Paradigm shift: City urges denser, greener developmen­t

The city of Asheville has taken initial steps toward rezoning real estate in four places around town in hopes of encouraging new development that would offer a denser mix of housing, shops and office space, similar to Biltmore Park Town Square or Reynolds Village in Woodfin. “Asheville wants to move in a direction that is more urban, that is more walkable, that has a greater mix of uses,” says city planner Vaidila Satvika.

Healthy change: West Asheville’­s developing wellness corridor

“This is increasingly a wellness corridor,” says chef Reza Setayesh of West Asheville, the location of his newest restaurant BimBeriBon. Local entrepreneurs, he notes, “have invested in businesses that promote a lifestyle and environment that includes the whole being, whether it’s acupuncture, massage, food, yoga. This is a neighborhood that helps people move, make healthy choices and thrive.”

Asheville government­, schools, nonprofits launch effort to address achievemen­t gap

A group representing government, education, business and nonprofit organizations is coalescing to form a community response to a severe racial achievement gap in Asheville City Schools. But it’s not yet clear how the initiative will define its goals and approach — and what resources it can attract to fund the effort.

HOME SWEET HOME: George Morosani, the owner of Wellington Community Estates, stands at the entrance of a single-wide manufactured home. Morosani estimates that there are 2,000 people living in his park, which has more than 400 lots. Photo by David Floyd

Buncombe County considers expanding access to manufactur­ed homes

In Buncombe County, manufactured housing is limited to certain zoning designations, but the county planning board recently voted in favor of an amendment that would expand the list of areas where manufactured homes would be allowed. The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing about the change in the coming weeks.

UNCA hosts this year’s Appalachia­n Studies Associatio­n conference

The 2019 Appalachian Studies Association conference returns to Asheville after 27 years. The annual gathering brings together an eclectic mix of scholars, educators, activists, students, groups and institutions to discuss and present on a wide range of topics related to life in the region.

Mike Kozen presents to the BCTDA

Tourism Developmen­t Authority approves long-term planning and research strategy

The four-phase, roughly $440,000 project is set to begin this spring and conclude in April 2020. Those funds will come from occupancy tax revenue in the Tourism Product Development Fund budget. Funding for community projects will then resume at a time yet to be determined after the planning is complete.