighting under the ol’ magnolia tree – it is my sincere fear that this will not accomplish a dang thing.

    However – we need to take as much action before people are lying down in front of bulldozers under the ol’ magnolia tree. Prevention is better than a cure and there are people who are so heated about this development debacle, I would hate to see this get to a point where guerilla warfare tactics are needed.

    In a Democracy – we the people hold the power. We elect a body of representatives with our power, who are the stewards of public decisions. When these representatives make poor decisions and put the public’s voice in jeopardy, it is our right and duty to take our power back.

    This is not a done deal – nor will it be so long as the community holds strong that this is a bum deal made by corrupted officials, and we know this to be the exact opposite of what our city and community needs.

    Just on the philosophical principal of what this condominium development stands for – high priced affluent condos to be used for second homes and rich (probably primarily) white folk directly in front of our city hall. Between the Ellington and this eyesore you can kiss “the Block” goodbye and say hello to a truly gentrified white-bred city, free from black folk downtown. Again our officials our selling our city short of it’s true great potential for the immediacy of development that will exploit our culture and community.

    But what our other options?
    As much as I dislike the idea of eminent domain it seems to be our only gold key to winning this battle.
    However, the city should not suffer the pay-out for the county’s crooked idiocracy. So do we need to make a motion to the city to have the county intervene and take back the land?

    We have 1000’s of signatures of folks who are against this sale and the proposed development. If we the back-end activists could organize anything that would allow even just a few hundred people to know about any sort of demonstration that would let the city and county know that we the people will not stand for this, I think that would be our current best shot at winning this battle.

    So July 15th the City Council plans to discuss this issue –
    We have a week to get organized and get moving –
    ‘We must all hang together or we shall most assuredly all hang separately.’
    Who’s with me?


  46. Gordon Smith says:


    I’m with you in spirit. I’m out of town that day, but a rally seems timely. If you’d like to connect with folks on this, shoot me an email, and I’ll put you in touch with several of the people who are actively working to put an end to this melodrama.

  47. Jenny Bowen says:

    Gordon –

    What’s your email addy?
    or just drop me a line at docjen@gmail.com