At their two-hour Sept. 18 meeting, Asheville City Council members once again held off on rezoning portions of Merrimon Avenue and approving new rules governing development there after business and property owners reiterated concerns that the proposed changes were too stringent and would cause severe financial hardship. Merrimon’s future: Merrimon Avenue-area residents and businesses were […]
It was probably a long shot. After four months of controversy, it may have been too much to expect the Asheville City Council to approve The Ellington in one fell swoop. Despite several hours of presentations, public comment and deliberation at Council’s Sept. 11 meeting, the developers of the 300-foot-tall boutique hotel proposed for Biltmore […]
Two years after a community group shined the spotlight on some businesses’ violations of the city’s Unified Development Ordinance—and a year after those complaints were supported by a consultant’s report—Greenlife Grocery says it’s ready to take steps to address the problems. And Staples, which had not responded to several prior requests for a meeting with […]
Asheville City Council has invited residents to a public information open house on Thursday, Sept. 6, from 5 to 7 p.m., at the City Public Works Building. On the agenda: a chance to provide input about the sites listed in the city-owned property initiative, including desired outcomes for each site.
With an overflow crowd in attendance on Aug. 21, City Council approved stronger rules to protect wetlands, streams and rivers from construction-related runoff, to bring the city into compliance with federal storm-water guidelines. Although city staff and some stakeholders called for a 50-foot development-free buffer along streams, Council members demurred in the face of opposition […]
The Asheville City Council put an end to the battle over balconies on a downtown renovation project, ordering staff to draw up a stricter process for approving future sales of the city’s air rights. But local activist Elaine Lite, a City Council candidate who brought the issue into the spotlight by bidding for air rights […]
The Asheville City Council faced a packed chamber on July 24, with many there to voice their anger over the proposed involuntary annexation of three areas south and southwest of the city limits. The crowd was so big, in fact, that many were directed to an overflow room to watch the proceedings on TV. Immigration […]
Council supports police chief’s suggestion not to form partnership with federal immigration agency.
Now that Let Asheville Vote has reportedly submitted more than 6,000 petition signatures, the city may be holding a referendum on partisan elections sometime between Sept. 16 and Nov. 16. If the Buncombe County Board of Elections declares at least 5,000 of those signatures valid, it will put City Council’s June decision to switch to […]
Despite a less-than-encouraging response by the state Department of Transportation, Asheville is continuing to explore a locally developed plan for the I-26 connector. The big idea: This map, prepared by city staff, illustrates just how large an incorporated Leicester would be. Representatives from the DOT, the Federal Highway Administration and several engineering consulting firms weighed […]
The Let Asheville Vote petition-drive organizers commandeered the front corner of a Merrimon Avenue coffee shop June 21 for a noon strategizing session. They had a rally coming up in City/County Plaza in three days, and they were still collecting ideas for speakers, musicians and signs. Leader Charlie Hume, an electrical engineer by trade, was […]
People Advocating Real Conservancy, an Asheville community activist group, has decided to challenge the city’s policy of selling air rights to developers. At the same time, the group has placed an upset bid on air rights above the sidewalk at 82 Patton Avenue offered for sale to redevelopers of the old First Union Building.
Asheville City Council agreed at its May 15 session to begin the process of annexing three areas abutting city limits. The law won: Asheville City Council may boost the police budget by $1 million, providing for more personnel and additional tools to combat drugs and other crimes. photo by Jonathan Welch Unlike recent Council meetings […]
The Asheville City Council made short work of its March 20 meeting agenda. In a scant two hours, Council members ran through a number of agenda items, a couple of which will have a long-term impact on the city. Besides kicking in money for a new city park, Council approved the voluntary annexation of a […]
A March 15 workshop led by staffers from the Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls Inc. could point the way toward a substantive sustainability initiative for Asheville. Invited by the city’s Sustainable Energy and Environment Advisory Committee, company representatives led some 50 participants—including Mayor Terry Bellamy, City Manager Gary Jackson and many high-level city staffers—through a series of […]
With a slew of presentations and only a handful of formal votes, the Asheville City Council’s March 13 meeting harked back to the good old days when Council members used work sessions to get up to speed on issues facing the city. The meeting spotlighted a number of potential future initiatives, including a new park, […]
With nearly two dozen annexation foes on hand, many sporting red shirts in a show of solidarity, the Asheville City Council spent a good portion of its marathon Feb. 27 meeting examining its ability—or rather inability—to lawfully expand the city limits. Take me to the river: Gradual rezoning of Asheville’s River District could help transform […]
A proposed 162-unit gated community adjacent to the Asheville Country Club appears to be on hold after City Council indefinitely tabled the developer’s request for a conditional-use permit. Besides placing the ball squarely back in the developer’s court, the case also raised the possibility of updating of some of Asheville’s subdivision regulations. “This is one […]
Two weeks after a state Superior Court dismissed the city of Asheville’s lawsuit challenging legislation by the General Assembly, City Council has decided in closed session to appeal the decision to the N.C. Supreme Court.
It’s that time of year again when we have to endure the endless ramblings of friends, family and co-workers about all the positive changes they’re going to make in their lives in the coming year — not to mention the meaningless folly of people asking what our New Year’s resolutions are. But I really am […]
It’s no news that Asheville is getting more crowded, so it’s a given that such perennially thorny issues as rezoning and large-scale development will be conspicuous at Council meetings. Throw in environmental and energy concerns, and you’re sure to make the current City Council sit up and pay attention. Meanwhile, recent events have demonstrated that […]