Let’s talk about the Downtown Master Plan

The draft document of the Downtown Master Plan has been public since last week, but Thursday, Jan. 15, is the official rollout date, when Asheville residents can hear—and comment on—details addressed in the draft, such as building-height and new compliance guidelines and the already-controversial Asheville Design District, a proposed new downtown-management entity. (View the document […]

Is downtown safe?

Is downtown Asheville becoming more dangerous? The answer seems to depend on whom you ask. Holding steady: Violent crime downtown is not on the rise, Patrol Lt. Wally Welch asserts. photo by Jonathan Welch Downtown resident Naydeehn Messier has no doubt about it. “I definitely feel as though it’s getting worse,” says Messier, co-founder of […]

Rhapsody in midnight MacLeod

I sometimes pen pages while my baby sleeps, but during my entire pregnancy I did not write at all, save for one short poem. It was October, and I was working as a hostess at The Market Place almost every night. It was grueling in the belly of the kitchen. The pace was hectic; we […]

Lost and found

After many years of visiting from New Orleans, we arrived in Asheville in September of 1981, finally ready to make it our home. Once again we were struck by the skeletal remains of a once-vibrant city now barely connected to its illustrious past, except for a mishmash of glorious but unkempt early-20th-century architecture. But even […]

Shock ‘n’ awful

According to Asheville’s Building Safety Department, City Council last year authorized almost double—double—the already astronomical dollar value of development that occurred in 2006! Our progressive Council has left a carbon footprint on our beautiful mountains that would make Halliburton blush with environmental embarrassment. How many oxygen-making trees have been permanently displaced by inert impermeables? Thousands? […]

Clean clear through

When elected officials conduct their business in the sunshine of public scrutiny, their constituents can have full faith and trust that the decisions made are aboveboard, well-considered and in the best interest of the general public. At the local level, maximizing the public’s access to government empowers communities and builds leaders. Over the last couple […]

Air fair?-attachment0

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.