City will look at end to skateboarding ban, hears water system concerns

A packed Asheville City Council meeting started a possible end to Asheville’s 1960s-era skateboarding ban, while people voiced their opposition to the state taking the city’s water system and expressed concerns about homelessness.

• Council voted 5-1 (Mayor Terry Bellamy was absent for her third straight Council meeting due to congressional campaigning) to direct staff to study rules that would allow skateboarding in downtown as a form of transportation, provided skateboarders follow the same rules as cyclists. Council may then accept or reject the specific rules once staff bring them forward at a later date. Council member Jan Davis voted against.

Local skateboarders supported the move, and asserted that the ban unfair singles them out.

• Held a public hearing on a state legislative committee’s recommendation to take the water system from the city and give it to the Metropolitan Sewerage District. The vast majority of the citizens who spoke were sharply critical of the committee’s proposal, as were members of Council.

• Voted 6-0 to create a nine-member Neighborhood Advisory Committee, with one member appointed from each of the city’s major zip codes and four selected from the city at-large.

• Heard a proposal from the Rev. Amy Cantrell and other homeless activists asking the city to help find a location for homeless to camp legally and safely.

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