A combination of increased demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic and low staffing levels has led to emergency response times well above national standards, said Rafael Baptista, the county’s director of performance management, in an Oct. 19 briefing to the board.
The amount of money brought in by these short-term rentals in Buncombe County during the first half of this year was up 131% compared with STR revenue for January through June 2019. Consumer preferences — and choices to be made by government officials locally and in Raleigh — will affect the size of that gravy train and who will benefit from it in the years to come.
On an upper floor of Zeis Hall on the UNC Asheville campus is a small room containing many birds. None of these birds are alive. Each one is dead, preserved through taxidermy and stacked side by side in individual Tupperware containers. The room, smelling faintly of formaldehyde, is a biological specimen laboratory. The collection is […]
Starting Friday, Sept. 24, local organizations can submit projects in the following categories for grants from the federal funds: affordable housing, care for aging residents, climate change, city infrastructure, domestic violence prevention and assistance, food systems, homelessness services, public engagement, revenue losses, small business recovery and workforce development.
Eight candidates are vying for three seats on the governing body for the town of roughly 8,000 people to the northwest of Asheville. Challengers and incumbents alike agree that concerns over development, particularly The Bluffs at River Bend proposal, are driving interest in a normally quiet race.
While the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners did not make a formal commitment to any plan for the 137-acre site, several members expressed a desire for denser development focused on housing.
As part of the Local News Ideas-to-Action Series, the Virginia-based national media nonprofit American Press Institute awarded Xpress a $9,300 grant to create a guide to local government decision-making for land development. The guide will cover the stages of review that projects face on their way from concept to final approval, what aspects are considered at each step and what avenues exist for public input.
At its regular meeting that evening, the Board of Commissioners will invite public input on its application for $750,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
To focus resources on larger regional branches, a proposed Library Master Plan would close three existing libraries in Black Mountain, Oakley/South Asheville and Swannanoa. Neighborhood groups in those areas fiercely oppose the changes, as they’ve made clear in recent community listening sessions hosted by the county.
The largest single grant of $4 million will support broadband infrastructure expansion in unserved areas of the county. Brownie Newman, chair of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners, said that investment would leverage an additional $6 million from the state of North Carolina and private broadband providers.
The city’s urban centers initiative, as well as updates to open-space requirements for new projects, are meant to encourage denser development patterns, supporting less car-dependent communities and increasing the city’s tax base.
The recommendation aligns with the guidance of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which called for universal indoor masking “in areas of substantial or high transmission” on July 27.
The new rules will take effect Wednesday, Sept. 15.
Scheduled for a vote at Council’s regular meeting is a series of revisions to the city’s noise ordinance that would set specific decibel levels for downtown, as well as commercial and industrial areas, as measured from any property away from the source of the noise.
Many people who volunteer with the Peace Corps consider it a life-defining experience. Kareen Boncales is one of them. She served in Cameroon from 2009-11 in small enterprise development, teaching basic business skills to everyone from farmers to boutique owners. “I really admired that entrepreneurial spirit of turning challenges into opportunities,” she recalls. “I knew […]
According to Redfin, a nationwide real estate brokerage, the average real estate budget for an outsider moving to Asheville was $615,500 as of April, 31% higher than the average local budget of $469,000. That disparity between outside and local buyers was greater than in either Charlotte or Raleigh.
Although the county completed a strategic plan last year, which outlines general governmental goals, it does not have a comprehensive plan, which primarily evaluates land use and infrastructure. State law requires the adoption of such a document by July 2022.
As Asheville began reimagining itself over the last 20 years, its dense urban core of older yet viable structures has allowed local, independent restaurants and breweries to obtain affordable — if somewhat decrepit — spaces for their ventures along with opportunities for architects and designers to transform them.
Since he was a teenager in Charlotte, Mac Franklin knew what his life’s work would be. He began landscaping during high school and continued the career while studying art, industrial art and design at Appalachian State University. After college, Franklin moved west to work for a landscape architect in San Francisco and a nursery in […]
Nearly all of the members of the public who commented on the issue expressed concern over the amount of money being spent to draw more tourists to the area and asked that the funds allocated for advertising instead be spent on city infrastructure, schools and reparations for Asheville’s Black residents.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, just 0.2% of workers in the four-county Asheville metro area commute by bike, less than half the national average. But the owners of Asheville’s first electric bike dealership, as well as and regional transportation planners, think e-bikes are likely to change that number.