At its June 14 meeting, City Council will vote on Asheville’s municipal budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins on July 1. Council will also hear an update on the I-26 Connector project and will consider a rezoning request related to a proposed 290-unit apartment development off of Long Shoals Road.
“Eminent domain as a legal concept is one of the last remaining vestiges of European feudal societies. Despite its popularity with the likes of Donald Trump, it has no place in the 21st century.”
“Did any of them actually get inside the mansion to express their concerns about HB2 to the governor?”
“Can someone explain to me how it changes the complexion of my neighborhood if a tourist parks in my gravel lot and enters the rear ADU building instead of entering my home?”
“There must be other avenues City Council could consider that allow responsible property owners with STRs a much-needed income.”
Asheville’s last comprehensive city plan was completed in 2003. Since then, the city has gained 16,000 residents and embarked on a wide range of revitalization, infrastructure and multimodal transportation projects. Now it’s time to begin a new planning process that will span a year and a half and involve a broad cross-section of the city’s residents.
Short-term rental issues returned to Council chambers as the city’s elected officials considered allowing the use of accessory units for homestays. While Council decided not to approve the proposed expansion of the homestay program, it will appoint a task force to study the issue and make recommendations.
In December last year, City Council directed city staff to analyze the potential impact of expanding the city’s homestay program for short-term rentals to separate living units known as ADUs. Six months later, much more information is available, but little if any consensus has emerged from the process. On May 17, Council will vote on a measure to allow homestays in ADUs, but the outcome of that vote is up in the air, meaning that another long night of testimony on the issue seems inevitable.
The march toward a city budget for the upcoming year continues with a financial update on the third quarter and a presentation of the proposed fiscal year 2016-2017 budget by Asheville CFO Barbara Whitehorn.
“Now the housing market is really booming and — surprise! — they want to do another reassessment.”
“Asheville should no longer tolerate our historic trees being mowed down like summer weeds.”
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.
From horse carriages to multi-million dollar capital projects, City Council will consider a wide range of issues at its April 26 regular meeting.
At its regular meeting on April 12, Asheville City Council passed a strongly-worded resolution calling for the repeal of House Bill 2. Citizens and Council members reflected on the impact of the law on many aspects of life in North Carolina, striking a chord of near-unanimity in wholehearted dissent.
A proposed Asheville resolution affirming the constitutional rights and equitable treatment of all in public accommodations — such as bathrooms — appears likely to spark extensive discussion on how Asheville will respond to House Bill 2 at Council’s meeting on April 12. Other agenda items include subdivision ordinances, the Beaucatcher Greenway and the city’s legislative agenda for the upcoming short session in Raleigh.
In addition to her new role as Vice Mayor, Asheville City Councilmember Gwen Wisler serves on a long list of important city boards and commissions, as well as civic organizations. Xpress talks with Wisler to find out what’s on her mind as she leads city projects from the budget to the update of the citywide comprehensive plan.
With her win in the District 1 Democratic primary, Jasmine Beach-Ferrara is slated to become the first openly LGBT Buncombe County Commissioner. To get there, she had strong competition from City Councilman Gordon Smith and from another civil rights activist, Isaac Coleman. Since no Republican filed to run for the District 1 seat, Beach-Ferrara is almost certain to take office in the fall after the General Election.
“Choosing to cut down mature trees and convert land into impermeable surfaces is an abuse of that trust —especially when obvious alternatives exist.”
Asheville City Council approved a public visioning process to solicit broad community input on the future use of city-owned property across from the U.S. Cellular Center and the Basilica of St. Lawrence. Council also voted to demolish a city-owned building adjacent to the area at 33-35 Page Avenue. The building was the headquarters of the Asheville Sister Cities organization before the structure was condemned in November last year.
“Vote for Gordon if you think a commissioner should believe transparency and fiscal responsibility are necessities, if you think that land conservation and farmland preservation are important, and if business tax incentives should be focused on local businesses, not just large corporations.”