Asheville’s homeless population declined in what city officials are dubbing “a good year,” according to an annual count conducted in late January. However, while local programs may be having an impact, one of the officials in charge of administering them says that economic pressures and a lack of affordable housing continue to create a difficult situation.
Local business owners raised their voices and things got, by the moderator’s own admission, “a little out of hand” at Friday morning’s Council of Independent Business Owners meeting when it came to the issue of graffiti. With the district attorney, city leaders and a state representative on hand, opinions differed — sometimes sharply — on possible solutions and who should foot the bill.
While Asheville City Council’s meeting next Tuesday, April 8, doesn’t include any hot-button public hearings, it does include projects meant to tackle the lack of housing, especially for the chronically homeless, and improve economic development by bringing in a tech sector “fellow.”
While the sign-up deadline for health care under the Affordable Care Act passed March 31, some can still sign up, according to an attorney with one of the local nonprofits that has assisted WNC residents in doing so. People who dealt with technical difficulties or have a major life change can still get healthcare under the ACA. Also, due to North Carolina’s government refusing to expand Medicaid, many locals will not face a penalty for not having insurance.
After months of preparation, city of Asheville staff will present a new “form-based” zoning plan for the Haywood Road corridor at a meeting tomorrow night, Thursday, March 27. The new plan is a very different approach from the city’s previous development rules, and could provide a model for overhauling other neighborhoods’ zoning as well.
As the weather outside shifted between sunshine and snow, Asheville City Council joined their Buncombe County counterparts in pushing forward a resolution for a new Interstate 26 connector. They also re-started the process for redeveloping a key property in the heart of downtown. Photo by Alicia Funderburk.
Burton Street community leaders are asserting that the neighborhood’s needs are being overlooked in a growing push to move forward with the Interstate 26 connector. They worry their neighborhood, already heavily impacted by interstate construction, will be further damaged.
For the first time in 16 years, Asheville has a new city attorney: this past week City Council appointed Robin Currin, a Raleigh attorney with particular expertise in land use and zoning law, to the job. The role is one of the most powerful positions in city government, especially in an era of frequent court battles.
As a renewed push to move the Interstate 26 connector forward continues, Asheville City Council gets its turn on Tuesday, March 25, to consider a joint resolution seeking to make the long-delayed highway overhaul a reality, even as a number of community groups vocally oppose the plan. Council will also consider what to do with vacant property on Haywood Street across from the Basilica of St. Lawrence, another contentious issue.
Report shines light on Asheville’s housing problems, possible solutions.
Last year, relations between the North Carolina General Assembly and the city of Asheville were marked by hostility, public wars of words and even a lawsuit. At a special meeting yesterday, March 18, however, multiple Asheville City Council members expressed a desire to improve things this year, even though looming legislation could cost the city further revenue. They also signed off on efforts to better coordinate the city’s own lobbying efforts in Raleigh.
Today Asheville City Council appointed Robin Currin as the new city attorney, formally swearing her in at a special meeting. Currin, a Raleigh-based attorney with experience in local government, land and zoning law, will take office on May 1. Photo by Alicia Funderburk.
About 100 people gathered tonight for a forum updating locals on the dispute over the fate of the city’s water system from local government and activists. Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer said the public has given city leaders a clear mandate to continue its lawsuit and fight to preserve local control of the water system against state legislation seeking to seize it and turn it over to a regional authority.
The race for Buncombe County District Attorney is heating up, with incumbent Ron Moore touting his accomplishments to a local business group (and taking to Twitter), while challenger Todd Williams accumulating endorsements from some local politicians and judges. Photo by Alicia Funderburk
Today, the city of Asheville began demolishing an abandoned parking garage and retail building on Haywood Street. Photos by Carrie Eidson.
Late last month, Asheville City Council passed the Haywood Road Vision Plan, a years-long effort by community members and city staff to outline the future of the corridor. It’s not a one-time event either: Such plans for different areas of the city are a main way city leaders hope to shape the Asheville of tomorrow, and it’s a plan they want to extend to more neighborhoods. Sometimes, however, these plans can also prove controversial.
As filing ended at noon Feb. 28 for this year’s local elections, a flurry of candidates threw their hats into the ring. Two challengers, in different districts, will take on incumbent Democratic Buncombe County Commissioners, a Republican commissioner got another challenger and an opponent emerged for the current sheriff.
Local defense attorney Todd Williams will challenge longtime Buncombe County District Attorney Ron Moore in the May 6 Democratic primary. Williams has criticized the longtime D.A.‘s reputation as “tarnished” and asserts he’ll bring greater transparency.
“I'm scared sometimes,” says local activist Basil Soper, an A-B Tech student who, more than a year ago, began challenging the school’s requirement that students use their legal name in email, online courses, public forums and learning platforms like Moodle. “I was outed on Moodle, but my physical [appearance] didn't match [the name displayed].” For […]
After a back-and-forth on the usefulness of the city’s housing policies, Asheville City Council signed off on the 192-unit Avalon development tonight, though not without some dissenters. Council was more unified in endorsing a plan to improve the Haywood Road corridor.
From grand plans for the future of the Haywood Road Corridor to the Avalon housing development, Asheville City Council will face both still-forming designs and more concrete building efforts at its meeting tomorrow, Feb. 25.