Residents, elected officials meet to discuss impact of hotel growth

NO VACANCY: More than 100 people attended the Jan. 9 community meeting to discuss how hotel development affects residents. Photo by Brooke Randle

On Jan. 9, the city of Asheville held Impacts of Hotels: A Community Discussion, the first of two community meetings that will examine how hotel development affects residents and how the city can develop strategies to mitigate those impacts. The meetings are a part of the year-long hotel moratorium that Asheville City Council approved in September of last year. The temporary ban on hotels requires Council members to quantify tourism issues such as hotel saturation and infrastructure demands and develop new policies for considering hotel proposals.

The meeting featured a four-person panel from the Urban Land Institute in Charlotte that, before the meeting, met with community stakeholders, toured the area and reviewed a briefing book prepared by the city’s Department of Planning and Urban Design to better understand Asheville’s specific concerns and issues. The community discussion was also meant to garner public input. More than 100 people attended and were asked to break into groups of roughly 10 people each to discuss issues related to hotel development while city staff took notes.

The panel is expected to review all of the information during a closed session meeting Friday, Jan. 10, and will reconvene with a public meeting to share the results of its findings and recommendations for the city on Thursday, Jan. 30.

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