City Council votes on a community visioning process as next step on Haywood Street parcels. Photo by Virginia Daffron

What’s next for Haywood Street site?

One clear winner from the 2015 City Council elections: local hopes for a public space for the city-owned lots facing the Basilica of St. Lawrence and the U.S. Cellular Center. Not so clear: exactly what kind of space Asheville needs and who will pay for it. The city’s Planning and Economic Development committee took up the hot potato issue to try to figure out how to move forward.

South-bound traffic on Sweeten Creek Road at 3 p.m. on a Wednesday. Photo provided by South Asheville Resident & Business Community Organization (SARBCO)

City Council to consider Ban the Box; apartments at former Plasticorp site

On Tuesday, Jan. 26, City Council will take up the Ban the Box initiative for city hiring, potentially removing questions about an applicant’s past criminal history from the initial application form for certain positions. Council also will hear public comment on matters including reallocation of unused affordable housing development grant funds, an airport hotel and a controversial apartment complex proposed for Mills Gap Road.

Street level plan for proposed redevelopment of One West Pack Square. Image from McKibbon Hotel Group

Council to consider BB&T renovation­, Lee Walker Heights resolution

On Tues., January 12, City Council will turn its attention to matters including naming the second Monday in October “Indigenous People’s Day,” voting on the redevelopment of the former BB&T building as a luxury hotel and considering a resolution declaring the redevelopment of the Lee Walker Heights public housing community a “redevelopment project.”

Shiloh AME Zion Church, built in 1926 to replace an earlier wooden structure moved to the site from  land purchased by George Vanderbilt for his estate. Photo by Virginia Daffron

At home in Shiloh: Venerable community fights encroachme­nt

As development pressure increases all over Asheville, the historic African-American enclave of Shiloh remains vigilant about protecting its residential character. One recent showdown over zoning demonstrated that Shiloh’s community plan, developed by neighborhood leaders and ratified by City Council in 2010, is an effective tool for fighting commercial encroachment into residential areas.

The roof of Asheville City Hall.

Packed agenda for Nov. 17 City Council meeting: utility substation­s, Homestay ordinance and more

The Asheville City Council meeting scheduled for Nov. 17 boasts a full agenda featuring two hot topics – utility substations and changes to the city’s Homestay ordinance. Citizens wishing to comment on those issues may want to arrive at the Council chamber on the second floor of City Hall earlier than the 5 p.m. start time, as a full house seems likely.

The day after City Council approved a request from the developers of the troubled Eagle Market Place project to modify the terms of some city agreements with the project, construction continues. Photo by Virginia Daffron.

Council approves Eagle Market loan modificati­ons; agrees to fewer affordable units

At its Nov. 11 meeting, City Council approved a request to alter terms of the city’s support for a troubled mixed-use development on Eagle and Market Streets. As part of the modification, the city agreed to allow the developer to make 24-30 of the project’s 62 units into workforce housing. Originally, all 62 units were designated affordable housing.

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City council to consider Eagle Market Place modificati­ons; Shiloh storage facility

At its Tuesday, Nov. 10 meeting, city council will hear public input on a proposed self-storage facility rejected by the city’s Planning & Zoning Commission. Council also will consider a request from the Eagle Market Place housing project to modify the terms of city loans to enable the project to obtain additional bank financing.