Today, Asheville City Council:
• In a pre-meeting work session this afternoon, decided to let a community group take the lead on the creation of a dog park in North Asheville, with the city monitoring the situation and exploring possible options for cooperation, but not committing to any use of city funds. Council members expressed concern about the park’s maintenance costs and that using city resources for it could deprive neighborhoods that were also waiting for parks, and about the addition of future maintenance costs to the city budget. City policy is that due to limited resources, new parks are only to be approved in areas that have a specific need for them.
• Unanimously endorsed an analysis by city staff that calls for rezoning the site of the Kenilworth Inn and a number of surrounding properties from institutional to residential zoning, halving the amount of future development possible on the site. The institutional zoning is a relic of the time when the inn was a mental institution. While Council endorsed staff’s suggestion, it wasn’t a formal approval of a rezoning; the matter will go to the city’s planning and zoning committee for further assessment.