PLANTING TIME: Fall is the best time to plant garlic, and there will be plenty of seed garlic available at Sow True Seed's third annual WNC Garlic Fest on Oct. 1 on Asheville's South Slope. Photo by Chris Smith, Sow True Seed

Garlic Fest returns to South Slope on Oct. 1

Now in its third year, Garlic Fest will run from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1 on Asheville’s South Slope. The event will offer opportunities to sample garlic delicacies, learn about growing and cooking with garlic, purchase seed garlic to plant at home and more. The event area will be centered around the intersection of Church Street and Banks Avenue.

TURNED ON: Duke Energy’s downtown distribution substation, located behind the U.S. Cellular Center on Rankin Avenue, was built in the mid-1960s. Photo by Virginia Daffron

Sparks fly: city struggles to locate, regulate new electrical substation­s

To meet growing power demand, Duke Energy says it will need to build three new electrical substations close to downtown over the next ten years. The city is rushing to put an ordinance establishing requirements for substation screening in place while residents are banding together to oppose substations in their neighborhoods.

Asheville City Hall and the historic Buncombe County Courthouse in May 2016. Photo by Virginia Daffron

Homestay vote looms large for May 17 meeting of City Council

In December last year, City Council directed city staff to analyze the potential impact of expanding the city’s homestay program for short-term rentals to separate living units known as ADUs. Six months later, much more information is available, but little if any consensus has emerged from the process. On May 17, Council will vote on a measure to allow homestays in ADUs, but the outcome of that vote is up in the air, meaning that another long night of testimony on the issue seems inevitable.

UP IN THE AIR: Scott Thomas, left, and Mike Piroli, right, were hoping to open the Public School bar in the old Standard Paper Sales Co. building on Banks Avenue this fall, but city paperwork has kept the project from getting off the ground as scheduled. Photo by Cindy Kunst

The long hello: Permitting issues drag on for South Slope ventures

Driving by the old Standard Paper Sales building, you can see construction workers carrying equipment in and out and hear the sounds of loud machinery. Vortex had originally planned to open in the space in June, and four other South Slope businesses had their sights on the space for September. As the summer slips away, you can’t help but wonder what’s holding up those projects.