Local schools seek community help bridging technology divide-attachment0

Local schools seek community help bridging technology divide

To thrive in the uncertain job market of the future, students will need to become proficient with technological tools that are advancing at a lightening pace. And to help them keep up, the Asheville City Schools Foundation is seeking community partners to build off recent successes and overcome a range of challenges. (photo by Jake Frankel)

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 With that matter withdrawn, however, the remaining items on the agenda are changes to the city’s rules to encourage less light pollution and modifications to development guidelines to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

A roof over one’s head: affordable housing overhaul moves forward

What’s needed to solve Asheville’s housing crunch? Fewer development hurdles, a city “land bank” to preserve property for affordable housing, more density and a hard “target number” for units that need to be created each year— these are some of the ideas to come out of a recent meeting of the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee.

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 Commissioners approve incentives, new hires, zoning regulations-attachment0

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.

Destination Asheville: Local leaders chart course for tourism development-attachment0

Destination Asheville: Local leaders chart course for tourism development

The tourism industry already brings in $2.3 billion annually to Buncombe County. That’s up from roughly $183 million 30 years ago. But to continue to grow local visitation, government officials and business owners need to “anticipate trends that are shaping the future,”  says Mike Konzen, a leading global consultant.