UPDATED: Buncombe County Commissioners meeting: Election Day edition

UPDATED: Buncombe County Commissioners meeting: Election Day edition-attachment0

At their Nov. 2 meeting, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners took the following actions:

• Declared November “Adoption Awareness Month.”

• Voted 4-0 to deny the property owner’s request to rezone a 0.9-acre parcel at 2956 Hendersonville Road to commercial use. (Chair David Gantt was absent.)

• Voted 4-0 to approve a $400,000 federal Community Development Block Grant the county will disburse.

• Heard a presentation on the “Farm to Fork” campaign, which encourages county residents to buy 10 percent of their food from local sources encourages county residents to buy 10 percent of their food from local sources.

Here’s the action as it unfolded, reported via Twitter by Xpress reporter/videographer Jake Frankel.

4:34 p.m. The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners meeting is about to get underway. (Agenda at http://bit.ly/9IedU2.)


4:38 p.m. Commissioners start with a proclamation declaring November “Adoption Awareness Month.”


4:40 p.m. Chair David Gantt is absent; Vice Chair Bill Stanley is filling in and says Gantt “is in court, defending someone else; not himself.”


4:46 p.m. Board is holding a public hearing on a rezoning request by Diane Smoyer to change a 0.9 acre parcel from residential to commercial use.


4:47 p.m. The vacant lot is at 2956 Hendersonville Road and is adjacent to the Oak Park subdivision.


4:51 p.m. The county Planning Board recommends granting the request, while county staff is opposed to the change.


4:52 p.m. About 25 residents of the neighborhood are here at the meeting to encourage the commissioners not to grant the request.


4:54 p.m. Several cite the close proximity of a community park as a reason not to allow commercial development.


4:58 p.m. Resident John Sine, however, says that there are already businesses near by and that it would make sense to allow commercial development


5:01 p.m. The owner of the property seeking the request, Diane Smoyer, says she would build a fence between business and the park.


5:03 p.m. Buncombe Commissioners debating rezoning a parcel near a park, follow or go here http://bit.ly/9IedU2


5:03 p.m. Smoyer: I do appreciate the park. I want to enhance it, not take away from it.


5:05 p.m. Smoyer and her business partner would like to build a small office space on the property.


5:09 p.m. Smoyer: The land is too close to Highway 25 to be viable as residential. “Who would want to raise a family so close to the road?”


5:15 p.m. Commissioner Carol Peterson: This park is very important, so I make a motion to deny the request.


5:16 p.m. Holly Jones: Rezoning to commercial would allow many uses that I don’t think would be appropriate for that property.


5:18 p.m. Board votes 4-0 to deny the request to rezone the property to commercial use.


5:19 p.m. Most people leave the chambers as the board now considers a $400,000 federal Community Development Block Grant application.


5:22 p.m. After no one speaks at the public hearing, board passes motion to accept the grant money 4-0.


5:23 p.m. The $400,000 grant will go towards providing low income Buncombe residents with housing assistance.


5:28 p.m. The Board is now hearing a presentation on the “Farm to Fork” campaign.


5:29 p.m. The campaign encourages county residents to buy 10 percent of their food from local sources.


5:35 p.m. Commissioners Holly Jones and K. Ray Bailey declare strong support for the efforts to encourage residents to buy local.


5:42 p.m. During public hearing, Jerry Rice expresses concerns that the “Farm to Fork” program could lead to higher taxes.


5:43 p.m. Rice is the only person to speak during public comment. Meeting adjourned.

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About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning writer and reporter who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

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