Buncombe commissioners approve airport rezoning

Buncombe County commissioners took action on various zoning issues Aug. 5. (photo by Alicia Funderburk)

Buncombe County’s Board of Commissioners faced a full agenda on Aug. 5, and by meeting’s end, they had passed several motions that will change the landscape in some significant ways.

The commissioners approved three requests for rezoning designations. The final of these changed the designation for the Asheville Regional Airport from a Public Service Zone to an Airport Industrial Zone, which accommodates airport expansion, as well as the growth of aeronautic industry around the airport. The commissioners also heard an address on the state of the Asheville Regional Airport, which is starting a new, four- year, $64 million project to improve and expand services.

Commissioners also approved the construction of a new “Charters of Freedom” monument donated by a local citizen. The monument will be a replica of the one in the National Archives in Washington, D.C., and will consist of four granite “mausoleum” type structures bearing the Declaration of Independence and part of the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, under 3/4-inch glass. The monument will be placed in Pack Square Park across from the Veteran’s Memorial.

The board made several property decisions as well. The first was to convey a piece of property on 40 Johnson Drive to Habitat for Humanity. The county made unsuccessful attempts to sell the property before Habitat expressed interest. In addition, the board passed two resolutions to facilitate the new City Center development on the site of the former Tripps restaurant: one a land swap of almost equal square footage to straighten a property line, the second to allow a 10-foot easement so the development could build a parking garage up to the county property line.

Finally, the board passed a resolution to accept bids for two parcels of property at 225 East Chestnut St., following through on Commissioner Mike Fryar July 8 motion to sell that property, which is valued at $887,600. The board also passed a follow-up resolution to profile all county property, tally up possible sales, and then present the mapped-out information to the public, with a public hearing to follow.

All motions passed 7-0.

The commissioners then approved several appointments to board vacancies before moving into closed session. And they heard complaints about the “snow day” granted to Register of Deeds staff in February when other county employees worked.


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