Here’s a summary of this evening’s Jan. 4 meeting of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners:
• The board heard a report from Buncombe County Engineering Inspections Coordinator Matt Stone, who explained that a stop-work order had been issued against the ongoing construction of a large retaining wall along Charlotte Highway in Reynolds. Stone cited concerns over visible cracks in the structure, and emphasized that an in-depth analysis was needed to determine whether it was safe. The wall is part of an apartment complex being built by the Greensboro-based Carroll Investment Properties.
• The board unanimously passed a new work-force rental housing policy that is designed to give developers incentives to build affordable housing. The policy outlines a variety of tools for encouraging such projects, including grants, tax breaks and deferred construction loans that would be funded by the increased annual tax revenues resulting from the construction of the new rental housing. The incentives would be considered on a case-by-case basis, and applicants would have to provide at least 50 residential units that only full-time county residents could rent.
• Commissioners voted to support the efforts of the Buncombe County Parks, Greenways and Recreation Services Department to apply for a state grant that would allow it to purchase a 30 acre tract of land in the Mills Gap area. If the grant is won, the county would then be responsible for providing approximately $125,000 to $170,000 in matching funds to help convert the site into a public park.
• The board approved a rezoning request to allow more varied residential use on a .70 acre parcel of land located at 904 Riceville Road. The tract will now be zoned to allow for a mobile home or mobile home park. Both the County Planning Department and the Planning Board recommend approving the request, saying it would be consistent with other housing in the area.
• Commissioners passed revisions to the county’s property naming policy. The changes allow buildings to be named in honor of living people as well as the deceased. The new policy also allows the commissioners to name rooms and portions of buildings, in addition to buildings in there entirety.