Grass-roots organizers challenge partisan elections plan for Asheville

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 […]

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Air fair?

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.

Going for the green

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 […]

Asheville City Council

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 […]

New Year’s resolutions

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 […]

Asheville City Council

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 […]

Asheville City Council

After years of haggling, stacks of recommendations and a whole roster of committees and task forces, the Asheville City Council found itself on June 13 facing the specter of yet another Civic Center study. In response to some Council members’ concern about the cost of the options endorsed by the Civic Center Task Force, city […]

Asheville City Council

“A great effort was made, and I wish we were in a better place.” – Council Member Jan Davis After years of wrangling, Asheville has severed yet another city/county connection. At its March 28 formal session, City Council pulled out of discussions with Buncombe County concerning a possible “joint planning area.” The JPA was envisioned […]

Asheville City Council

Fresh from a weekend retreat where they outlined priorities for the coming year, Asheville City Council members bulled their way through a host of topics at the Jan. 24 formal session. Two new residential proposals — including a downtown high-rise condominium development — sailed through the approval process, greased by design details that Council found […]

Nothing but the truth

At the outset of every conditional-use-permit hearing held by the Asheville City Council, City Clerk Maggie Burleson whips out the Bible. Sure, some Council meetings would try the patience of a saint. But Burleson isn’t seeking solace in scripture — she wields the Bible because North Carolina law requires it. It’s a sight familiar to […]

Asheville City Council

What a difference a couple of years makes. In 2002, concerns about traffic congestion threatened to derail a massive, highly controversial east Asheville development project. Toward the end of a 14-hour public hearing and Council debate that played out before a standing-room-only crowd that overflowed into three adjacent rooms, however, the developer volunteered to scale […]

Asheville City Council

“Brevity,” wrote Shakespeare, “is the soul of wit.” That particular bit of wisdom, however, isn’t generally reflected in Asheville City Council meetings, which typically drag on and on, leaving those in attendance at — well, at their wits’ end. But The Bard would probably have approved of the Oct. 12 formal session, which clocked in […]