A presentation intended to unveil a draft Downtown Master Plan for Asheville may get bumped back, project manager Sasha Vrtunski told Xpress. The presentation, the next step in a series of meetings intended to engage the public in the design process for a comprehensive downtown development-and-transportation plan, may be delayed so more work can be done gathering public comment, she said.
An intensive two-day meeting frenzy in July was expected to be the last in a set of hearings before Goody Clancy, the Boston-based consulting firm hired by the city to develop the plan, returned with a first draft.
But as of press time, the meeting’s status was up in the air, with the Master Plan Advisory Committee scheduled to meet on Monday, Sept. 8, at the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce to determine if the whole process could benefit from more time. If the presentation continues as scheduled, it will be held Thursday, Sept. 18, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Asheville Civic Center. (Look for updates or changes at www.mountainx.com as they become available.)
Meanwhile, the city of Asheville also announced that there will be a follow-up meeting at 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 15, to address concerns in the African-American community about the plan. A July 28 meeting brought a groundswell of complaints that historical African-American areas like the Eagle/Market street district have seen too many plans in the past and not enough action. Also, according to comments at that meeting, some residents are suspicious that the plan will ignore or exclude the African-American community.
The follow-up meeting will take place at the Public Works Building at 191 S. Charlotte St. Alongside appearances by members of the Goody Clancy team, it is expected that the Eagle Market Streets Development Corporation and the Mt. Zion Community Development Corporation will give presentations on plans they have in the works for the area known as The Block.
The city of Asheville posts updates and announcements on the status of the master-plan process at www.ashevillenc.gov.