PARTICIPATION NEEDED- Richmond Hill Public meeting 10/8/06
The city is having a public meeting 10/8/06 at 2pm at Richmond Hill park to tour the disc golf course and discuss further development. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT MEMBERS OF THE MTB COMMUNITY ATTEND THIS MEETING IN SUPPORT OF NEW TRAILS. A few persons are actively petitioning the city to not allow any additional development in the park, including trails. We need to be there to first show our support for trails and secondly to explain how we can build trails in ways that enhance our natural heritage, not alter it. Additional info can be found in the city newsletter below.
Thanks in advance for your attendance.
PAS Advocacy officer
Come on y'all, please pay attention and come to this VERY IMPORTANT public meeting. If we lose our ability to develop new trails in this park due to a lack of participation, we will have nobody to blame but ourselves.
Numbers count- if there are more of use there supporting trails than opposed, it automatically looks good for us.
Ok, this is a Sunday which means I should be able to be there. Questions - seems like the focus is going to be on the disc golf course which is obviously going to be the focus of the park. Where do we fit into the discussion of the rest of the park ie the trail system? And what is really up for discussion? The trails themselves, our access to them, or further trail development?
If you stop into the shop any time soon make sure you get a word about this w/ me. Better yet I'll pm you my #.
ps, this is a gem of a park system - is it the only green area in the city limits? Could be, I'm not really positive. I know that it was really fun riding trails right in town though. It's a great place to go for people in Asheville who don't have time to put the bike in the car and all that.
Ian and everybody:
There is much more info on this meeting at the Pisgah Area SORBA (PAS) Yahoo group:
Something I think people may not know is that the original trails at Richmond Hill were built by the Blue Ridge Bicycle Club (BRBC) under the leadership of Michael McGaughey, who died of leukemia(?) last spring. Besides the fact that this is just an incredible place to ride close to town, I hate to think that all the heart and hard work that he and the club put into Richmond Hill could come to nothing if we don't make an effort to show our desire to continue having trails there.
Building new and better trails at Richmond Hill has always been a top priority of PAS right from the start. But we need a lot of support from the MTB community to make it happen, so please, everyone make an effort to show up at this meeting!
Official Cooler Inspector
I can not make the Sunday meeting, but there is another one planned:
A second public-input session will be held Monday, Oct. 16, at 6 p.m. in the Public Works Building (161 S. Charlotte St.), and the final design will be submitted to City Council on Nov. 14.
Scroll down to the frisbee pic for full article:
Richmond Hill closed to mountain bikes?
I have uploaded a couple of files to the PAS Yahoo group. One is a PDF file of a biological report that was done last spring. The report found the presence of, and the *possible* presence of several plant and animal species that they feel should have some environmental protection.
The second is a schedule of public input meetings by the Asheville Parks and Rec. dept., including the one Sunday.
The files are here:
Regarding the biological report, there is a contingent of folks who are using it as a possible excuse to exclude disk golf and mountain biking in Richmond Hill. After reading the report myself, I do not see that it recommends any such thing. We need to make a strong stand to protect ongoing recreational usage while making it known that PAS and the MTB community still advocate protection of fragile areas, such as wetlands, on the site. We do not feel that the two activities are at odds with each other, and we have seen that since they were built ten years ago, sustainable trails have so far not harmed the endangered species in question. Any future trails could easily be built with an eye to protecting certain areas.
This opinion is more or less what I have gotten from PAS members and others in the MTB community. I invite any comments or criticisms. Above all, if you feel that Richmond Hill Park should not be closed to mountain bikes, come to the public meeting there, at the park, this Sunday, Oct. 8 at 2:00 pm. We really need to make a strong showing.
JT- Thanks a million for taking care of this while I am on vacation- you know how passionate I am about this issue and it means a lot to me that you have stepped up to take care of this.
While the listed focus of the public meeting is to discuss the layout of the disc golf course, I received a "heads up" e-mail from the city about two weeks ago letting me know that there would also be a push against trail development from the same group which is pushing against the current layout of the disc golf couse and/or the development of a second course. They (the city) strongly encouraged our active participation in this public meeting to ensure we have a seat at the table.
An important point I feel we should emphasize to the pro-environment lobby is that developing trails in the Richmond Hill area would actually have a potential postiive environmental impact regionally by providing city residents with a location that either requires less driving or can be ridden to. This, of course, reduces the consumption of fossil fuels and improves air quality.
I've re-arranged my vacation so I will be there for this meeting. JT, I'll call you Sunday morning about meeting beforehand.
Another name to the list..
Hey Mike it's Ben Blitch, I will be at the meeting on sunday, I am taking time specificly for this one. I have a real interest in Richmond Hill I spent most of my time at UNCA building and maintaining trail at the park. I went to the scoping meetings years ago and was interested in what was happening then it all seemed on hold. But now it sounds like the city is scrambling. I will show up with logo's on and be of any assistance to you. If you want to meet early and discuss a plan I am very game. Drop me an email: email@example.com. Thanks for all your work this year and I really want to help in any way I can.
Jackbooted Elitist Hipstr
Any news on the meeting?
I couldn't make the meeting but am interested in how things went. I'm in a bit of a spot in terms of getting heavily involved because I'm the Director of an "Enviro" group and our members are split on the issue of trail development. As an individual, I know that multi-use trails can be built in a way that is sensitive to the landscape and that outdoor recreation is a pathway to land stewardship. There is no reason Richmond Hill can't have trails and still protect the sensitive plants and animals that live there.
What eviro group is leading the opposition to the trail development?
STP - it's not so much an official group as some well-organized and vocal individuals led by a neighborhood resident and some folks from UNCA. For the most part, they're being pretty reasonable regarding trails- so long as we stay out of the wetland area directly, they APPEAR to understand that we can build trail that will not have a marked impact on the habitat. The important point for us, however, is to make sure that trails are on the city council's agenda. In response to the admitted disaster of the grading and clearcutting for the parking lot and roads, city council has become heavily involved. I am authoring a formal e-mail to try and get us on the agenda for the Nov 14th council meeting where disc golf will finally be given the green light (hopefully- the disc golfers are having to bend over backwards, through their legs, and then back up into an upright position all while whistling Dixie in order to accomadate everything that's being asked of them) so that we can also get the green light on responsible trail development. Up until now, Parks and Rec was who we had a working relationship with- now we need to develop one with council.
There is so much potential at Richmond Hill it is ridiculous. IF this happens the way it should, we're going to have +/- 135 acres to build new singletrack on. That's a lot- think a killer 1-2 hour ride in town, or the best race venue in the area. People who want either or both of these things should really strongly consider getting involved. More info will be distributed at the SORBA meeting tomm night and I will try to continue to post here as I can, but getting a working relationship with council going is my top priority.
Thanks for the interest.