Buncombe beat

Nonprofit agencies will make their case for funding from Buncombe County's upcoming budget for Fiscal Year 2018. A total of 46 nonprofits are asking for an aggregate of almost $11 million.

County oversight erroneously lands project before Board of Adjustment

An hour into the Board of Adjustment’s Wednesday, Oct. 12, meeting, some 30 people began speaking out against a proposed vacation rental in South Asheville at 28 Merrills Cove Road. While the fifth person to speak was outlining why the development should not be approved, the county’s zoning administrator, Debbie Truempy, announced that the agenda item should not have made its way to the Board of Adjustment.

“That is my mistake, and I apologize to everyone involved,” said Truempy, while further clarifying the Board of Adjustment would not be able to approve the agenda item. “It should have never come before the board,” she stated.

At issue was the proposed development of a vacation rental complex that would feature upward of 10 luxury cabins. The owner of the property, Peter Anuar, said he was looking to start by building two cabins to see how much interest they generated. He said his family would also live on the property and run the business.

Before the project was considered a moot point, nearby residents spoke out against the plans, asserting that a commercial development would be in stark contrast to the area’s residential character. Concerns about traffic, loss of trees and fraternity parties were also cited as reasons the community did not want the project to move forward.

Ultimately, the intended use did not match the land’s zoning designation, much to Anuar’s frustration. He asked why he was just now being told. However, Anuar told Xpress he will try to find another way to move forward with his plans to create short-term cabin rentals on the 22-acre plot.

Fences and neighbors

In other business, the board heard from a property owner that built nearly 60 percent of his home using an improper land survey, causing issues with the home’s setback. The property’s R2 zoning requires a 20-foot setback, but due to the mistake, the owner asked for an 11.42-foot variance.

The improper survey resulted from using an incorrect parcel identification number, or PIN, the homeowner claimed. The mistake caused issues with a neighbor, but those have been resolved. The neighbors stated they weren’t happy with the situation but wanted to resolve the issues in the name of fostering community.

Board member Keith Levi said he didn’t want the house to be torn down but expressed displeasure with the process. “You were reckless and disregarded your neighbors’ interest,” he said before voting in favor of the requested variance. It was approved unanimously.

Early voting kicks off Oct. 20

Early voting kicks off Thursday, Oct. 20. You must be registered in Buncombe County to early vote in Buncombe County. If you are not registered to vote you may do so during early voting in a process called same-day registration. No photo identification is required for voting as North Carolina’s voter identification law was struck down in federal court.

Below is the schedule and places you can early vote.

  • Oct. 20-22, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Oct. 23, no early voting.
  • Oct. 24-Oct.29, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Oct. 30, 1-6 p.m.
  • Oct. 31-Nov.4, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Nov. 5, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

Early Voting Schedule

Get real time information on the number of people in line at early voting locations here.

Call 250-4200 for more information about early voting locations or click here. Buncombe County has also provided an online map of early voting locations.

As of 2014 there is no straight ticket voting in North Carolina.

Check your voter registration status here.

View a sample ballot here.

Find congressional, state and county district maps here.

Xpress
will have election guides with candidate questionnaires in its Oct. 26 and Nov. 2 issues and online at mountainx.com.

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About Dan Hesse
I grew up outside of Atlanta and moved to WNC in 2001 to attend Montreat College. After college, I worked at NewsRadio 570 WWNC as an anchor/reporter and covered Asheville City Council and the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners starting in 2004. During that time I also completed WCU's Master of Public Administration program. You can reach me at dhesse@mountainx.com.

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