Project Aspire, a vast mixed-use, mixed-income development set to reshape the city’s skyline, received the green light from the Asheville City Council at its Sept. 27 meeting. After nearly two hours of public comments featuring 37 speakers and discussions between council members and the developer, the council approved the rezoning for the project with a 5-2 vote, with council members Antanette Mosley and Kim Roney opposed.
As work wraps up from $74 million in bonds that voters approved in 2016, the Asheville City Council is considering putting another slate of bonds before voters next year. While no specific dates have been mentioned, it is anticipated that the proposed 2024 bonds will come before council for approval sometime this fall.
After months of planning and community engagement forums, Asheville City Council is set to vote on the renovation plans for Pack Square Plaza at its Tuesday, Sept. 26 meeting. The plan has 10 main areas of focus, including creating new spaces for civic engagement and expression, repositioning the elevated lawn and redesigning South Market Street as an active cultural corridor to The Block.
After 17 long years of removing toxic soil and replanting native grasses and flora, the greenway phase of Karen Cragnolin Park officially opened with a dedication ceremony Aug. 25. The park was dedicated to and named after Karen Cragnolin, the founder and former executive director of RiverLink who died in 2022.
Despite a 30-minute evacuation due to smoke from caterers, the annual meeting of the Buncombe County Tourism and Development Authority Sept. 19 was deemed a huge success, with more than 350 business owners, entrepreneurs and community leaders in attendance.
The City Council voted unanimously Sept. 12 to postpone approval of a massive development near the downtown YMCA because of concerns over the project’s scope and impact on the surrounding community.
The Planning and Zoning Commission will review a request from Durham-based civil engineering firm McAdams Co. to adopt the vision plan for the Pack Square Revitalization Project that was released to the public July 21.
Asheville City Council will vote on funding to support 43 new high-access shelter beds to aid the homelessness crisis. If approved, the city would enter an interlocal agreement with Buncombe County, with each of the two municipalities allocating $875,000 of their ARPA funding to support the initiative.
Historically, July is the second busiest month for tourism in Buncombe County, superseded only by October. Yet, this year’s downward trend in overall lodging revenue and occupancy continued into the summer’s busy season.
City Council approved two technical amendments to Asheville’s panhandling ordinance at its Aug. 22 meeting. It passed 6-1, with Council member Kim Roney as the single opposing vote.
The Southern Environmental Law Center, on behalf of MountainTrue, the Sierra Club, the Wilderness Society, Defenders of Wildlife and the Center for Biological Diversity, sent a 60-day Notice of Intent to Sue to the U.S. Forest Service in relation to their Nantahala-Pisgah Forest Plan.
The First Baptist Church of Asheville and the Asheville YMCA are collaborating to build a major mixed-use and mixed-income development with affordable housing, a hotel, retail space, office buildings and a new YMCA building, according to plans submitted to the city. Approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission on Aug. 2, the Greenville-based developer The Furman Co. is now seeking final approval from City Council at its Aug. 22 meeting.
Between vapor tricks, an array of candy-like flavors and a surge in social media popularity, vaping grows more and more ubiquitous among teens and young adults, far exceeding its original intention as a cigarette cessation tool. That concerns health professionals — and even vape shop owners.
Three projects requiring special-use permits are on the agenda at the Buncombe County Board of Adjustment meeting at noon Wednesday, Aug 9. The in-person meeting will be at the Board of Commissioners Chambers, 200 College St.
It took two tries for the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority to approve spending nearly $23 million over 20 years for Asheville’s McCormick Field Centennial Restoration & Capital Improvements Project at its July 26 meeting. The motion to fund the project failed 6-2 on the first vote and passed 7-1 after the board voted again 25 minutes later.
At its July 25 meeting, Asheville City Council awarded a $1.9 million tax abatement to Aston Flats, a 231-unit microapartment development. The funding is through the city’s Land Use Incentive Grant. The approval came despite staff recommendation to delay the project until new LUIG policies were established to address microhousing units.
North Carolina is on the brink of banning transgender athletes in women’s sports from middle school through college. HB 574, also known as the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, requires a student’s sex to be recognized solely based on reproductive biology for the purposes of athletic participation.
Four months after approving up to $20 million for renovations to McCormick Field, Asheville City Council is taking another step to fund improvements to the home of the Asheville Tourists minor league baseball team. As part of the consent agenda for its meeting of Tuesday, July 25, Council will consider a $3.7 million contract with engineering firm Ewing Cole Inc. for the design of several improvements to McCormick Field, including a new sidewalk for safe pedestrian access.
While it has been over six months since the winter water outage that affected thousands of Asheville residents, several questions still linger over how such an incident could have occurred and how long the remedy will take. An independent review committee found that inadequate preparation for cold weather and a lack of training in crisis communication were the most critical missteps that amplified the effects of the outage.
Local collaborations often create opportunities for businesses to bring new life to community campaigns. Such was the case for Highland Brewing Co.’s Pints with a Purpose, after it teamed with Sound Mind Design for custom beer can art.
Cristina Hall Ackley, co-founder and president of local Ginger’s Revenge, says a common challenge that new businesses face is finding affordable benefits packages for their employees.