URBAN FOREST  Unaware of the controversy over their fate, 23 mature oaks stand on a knoll overlooking Coxe Avenue. Photo by Virginia Daffron

Oaks’ last stand: South Slope urban forest won’t get city funds

If the 23 mature oak trees at 11 Collier Ave. on Asheville’s South Slope are to escape the chainsaw, it will have to be without the city’s help. While City Council followed through on its commitment to explore possible strategies for preserving the urban forest, in the end Council decided that committing resources to the effort in advance of significant private fundraising wasn’t a responsible use of taxpayer assets.

Following a moment of silence in remembrance of former Councilman Marc Hunt's son Taylor, Boy Scout Troop 91 led the Pledge of Allegiance. Photo by Virginia Daffron

City Council to take steps on expanding Homestays, planning for park

In its first full meeting since three newly-elected Council members were seated, City Council moved in new directions on a public space for a city-owned lot on Haywood Street and on including some accessory dwelling units in the city’s homestay ordinance for short-term rentals. Council also considered downtown development review standards and passed a resolution on the I-26 connector project.

The roof of Asheville City Hall.

Packed agenda for Nov. 17 City Council meeting: utility substation­s, Homestay ordinance and more

The Asheville City Council meeting scheduled for Nov. 17 boasts a full agenda featuring two hot topics – utility substations and changes to the city’s Homestay ordinance. Citizens wishing to comment on those issues may want to arrive at the Council chamber on the second floor of City Hall earlier than the 5 p.m. start time, as a full house seems likely.

Lafayette Gregory speaks to Asheville City Council about animal cruelty in exotic animal circus performances. (Mountain Xpress/Jesse Farthing)

Asheville City Council: Housing Trust Fund, ordinance adoptions and circus ban considerat­ion

On April 8, Asheville City Council members voted unanimously to pass a resolution to adopt a Housing Trust Fund recommendation to fund Biotat LLC’s Oak Hill Commons Project, as well as an ordinance adopting the new 2014-15 Fees and Charges Manual. Council also considered a request that city officials ban circuses that use exotic animals from […]

Tensions run high over tackling Asheville’­s graffiti

Local business owners raised their voices and things got, by the moderator’s own admission, “a little out of hand” at Friday morning’s Council of Independent Business Owners meeting when it came to the issue of graffiti. With the district attorney, city leaders and a state representative on hand, opinions differed — sometimes sharply — on possible solutions and who should foot the bill.

*UPDATE* With recount complete, Davis edges out Gray by 35 votes in City Council race-attachment0

*UPDATE* With recount complete, Davis edges out Gray by 35 votes in City Council race

UPDATE: A recount of the votes completed and certified by the Buncombe County Board of Elections this afternoon, Nov. 18, didn’t significantly change the results of the election. Incumbent Jan Davis retained his third place finish – and his seat on Asheville City Council – by a total of 35 votes over challenger Lael Gray.

Election night comes to blows *updated*

Council member Gordon Smith was hit in the head by Lael Gray’s campaign manager, David Roat, at an election-night party, according to reports. Here, Smith describes the fracas. “I went to Lael’s party, I was giving her a hug and I got hit in the back of the head,” Smith says. “I went into a crouch, there were a few more blows, he was pulled off of me, and it was over.” (Photo by Bill Rhodes.)

Election Day: Hunt, Pelly win Council seats; Davis, Gray likely headed for recount; sales tax passes-attachment0

Election Day: Hunt, Pelly win Council seats; Davis, Gray likely headed for recount; sales tax passes

With all city precincts reporting, Marc Hunt and Chris Pelly have won seats on Asheville City Council. Incumbent Jan Davis has come in a mere 40 votes ahead of Lael Gray, meaning the race is likely headed for a recount. With all precincts reporting, the A-B Tech sales tax referendum has passed. (Photos by Bill Rhodes)

Flier fight: Candidates differ on mailer-attachment0

Flier fight: Candidates differ on mailer

A flier funded by local businessman Chris Peterson and bearing a mocking, photoshopped picture of Asheville City Council member Cecil Bothwell, encouraging voters to back Council member Jan Davis and candidate Mark Cates has led to a condemnation by an advocacy group and public criticism. Davis has released a statement asserting he is unhappy with his inclusion in the flier, noting, “I do not believe in trickery and dirty campaigning.” Cates, meanwhile, has released a statement saying he understands’ Peterson’s view.

Real progressiv­es do!

You hear much about “Asheville, the bastion of the progressive,” as in “making progress toward better conditions; employing or advocating more enlightened or liberal ideas, i.e., a progressive community. “Making,” “employing” and “advocating” are all about action taken to achieve progress. The question then is, where’s all this “action”? Few even voted in the last […]

Jan, Jan he’s our man

Allow me to add my endorsement and wholehearted support to re-elect Jan Davis to Asheville City Council. His deep roots in the community and his four decades of civic and governmental service uniquely equip him to be the ideal member of Council. During his two terms, he has demonstrated his leadership skills in facilitating, uniting […]