Josh Stein announced that his office had developed a new agreement after months of “extensive negotiations” involving Mission, HCA and the Dogwood Health Trust. He explained that the changes would strengthen HCA’s community commitments, make the DHT board more representative of its service area and ensure greater accountability for both organizations.
The document, set by the chamber’s advocacy and policy committee, adds opioid and substance abuse prevention to the docket for the first time. Affordable housing and expanded transit options throughout the Asheville metro region also made the cut, while Medicaid restructuring and the Interstate 26 Connector Project were both removed from last year’s list.
Local nonprofit Just Economics increased its living wage rates for 2019. For those employees not offered employer-sponsored health insurance benefits, the new hourly rate is $13.65; for those offered health insurance, the new hourly rate is $12.15.
Sixteen Asheville-area startups will receive intensive personalized support from Venture Asheville as part of the entrepreneurship initiative’s Elevate program. Local business owners will be paired with successful company founders, executives and functional experts to help work through the challenges and opportunities of business growth.
“When I say I literally have physical anxiety about supporting this project, that is real and true,” said Council member Keith Young, citing his concerns over a lack of affordable housing in the Riverwoods development. “A part of me really feels like I’m letting folks down by approving this project.”
Citing unresolved questions about parking and a planned bike lane for Battery Park Avenue, the TRC continued its review until more information is available. The proposed 80-room hotel will likely come before the board again on Monday, Feb. 4, then face a hearing at the Downtown Commission on Friday, Feb. 8, followed by the Planning and Zoning Commission on Wednesday, March 6.
Like an airplane leveling off after a rapid ascent, local Realtors believe the strong upward climb in property values in the Asheville housing market could be giving way to a more relaxed rate of growth.
Twelve years: That’s how long humanity has left to hold global warming below the key level of 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to an October report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In light of that sobering reality, these developments from 2018 had the biggest potential impact on Asheville’s contribution to climate change.
Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Kit Cramer weighed in on the year’s top economic development accomplishments in Buncombe County, starting with funding progress on the Interstate 26 Connector.
Assistant City Attorney John Maddux, who serves as the city staff liaison to the Noise Ordinance Appeals Board, admitted that he currently had no good solution to the problem of commercial noise. However, he did propose numerous changes to the noise ordinance aimed at streamlining complaint resolution.
Deltec Homes celebrates 50 years in business, while The Toy Box on Merrimon Avenue prepares to close after its 30-plus-year run.
“There’s real fear among nonprofit organizations that not supporting the current iteration of the board could mean retaliation in the form of being cut from the $1.5 billion that DHT will control once the sale is final,” wrote Asheville-Buncombe NAACP President Carmen Ramos-Kennedy. “In order to truly build trust, citizens and organizations must feel free to speak their hearts and minds without fear.”
Give Amazon.com a rest — Western North Carolina is full of small, independent retailers, where the only thing cookie-cutter is the display of, well, cookie cutters.
As an independent pet retailer, “Business is good,” says Jenna Wilson, who owns Patton Avenue Pet Co.’s three outlets. Other locally owned pet suppliers agree: WNC pet owners want the best for their family members, and they often shop local for high quality pet food, treats, supplies and toys.
Grigg Sheffield, owner of L.O.T.U.S Urban Farm and Garden Supply, opened his shop 6 years ago and says that the biggest trend he sees is that the consumer base is more educated, curious and knowledgeable. “There’s a big move towards understanding what’s in your food and how it’s grown,” he says.
Are CBD businesses — which are exploding across WNC and elsewhere — laying down the tracks, preparing for an expansion into legal marijuana? The answer depends on whom you ask. Many local CBD entrepreneurs say they’ll continue their focus on the health benefits of CBD, regardless of whether medical or recreational marijuana are legalized in the state.
In its first known formal engagement with Asheville, Airbnb sent two of its representatives to an Oct. 23 discussion of homestay regulations sponsored by the Homestay Network, a local group representing over 600 legally permitted homestay hosts. The firm has also committed to another meeting of over 50 stakeholders on Tuesday, Dec. 11.
There is no fee for business owners interested in signing up, says Franzi Charen, founder of Asheville Grown Business Alliance, which produces the card each year. The only requirement is that locally owned, independent shops honor the card with hand-selected special offers.
Asheville City Council will hear public comment on two proposed hotel projects and an economic development incentive grant at its meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 11. City parking fines will rise on Feb. 1, 2019.
A new mobile oil change business says it will offer on-site and on-demand service. The Van Winkle Law Firm announces a top ranking in 13 practice areas and the appointment of former Van Winkle attorney William Carleton Metcalf to a judgeship.
See who’s new in town, what’s happening in the local real estate market and how one Asheville-based company hopes to leverage its manufacturing business to help animals in shelters.