Council member Cecil Bothwell (far right) reads a proclamation declaring Oct. 28 "Hispanic Restaurateur Day" in the city. Photo by Virginia Daffron

Communicat­ion breakdown: city staff called to account for edible park miscues

City staff were called to account for a communication failure that led to the removal of mature fruit trees at George Washington Carver Edible Park last month. City Council approved a land use incentive grant for affordable housing on Simpson Street, amended the process for requesting a variance from the city’s signage ordinance and approved modest changes to the rules that govern downtown street performances.

Seal_of_Asheville,_North_Carolina

Zoning to be focus of Sept. 6 hearings before Asheville City Council

It’s been nearly four weeks since City Council last met. Five zoning requests dominate the agenda for Council’s Sept. 6 meeting. Notably absent from the proceedings will be a public hearing on proposed standards for screening electrical substations, a zoning ordinance amendment that has already been postponed many times. Council has been asked to advance the hearing date on that matter to Jan. 10.

A landmark corner distinguishes the main entry into the Phase 1 development from Biltmore Avenue. Image: David Baker Architects

City Council commits $4.2 million to redevelopm­ent of Lee Walker Heights

At its April 26 meeting, City Council approved a rezoning request and committed $4.2 million in city funds to allow the Lee Walker Heights redevelopment project to move forward. Council also approved a Memorandum of Understanding with Duke Energy which gives the city the option to purchase the former Matthews Ford property adjacent to Lee Walker Heights at any time over the next eight years.

SNAPSHOTS IN TIME: Comparisons between Asheville’s estimated homeless population in 2005 and 2015 with other cities in North Carolina show mixed results in driving down the amount of homeless individuals statewide. While the amount of chronically homeless individuals decreased in most municipalities, the repercussions of the 2008 recession and a local shortage of affordable housing has stagnated efforts at decreasing the total number of people experiencing some form of homelessness. Statistics gathered from the N.C. Coalition to End Homelessness & the United States Census Bureau

Gimme shelter: In wake of 10-year plan to end homelessne­ss, local agencies regroup

Although chronic homelessness has been curtailed substantially since 2005, the combination of a severe economic downturn, an acute shortage of affordable housing and the rising cost of living has hindered the overall progress in eradicating homelessness. Despite those setbacks, partners in the project are forging ahead with new initiatives to combat housing insecurity and ensure that those in need of shelter get it.