Asheville City Council preview: turning down the lights

Initially, next week’s upcoming Asheville City Council meeting, on Jan. 28, promised a showdown over a controversial development near downtown. With that matter withdrawn, however, the remaining items on the agenda are changes to the city’s rules to encourage less light pollution and modifications to development guidelines to bring them in line with new state laws.

Bus riders push agenda for ‘transportation with representation’ at rally, meeting-attachment0

Bus riders push agenda for ‘transport­ation with representa­tion’ at rally, meeting

A group, People’s Voice for Transportation Equality, presented an agenda for an overhaul of the Asheville Transit System to make it more responsive to its ridership at a rally this afternoon. The group is calling for late-night and Sunday service, more representation in the decision-making process and more accountability, among other changes. Photo by Michael Carlebach

Group to rally for ‘transport­ation with representa­tion,’ unveil plan on Jan. 14

This coming Tuesday, Jan. 14, a group of transit riders and citizens will assemble in Pack Square to call for an overhaul of the city’s system that “prioritizes the needs of the people who use public transit out of necessity.” The group has a 19-point plan to improve transit services and make the management of the system more representative of its ridership.

Buncombe County seal

Buncombe Commission­ers approve incentives­, new hires, zoning regulation­s

At their first meeting of 2014 on Jan. 7, Buncombe County Commissioners unanimously agreed to give $1.12 million in cash grants to Jacob Holm Industries to help it expand local operations. They also agreed to spend $213,726 to hire 17 new county workers at the Health and Human Services Department and approved new zoning regulations governing renewable energy facilities.

Survey says: developers tell city commission why they don’t build affordable housing

As part of a major effort to examine Asheville’s lack of affordable housing and possibly overhaul the way city government approaches the issue, the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee interviewed a range of developers to find out why many don’t build affordable housing. They replied that the costs of land, a lack of infrastructure, insufficient transit, city rules inhibiting denser development and neighborhood opposition all play a role in why many of them don’t build more affordable units.