CLASSIC STREETSCAPE: Vermont Avenue features a traditional, family-friendly style just steps from the Haywood Road commercial corridor. Residents of the neighborhood took their concerns about preserving its character to the Planning and Zoning Commission on Nov. 1. Photo by Carolyn Morrisroe

Neighborho­od battles against business intrusion

Homeowners on Vermont Avenue in West Asheville see their neighborhood as a quiet, special residential pocket of the city — and they intend to keep it that way. Residents implored the Planning and Zoning Commission to stop a property owner from opening an art gallery in a house on the street. That issued tied into a discussion of short-term rentals and whether Asheville wants tourists “in every nook and cranny.”

STANDING TOGETHER: From left, Asheville City Council candidates Vijay Kapoor, Rich Lee and Kim Roney at an Oct. 25 forum on LGBTQ issues. Photo by Carolyn Morrisroe

Council candidates come out to support LGBTQ community

A City Council candidate forum called into question how progressive Asheville really is when it comes to rights and protections for those in the LGBTQ community. All six candidates said they are in favor of the city of Asheville implementing a nondiscrimination ordinance, which is specifically disallowed under House Bill 142.

MUNICIPAL CANDIDATES: Early voting is underway in the races for Asheville mayor and City Council. Xpress presents answers to burning questions from the candidates.

Voter Guide: Q&A with candidates for Asheville mayor and City Council

As Asheville enjoys the benefits of a bustling economy, it also confronts challenges that come with growth, including concerns over housing, tourism, budgeting and certain segments of the city getting left behind. Xpress asked all the candidates for mayor and City Council to share their thoughts on these topics and more prior to the Nov. 7 general election.

LODGING LIMITS: At its Oct. 3 meeting, Asheville City Council asked the Planning and Zoning Commission to consider removing lodging of 20 rooms or fewer from the permitted uses in the Haywood Road form-based code district. Image courtesy of the city of Asheville

City Council talks tough on short-term lodging

Asheville City Council appears committed to holding the city’s line on any potential expansion of short-term rentals. Council members put the kibosh on a proposal to allow short-term rentals on a stretch of Haywood Road in West Asheville, while also instructing city staff to explore banning the practice in all areas of the city, including the River Arts District and downtown. Homestays, a type of accommodation where the primary resident is home during a guest’s short-term stay, would remain legal.

CANDIDATE LINEUP: Asheville City Council candidates at a Sept. 18 forum at UNCA. From left: Kim Roney, Andrew Fletcher, Gwen Wisler, Dee Williams, Pratik Bhakta, Jeremy Goldstein, Cecil Bothwell, Vijay Kapoor, Adrian Vassallo, Sheneika Smith, Rich Lee and Jan (Howard) Kubiniec and moderator Tim Hussey. Photo by Carolyn Morrisroe

Race, housing take center stage in Council candidate forum

Who can afford to live here and how can we all live together? Those questions formed the crux of the conversation among Asheville City Council candidates at a Sept. 18 forum where two issues garnered strong and varying viewpoints: the lack of affordable housing and persistent racial tensions in Asheville.