City Council will begin a full afternoon and evening on Tuesday, March 22 with a budget worksession. The session will begin at 3 p.m. in the first floor conference room in City Hall. Materials for the session will be posted online during the morning of Monday, March 21.
Directly after the worksession, Council will meet in its chambers on the second floor of City Hall at 5 p.m.
Three proclamations will kick off the meeting:
- Recognition of the American Planning Association’s North Lexington Avenue Great Main Street award
- Proclamation proclaiming March 29 as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veteran’s Day”
- Proclamation proclaiming April 6 as “Tartan Day”
Council’s consent agenda includes:
Public safety measures including accepting a contract with the state for funding a hazardous materials response team based in Asheville, applying for a Department of Homeland Security grant that would fund nine additional firefighter positions for a period of two years and applying for a grant that would support fire prevention and life safety programs.
Two development-related measures including a public-private partnership with the developer of the Patton Place Apartments at 246 Patton Ave. for stormwater management improvements and a sanitary sewer easement for Busbee Mountain View subdivision on West Chapel Road.
Several matters concerning city greenways:
- For the Clingman Forest and Town Branch greenways, an amendment to the contract for architectural and engineering services with Sitework Studios for an additional $45,000
- Authorization to accept several easements for the future Rhododendron Creek Greenway, which will begin at the Hominy Creek Greenway on Shelburne Road near the former Armory and extend to Sand Hill Road near Vance School
- Application for a Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant in the amount of $500,000 for recreation and park amenities on the East Bank of the French Broad River Greenway
- Agreement to enter into a 99-year ground lease with Duke Energy for 48 acres of property at 98 Desota St., which will allow Duke Energy to continue to maintain a utility substation and transmission lines on the property while accommodating the city’s French Broad River Greenway West
The establishment of an Energy Innovation task force with Duke Energy, the city and Buncombe County. The task force will pursue three main goals:
- Education/training/communication through active community engagement to drive more energy-efficient behavior.
- Technology development and implementation through deliberate investment in distributed energy resources (primarily solar) and storage.
- Greater access to and promotion of energy efficiency products and programs and demand-side management offerings.
Presentations and reports
Council will hear an update on participation in the city’s Homestay program. The ordinance regulating the program was amended on Nov. 17, 2015. Since then, the city has received 52 applications for Homestay permits, of which 46 have been granted. A large majority of the properties for which permits have been sought are located in North Asheville.
Council also will hear an update on the Interstate 26 connector project.
Council will hear public input on the closure of two alleyways: an unnamed alley near 119 and 121 Sand Hill Rd. and an unnamed alley between Oteen Park Place and Pine Cone Drive. In both cases, adjacent property owners requested the closures, and the Multimodal Transportation Commission has approved the requests.
Council will also hear public input related to the conversion of a city-owned property at 338 Hilliard Ave. for the development of affordable housing. Technically, there will be four public hearings related to different aspects of the conversion of the property from its current use as a parks maintenance facility into a site for multi-family residential housing:
- Rezoning of a portion of the property from Community Business District 1 to Central Business District
- With the rezoning, a change in the height zone for the property
- Lifting of a federal deed restriction on the property
- Approval of the Request for Proposals process for the disposition of the property for the purpose of affordable housing development
Council will consider proposed fee increases for the 2016-2017 fiscal year, including:
Parks & Recreation
- Aston Park increases according to schedule; $22,000
- Adjustment to WNC Nature Center fees (no change to admissions)
- Fee Increase from $10.50 to $14/mo.; $1.1 million
- 5% overall increase; $252,000
Water Rate Increases
- 1.5% single family, multi-family and small commercial
- 3.5% large commercial and manufacturing
US Cellular Center
- Various fees and charges changes; $28,000
- To be discussed in worksessions
Motor Vehicle Fee
- Recommend $30/year fee, increase of $20
- $1.4 million in additional restricted revenue [per legislation adopted by the General Assembly in 2015, additional revenue from any increases above the current $10 fee must be used for street maintenance.]
Parking Fund fees
- Parking study currently underway
Development Services Department fees
- Fees to be evaluated
- Cost recovery
Council also will consider adopting the Haywood Road Corridor parking study prepared by Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. in June 2015 for a cost of $53,400. The study was presented to the Planning and Economic Development committee of City Council on Feb. 16, 2016. The committee recommended that the study be adopted.
Board and commission vacancies
Council is currently accepting nominations to fill vacancies on the city’s Haywood Street Advisory Team; Public Art & Cultural Commission; and Recreation Board. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, April 6, 2016, at 5:00 p.m. Call 259-5601 for an application form.
The agenda for this meeting of City Council with links to supporting documents is available here.